Monday, November 19, 2012

Calling Bank through Video Relay

Video relay service is one of the best  modern technology, which has enabled deaf to have an effective communication. However, there are times where it can’t deliver all communication needs that deaf need. The reason is not that video relay services do not provide or deaf do not get access to it, but those whom we call using video phones don’t always understand the importance of it.  It has come in to my attention that, it is really hard to use video phone for calling bank to talk about sensitive materials such as  issue with your credits card.

I had issue with my credit card over the weekend, and I called my bank(Chase) using video relay to inquire  why I could not make purchases with my credit card which got denied when I tried to make purchase few times. The person who talked to me, told me that they can’t access to my account, and they will call me back.  Apparently, the lady who answered my call never had experience with video relay calls. The interpreter told her that, I am deaf and she is facilitating our communication. Nevertheless, instead of fixing the issue with my card, they placed my account on hold, because they suspected the interpreter. Thus, I was not able to buy anything during the weekend with my card- and since their office is closed during the weekend, I had to wait until Monday.

When I went to the bank and told them what happened, they called people who run credit card transaction which in return told them that they put my account on hold because of suspection. In order to unblock it, they asked the banker who called them to let them talk to me. I told them that I am deaf and if they want want to talk to me, to call my video phone. They told the banker to hand the phone to me and tell them what was the last payment I made on the card. I had to voice on the phone despite that I could not hear. I was not happy that they insisted to hear my voice instead of just fixing my problem even though I was with the banker. I was also shocked that they place on hold my card without alerting me .  While, I understand that, they do things like these   for their customer’s safety, I still think they should have a way to communicate with deaf customers. If they don’t trust phone calls, then they should not have one. Because it is  unfair for deaf customers to not to be able to call their banks when they need sensitive services.  They should have video call centers like they have phone call centers or get rid of all phone services!!.


  1. Or you could suggest that banks hire their OWN interpreting representatives so that if they suspect anybody of wrongdoing, it'll be no issue. And every really large banking service would really only need like 5 interpreting people to handle all of their deaf/hh customers, and they wouldn't ONLY have to work for the bank, they would just have to have the affiliation and be accountable (haha, accountable) for the interaction with the bank.

  2. Alexis

    haha! but yep. They could hire 5 interpreters for call centers. They have money!!

  3. I agree, the banks need to learn how to communicate with their deaf customers. I understand what you are going through.