Apple Repair Centre Apparently Linked to Flood of False 911 Calls

Apple iPhone

To put that in perspective, 911 operators have been fielding as many as 20 calls per day from the facility that repairs and refurbishes Apple devices. "We take this seriously and we are working closely with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn't continue".

Apple is clearly taking the problem seriously and working to address the issue, but with 20 911 calls going through a day from an Apple fix center and the calls happening since October, it's questionable as to exactly how seriously the company is committed to addressing this issue. Naturally, the police are concerned the calls are getting in the way of real emergency calls. "It sounds like people talking about Apple, or devices, or generally about maintenance and repairs", said Sgt. Shaun Hampton with the Sheriff's department.

The company has not issued an official explanation on the cause of the errant emergency calls, but the culprit is likely the Emergency SOS feature that Apple rolled out with the iOS 11 upgrade. With Auto Call enabled, it's incredibly easy to place a 911 call on accident, which seems to be the most like culprit in this scenario.

'We call back and find out, 'oh it was my Apple Watch, I was exercising or I hit it wrong or hit the wrong button, ' a dispatcher told Michigan's WNEM.

It's not hard to imagine how this situation might have occurred.

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The refurbishment center handles Apple devices, which include its iPhone and Apple Watch. In 2011, researchers from Google studied 911 calls in San Francisco and found that 30 percent of emergency calls from wireless phones were accidental.

Having your smartphone repaired may hold some urgency to you, but it doesn't constitute an emergency.

After the call ends, your iPhone sends your Emergency contacts a text message with your current location, unless you choose to cancel. "Don't hang up! Just let us know it was an error". Maybe too many iPhones tossed in one box, buttons get held down, the rest is history?

It's not clear why the calls are being placed, or if they're coming from iPhones or Apple Watches. Ottawa County dispatchers complained to local news WNEM that 10 accidental calls a week were being made by Apple Watch users, while the same thing was happening in Tolland County, which issued a warning to the smartwatch owners about a spike in the accidental wrist-dials. This is serious business.

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