GreatCall’s Jitterbug service just had a major setback — the easy-to-use mobile phone service makes use of one phone, the Samsung “Jitterbug” and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of Samsung “Jitterbug” phones sold between March 2008 and May 2009. That makes for a voluntary recall of some 160,000 Jitterbug phones.
The reason? Some of the phones — when in a no service area — display an “out of range, try again later” message, meaning the phone don’t connect to 9-1-1 emergency services.
The “Jitterbug” cell phones with model numbers SPH-a110 and SPH-a120 with version BB14 software can fail to reach emergency services when needed, according to the US CPSC.
Jitterbug users can call Samsung for a free upgrade, but this voluntary recall is likely to undermine some trust in the Jitterbug brand. The emergency button on the Jitterbug phone has been touted as one of the early examples of succesful wireless health services.
What’s more, Jitterbug founder and chairman Arlene Harris said that the company was not yet profitable as of February and would require more funding than she had originally expected. While the financial details of the closely held mobile phone service remain undisclosed, this recall won’t help the company along the road to profitability.
Best case scenario for Jitterbug at this point is that Samsung pays for the recall, because the fault seems to be with the device itself. No word yet on who will recoup these costs.
Also, just two weeks ago GreatCall won a TripleTree I award for its easy-to-use phone service and emergency button.
For more, read this article from UPI
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