Consumer Care – Accessibility

Consumer’s with a Disability what can you expect from your Service Provider?

Accessible Complaints Procedures

• Service Providers must provide an accessible means to contact customer services in order to lodge a complaint and/or make an enquiry.
• Service Providers must offer the ability to nominate a third party to deal with complaints and/or enquiries on behalf of the customer
• All staff handling your complaint must have been trained to appropriately deal with your requirements.

Information regarding accessible complaints handling procedures and Service Provider code of practice

Information regarding Service Providers obligations to provide accessible complaints procedures.

Accessible Top-Up Facility for Pre-Paid Mobile Users

Service providers providing pre-paid mobile services are required to provide an SMS top-up facility for customers with a disability where

  • A cash top up does not involve any voice prompts
  • A receipt (voucher) is clear, easy to understand and allows the customer with a disability to apply the top-up receipt (voucher) by SMS (or equivalent method) without assistance from a third party;
  • After topping up confirmation of the value of the top-up credit, without the need to follow voice prompts, must be sent to the customer’s mobile telephone.

Information on what accessible top-up facilities your service provider is required to provide.

Accessible Directory Enquiries

If you are unable to use the phone book because of a vision impairment and/or have difficulty reading the phone book contact your Service Provider who will offer the use of a directory enquiry service free of charge.  To avail of the service you will need to get your doctor to provide a certification that confirms your medical condition.

Information for consumers who have a vision impairment and difficulty using or reading the phone book.

Accessible Billing

If you require your bill and details of the transactions in a medium properly accessible to you (including Braille) please contact your Service Provider.

Information on receiving accessible billing from your Service Provider

Accessible Facility to Test Compatibility of Terminal Equipment or appropriate returns policy

If you would like to buy a phone or some other equipment from your Service Provider but if you are unsure if you can use it if you have a hearing aid or have a cochlear implant, your Service Provider must offer you one of the following choices,

• a facility to test the terminal equipment at your Service Provider’s retail shops, in advance of purchasing or
• a returns policy which allows for terminal equipment which has not been tested in advance of purchase to be returned because it does not meet specific hearing needs.

To avail of the service you will need to get your doctor to provide a certification that confirms your medical condition.

Every service provider selling terminal equipment must have staff in the retail shop who are trained in the use of terminal equipment and are adequately equipped to address any queries raised by disabled end-users in advance of purchase.

Information for hearing aid or cochlear implant users who wish to purchase phone terminal equipment.

Accessible Website information

Every service provider is required to ensure that comprehensive and up to date information regarding its products and services that are of relevance to people with disability are accessible. The means that you should be able to click from the home page of your Service Providers website to access the Disability Section of that website.

Requirements Service Providers must fulfill on the homepage of their website.

Accessible Contract Information

All contractual information must be accessible and up to date.  This includes notifications in respect to any changes to your contract that are set out in the Universal Service Regulations.

Service Providers duty to ensure all contractual information is accessible.

Accessible Complaints Handling Procedures Information

Information in respect of your service provider’s complaints handling procedures, including its Code of Practice, must be accessible in a number of formats, to include but not limited to Braille, Audio, Regular print, Large print, Easy to read, Understandable and Online versions of each format (on the Disability Section of the Undertaking’s website) and all of these formats must be printable.

Information regarding accessible complaints handling procedures and Service Provider code of practice

Facility for Customers with Disabilities to Register Requirements

Every service provider is required to maintain a facility for you to register your requirements if you choose to do so.  The register subject to your consent, will contain the following:

• Name, address, contact details (to include phone or email and/or third party nominated contact);
• Preferred means of communication;
• Preferences in respect to bundles (for example broadband or text only);
• Details of any special terminal equipment required; and
• Details of any alternative billing medium requirement.

Information regarding registering your requirements with your Service Providers

Accessible Statement

All service providers are required to publish an Accessibility Statement on their websites. The accessibility statement should set out how your service provider ensures that information regarding their products and services, including all information provided to the majority of end-users, is accessible for disabled end-users. The Accessibility Statement should contain:

• Information about the accessibility products and services available to end users, Information about the range of accessible contact methods and details to assist disabled end-users.
• Information about the range of accessible contact methods and details to assist disabled end-users.
• Your Service Providers approach and policy in respect of providing services and information to disabled end-users

Information about accessibility statements from Service Providers.

TRS (coming 2017)

From 2017 every service provider, with more than 100,000 subscribers (over 90% of land line providers and more than 95% of Mobile Providers), must provide access to a Text Relay Service (TRS).

Accessing the service will not give rise to any additional costs for using the service.

The service is a technology-neutral service, available for use by the following devices (which list is illustrative but not exhaustive): Minicom, fixed-line, mobile, personal computer, tablet, or other equivalent electronic device.

It is expected that the service will be available in 2017.

Information on access to Text Relay Services that Service Providers are required to provide.