Google's Nexus One handset is dialling 999 when the user tries to pick up voicemail or call a freephone number, thanks to an over-enthusiastic update.
The update, which was put out at the end of January, is supposed to recognise any number that might be an emergency call and connect it to the local services. But the numbers listed include "111" and "0800": the former of which is the voicemail number for O2's GiffGaff brand, while the latter is the UK's code for free calls.
The updated firmware will connect the user with the local emergency services whenever a call is made to 911, 112, 999, 000, 08, 118, 111, 120, 122, 110, 119, 995, and 0800. This intercept happens at the phone handset, and a customer who requested support from Google was told to ask his network operator for a different voicemail number, so it seems the problem isn't easily solved.
Some users have reported numbers starting "0800" are being connected to the emergency services: when we tried it we didn't have that problem, though one has to ask why Google feels it necessary to call up the emergency services when one dials 0800 as we've been unable to find a country in which that is the existing number to call for help.
Many years ago the UK started connecting "911" to the emergency services, as imported TV shows educated the public as to what number they should dial, and now the EU-standard "112" also connects there. Surely enough for the most flustered individual.
The Emergency Services surely have better things to do than talk to people looking for their voicemail, or trying to get hold of Claims Direct. A little Google grovel to already-overworked emergency operators is probably in order. ®