Samsung and Jitterbug Recall Phones for 911 Out-Of-Area Issue (Updated)

Samsung and service provider Jitterbug have instituted a voluntary recall of the SPH a110 and a120 clamshell due to issues accessing 911 emergency services when  outside home service areas, affecting handsets sold after March 1st of last year .

Samsung has instructed customer service centers across the country to perform software updates free of charge to fix the issue, and is also accepting affected handsets by mail with a turnaround timeframe of approximately a week.

160,000 handsets are said to be affected by this issue, with Jitterbug stating that it does not affect use when in a home area.

Encyclopedia: Samsung Jitterbug (SPH-a110/a120)

Update: The article has been updated reflecting the correct date for phones affected and specific issue.

Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

9 responses to “Samsung and Jitterbug Recall Phones for 911 Out-Of-Area Issue (Updated)”

  1. milkbone

    Is there a reason that this couldn’t be fixed with an OTA PRL update?

  2. Samsung, Jitterbug face 911 issue, recall phones | Prepaid Reviews

    […] In this case it was only property. In other cases it can cost lives. Yesterday we learned that Samsung and Jitterbug have recalled two handsets because of 911 issues. This is not a concern in the subscriber’s home calling area, but […]

  3. Christopher Price

    I doubt it. Jitterbug phone firmware is designed to block roaming calls. I suspect Samsung got over-zealous and told the phone “If you’re not on a tower in the PRL, don’t allow any calls.” Normally, the firmware is supposed to exempt 911 from this restriction.

    The only way a PRL update would fix that (assuming it is the issue), would be to whitelist every SID pair in every CDMA 800/1900 country. A recall would actually probably be less expensive, than managing a PRL that size for the next umpteen years.

    Plus, it would wind up with all the Jitterbug customers landing on towers that they can’t make calls on.

  4. elizabeth  duhaime

    feel we were ripped off by jitterbug discontinued service so much for the great warranty

  5. Stephanie

    Ripped off by jitterbug usually means in my extensive experience that you had no idea how a cell phone works and talked hours and hours thus expecting that you were exempt from the .35 per minute overage and likely wanted a refund on a huge phone bill because your broke ass is on social security?

  6. Stephanie

    Oh and remotely flashing the phone would never work. It sometimes takes 10+ minutes to get a Jitterbug customer to find the on/off button. Can you possibly imagine the man hours involved in trying to get SID Data?

  7. kim silvia

    well how do you update it? the customer service line for jitterbug tells customers to go to a store to do it…

  8. Stephanie

    You wait for the letter from Samusng which directs you to a service center. The service center flashes and uploads the data to the phone.

  9. Mao

    I also gave my mom a simple phone with PERS features to secure her safety wherever she goes. But what I gave her is the Just5 Easyphone. This is also a great option to consider as it isn’t only reliable and high-quality but also very affordable. My mom only spends $.10 for each minute and $40 for the unlimited service that is good for 30 days. This one also makes a good buy.