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Editorial #28-CSDVRS Files Petition and Sends Letter to FCC on Porting Issue Concerning Sorenson's Treatment of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People's Videophones

A provider should care about consumers of its service and do everything to service their consumers. If a consumer decides to go to another provider, it is the consumer’s right to do so and the provider giving up the service needs to make it as seamless and not problematic for the consumer who makes this choice. Unfortunately, this has not been happening of late. It has occurred enough times in order for CSDVRS (ZVRS) to file a Petition of Expedited Declaratory Ruling with the FCC. In addition, a letter on this matter was sent to Joel Gurin, Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at the FCC.

When a consumer decides to port (or move) his phone number from the old provider to a new provider, he/she is required to fill out a LOA (Letter of Authorization) to make this possible. The VRS company (the new provider) submits this LOA to a servicing company who handles the porting. The servicing company then issues a FOC Date (Firm Order Commitment) to the old provider and the new provider informing them when the port is to take place. On that date, the old provider disables the number, and the new provider activates the number. In normal circumstances, it can take several days to a week or more for this to happen. What has seemed to happen is that when Sorenson as the old provider somehow finds out about the planned port well before the FOC Date, it immediately shuts down the VP-200 before the FOC Date, leaving the deaf/hard of hearing person stuck without a videophone. In recent days, when this has happened, the deaf/hard of hearing person contacts Sorenson to ask them to hold off the deactivation until the FOC Date. Sorenson has refused to comply with their requests. This means Sorenson is leaving the deaf/hard of hearing person without access to 911 service. CSDVRS feels this is wrong, like anybody with a heart and mind out there–you can’t take away a person’s lifeline to the world, thus submitting this petition and letter.

This is not functionally equivalent—hearing people, when they switch cellphone providers go through the same thing and the providers comply with the process, including honoring the FOC Date.

This is the link to the petition: Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling

This is the link to the FCC letter: Letter to Joel Gurin, FCC Chief of Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

5 comments to Editorial #28-CSDVRS (ZVRS) Files Petition and Sends Letter to FCC on Porting Issue Which Concerns Sorenson’s Treatment of Deaf and Hard of Hearing People’s Videophones

  • SteveZS

    Dr Z is totally correct here. Especially about the 911 issue. Sorenson delayed getting my VP-200 operational for almost a month during which I was without any VP service and could not dial 911 for any emergency.

    What I really do not understand is that VRS providers earn money by making relay calls. If my VP was not working for so long, I obviously could not make VRS calls, and the provider would not make any money.

    That is why I went to another provider. Sorenson’s poor treatment of me (and other customers I have heard from) was the deciding factor.

  • Eric Peirson

    oh my god, why is all VRS providers against, filed etc. If you dont like it, then leave it be. that is how company runs.

    For example, if you have Tmobile pager that has features, then later you decide to switch to another pager maybe sprint, Tmobile will shut down and lose features. so that is some example. Oh my god, how sad VRS providers keeping to against file to FCC and file to FCC. wow. this is a war, for sure.

  • pbravin

    This is not what CSDVRS intended. We all are for functional equivalency. If people don’t treat us the same way that hearing people are treated, then this is not functionally equivalent.

  • This is why Sorenson is monopolizing the deaf community and it practices audism.

    Sorenson needs to respect deaf people’s right to switch.

    Even it means porting. Hearing people do that.

    Sorenson will NOT let us and it is a hidden form of audism.

    Trying to control us? It is time for Sorenson to bite dust!

  • SteveZS

    The real problem here- some VRS providers block calls from other providers VideoPhones. I run into people every day having this issue.

    It all comes down to you do have a choice of another VRS provider. But you may not be able to make calls to your other contacts because they have different VideoPhone devices.

    I am referring to being able to connect to another VP, but getting the dreaded “black screen” and being unable to continue with the call.

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