Equality is All I want

 

I am not asking for much, I am not asking for special treatment, I am only asking to be treated as everyone else is. I don’t want to be treated like I am less because I am Deaf, I want the same rights as anyone else, I want the same access to information, to businesses, that hearing people have. I want to be able to call a business, such as… I don’t know, lets take a recent case of being treated less, Capital one.

I called Capital one about a month ago, because I noticed a credit card I don’t use, but may be helpful in emergencies. I tried first to take care of things online, this didn’t work, they couldn’t issue me a new card online… I was forced to call them. So I pulled up my VRS service, and to be 100% certain everything was understandable, and I didn’t get a bad interpreter I used IP relay. The other nice thing about IP relay si the ability to keep a record of the conversation, in which this conversation they told me a new card would be on its way, but it would take about 14 days to do so. Because I wasn’t really planning on using the card, I had no issues with this.

Then… about a week ago, I received a letter in the mail saying they couldn’t give me a new card because my old card had been deactivated. Thinking the card had been turned off during the time I wasn’t very good about paying my bills, I thought nothing of it. Then I received another letter, just a few days ago, saying there was possible fraud on my account, so it had been restricted. So my account hadn’t been canceled… no, before it had been active, but only after I had called did they restrict the account. This morning, when I had time, I made another call to the number provided on my account. I was told I needed to speak with the fraud department, which I accepted. Then I was transferred, my IP relay said “Thank you for calling capital one” then (Called party has hung up) (another call qq)… frustrated, I asked them to try again, after going through the same information again, I was once again transferred to the fraud department, and once again, I was hung up on. Becoming more frustrated, I try one more time (isn’t the definition of insanity trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results? I guess I am insane). The third call resulted in exactly the same thing…  does this happen to hearing people?

 

So finally, understanding the only way I will be able to talk to the fraud department, and have them not hang up on me would be to call using captions. So I logged into Hamilton Web Captel, put in my phone number, their phone number and hit dial. I waited for my phone to ring, picked up. I decided to try and understand what was being said using my CI as well as having captions (which very often lag behind greatly), I had my personal audio cable plugged into my CI and my phone, and waited. After going through the first part of the call, where I ask to speak to the fraud department, and waiting on hold for quite a  bit of time, finally I was able to speak to the fraud department… and what did I learn?

I learned they will be doing NOTHING for me, they admitted the reasons behind why my account was disabled, because I use Relay, because it is not me speaking directly to them. I asked them how it was legal, they did not respond. In order to have my account reactivated, I have to fax them a copy of my drivers license, a copy of my social security card, as well as a current utility bill. Then… then I have to wait for them to call me, and I have to SPEAK to them, it can not be through a 3rd party. Do they not understand the meaning of Deaf? Do they not understand that in order for me to communicate with them I have to have a 3rd party. If I miss their phone call, either because I am driving, with a customer, at work, or in class (which is my Monday-Friday life)… then hope is lost…

 

so tell me… how is this equality? How is this me being treated equally with my hearing peers? Tell me when hearing people call using the easiest method available to them, but because they are able to hear and understand, it is spoken language spoken language, and request a new card, and are given the new card… how is that equality? When I have the same thing happen to me, I call, using the easiest method available to me, but this time relay, so that I can see what is being said, choose my own words as well as keep a record… I request a new card, and instead of being granted this request, I am punished, I have my account restricted, I have to jump through their loops, which I may or may not be capable of doing… how, how is this acceptable?

 

Again, all I want is equality, all I want is to be treated the same as my hearing peers, but instead, I have blatant audism thrown at me. Because I am Deaf, that means I am less? No… this I refuse to accept.

 

my post

I have posted on their facebook page, on their twitter page, and I have contacted the NAD. I am also going to try to talk to them as frequently as possible, forcing them to take notice of me. How can you help? I posted a comment on their facebook page, and although I realize that by posting this link it is going to say who I am… I don’t care. My name is Ash Arp, and I am not happy.

 

This was my post and I ask you to take arms with me, like my post, and show capital one it is not ok to ignore us, just because we are deaf and have different communication strategies than they have. “I am highly disappointed with your company, with your service… I am Deaf, and use relay to contact hearing companies. When I called this morning to figure out what fraud was detected on my card that I have not even used for over a year (partially because you never sent me a new card), first I was hung up on, not only once, but three times. Then when I called using my voice and captioning (something that is hard for me), I was informed the reason my account was suspended was because I am Deaf. because I use relay to make phone calls. When I had called to request a new credit card to replace the old card that had expired, your company went against the ADA… and suspended my account because I can not easily understand your words and communicate with you without a 3rd person informing me of what is being said and without someone speaking for me. Not only is my account now disabled, due to the “fraud” that is me being Deaf, but the fraud department didn’t even deny it. How is this legal? can you tell me? are deaf people so insignificant to you that we are a population that can be ignored? that we can be mistreated? Is it acceptable to hang up on someone multiple times because you hear the word relay? is it acceptable to not give me the proper service purely because I have to communicate in a different way than you do? I could understand having to answer more security questions, but to flat out deny me service, shut my card down, and seemingly laugh in my face because of a difference between you and me… how is that fare? how is that legal? how is that MORAL?”

 

The link can be found here hopefully it works for you… if not, Find this, and my post is there. If you find my post has been removed, please let me know. Take up arms, and tweet the injustice, share the injustice, let them know your thoughts, your feelings, and maybe… maybe we can get this to become more fair… and maybe if we stand together we will find ourselves being treated as equals, rather than a population that they should not care about.

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3 thoughts on “Equality is All I want

  1. If you talk to anyone who has had to deal with bureaucracy, they have the same experiences you have. So if you want equality, you just got it. If you want *better* treatment, which is your right as a customer, get a smaller/local bank, and walk into it often. Let them get to know you and that you have a disability. Almost everyone who deals with my husband at the bank/grocery store goes out of their way for him, they even learn signs just to try to impress him. He gets BETTER treatment everywhere we go ‘regularly’ than I do. And I don’t want him to be treated ‘equally’ to the hearing people that most of the clerks just rush in and out. I am glad they treat him better. But it’s because they know him. They recognize him. And that can only happen if you go to places ‘frequently.’

  2. Oh my, I have experienced the same things with all the “big” phone companies like Rogers and Bell Canada. They are HORRIBLE in that they won’t let me do anything through a 3rd party. I once went into a Bell Canada store in person to try and talk to someone about a mistake on my bill, and the guy at the counter directed me to a row of phones at the back of the store. I was like, “I’m deaf, how do you expect me to use these phones?” And he was like, “duh….we never considered deaf people. I don’t know. All I know is you HAVE to phone them, I can’t do anything for you in person.” So stupid!
    With Rogers, they kept accusing me of not really being ME since I had my boyfriend call them and act as an interpreter. So after being denied service, I got my mom to phone them PRETENDING to be me (an actual fraud) while I wasn’t even in the room with her, and they let my mom make all the changes she wanted on my account just because she could hear them. These big-brand companies have actually made me cry with their level of discrimination against deaf people, and I hope they take notice of your comment and change their ways!

  3. Pingback: crazy coincidence or more discrimination « Adventures of a Deaf Adult

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