I missed this last week:
Disabled consumers receive such a shockingly inadequate level of service from communication providers that they are being “disenfranchised from society”, according to a survey conducted by Ofcom.
The communications regulator anonymously contacted BT, Orange, O2, TalkTalk, T-Mobile, Virgin Media, 3 and Vodafone, asking for advice on the services available for blind or visually impaired customers. It found that, even after prompting, a quarter of consumers were either not given information or were told that the providers didn’t offer any special services for disabled customers.
The report shows that customer service responsiveness regarding disabled customers has dropped since 2006. This is worrying for at least 3 reasons:
- Phone technology has significantly in that period, meaning that disabled people have had relatively poorer access to it
- Disabled people had poorer access to phone technology anyway, so this trend only exacerbates the problem
- With less access to smartphones and the like, disabled people risk being left behind vital developments like social media (and we already know they are disproportionately represented in the groups that make up the digitally excluded)
Good on Ofcom for doing the survey, and a poor show from phone providers.</p.