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Disgracefull

thisoldman
Grafter
Posts: 1,220
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Registered: ‎06-04-2009

Disgracefull

Being deaf, I have a screen phone which uses the royal nat industry for the deaf operators. For those who have never heard of this, i connect via an rnid operator who types what the caller says onto my screen fone.
All calls are recorded so there is absolutely no argument about the veracity of what I am about to say.
As soon as the called number answers the rnid operator explains typetalk to the company/individual and tells them when to talk/answer.
On the last two occassions that I have had the misfortune to have to phone plusnet, the operator (RNID) has informed me that that plusnet have put the fone down as soon as they hear the rnid introduction.
It ap[pears that certain people in plusnet have never heard of typetalk and its about time plusnet got their finger out and trained their staff as to how typetalk works, beit in sheffield or south africa.
When I do get connected the staff babble when i have switched the phone to voice mode so i cant hear them and the operator has frequently to interrupt the staff to re explain the system.
According to the rnid operators the staff are not very helpfull ( thats a diplomatic statement).
Often I am placed in a queue for up to 25 mins which ties up an operator. The rnid only have a small number of operators available so inevitably they request that i redial later.
Ther are many many plusnet customers who are not so lucky as me and who do not have a typetalk screen fone. When their bb or computer breaks down HOW do they contact plus net?
In breach of the Disability  Discrimination Act plus net do not provide  a text fone number or an email address, so how do deaf customers make contact with plusnet?
Even the rnid are getting fed up with plus net  staff answering a typetalk call.
[Moderator's note by Thomas (Be3G): thread moved to a more appropriate board.]
12 REPLIES
Mand
Grafter
Posts: 5,560
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Disgracefull

Hi there,
Do you have any information about who the agents were? Even a first name and a time would help.
That's not acceptable, and I'd like to take it further.
thisoldman
Grafter
Posts: 1,220
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Registered: ‎06-04-2009

Re: Disgracefull

Thank you Mand. I have no names and id need to contact the rnid typetalk service for day/times.
But I would like to be given an assurance by you  (if that is possible ) please that all plus net staf and call centre staf are familiar/have been trained in the use of typetalk.

Secondly Id very much like to know how deaf people in general contact plus net. The EHRC will be interested in your response .

thank you for your help
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: ‎08-06-2007

Re: Disgracefull

I would guess that the preferred method of contact would be the ticket system?
B.
thisoldman
Grafter
Posts: 1,220
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Registered: ‎06-04-2009

Re: Disgracefull

Thanks for your reply barry  BUT.......if your pc or bb is bropken  how could you or anyone else use the ticket system.
please think about that!!
Community Veteran
Posts: 26,744
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Registered: ‎10-04-2007

Re: Disgracefull

Suggestion: TypeTalk users should be able to register as such with Plusnet and be given a special number to call.
jelv (a.k.a Spoon Whittler)
   Why I have left Plusnet (warning: long post!)   
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Mand
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Disgracefull

All of our CSC staff know how to deal with typetalk calls, and this should not happen.
They've been re-briefed today on the subject, and told that this kind of behaviour is a potential disciplinary issue.
Unfortunately I can't do any more without times/names etc.
In general, the options would be typetalk, or the ticket system.
jmd
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Disgracefull

I have used the ticket system [if PC and broadband working!] in general as I am also hard of hearing.  I have complained in the past about the attitude of some Customer Service staff when I ask them to repeat themselves or speak clearer/slower and lack patience.
 The local authority usually has a social worker for the deaf who can go into offices and give staff training in "deaf awareness" which may be helpful to those who think that if a customer says they have a hearing problem they need to be shouted at!  I do not used hearing aids as my hearing is not assisted by them - I just do not hear anything high pitched and many words therefore sound similar but being shouted at makes it much worse.
I have though on some occasions being very lucky to get someone who does speak clearly and does have patience but my main luck is in not having to contact CSC very often!

But perhaps CSC staff should have someone come and train them in deaf awareness which would include things like typetalk and how to ensure your voice is clear.  Then all would be competent and patient.
Mand
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Disgracefull

They should all be competent and patient anyway.
'Soft skills' are part of our induction training (these teach agents how to talk clearly, patiently, and to modify the conversation based on the customers technical ability or level of frustration for want of a better phrase).
thisoldman
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Registered: ‎06-04-2009

Re: Disgracefull

Mand.  thank you for your concern and replies. I dont want to make an issue of this but i was upset at the time. The rnid do unfortunately not log calls when people simply put down the phone and as they did not answer we have no names, but it was not sheffield at fault.
Quite a few national companies do the same. I appreciate that typetalk calls take slightly longer  and can be a hassle to the  person being called.
But the key point i asked is , if your pc or bb id down and you are deaf how do you access plusnet?
I am one of the very very very few people who have typetalk. The fone cost over 300£ and iknow very few deaf people can afford or even know about its existance.
I really believe that plusnet should provide deaf/hearing impairted people with a text number in the event of being unable to get on line and who like me have , have neighbours who wont let me use their pc.
Mand
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Disgracefull

They can take longer, but that doesn't mean that not answering them becomes acceptable. My very first call here was a typetalk call, that lasted for 40 minutes. A flying start for sure! Wink
All of our agents were reminded yesterday that this type of behaviour has repercussions, and I'd hope that you won't have these problems again.
The text number is a good idea, I'll mention it the management team.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: Disgracefull

going back to I think 2008 I had a problem which I was getting SMS messages, and I was on Holiday, I am fairly sure that I answered some of them by text, unfortunately now deleted from my phone, so the number must be available and working
Mand
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Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: Disgracefull

We have text messages as part of ticket updates, but it's not a standard number you can send a text to, and the session has to be initiated by us (by sending you a text in the first place).