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Editorial #6 – Reaching the Boiling Point (NEW)

Reaching the Boiling Point
An Op-Ed Editorial from Dr. Z

Dear Consumers,

After sharing my thoughts over the last few weeks–I have been met with silence by “you know whom”…I am now presenting this editorial in the form of a letter to you all–it presents a summary of what has evolved by the attitude of “you know whom” over the past few months/years with no sensitivity towards us deaf and hard of hearing people and continuing to think we are second-class citizens.

This letter is to detail some urgent issues concerning 10-digit numbering and the practices of the largest VRS provider, Sorenson Communications. After careful investigation, review, and technological inspection, it has been determined that Sorenson is intentionally misleading deaf and hard of hearing people in regard to 10-digit numbering ostensibly to further their own business interests. In doing so, Sorenson has implemented an internal operating procedure that confuses the marketplace and impedes the effectiveness of the FCC Order on numbering. Specifically, the following has occurred:

1. Sorenson has used the position of default provider to tell customers that they must use Sorenson exclusively as their VRS provider. This simply is NOT TRUE and is in contradiction to FCC Orders.

2. Sorenson has communicated to consumers that if they do not use Sorenson, they will lose features on their Video Phone. This too is a misleading and bullying tactic and also is in contradiction to FCC Orders.

3. Sorenson is providing 10-digit numbers to deaf consumers and not immediately placing the numbers in the national numbering database. This results in the failure of point to point calls from a non-Sorenson user. Sorenson responds to this issue by stating that the point to point call fails because of the other VRS provider’s video phone. This is NOT TRUE. The point to point calls would be fully functional if Sorenson would provision the national database with each 10-digit number that they provide.

4. Sorenson is not eliminating the proxy/faux number resulting in consumers continuing to use the proxy number versus the new real 10 digit number. The FCC Numbering Orders require the elimination of proxy numbers but Sorenson still affirmatively uses them thereby causing confusion for the consumers.

5. Sorenson is not provisioning the national numbering database with the 800 numbers it provides to deaf consumers. Sorenson is further advising deaf consumers that 800 numbers are better numbers to use for point to point calls as the consumers will not have to pay long distance charge. This is NOT TRUE. There are no long distance charges for point to point calls. However, by not putting the 800 in the national database, Sorenson can start a new closed network for the deaf that utilizes solely the Sorenson system. Much like the 10-digit numbers, if an 800 number is not provisioned in the national database and if a deaf person calls a Sorenson video phone from another brand of video phone, the call will fail. However, the call originates from another Sorenson video phone (i.e. it is a Sorenson to Sorenson call), the call will function as Sorenson has placed the 800 number in the local LDAP, but not into the national database.

6. Sorenson is not permitting functional caller ID when there is a standard for presenting caller ID to phones. When a video phone from another provider calls Sorenson they present the caller ID to the Sorenson phone. The caller ID (phone number) should show up in the call history as a missed call with the accurate number. However, Sorenson does not place the caller number in the correct location in the caller ID data stream. Instead, Sorenson displays an IP address where the caller ID would normally appear. This usually results in the deaf consumer trying to return the call to the IP address, and the call going to the wrong place, or not functioning at all. However, when the call is between two Sorenson video phones, when the call comes in from a Sorenson device, the proper identifier appears in the missed call log, and the deaf consumer can return the call from the missed call log. This “hiding” of caller ID for non-Sorenson consumers is an attempt to manipulate consumer choice in the VRS market (in favor of Sorenson), and is at odds with FCC interoperability requirements.

Sorenson’s actions are unacceptable to the industry, at odds with FCC rules, and above all else, they are abusive to the deaf consumer.

What can a consumer do to help?

1. Take this email and forward it to the FCC at fccinfo@fcc.gov and say, “I am tired of being misled and manipulated by Sorenson!”

2. Stop using Sorenson. Exercise your right to use dial around and/or use the default provider of your choice. Pick any other provider and put their URL in your phone. If Sorenson comes knocking and asks why you are not using their phone, then point out the 6 items above.

Choose another provider who you like or try several but don’t use Sorenson until they stop making it harder for the deaf to communicate and start making it easier.

There are 3 ways to access CSDVRS/ZVRS.

1. CSDVRS.TV

2. ZVRS.TV

3. Dial 888-888-1116

Thank you for the opportunity to read my thoughts. Feel free to comment (or complain to the FCC).

Sincerely,

Dr. Z

3 comments to Editorial #6 – Reaching the Boiling Point (NEW)

  • Alphonso

    Why don’t CSDVRS assert leadership and work with other providers and file together at FCC against Sorenson. I don’t see anything from CSDVRS?

  • check one of the entries where we co filed with purple and snap…

    http://www.drzvrs.com/?p=1107

  • Pam Kilpatrick

    Regards the 10 digit numbering issue and the practices of Sorenson, I just wanted to say thanks a million for the info/update. I knew right off the bat the adversiting of the requirement which has been misleading was intent on “pulling the wool over eyes” to further their interests. Determination to investigate and persistence pays off. Thank you!

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