Creeping Featuritis Strikes Again: Can U-verse Interfere with Burglar and Fire Alarms?

Are you from the old school that believes that telephones should be extremely reliable at handling voice calls? If you are frustrated with so many features that you hardly use, you might just want you phone to work. Sometimes phones don’t work because features cause the phone, which is really a computer, to stall or crash or freeze. Perhaps it is not just the phone either. Companies now like to throw as much as they can down your information pipeline: voice, data/internet, television.

But what if all those features cause your voice service to be impaired? Is that acceptable?

Something interesting about U-verse in their terms of service (check out the bold below):

YOU EXPRESSLY UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT AT&T SHALL NOT BE LIABLE TO YOU FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DAMAGES FOR PERSONAL INJURY, PROPERTY DAMAGE, LOSS OF PROFITS, GOODWILL, USE, DATA, OR OTHER INTANGIBLE LOSSES (EVEN IF AT&T HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES), RESULTING FROM: (a) USE OF THE SERVICES (WHICH INCLUDES EQUIPMENT, SOFTWARE, AND INSIDE OR OUTSIDE WIRING), (b) THE PERFORMANCE OR NON-PERFORMANCE OF THE SERVICES, (c) THE INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE, REMOVAL, OR TECHNICAL SUPPORT OF THE SERVICES, EVEN IF SUCH DAMAGE RESULTS FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OR GROSS NEGLIGENCE OF AN AT&T INSTALLER, TECHNICIAN, OR OTHER REPRESENTATIVE, AND/OR (d) ANY INABILITY TO REACH 911 EMERGENCY SERVICES, ANY ALLEGED INTERFERENCE WITH ALARM OR MEDICAL MONITORING SIGNALS, OR ANY FAILURE OF ALARM OR MEDICAL MONITORING SIGNALS TO REACH THEIR INTENDED MONITORING STATIONS ALLEGEDLY AS A RESULT OF THE SERVICES.

Perhaps customers would rather forgo the extras, especially if they make it complex and difficult to enjoy simple pleasures like calling a friend or family member, or the police in an emergency. And what if your neighborhood U-verse crashes your neighborhood phone lines. Does that mean that fire alarm might not get through to the alarm office when that laptop battery you left on your couch ignites while you run out for Chinese food. AT&T isn’t liable if MTV interferes with 9-1-1. Oh, that’s right you can still sue the battery manufacturer.