In this article, you'll learn how you can make emergency calls from Talk in certain countries. You can enable emergency calling on any Talk plan, including legacy plans.
This article includes these sections:
- About emergency calling
- Associating an emergency address with a Talk phone number (US and Canada numbers only)
- Testing emergency calling (US and Canada numbers only)
- Making an emergency call
- Sending an emergency text
- Contacting the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988)
- Billing for emergency calling
- Supplemental terms and conditions for emergency calling
- Related articles
About emergency calling
Emergency calling is available in some countries (United States, Canada, the UK, Australia, Ireland, France, Germany, and Austria) when using Talk, enabling outbound calls to be made to emergency services (for example, 911, 999, and 112). In the event of an emergency, agents can quickly get in contact with emergency services using the Talk call console.
In the event that an emergency address is not registered to a US or Canada based number, 911 calls are routed to a national emergency call center. A trained agent at the emergency call center asks for the caller’s name, phone number, and location. Then, they transfer the caller to the appropriate local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) or otherwise determine the best way to provide emergency services. If you make a 911 call from a US or Canada phone number that does not have an associated emergency address, Zendesk reserves the right to pass a fee of $75 onto you.
In all cases, unless absolutely necessary, Zendesk recommends using traditional telephony for making emergency calls instead of using Talk. Emergency calling in Talk is Internet-based and is different and limited compared to traditional land line or cellular services. For example, it may be unavailable due to loss of power, Internet connectivity, technical infeasibility, suspension of services due to billing issues, Zendesk outage, or an outage within your network, or the network of our underlying provider or their carriers.
Associating an emergency address with a Talk phone number (US and Canada numbers only)
In the US and Canada, Talk supports Enhanced 911 (E911). With E911, an emergency address can be associated with any US or Canada based phone number. Calls made from numbers with an associated emergency address are routed directly to the local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) serving the address. The call automatically includes the caller’s phone number and corresponding address information for the 911 dispatcher answering the call. Associating an emergency address with a phone number costs $0.75 per phone number per month. This monthly fee is charged by the state and/or local government to fund their emergency response systems and is passed on to you by Zendesk as part of your Talk usage charges.
To associate an emergency address to a US or Canada phone number in Zendesk Talk
- In Admin Center, click Channels in the sidebar, then select Talk and email > Talk.
The Talk settings page displays.
- On the Talk settings page, click the Lines tab, find the phone line that you want to edit and then open it.
Note: You can only add an emergency address to a U.S. or Canada phone number. Only one emergency address can be associated with a phone number at a given time.
- On the Settings tab (of the phone line), scroll down to the Emergency Address section, and then click the Add address button.
- Enter the physical address that you want to associate with the phone line or, if you have previously entered the address, then select it from the dropdown list
Note: This address may be used to dispatch police, fire, emergency medical and other emergency response resources.
The address information you enter is passed through an emergency address validation system and you may receive a suggested address, if a better match is found in the database.Note: In the US and Canada, the address must be recognized by the Master Street Address Guide (MSAG) database. The MSAG address often differs from the equivalent US Postal Service address because the MSAG uses the community name (township, city, county) from where the closest responding PSAP will come.
- If prompted, confirm that you want to proceed with the suggested address.
- Make sure you click Save changes before you leave the page.
The address moves into the Pending registration state.
Once registration of the emergency address to the phone number is complete, the status associated with the emergency address changes to Registered. It can take up to 5 minutes for the status of the emergency address to change.
Testing emergency calling (US and Canada numbers only)
If you want to check that your Talk account has been properly configured for emergency calling, you can make a test call by dialing 933. You'll be connected to an automated system that reads back the phone number that you’re calling from, along with the address associated with that number. This must be done sparingly. Some localities require you to schedule emergency test calls in advance and will charge penalties otherwise. You should check with your local authorities before placing any unscheduled emergency call tests.
To place a live emergency test call to 911
You can place a test call to verify the information that the emergency responder receives. Call 911 then use the following script.
- "Hello, this is not an emergency call. This is a test. Do you have a moment to verify my emergency information or can we schedule a later time to do so?"
- "Can you verify the address that you received for my call?" Confirm that this matches your intended emergency address.
- "Can you verify the telephone number you received for my call?" Confirm that this matches the phone number that you called from.
- "Thank you for your time."
If for any reason the address read back to you is incorrect, contact Zendesk Customer Support.
Making an emergency call
Making an emergency call in Talk is similar to any other outbound call in the Talk console. The only important difference is that you do not need to enter the country code (for example, +1). To initiate a US emergency call, dial 911, then click Call.
Sending an emergency text
Agents can send proactive text messages to emergency phone numbers where available. For help creating proactive text messages, see Using Text notifications with triggers: Recipes and tips.
In addition to the steps in the article, you'll need to create an end user with a short code emergency number (for example 911, 999, or 988). You'll then specify that user as the requester when you sent a proactive message from a ticket.
Additionally, ensure that the setting Validate users phone numbers is unchecked (in Admin Center under People > Configuration > End users). If this setting is enabled, the users phone number must be in E.164 format meaning that short code numbers such as 911 will not validate and cannot be used.
Contacting the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988)
In the event of a mental or emotional health emergency, agents can contact the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (988) using the Talk call console. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the United States.
Billing for emergency calling
Depending on where you are in the world and the phone numbers you use to call emergency services, billing can differ. The following sections detail the charges for using emergency calling in Talk.
Charges for the United States and Canada
Associating an emergency address with a phone number (US and Canada only) has a cost of $0.75 per phone number per month. This monthly fee is charged by the state and/or local government to fund their emergency response systems, and is passed on to you by Zendesk as part of your Talk usage charges.
If you make a 911 call from a US or Canada phone number that does not have an associated emergency address, Zendesk reserves the right to pass on a $75 fee.
Calls to 911 are charged at the normal rates advertised on the Talk pricing page.
Charges for all other locations
Calls to the relevant emergency numbers outside of North America (for example, 999 or 112) are charged the normal rates advertised on the Talk pricing page, except for European Union countries where the calls are free.
Supplemental terms and conditions for emergency calling
There are additional terms and conditions for emergency calling Talk. More information can be found here.