Why my iPhone is no replacement to a landline- 911

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dontwalkhand, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. dontwalkhand macrumors 601

    dontwalkhand

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #1
    http://www.azcentral.com/news/artic...levels-two-homes-labeled-suspicious-abrk.html

    I was near the fire at the time, and I have decided to call 911 (I could feel the entire road shake, it was almost like I was living in California again). I called 911 using my iPhone.

    The iPhone says 911, below it where you normally would see just the timer of how long you have been on the phone, it would say "Emergency Call - 0:00" with 0:00 counting up how long you have been on the call just like any other call. In case anyone is wondering, yes 911 still shows up in your recents list, so be wise, and delete this entry from the recents (Apple now allows you to delete single entries, so you don't have the clear the entire recents list). If you were to hang up on the 911 agent, or hang up before they pick up, the 911 center calls you back with just a normal 480 phone number (the area code for this area), it is important to pick up this call if you see a random number call you, and you never got through to 911. The thing was, it took over 30 minutes for someone to FINALLY give me a call back, and I almost just ignored the call.

    Back on topic though, the call rang through like any other call, but it would just keep ringing, and ringing, and ringing, and ringing, and nobody would pick up on the other end! I was thinking to myself, THIS is what I am supposed to depend on when situations like this arise? I banged on the door of the closest house,and the person inside said she called 911, and it went through right away, she was not able to use her cell phone either, it just kept ringing like my iPhone did. The landline got to 911 right away.

    Within 15 minutes, there were about four or five fire trucks, and many police officers/ambulances ready to help. Apparently there were also about 100 911 calls during this time to report the same fire...but it doesn't look like any of the cell phones got through, while people with landlines were able to get through.
     
  2. tigress666 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Location:
    Washington State
    #2
    Sounds like there was an issue with your local 911.

    They really should fix that cause realistically these days, a lot of people have gotten rid of their landlines so it's unrealistic of them to say, "Well it's new technology and we don't have to support it".

    I mean before we got rid of the landline years and years ago (at least 4 or 5, maybe 6), it was already starting to become a trend. These days it is very common for people not to have a landline. And the few people I know with one don't use it at all. In fact I'm not sure why they keep paying for it (one of the says it's a convenient way to screen spam calls. I say get rid of the landline and you just don't get them).
     
  3. SuperCachetes macrumors 6502a

    SuperCachetes

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    Away from you
    #3
    The reason my iPhone can't replace a landline is much simpler and less dramatic: AT&T's service sucks almost everywhere I spend any significant amount of time.
     
  4. Wide opeN macrumors 6502

    Wide opeN

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2010
    #4
    Landline free since November 2005.

    Wouldn't go back for nothing.
     
  5. cyks macrumors 68020

    cyks

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    Westchester County, NY
    #5
    Sounds like a local, isolated problem. I've never had any issues calling 911 from any cell phone.
     
  6. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #6
    What you're describing is a problem with the local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), not the iPhone itself. Either the PSAP call routing was not configured properly, or someone was asleep at the call center. Unfortunately, it could just as easily have happened on the landline side.

    If this happened to you, you need to call the FCC and request an enforcement action. Someone messed up and life-or-death calls went unanswered. Their head needs to roll for it.

    http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/services/911-services/enhanced911/actions.html

    FWIW: I've been in a couple of instances where the 911 call from the landline failed to go through, but the cell phones worked. You'd be shocked at how poorly the old landline networks are being maintained nowadays.
     
  7. AlphaVictor87 macrumors 6502a

    AlphaVictor87

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Location:
    Saint Louis, MO
    #7
    the last time i called 911 to report a VERY obvious drunk driver (only reason i've ever had to call 911) They picked up within 5 seconds.

    I'd say something like this is hit an miss.

    Although you also had an extreme circumstance where there was an explosion and over 100 people were calling 911
     
  8. sweetbrat macrumors 65816

    sweetbrat

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Location:
    Redford, MI
    #8
    I had to call 911 from my iPhone just a couple months ago after a very bad car accident...no problems at all. It sounds like your issue was with the local 911 system. It's crazy to think that there's still problems with 911 and cell phones in some areas. Most people I know don't have landlines anymore; I've been without a landline for several years now and wouldn't go back for anything. My landline didn't do anything for me that my cell phone doesn't. Paying for both was a ridiculous waste of money.
     
  9. iceterminal macrumors 68000

    iceterminal

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas Tx.
    #9
    I'm confused here. Is the OP saying that ONLY the iPhone cannot connect to 911 emergency services and that EVERY OTHER cellular device can? Because the thread title states this.

    And secondly, I'm curious as to how its the iPhone's fault (or any other mobile device) that his/her local emergency services have difficulties with their telephone systems.

    I wonder, did the OP hang up and then attempt to call back again? This might of also gotten a connection.

    FWIW, I wouldn't be so quick to blame a single device without knowing every fact and detail.
     
  10. PerplexShyt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2011
    #10
    what you've just described has also happened to me on a landline..

    just FYI
     
  11. DerekRod macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #11
    It says on the iPhones box and other cellphones boxes/manuals that iPhones/cells are not good for 9/11 calls
     
  12. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #12
    Exactly, I have my local police and fire in my contacts. I guess it won't help much outside of my city though, but I guess I will just deal with 911 outside of my home/town.
     
  13. rdowns macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #13

    Unless everyone owned an iPhone, it's a problem with 911, not the phones.
     
  14. SR45 macrumors 65832

    SR45

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    #14
    Called 911 a few months back and all went well ;)

    Landline free for 4 years now and counting

    PS: If there was an issue with 911 dialing, than some news organization would have reported such a long time ago telling us not to use it not to mention 911 telling this as well
     
  15. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #15
    When I cancelled my home phone line the Cox representative told me that a home invader might threaten my family's life and that I couldn't rely on my cell phone.

    I have to admit, "keep paying us or you may be murdered!" was probably the most aggressive sales pitch I've ever gotten.

    I gotta say, I'm a little bit afraid of Cox Cable now.
     
  16. DerekRod macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #16
    Basically the warning on the iPhones box is that 911 is unreliable on cellphones due to variabkes such as signal battery whereas my landline function even while the power is out
     
  17. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #17
    It's more than that.

    My cell phone starts with 571. If I'm in a 301 area and call 911, will I get the 571 area police or the 301 area police?

    The cell phone companies have had to work with 911 centers to make sure they get the calls based on tower and not on cell phone number. It's something they've spent years working on and, as the OP's post shows, it may not always be done correctly.

    That system is mainly what people are warning about when they talk about this. It's much, much better than it was a decade ago. But is it perfect? Apparently not.
     
  18. DerekRod macrumors 6502a

    DerekRod

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2012
    Location:
    NY
    #18
    Thats true as well,I live in NYC but very close to NJ across the water I called 911 a month ago and got Bayonne,NJ's 911 call center its very dangerous
     
  19. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #19
    The first time I had to call 911 from my mobile in early 2008, I got the 911 office for the 305 area code. Even though I was in the 412 area. The second time, late 2011, I got the correct office for my location. I'm hoping that they fixed the location problem.
     
  20. iceterminal macrumors 68000

    iceterminal

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas Tx.
    #20
    When you say "its very dangerous", you're talking about New Jersey...right? ;)
     
  21. Dr McKay macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #21
    Ive had to dial 999 on my iPhone before, it went right through. Im guessing because I believe I was the sole witness to the fire.

    I'd love to be landline free, however one is a requirement for my broadband. I have a landline, I just dont use it.
     
  22. Interstella5555 macrumors 603

    Interstella5555

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    #22
    I haven't had a landline in my house since 2000, but see the need to preserve payphones more than hold onto a landline for emergency calls. To be anecdotal, I had to call 911 3 times in the space of a week (roommate had an unfortunate run in with an immersion blender, pedestrian hit in the crosswalk outside my place, 2 car accident on my way home from work) and my cell phone didn't have a problem any of the times. Also, it seems like you weren't at home when this happened, how would a landline at your house have helped?
     
  23. cynics macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #23
    The neighbor to the fire cell phone didn't work either she had to use her landline.
     
  24. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #24
    Same here. In mass, if you dial 911 from a cell phone it goes to one of the State Police dispatchers and that adds more time to getting a response. I have the non-911 number in my contacts and the phone rings in the dispatch center and you can press 9 right away and get to the 911 dispatcher.

    I still keep a landline since my wife is not willing to have cell only service.
     

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