Deaf Sky Customers Win Cancellation Battle

We’ve all been there, that service or subscription that we need to cancel yet the firm makes it as difficult to cancel.  It’s something I’ve just experienced and I can confirm it’s a bit of an ordeal, my attempt to cancel my Sky subscription (a Satellite TV service like cable) was successful but very hard work.  You start with an initial phone call which gets passed to a ‘special department’ where you’re quizzed and tempted with bonuses to reconsider, you can of course cancel – Sky is billion dollar multinational after all – but it’s tough.

Consider now, trying  this if you’re hard of hearing, my mother for example can just about manage very basic phone calls but not much else.  Trying to fathom her way through different electronic options and then trying to hold long phone calls with persuasive call center staff is extremely difficult.  Which is where the problem lies with Sky, the phone call was previously the only acceptable way to cancel a contract.  No quick email, no ordinary letter or fax – the only option was to run the gauntlet of departments designed to change your mind – clearly an unacceptable situation for the hard of hearing, and impossible for those who are completely deaf.

In the light of some very strong criticism and a decent media campaign by a couple of newspapers the company has relented and changed it’s requirements.  Now the approximately 15% of the population who have some hearing difficulties will not have to use the telephone to cancel their contracts.  They will be able to use email and ‘textphone’ to stop their subscriptions and cancel the service.  They have ruled out written letters for security reasons, which we find rather baffling as it’s ultimately at least as secure as email but a success never the less.

The company have upgraded their accessibility pages, in light of this criticism so they’re worth a look for the disabled and hering impaired – accessibility.sky.com.  There is talk of a video relay service which could be used by sky customers to use sign language to communicate with specially trained staff.  Although I’m not so show this is something that would be that appreciated, after all if you want to cancel you want to do it quickly and easily.

Many of  the bigger media companies seem to think it’s an acceptable way to keep customers, simply making it as difficult as possible to cancel their contracts.  The reality is that there’s huge competition especially online where anyone can with the right tools watch just about any media programme they like if they know where to look.  Imagine watching all UK terrestrial channels anywhere including the USA – iPlayer USA.

For the deaf community, technology generally makes life much easier for them. Simply being able to communicate online via text or email to order goods, manage accounts and other administrative tasks is much more straight forward.  Indeed with the rights skills and a few tools like good VPN software and a fast internet connection there’s not many aspects of life that can be controlled in this way.  So to be fair to Sky they have backed down and helped all those hearing impaired people who just can’t use a telephone easily.

 

Disabilities and Military Pay

If a person is interested in what they could earn by joining the military, they can use the military pay chart to see exactly how much they can earn. The military pay chart 2014 from the military is updated every year, so people can look at it and see how much they would make currently if they joined the military. Every year, military pay normally increases slightly, so a person can expect the numbers on the pay chart to be higher in the future. 

The great thing about this chart is that is shows people what they can make from an entire military career. It shows them how much money they can make at every rank in the military, and it shows them how much money they can make from each rank based off of how long they have been in the military. 

The military is one of the few organizations in the world that shows people exactly what they can make. People can use the chart to decide if a military career is better than a career in another field. People can also use the chart to determine what rank they want to achieve in the military. 

Along with the pay that is shown on the chart, a person can also earn additional pay for taking on different duties in the military. Military personnel can receive extra money for clothing, housing, submarine duty, and for working in areas more dangerous than normal. This extra pay can easily add an extra thousand or more to a person’s paycheck.

Netflix Fails Deaf Subscribers

Netflix has been around for about a decade now, and in that time has compiled a huge library of films, TV series and documentaries.    All of this is backed up with multiple device support and a really clever algorithm that suggests and recommends films and shows to it’s users.

It’s simple to use and you can access on a variety of platforms – my favorite is the new Wii U where you can even watch your shows on the gamepad if you prefer.  There’s no doubt that Netflix have developed a state of the art viewing platform except of course if you happened to be dead.  Many hearing people’s first experience of closed captions on Netflix will perhaps be on a foreign film or perhaps some mixed dialogue in a film.  You’ll then start to see what deaf subscribers have to put up with – they’re truly awful.

If you’re lucky they may just be out of synch, but in reality most are transcribed very badly almost to the point of a bad joke.  They’ll often line up over each other, contain awful spelling or grammar, or perhaps just be complete nonsense.  An example in one of ABCs sitcoms Better off Ted, sees the captions block out real subtitles for a foreign language excerpt and cover them with the text – ‘SPEAKING JAPANESE’

Or how about this beauty from the latest Bond blockbuster – Skyfall.

“Report to the new Quartermaster for ur documentation,” 

It’s enough to make you cry, the real scandal is that a global media company treats it’s deaf subscribers with such disdain. There’s very little excuse, Netflix has even been sued by the National Association of the Deaf in 2011. A timetable was agreed at that point to include and improve captions on all streaming content. It appears they have honored that agreement by trying to just stuff any old rubbish into their shows and hope nobody notices.

Perhaps we should be grateful that there is at least some effort into providing captions at all but I think that misses the point. Some of these efforts are so awful that they can really spoil a movie, remember if you’re deaf and rely on these captions – this is the dialogue you see.

Netflix is always keen to pour resources into it’s algorithm or to create new region versions of it’s subscription. Netflix in the UK for instance has only a fraction of the content available to subscribers in other places like the USA. Although if you want to access those then at least your subscription is valid for all of them but you’ll need to use a fast proxy to access them like in this video.

There is some sympathy with Netflix from many quarters, providing closed captions is not easy and there is no simple solution available at the moment. You only have to look at the automatic captions produced by the huge resources of YouTube – often they’re complete nonsense. But surely quality should be the driver here, mistakes and errors just spoil the experience completely for the viewer. It’s like trying to read a book full of spelling mistakes it’s an extremely depressing experience.

There is a demand for this and Netflix spends a huge amount of money on licensing and generating it’s own programming.  Many people already switch between versions of Netflix just to get better versions, they don’t like people doing this and there’s been a lot of – How to Hide your IP address type videos like the one above.  They shouldn’t forget that up to 15% of people have some sort of hearing difficulties so that’s an awful lot of people.

Financial Considerations for the Hearing Impaired – The InterestBot

Individuals that are hearing impaired face specific financial challenges.  These individuals should make use of online tools for savings and investment decisions indeed there are many very useful ones.

People who want to save some amount of money in a certain period of time should carefully work out the investment options.For you to get some additional money in your savings account, you need to deposit money in an account that is going to accrue interest and then calculate the interest so that you are focused on the goal.   For international investors the choice can be even more bewildering, especially if you have to do most of your research over the internet.  It’s important to remember that search results and indeed accessibility of some sites is controlled by your location, so for example to access an account in Ireland you may need to connect using an Irish IP address.

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Anyone can use the Interest Calculator to find out how much money they can save in the future. You can calculate various amounts of money to see how much you are going to get in the long run. If you are planning to invest one hundred dollars, you are going to enter this amount in InterestBot, together with the amount of interest and the number of years you are expecting to achieve growth of the savings.

When people are getting loans, they are very particular on the interest rate that they will have to pay for the loan. This is the same thing when one is looking for a bank to open a savings account with. Having the flexibility to access different financial resources is essential when you are computing the interest on a loan over a certain period of time. It is possible for you to calculate manually your compound interest rate but this can be a bit challenging more so if you are not good in maths.

You can get access to most options in the world, a savings account in Toronto for example was accessible from the USA by using a Canadian proxy and  will let you know how much a single deposit you make will be worth in the future. You will also know the amount of balance that is left for you to get more income. It also comes in handy when you will be choosing the bank to do business with. Interest rates differ from bank to bank and you should make sure to choose a bank that gives you the highest interest rate on your deposit. With InterestBot, you are going to do a comparison of the interest rates between the different banks to see which one works for you.

Financing for the Deaf

Deaf people should be persuaded to use all financial tools available to them on the internet.

A car loan or a mortgage loan can be an intimidating proposition for many people. However, most borrowers who took out a loan are not fully aware of the intricacies that surround the said transaction. Most of the time consumers lack the capability to understand the complex mathematical formulas needed to derive interest. In most cases, financial institution try different ways to downplay the significance of the interest, thus, it is important to access tools that would enable borrowers to have an accurate picture of the impact of the loan on their personal finance.

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A loan calculator is not a novel concept. In fact, loan calculators are available even before the advent of the Digital Age. The importance of a loan calculator could not be overemphasized because through their availability a borrower is able to answer questions involving time and money. These are the type of questions that bedevil decisions about taking out a loan or even when it comes to investing and saving for the future.  There’s lots of useful information of course available online for everyone in these areas, I even saw a fantastic set of websites listed in the BBC.  It was pointed out to me by someone from Vancouver although she did point out to access the live programmes, you’d need this tool which lets you watch BBC iPlayer Canada.

In a conventional calculator, a borrower can expect features such as pre-programmed formulas, therefore there is no need to be a math wizard to use it. A loan calculator is also useful when it comes to dealing with credit card debts. A loan calculator helps the borrower to determine the monthly sum needed to pay the debt and at the same time provides the time frame for the repayment strategy. It is through this process that the borrower is able to figure out if a particular debt reduction strategy takes a long time to complete and therefore he or she can make the necessary adjustment that would lead the borrower to financial freedom.

In the past, borrowers had to purchase an electronic equipment to help them deal with loan calculations but in the 21st century, sites like these can help borrowers sort out financial questions without the need to pay financial consultants.

For more information on proxies, vpns and other technology, please see links below.

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Rights Moving On

Given the amount of conversation that we have seen about gay rights (for good reason) I can’t stop and not think about the plight of the deaf in our society.  So here my main issue, our country (again rightfully so) is starting to create a more European style safety net for our citizens, but what amount of support do we give to the deaf community? Are we providing a wider range of support services to other under represented groups while forgetting about the deaf? Are there some basic changes that we can make in the near future to help the plight of the deaf as well as the partially hearing whom really get little to no support from anyone!

Financial Tools for the Deaf

Some great financial tools exist for the deaf including this useful site –Tax and Credit Info for the Deaf which can be used to check tax and working credits for the UK.

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A paycheck calculator is a very useful tool for any person that would like to begin saving for retirement. Even if you have been thinking about retiring for many years, this can be difficult to do when it feels like you are working without making any progress toward your goals. If you feel that you would be in a position of having to work for the rest of your life, it is time to get serious about your retirement goals. One of the best ways for you to do this would be to use a calculator that would help you to determine exactly how much money you have coming in. This information would be helpful in allowing you to plan how much you would be willing to set aside into a savings account for the future. Retirement is not something that you would be able to accomplish without a great deal of hard work. Instead, you will need to look at your finances and determine what you would be able to accomplish with what you have coming in.

There are more resources online, you just need to check educational hubs – there’s a useful one on the BBC web site combined with a variety of links which will be useful to all hearing impaired people, this tool might be required if you get blocked from outside the UK – Watch BBC News Live.

A paycheck calculator can help you to focus on staying within your financial means. It enables you to have a better understanding of the money you are spending and how much it can help you when you put it into a savings account in the future. If you would like to make it to retirement, you need to start thinking about changing the way that you are working. This calculator would make it a lot easier for you to start working smarter, this means that you would be able to move closer to retirement through the job you are already working.

 

Deaf people and bad credit rating

Deaf people were treated badly in the past to the point of being denied their fundamental rights such as that of accessing loans and consequently, their current behavior is a reflection of this treatment. Although some famous deaf people proved that deaf people could make history as well as get good credit rating, their efforts have gone unnoticed for many years.
Although deaf people are able to pay their bills and stay within the required debt limits, most banks, and other financial institutions usually put them in the bottom 80% of the population. However, since their credit scores do not depend on the amount of money that they owe and instead they are based on their available credit, many of them have worked hard to change this trend by getting their credit cards paid down as much as possible. For more info, please visit our friends here http://minileningenbelgie.be/

Many banks and other financial institutions charge very high interest for people who have bad credit and for this reason; deaf people are making efforts to have perfect credit by paying their bills within three weeks. These people are the ones who need money the most and for this reason, they need to preserve their credit by paying their bills before the due date and making sure that they only owe cars that they do not need to take loans for.

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