back to article Telcos don't tell about disabled policies

Telecoms companies do not do enough to tell users with disabilities what facilities are available for them, research by regulator Ofcom has found. The telecoms and media regulator conducted 'mystery shopper' tests and found UK networks lacking. Mystery shoppers contacted providers on behalf of invented relatives with various …

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Not overly enthusiastic

They're very good at hiding these services and not letting folk know they are available. However I will give the thumbs up to VM who, once they knew my friend was "visually impaired", bent over backwards to help. It also stopped him being on the end of marketing calls for their cable TV, which obviously was a non-requirement. Alas he's no longer with us, but they were spot on, trouble is that this side of the business they liked to keep quiet.

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Anonymous Coward

Tell me which telco is any better than the next.

Maybe they should stop employing monkeys in call centres?

I'll never be contracted to any of them ever again. Every one of them fks up.

Took vodaplebs 6 months to set up a direct debit! And 6 months of my patience, time and energy.

They are all a bunch of tossers, and they dont give a shit!

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Megaphone

If they *all* screw up, maybe it's because of your attitude?

Monkeys or not, they're following a script --- so if the disabled services script is not there it's the marketing PHBs fault, not the phone droids. Another example of marketing not worth their salaries, I'd guess.

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Nothing new here

There are a range of packages and benefits - from disability support to low income aid to tax breaks and so on - but in a huge majority of cases you need to know what you want before applying, and - sadly - as I found out many years ago when I was fresh out of school, you may even find yourself arguing with a jobsworth who doesn't believe you, thinks you're a waste of time, and refuses to refer you to her superior (meaning you have to find an alternative way to do that).

Pretty much anything out of the ordinary rote "blah" is liable to be forgotten, neglected, or just plain screwed up. Like asking for a burger without tomatoes in McDonalds - you'd be depressed (but not surprised) how often I get tomatoes, and sometimes get extra tomato. Why? Because it is an unusual request. Just like, I dunno, being in poverty, or being blind...

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What?!

Which MaccyDs does tomatoes in the burgers?! I only ever get ketchup.. :(

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titular agreement

Yay! Another "hold the tomatoes" guy:)

I don't even bother with Mc Donalds these days, because I've lost track of how many times they didn't hold the tomatoes. The stupid thing is they have a button on the till for this sort of thing, and they still don't notice :/

Oh, and I'm a veggie too, so I get the juice soaking into the burger which makes it kind of soggy...

It's what you get for paying people to act as robots instead of allowing them to think for themselves.

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Anonymous Coward

i doubt they are hiding these

They are probably just not able to work these into the standard script given to the call centres, as it will be a reasonably rare request. The current trend for call centres that mechanically follow a script with no deviation whatsoever, usually by somebody called dave or jenny with a remarkably Indian sounding accent, will hurt them in a scenario that needs some initiative to suggest appropriate solutions to the problem.

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"Maybe they should stop employing monkeys in call centres?"

Maybe they should *START* employing monkeys in call centres. They would presumably do a better job.

But a possible answer to the problem of goons that won't refer you to their supervisor (presumably, having also refused to disclose their own identity) is to call back and ask the next person for the complaints department -- who should, presumably, be able to tell who it was that was allocated your previous call.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Telcos don't tell about disabled policies

I'd agree that things are getting worse. I'm Deaf and SHOULD be able to use my mobile textphone and typetalk. After eventually getting the right phone (which they knew f**k all about) and then having to take it back to get the software, they also tried to get me to change a landline from BT to save money. I don't have a landline, and I'd already mentioned that to the assistant!! I'm Deaf before the phone I relied on text messaging.

I still now rely on text messaging!

Anyway after getting the correct phone/software it now turns out probably only people with mobile phone contracts can use the 18002 prefix to call me, and even then, it's a total lottery between mobile providers and how you pay your bill.

Companies frequently block access to stop their staff calling the prefix, so to be honest, I've given up!!!

Ofcom will do nothing as I've complained about my experience and not even had a response.

Based on the fact that the article seems to suggest people are lacking any information about disabled people, in more recent times, my doorbell is a flashing beacon (it flashes a light instead of ringing), yet you'd be suprised how many companies (I assume) knock on the door and post "while you were out cards".

One guy did say he knew I was Deaf and said he shouted loudly through my letter box so I'd know he was there (!) but another was shocked how I knew he'd pressed the doorbell while I was hoovering (despite we both could see the flashing beacon)

Do people not have doorbells anymore? (or do people not know Deaf people have visual doorbells), or is that people just don't see disabilities anymore?

If your blind and need directory assistance, the number is 195. I think if your hearing and have problem dialing numbers, the operator can connect you via 198, although i suspect most phones have speed dial these days.

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Stop

Hmmm

Doesn't this just show how crap a job Ofcom are doing with regards to their primary duty? Things are getting worse when the availability of information (clearly not in this regard) has naturally increased for the average person.

Either there's a swing on the figures not reflecting we now have more Telco's or Ofcom truly fail. From the same report that was carried out in 2006, it would not have been hard to get these companies to pull their finger out over 4 years!

It really shouldn't be hard to get a business with a prime interest in communication to communicate...The only real cost is a device that can output Braille, even for that the telco only needs a slightly different report template and voila.

Come on Ofcom, pull your finger out!

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If you deaf where to go.

Id like to give credit where its due.

My brother has been deaf since childhood.

To help with communication in the family and open the world to him some more

I suggested he get a phone line but for net use only. Ive been with Virgin net since the beginning and have had good service from them,

i called their sales line and explained that I wanted to arrange every thing for my brother, including the direct debit etc for their net connection and voice calls package BUT there would be no calls.

They fully understood were happy to help so for £12.00 a month he has 5mb b/band. Thats on top of the BT line rental. We never tought to ask to get that reduced.

Maybe we should.

Couldnt fault them.

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