The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on its Website this week posted a recall notice about Cricket Communications’ EZ cell phones. The carrier said it has already notified customers and taken steps to rectify the problem.
Cricket, aka Leap Wireless International, first learned about the problem from a customer, said spokesman Greg Lund. Customers with the phone have been contacted four times, twice by text and twice by voice messages, he said.
The problem involves the ever-important 911 calling system. In some cases, when the EZ user would call 911, the operator could not hear the audio. The 911 operator could call the person back and hear them speak. Fortunately, the “disconnect” didn’t result in any deaths. However, the carrier immediately started investigating after it heard about the problem, according to Lund. Cal-Comp Electronics and Communications of Taiwan manufactures the phone.
The carrier discontinued sales of the problematic models last month and offered a software fix for customers who already had the EZ phone, an entry-level phone that sells for about $50 after rebates.
The fix requires customers to bring their phones into a retail store and get a software download that takes about three minutes, he said.
Some 191,000 EZ handsets are in the market; it’s unknown what percentage of them already have been fixed.
The carrier has been working on the problem since it arose in March.