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Call Centres could be breaking the law!

Added: (Tue Jan 29 2002)

Pressbox (Press Release) - What? You may well ask what this is all about! Over the last decade or so, the shift from face to face contact to phone based services has increasingly isolated an already marginalized group of society. You may not realise it, but according to the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) there are 8.7M people in the UK who are deaf or hearing impaired.

Hard of hearing and deaf people use special devices called text phones (also called minicoms) that allow a two-way live text dialogue. Nearly all call centres are NOT equipped to receive and manage text phone calls. Bearing in mind that the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA 1995) makes it a legal requirement for all product and service providers to make reasonable adjustments to become accessible, this is a precarious position to be in. With the UK closely following the US in increased litigation (and ever larger compensation awards), especially in the discrimination area, it make’s sense to become accessible. However just buying a single text phone does not help the situation, as this does not fit in with mainstream operations and usually ends up providing very poor service. The text telephone number is not usually well publicised unlike the main line 0800 number. The knowledge of how to operate the text phone device and how to communicate with deaf people is also diluted or lost due to staff turnover.

Now a better solution is available. TextLink server from Sensory Communications allows call centres to receive text calls on a central number, filter and route these text calls via the LAN/WAN office network to any operator station. In addition the system allows operators to cut and paste text from other applications into the text message window. This allows information from pre-prepared FAQ sheets to be used. Currently those organisations using textphones have to re-key in everything, as text phones calls can easily last 25-30 minutes this results in tying up an operator for long periods of time. By pasting information into the conversation window instead of re-keying reduces the length of call and improves agent effectiveness.

Another good reason to become accessible is to remember that disable people are customers with buying power. The Disability Rights Commission estimates the spending power of disabled people in the UK to be 40B. Customers that you cannot ignore!

For further information please contact:
Dal Jdali
Business Development Director
253 Kilburn Lane
W10 4BQ
Tel. 0208 964 0774 email: daljdali@dspg.co.uk

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