My BlackBerry Pearl Calls 911…

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 Emergency Call

I’ve had my Pearl for a little over a year now…actually, I’ve had a Pearl for a little over a year now – my first BlackBerry Pearl was recently replaced on warranty due to a sticky little Pearl (rollerball). Apparently it’s a common problem.

Since I got my phone, it has called 911 from my pocket between 10-20 times. This is because of emergency access when the phone is locked. When the Pearl is in locked mode, touching the rollerball will bring up a menu that says: “unlock”, “emergency call”, and “cancel”. Touching the rollerball when on this menu has a 33% chance of dialing 911.

This always happened to me when I was out of the house and my BlackBerry was in my pocket, where it usually lives when I’m on the go. So I always forgot to resolve the issue when I’d get home – eventually getting another call from 911 asking if there was an emergency. The same way you always forget that you don’t have any butter until you need butter.

I did a quick search on Google for: “disable emergency call blackberry pearl” and the first page returned gave me the answer I was looking for: The Pearl has a standby mode, which you access by holding the “mute” button down for 2 seconds – it’s on the top left of your Pearl. This will allow you to receive calls but it deactivates any input from the user’s end, so you can carry it in your pocket without any call-out consequence. It was exactly what I was looking for.


…I also use the “standby” mode. My phone is always in my pocket and I find the “standby” mode to be much easier to use and pushing a button, while in standby, doesn’t flash the screen and wear the battery down while sitting in your pocket. Just hold the “mute” button on the top for 2 seconds and press the same button once to get it out…

9 Replies to “My BlackBerry Pearl Calls 911…”

  1. I have the Pearl also and I don’t use the standby mode. I find it to be a pain in the butt personally. Of course, the amount of email, text messages, and phone calls I receive make standby annoying. Every message I have to bring it out of standby to check it.

    I’ve never locked my Pearl or put it in standby and I’ve never had a problem with dialing random numbers.

    PS: When your trackball starts sticking or not scrolling, a little cotton swab with some rubbing alcohol usually does the trick. 😉

  2. I am sorry to read about this Jeremy, because I can totally understand the frustration. That’s why I have a VERY basic cell phone. Oh and by the way, welcome to the blogo-world again 🙂 We missed you!

  3. @Deron: Re: sticky Pearl – I did the q-tip/alcohol thing the first few times it stuck, but this was a case of the ball rolling but not being read! Do you carry your pearl in your pocket?

    @Raul: Thanks!

  4. I love my Pearl but have the Blackberry case which magnetically ‘shuts down’ the keyboard/input when it’s in the case… I’ve never had that problem. Knock on wood, but my trackball is still working fine as well.

  5. @BPM: My girlfriends Pearl died a tragic death and I’ve since inherited her magnetic case, which has solved the problem.

    @Deron: Standby was a pain after a while – for sure!

  6. These smart phones have lots of functions that for many users are just nonsense. I still use a basic phone and it suites my needs very well. I remain at the same principle: a phone is made for calling and to answer calls, and that’s it. If I want to take a picture I use a camera, if I want to access the web I use my notebook. Not mentioning the fact that if you drop an expensive phone it will hurt your pocket, and I am saying that because I droped my phone LOTS of times and still works the same 😀

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