For as long as I can remember, I have tried to avoid utilities / bank / councils / whatever, which insists on using the telephone only as part of their customer service frontline. Sometimes, I find myself compromised or faced with no choice but embark into the myriad of irritating telephone systems, along with my inconsistent telecomm solution for the Deaf and HoH – the infamous Typetalk. I am aware that telephone systems are also a major gripe among hearing customers too but they haven’t experienced it through Typetalk, have they. My experiences usually are further compounded with technical problems and compatibility issues and I am sure this is also the case for many of the minicom users out there. The current systems of using Typetalk to access telephone systems and call centres are too inconsistent to make it an empowering experience. I usually get in a grump afterwards so it is affecting the quality of my life because I have to contend with 2 telecomms systems in one go and then pray….
Once I have a breakthrough, one thing I always ask: “Can I have your email address please?” I always get fobbed off because of security issues with using emails. On most occasions, I argue how can they guarantee that the person on the telephone is the actual person they claim to be so therefore isn’t that a security issue? For all we know, they could have the vital information at hand and pass them off as somebody else. Security issues revolving around using Typetalk operators have been brought up many times but, lately, there seemed to be less occurences of this. All Typetalk operators and calls are covered by Data Protection Act and Official Secrets Act.
Anyway, despite my efforts to get corporations to take my communication needs seriously, I never get very far as it is like talking to a robot – “It is company’s policy” – well, do something about it!!!! “It is company policy, I am sorry.” yes, I know but I am telling you I have a problem with this policy and accessing your services “Let me talk to my supervisor…” – …Note from Operator….[music in the background]…..huh, why do I want to know that……..”I am sorry, my supervisor said it is company policy…..”….arggghh!!
I can only deduce that eavesdropping a landline call must be more harder to achieve than hacking an email and vital data ending up with the wrong person – that is my impression. Although I have never seen my email ending up in the wrong hands in all my life, except through human error. Recently, I came across these articles recently – Computerworld | ZDnet – it is highlighting a real concern about the security of making phone calls over VOIP.
This is interesting because VOIP calls can be intercepted over the internet by determined hackers in tenfolds, as compared to eavesdropping on the traditional telephony. Yet, publicity, we are not seeing any waves regarding the withdrawal of telephone customer services in the face of potentially damaging security breaches, especially the ones where vital data are exchanged. Therefore, I cannot see any difference between accessing telephone services via VOIP and email-based customer services, which will, in turn, be an enormous plus for the Deaf and HoH customers. Companies need to wise up when making communication provisions for their customer service frontline. I really can’t see a convincing reason why failing to provide email-based customer services should prevail especially if they are allowing for VOIP calls, email encryption have improved and there are ways to establish secure communicatons online. I am able to communicate with my bank (First Direct) by using the web-based messaging system, which is hosted internally on the browser. I usually get a reply very rapidly. There can be no excuse in continuing with this discriminatory practice of providing only telephone-based customer services. By having this email communication outlet opening up, we can control and deal our own affairs independently and privately anywhere, without needing a minicom within the vicinity.
Does anybody have any thoughts or input to make here?