Disclosure : I am now a ZVRS customer. I own a new Z20 videophone. I don’t work for ZVRS or receive any compensation from ZVRS for my blog entry. The only benefit I have from ZVRS is their brand new Z20 videophone.
Sorenson, I learned that the 10-digit phone number belongs to me. I wanted to thank ZVRS for educating me about FCC and 10-digit number. That 10-digit number you gave me about four years ago is MINE!
Kudos to Paul Robertson, Past President of Tennessee Association of the Deaf, who gave his workshop at Tennessee Association of the Deaf (TAD) conference last July at Nashville, TN. The workshop was called “History of Communication Access: Freedom and FEAR”, explaining about FCC rules regarding to the 10-digit number.
I can do whatever I want with my 10-digit number. I am an empowered and informed customer and I have the right to choose any VRS services and products that will meet my own needs! I found my perfect match, ZVRS.
Sorenson, I am breaking up with you. I am FREE! FREE from your oppressive business tactics! It is over. Goodbye!
First of all, how did that happen? Here’s the background story…
What convinced me to leave Sorenson? I came across with this video titled as “Let’s Compare: The Z vs. Sorenson”, presented by Phil Bravin, also known as “Dr. Z”, with Lisa McBee as his “associate.” This video was released one month ago, on October 4, 2011 and it has 7,230 views already. I watched for the first time on Facebook, and boy, I was convinced. This video is the turning point for me.
I was so impressed how they presented information, and I realized that ZVRS is able to provide so many features and choices for me as a customer. I contacted ZVRS about this and I learned that Z20, the top-of-the-line videophone costs a lot of money. I was thinking of saving my money… until the next day, October 5, 2011, ZVRS made an important announcement.
I am so thrilled that ZVRS is offering their top-of-the-line videophone, Z20 if I choose to port my 10-digit number from Sorenson to ZVRS. ZVRS will ship Sorenson’s VP200 back.
This is the perfect solution for me. I tell you why.
I have Viable VPAD which I purchased almost three years ago and it comes with their own 10-digit number. I stopped using VPAD after Viable collapsed. I also have Snap!VRS Ojo with their own 10-digit number. I didn’t like this product, and I stopped using it. I downloaded Z4 app on my iPad2 with their 10-digit number, along with ConvoRelay’s, and AT&T’s apps with their own 10-digit number. I have my own iPhone with their 10-digit number, and also my landline phone number with their own 10-digit number.
That is INSANE! I have SEVEN 10-digit numbers and how on the earth this reasonable person can memorize these numbers? ZVRS offered another solution. It is called 1Number.
This video explains about 1Number and I was convinced.
Wait, I have several videophone devices as I explained before, and I am hesitant to give my friends two or three different 10-digit numbers because I have no idea which number they will call in, and I’ll miss a call. It is horrible. I usually give out Sorenson’s 10-digit number as my main number because I had it for almost four years. There is one thing that I don’t like about Sorenson is that my Deaf friends cannot leave a video mail, except hearing callers. When my Deaf friend calls, Sorenson will alert me by saying “Missed Calls”, then I had to click it to see who is calling me. We end up playing a phone tag.
ZVRS provides ZAlert and MyMail alerting me that someone called my number and left a videomail! ZVRS offers ZBox which is an alerting device which allows me to set up the alert system (lighting system) wirelessly, also I can use my iPhone to dial my friend’s number to ZBox and it automatically dials this number on videophone! I don’t need to use Z20’s keypad to call out. I am using ZRemote on my iPhone! To learn more about these products and services, go to ZVRS’ website here.
ZVRS has so many features which Sorenson cannot even match. Recently, Sorenson made an announcement with their new nTouch videophone. They bragged about how they designed this videophone specifically for deaf people and emphasizes how clear and sharp their video to make it so ‘easy to see sign language’, and the features are so easy to learn.
Sorenson, am I that dumb? That is very patronizing of you. Do you think I care about your nifty videophone with clear picture and easy to use features?
I discovered that Sorenson’s nTouch VP has interoperability problems with other videophones and their softwares. Sorenson’s Senior Tech Support confirmed that other VRS provider devices and software aren’t supported with Sorenson nTouch VP at this time.
There are so many disadvantages with their product. The nTouch VP needs to be attached to the television set or a computer monitor. They come with their remote control device. Sorenson has not developed any app software (making videocalls) for Apple. As usual, they excludes Apple users again. They only created an app for me to see videomail from hearing callers.
On Thursday November 17, 2011, a huge package delivered by UPS arrived at my house. It was Z20 with ZBox. Then in the next day, the ZVRS installer came to set it up and taught me few things. I was able to call ZVRS’ Help desk to ask more questions and I complained about the keypad which made it difficult to type in letters. I learned that I can use ZRemote on my iPhone to pick a number and it automatically dials out! Few days ago, Firm Order Confirmation (FOC) was processed and I was able to receive videomail, use my ZRemote and many features.
Here are the pictures I took on that day of installation. I wanted to share these pictures with you that I booted Sorenson out of my life…
Meet my new Z20 videophone with a very helpful support technician!
I am a happy customer. I am no longer a client of Sorenson Communications.
ZVRS, we will have a very happy life together. (Unless if that bad-boy ConvoRelay is up for the fight… wink!)
Amy Cohen Efron
Ah, I got Z4 and it ain’t that bad. However, I still stand by Convo at the moment. As for Sorenson, I have yet to use my old Sorenson. It’s practically inconvenience when a television is required. -shrugs-
Mobile apps, I have not gone that far at the present time. However, from my past experience of passing out the Z4 phone numbers, it was real nice to be able to view the video mail via my BlackBerry. Yes, I know, I know, it’s rather an outdated device at the present time. I am currently eyeballing either ‘droid or iPhone at the moment. We’ll see.
Thanks for the heads up!
Thanks for putting together your findings since it helped me better understand the quality of VRS service and I am already seeking info for contacting Z but darn it, it is Thanksgiving Day so gotta wait until they are open.
Yeah, Convo is another potential but they are young and just got started especially after getting FCC approval. I have no doubt that they will making leaping progress like Z and once they do, we can always switch. This is the beauty of capitalism that we as consumers have choices. As long as there are Deaf individuals involved in the board and management and the quality and service are outstanding, it is what it matters. I am appalled to learn that there are no board Deaf members in Sorenson and their quality of service that I have been putting it up with. No more being stuck with their device since it has been monopolized for years. Now that Z has offered a very clever marketing strategy to provide a free Z20 for the exchange of sending Sorenson device back, I am so ready to surrender this trash!
I am thrilled that you are thinking about getting ZVRS product! I am impressed with it so far, and it is different from Sorenson. Change is good and I like what I have. You still can send email to ZVRS! I am thinking of making a vlog showing how I used my iPhone’s ZRemote to make a call. It is really AWESOME!
First, let me address the technical incompatibilities to which you refer:
The nTouch PC has H.263 problems. It sends H.263 streams just fine, but refuses to play H.263 streams sent to it.
The nTouch Mobile products have no H.263 support at all.
These two bits of detail are probably what you are referring to.
So far as I’m aware, the nTouch VP has no interoperability problems. Due to unfortunate branding on Sorenson’s part, the shortcomings of the other nTouch products may be tarnishing the reputation of the nTouch VP.
The VP200 won’t negotiate H.264 with anything but another Sorenson phone, even if you signal Sorenson’s proprietary Information Message SINFO: fields in the H.225 signalling. Would you consider that anticompetitive behavior?
The VP200 will only return calls in its call history from the IP address that called it. This breaks a VP200 from calling a Purple/Viable/SNAP phone back. ZVRS has innovated outbound ZConnect to fix this problem when calling VP200 phones from any Z phones, so that return calls from call history work.
If you would like to learn more, there are many discussion threads on the alldeaf.com forums that talk about these issues.
Thank you so much for visiting my blog and shared what you know about Sorenson’s nTouch VP and its limitations. It is unfortunate to see how Sorenson failed to do some beta testing their product with other videophones to make sure they are compatible with other videophones with H.263 support, so that they can fix it! Too bad that they already released this product through their marketing blitz and now causing too much problems. Sorenson brags for their huge market share, but created a dud? That’s too bad. Too sad. I wish everyone realizes that problem. I am pleased to hear that ZVRS came up with a solution called ZConnect. That is awesome.
Please give me the link to a specific discussion treads on the alldeaf.com, and I’d like to look into this.
By the way, out of my curiosity, are you working with any VRS company?
Amy Cohen Efron
Awesome review on ZVRS! I agree with you on just about everything you said. We are empowered when we have our own choice in choosing a VRS provider. The Z20 is one of the best phones I have. I also have a Z4 and Z340. I also still have Snap Ojo and am considering switching it for Z Ojo due to the ease of features that Snap Ojo does not have. It’s nice to see customers giving out great review on ZVRS! Simply because I am a big fan of ZVRS. 😉 Sorenson’s video phone is owned by Sorenson and the ZVRS phones are OURS including the ten digit number, oh yea.
Yes, for the purpose of full disclosure, and per my the code of conduct at ZVRS, I must disclose that I am an engineer working for ZVRS.
I try to reports facts as they are, and clear up any misconceptions, without appearing to be too biased toward any given VRS provider. If you google for VRSEngineer, you’ll find many of my posts elsewhere that have this same approach.
Nice blog, Amy– it’s nice to have a decent ‘divorce’ without any complication. I have done this about a year ago when I discovered PurpleVRS. I am a Mac user, always on ‘go’ with my everyday life. God bless Steve Job, i admire him for developing products what fits me the most. Purple is the 1st company that provides one number concept and flasher for PurpleVRS for Mac. But, this does not make me to choose Purple. I am a career oriented and I focus on the best quality for communication. Purple, compare to sorenson and zvrs, do actually have many top notch interpreters, which I am mostly confident that every call I make or receive is 100% facilitated at secured call centers. Was told that many deaf schools have switched into new primary provider- to purple. That tells me something here–I do not want to connect an interpreter that works from home. FCC have enforced the ruling and zvrs is still pending for the waiver. This is what bothers me.
I’m all in whatever fits everyone for the best. Keep your eyes open and make sure that your call is 100% secured.
I would love to support Purple, and I needed them to upgrade their software to Apple’s OSX Lion – and I am little disappointed with their MVP which having problems. I hope Purple will be competitive with their products. So that there will be healthy competition.
Thanks for visiting my blog!
Love this article! Can you perhaps youtube ASLize your article, this way it would reach the folks who relies on signs only.
I will seriously consider your suggestion. Thanks for your support.
I wanted to see the Z20 in action but alas, Quicktime would not play nice with my PC.
Awww… I’m sorry. I will consider to make a vlog.
Same here too. Now I have all Z products – ZOJO for the organizational work, Z34O, Z2O AND Z4 on both MacBook Pro and iPad. Grin!
Funny, how patronizing (dumb) Sorenson Customer service really is by recently asking me to switch me back to their service and ASKING me what Z20 looks like. I think their representative do know what it is. WOW!
Amy, thanks for sharing with us. Your blog about Sorenson is very straightforward and truth! Amen to that. I enjoyed this article. Please continue to spread this blog to others.
Sorenson vs ZVRS – AllDeaf.com
For those interested in divorcing Sorenson as well – ZVRS Sales Department will be open tomorrow (11/25/2011) from 8am-10pm. 🙂
Yep, Z is where it is at…
Disclaimer: Ex- Z employee.
Z.Z. (a.k.a. J.J.)
If anyone is interested in obtaining a Z product or has questions, etc–feel free to contact me! Disclaimer! I work for Z and I sell their phones as well as install ’em. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be more than happy to help you!
Like you, I took that route once I learned that I could port my number from Sorenson. That was over a year ago. I grabbed a Z150, and never looked back since — I did this twice — one at my office and one at home. I was a very, very happy camper. The VP200 became my door stop. 😀
Anyway, your blog post hits on all important points and should, like the other commenters said, be converted into a vlog as a supplemental post to this.
Does this also apply to 888 toll-free phone number that they gave me ? If I remember it correctly that FCC will not allow Sorenson customers to have 888 number. Since they gave it to me, should they PAY for my 888 number ?
Thanks for doing the wonderful info on your blog and done share your blog on my FB post without going thru DeafRead. 🙂
Nathan–*disclaimer as I work for Z* Sorenson also gave you a local ph nbr to use. As far as paying for it–take it up with them 🙂
To me, Z is the next Sorenson. They’re becoming very patronizing and overhyping their products. Their sales people are very pushy and I’ve deleted all of them from my Facebook. I’ve stuck with Purple and ConvoRelay mainly because they’re humble and I feel like we have a relationship.
Purple P3 works with OS X Lion since day one.
Thanks for all the info and videos amy. U might want to add or note Ryan commersons vlogs on the vrs industry also
Jake, let me counter your FUD:
All (100%) of ZVRS interpreters are certified.
None (0%) of ZVRS VRS interpreters presently work from home, as the FCC has mandated.
All (100%) of ZVRS VRS interpreters work at “secure” call centers.
These are the facts.
My first questions is why you wear like a doctor with a stethscope around your neck?
That picture is little deceived . thanks.
A doctor with a stethoscope? If you are referring to Phil Bravin, as known as “Dr. Z”, or Lisa McBee as “Dr Z’s associate”? They are considered as characters, and they are performing. I liked their comparison video, and it presented good information. I did some double checking and all of the information are accurate.
How can this be deceiving to you?
Amy Cohen Efron
Deaf World as Eye See It » Blog Archive » Sorenson is Desperate!
[…] Deaf World as Eye See It by Amy Cohen Efron « Sorenson, the 10-digit number is MINE! Goodbye! […]
Exactly–just a character. As for being pushy? I sure hope I am not! I feed information to my friends and ask if they’re interested. If they’re not–I wait a while and ask again or they come up to me. So many people are slaves to Sorenson–perhaps the wrong wording used here but couldn’t think of another-and not realizing there are CHOICES out there. Sorenson is like the old T-Mobile Sidekicks. It was good while it lasted-but now there’s new technology out there like Convo and Z and Purple, etc. We are trying to get the message out to everyone.
Ya know-now that I think of it–you may think of Z as being pushy. I think of Sorenson as being “shove-y”. Why? They show up at customer’s home unannounced to get them to port back to them. They send numerous emails. Contact via FB, etc. to get them to port back to Sorenson. I even know a few customers who are very nervous around the Sorenson folks because of how much they’re trying to shove folks back. Like Amy—they feel FREE. FREE to CHOOSE!
Lori, I agre with you. Sorenson employees have shown up at my friend’s door unannounced! This is intimidating and feels like they are forced to go back to Sorenson. Not right. It is OUR CHOICE!
Yes, please do make a vlog about Z-remote because I’d be very interested in using it rather than doing the buttons to press on Z20 which is pain.
Okay… I just made a video…
good blog.. I did my homework to find which software I use for my smartphone and computer. I found out Sorenson don’t have features as ZVRS software have. I returned VP 200 modem by mail right away after got Z software. I am happy with this.
Lavendar, Sorenson doesn’t even have a modem. Don’t you mean its router? *rme*
I checked your vlog. That is for iPhones only I assume because I only have EVO. That’s too bad that won’t work well on EVO.
However on great news is I happen to have iPod 4G, that works just perfect. So I may end up using that route for time being…..
Glad you are able to use iPod 4G, with ZVRS’ Z4 app. That is a solution!
InsaneMisha, you are correct. At this time it will only work on iPhone or iPad. Android is being worked on as well so all the android users will soon have those cool nifty features in Z4 2.0 update on android side as well.
Yes, wri7913, I forgot all about iPad, too. That would work but I don’t have one YET…..will plan on getting one perhaps after X-Mas, I hope. Gosh, too many electronics around here, LOL. EVO, iPod, laptop and NOW this Kindle Fire that I just bought last week. LOL
Check out http://www.projectendeavor.org. They help deaf get iPad and other electronics for cheap. I got mine for $352 after applying and getting accepted. Better price than best buy at $600+
Yes many electronics. One of the reasons I’m grateful for 1number. Makes life so much easier for me. I have Z4 mobile on laptop and iPad2, Z340 and soon will get Z20 (like Amy, I will be giving Sorenson the boot out of my life).
I already applied that and got accepted. Will order it after X-Mas….but thanks. 🙂
Hu, this is very interesting. I would like to invite all of you to give Purple VRS a try. We have awesome features and you can simply download the program right into your laptop, desktop computer or mobile device. Purple is great for everybody, especially for those of you who need a “professional polished” appearance. Purple is working hard at bringing you new features and all of our interpreters are 100% certified. For those important calls, go with the best! Purple. Thank you Amy for your posting.
Thank you for visiting my blog. I downloaded Purple’s P3 on my Mac to see if it is working with my newest operating system, OSX Lion. What happened to your MVPs? Where did they go? What’s wrong with them?
where the link to download osx?
I switched to ZVRS few months ago, and Sorenson hound me and accused ZVRS for stealing their phone number that they paid for. They scared me into switch back to Sorenson. But ZVRS explained to me and I checked FCC and also called them myself..
Found out that that phone number that Sorenson assigned to me is MINE and they NEVER “Paid” for phone, it was given to them for FREE to pass out. So I switch back to ZVRS then Sorenson got upset and switch me back without my permission and blocked me from making any calls. I almost was forced to get brand new number but after few weeks the old number finally gave back to me.
Later on I had problem with Z-340, so I was considering switch back to Sorenson again, but after I tried called to Sorenson.. they blocked my call due to being with ZVRS. So I stopped and lost RESPECT for Sorenson.
I tried to warn my friends about Sorenson being heel on people who switch to ZVRS, scaring and threaten them. I hope that more people reading your BLOG and start feel comfy on switch to ANY VRS providers. So that they don’t experienced what I went thru tough time with Sorenson.
I am sorry to hear your frustration with Sorenson situation. As of the Z consultant myself, I would like to know if you have contacted th ZVRS customer care about your Z340 problem? If not, you may go ahead to call them and ask for getting the Z20 then because you just ported your VP number from your VP200. I am sure that they are happy to help you.
Can ZVRS provide the resource to show that ZVRS had no debt while Sorenson (as of summer 2010) had 735 million dollars debt?
I do see that you are a devoted Mac user, just like myself. The direct link to download PurpleVRS for Mac is; http://www.purple.us/mac
Also, if you wish to check with all kinds of services and products, go into this link; http://www.purple.us/trynow
Thank you for posting.
District Manager- Northeast
Just curious, are you some kind of devil advocate ? going after big busniess like Sorenson ? how does Sorenson opressed you so badly ? I dont see them opressed me badly ? they have serviced me wonderful, replacing wires, routers, modem if need to be, remote VP everything and hell they gave me an local number for free, in exchange of course i would support Sorenson for what they have done.. also they r the one who designed the DEAF equipment as they showed on youtube..
Honestly, what you are having at your home.. an HEARING device, Z just purchased an surplus of it and loading their firmware and giving out.. its not something I want to have it my house. I would rather to have a deaf device that are designed and built for Deaf and hard of hearing. I have see Z reps approached horrible, they been calling me ongoing NON stop to port my number, i told them no thanks Im happy what I have and no reason for me to port bec there is none. They been calling calling and calling, I think its Z who are or is desperate.. they should provide their own pool of Local number, no they r being cheap and stealing other company,, thats not cool..
once again the whole point is Z is using hearing device.. and they are deseprate as well, I have seem them NOT train well for their technology skills while I was at my friend house for 4 hours for Z reps to set up and fail they had to come back the next day and other 4 hours.. Geez.. I do not recall Sorenson tech doing this.. Now I also noticed you mentioned about your bandwidth issues with Z20,, they tend to crashed the network at your home.. I know you wont admit it.. but I already see it and saw it.. I havent any problem with Sorenson.. I’m sticking with them and showing my support for them..
once again.. it is healthy to other provider but for you to bashing it horrible and making it sound horrible.. its uncall for..
here is a HEARING DEVICE you are having at your home..
oh by the way.. did you know if your device broke.. you gotta pay for other one ?? so much for free !!! opressed !!! if your having an issues..who will come and check the troubleshooting ?? Z ?? please..
Zvrs purchased an SOFTWARE Z4 from a company in germany they designed it and shipped to Zvrs and making it sound like Z designed it.. oh Please again..
what I have know and see.. Sorenson build everything and designed everything in the house..
try to be a deaf equipment design support for a chance ;0)
I hate to say this, but VP200 and NVP are NOT both “deaf” designed equipment.. All VRS providers do that they work with other company to make the devices.. They are very expensive to make.. ZVRS engineers understand our “DEAF” need to meet our equal communication access which they did.. Sorenson does not yet like 1Number.
For example, All iPhones, iPad and Macintoshes are not 100% Apple-Made products itself not even made in the U.S. but they are 100% Apple engineered and designed in U.S. as well like ZVRS, Sorenson and other VRS providers do..
It all comes down to customer’s experience with variety of providers and it is same as you being a customer for a stove company (Maytag, General Electric, Sears, Viking, etc). When a company treat you badly like General Electric did with me, I vow that I will not buy any more General Electric products based on how this company treated me so I pursue with a different venue. While with you, you may find General Electric treating you truly wonderful thus you chose to stay loyal with this company. Again, it all boils down to customer’s experience with company – Amy is speaking about her own experience – not yours but hers. WindyCity – you have your own experience. Leave it as that – doable?
Sorenson is a hearing company that develop, produce, contract out to hearing companies to assemble, and distribute to deaf/hard of hearing clients their products. I do not see this any different between Purple, Convo (deaf owned company), ZVRS, SprintVRS, AT&T and perhaps a few more using the SAME company – Mirial – a hearing germany company that provide support in their video communication solution software. Sorenson is a hearing company that develop software to provide video communication solution software for their own customers. To me, I am looking at the same picture but the bottom line – we should be looking at what kind of features, services, quality of interpreters, and feasible in using the software suit the individual’s need.
Everyone shop around with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile and others – they look at monthly plan, service package, call drop, coverage, and company’s reputation. This is true for any VRS companies.
The Z (ZVRS) DO NOT charge anyone who need to replace their broken Z videophone – the videophone has a lifetime warranty in which this means the Z will replace your broken videophone at NO cost. If you used a baseball bat and beat up your General Electric oven, will General Electric replace my oven at no cost – absolutely not. If the General Electric within one-year warranty and just happen to experience light initiator problem – they will be more than happy to come by to repair the part at no cost. When warranty expires, when the oven break – you’d pay the service call. Fortunately, The Z (ZVRS) offer LIFETIME warranty on all Z videophone and will replace – only if they broke by themselves naturally not damaged with intention (example – hitting it baseball bat – grin).
Sorenson is hearing operated, hearing owned, nTouch VP and VP200 was created by hearing engineers with feedback provided by their deaf/hard of hearing customers, and Sorenson contracts out to hearing companies to build, assemble, and provide them the product so they can market to their deaf/hard of hearing customers. Sorenson is hearing company.
Hope this help.
Kudos to you Amy – Your post has educated a lot of folks and possibly influenced many. It makes me appreciate the freedom of speech and the freedom of the press more!
Windycity, you say Sorenson is a company that cares about deaf people and has a product for the deaf. If they cared about Deaf people so much, why do they create products that block other VRS providers? The Ntouch VP and VP-200 will not call other videophones including the Z phones because Sorenson doesn’t want deaf to have a choice. Having a choice in a healthy market is a good thing and promotes competition which leads to innovation.
Personally I love ZVRS. They have outstanding videophones and products that help deaf lead a more independent life. They have many things that Sorenson can only dream of since they are too busy being negative. Just look at their last two videos that were negative towards ZVRS. Why are they taking shots at ZVRS? Simple, ZVRS is champ! Anytime a company creates videos that are negative and about their competition it can only mean one thing, they are scared.
Regardless it is awesome for the consumer since we are given many choices. You can pick Sorenson, ZVRS, Purple, Convo… any or all!! In most situations, many of the VP’s work well together with each other. Sorenson is the one that I know causes many problems since they block non-Sorenson VP’s. This is too much like the old Microsoft tactics and will only hurt Sorenson in the long run.
I had a Z-20 device and unfortunately it would not allow me to use Purple VRS or SorensonVRS on their device when I wanted to use other VRS providers to make a call. How come Sorenson VP200 allows me to use a VRS provider of my preference when Z device doesn’t allow me to choose another VRS provider to make a call. Again all about choices!
Every VP has its thorn!!! It like there is a ringside fight between Sorenson and the Z…..such like SPY vs SPY….So it all boils down to your preference…Speaking of PREFERENCE, I am still at SnapVRS Ojo and the MVP….I sent my MVP to a deaf engineer and found alot of issues within the hardware that were all not developed accordingly in which PURPLE hired a firm to develop the MVP. I told the deaf engineer to fix it all..Today I have a crystal clear MVP with no problems eversince… These two devices are still with me today. Had not replaced any of it…Sorry to see Purple wasted alot of monies to have it developed and customers decided to store it in a dark storage. Sorry to learn customers complained that the Ojo’s screen is too “SMALL”..At present I think Mobile VRS with their smartphone and iphones are much smaller than the Ojo as well there are Z products that has the similar thing and not a day do I see ppl complain about it…Strange is not it..Its the technology this is all about not the screen. That is why I call it “EVERY VP HAS ITS THORN”…By the way Amy, let me know who wins the ringside between Sorryson and the ZZZZ…Smiles
I downloaded the purple 3 on my mac.
Looks good but freeze from time to time.
Advocate4ASL – Have you tried to use the different VRS providers by using their IP addresses on Z products? If not – give it a shot because it do work by connecting you to different VRS providers.
Nathan – Perhaps give The Z’s Z4 a shot on your Mac? If you didnt want to have another local number, you can switch from Purple to Z easy!
Oh I failed to mention that it was the Z rep who called me – promoting the incentive that if I wish to have Z 20 for free I would have to port Sorenson VP200 number.
1 – How did they get my number? I used the Z mobile app and it asked me for my VP phone number when I registered. Whoa. What do I do to opt out the telemarketing calls from the company if I do not want to receive any promotion contacts?
2 – I asked if I could port my Purple number, the Z rep said it would cost me 499 dollars. What does that leave me? No choice – who would want to pay 499 dollars for a phone? Equivalent functions? Do we know if hearing people buy their home phones for 499 dollars? What was I to do? I took the free option to port Sorenson VP200 (see Z20 is free too only if you port Sorenson VP200) I asked why couldn’t I get it for free if I port my Purple number? “Company Policy” Again, it is all about choices. Default Provider and financial decision to make – Who would not take the free item? Everyone does in this world – hearing and deaf.
Ludwig – After the installation, the Z rep did not tell me about the choices I could have to contact the VRS providers to get the IP addresses. I tried to call to Sorenson Customer Service line with their phone number as indicated in the website (801 385 8500) but it was blocked for some reason. Are Sorenson Customer Service phone number or as you say IP address blocked at ZVRS’s end?
ZVRS does not block dial-around to other VRS provider or point-to-point calls to other VRS videophones.
This means that you can dial any VRS provider from your Z phone, and reach an interpreter. There are no known interoperability problems doing this today.
There are likewise presently no known point-to-point interoperability problems calling Purple videophones from any Z phone.
There are presently interoperability problems with the Sorenson nTouch PC (it refuses to play RFC2190 H.263 RTP streams sent to it), and with the Sorenson nTouch Mobile (it doesn’t support H.263 at all, only H.264).
If you happen to know of any VRS services that you aren’t able to reach from your Z phone, or with any point-to-point videophones you cannot call from your Z phone, please call ZVRS customer care and open a support ticket. If the answer is not to your liking, please escalate the ticket to engineering. If you still do not like the answer, you can always submit a form 2000C with the FCC, and the VRS provider has 30 days to respond to the FCC about your reported problem:
I have all read this blog… most all people had misunderstand. I am unfortunately as what I see some people possible mistake talked about other VRS company than which is one of your VRS?!?!?! That is your CHOICE. I am really, really, really FAN for ZVRS, because SorensonVRS disconnected of my VP100 long time ago. I NEVER FORGOT about SorensonVRS’s problem.
ASL video about YOUR local number – http://youtu.be/sAs1QDrR03U
1. Contact The Z’s customer service at 866-932-7891 and ask them about your choice in opting out from marketing.
2. Currently, the Sorenson hold over 80% of the market. This means less than 20% is being shared with ZVRS, Purple, SprintVRS, Convo, SnapVRS and perhaps 5 more VRS providers. It is understandable in a good business intention to go after who hold the most water in the bucket. Apple back in early 1980’s once was a small company and Microsoft was the giant. With Apple’s phenomenal leadership – Steve Jobs – today, Apple became a leader in smartphone, tablet and many more in the technology industries. Apple did not chase Hewlett Packard (HP), Xerox, Dell, Gateway, and other smaller computer companies but Microsoft. It’s purely business.
Switch from Sorenson to ZVRS – FREE
Switch from Purple, SprintVRS, Convo, SnapVRS to ZVRS – $499
No number to switch – $995
To buy Z-20 through Cisco – $1,495
3. VRSEngineer already answered that question, thank you.
I tried Zvrs and i have admit. Their customer service by far the worst vrs provider.
Robert Thompson seems to have a bit of a vendetta against ZVRS for some reason:
I would love to know what happened to you, Robert, and what I could do to help make things better.
ZVRS has the best Tech Support in the VRS Industry.
Your statement indicates that a.) you were never a ZVRS Customer or b.) you are disgruntled former employee or c.) you simply had an issue that could not be resolved (ISP provider issues or something of that nature.)
*Taking few minutes break from work*
I see more ZVRS employees/subcontractors posting on this blog. I have posted my comment on “Sorenson stinging ZVRS again!” I have no personal vendetta on any VRS provider. Can you tell me any great story about ZVRS, from any press release or anything?
Copied and pasted here;
This definitely gets into my attention— check at this press release link; http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/12/prweb9016909.htm
Purple is hiring more than 100 positions, expanding more call centers. I love the statement by Mark Bella,
““We have always invested in the customer experience, and are humbled at how many Deaf and hard-of-hearing people choose Purple products and services,” said Mark Bella, vice president of sales. “We are proud to offer the best in VRS and video remote interpreting (VRI)* to our loyal customers. We place high priority on ensuring our consumers receive only the best products and services – it’s in our DNA.”
Wow–AllState, they are going to hire more deaf/hoh people now. Read this, “Allstate Senior Vice President of Direct Sales and Service Mark Pitchford was able to expand his applicant pool by integrating Purple products and services while increasing diversity in the workplace. “By using Purple products, Allstate was able to enhance its dynamic and diverse workplace by hiring more deaf and hard-of-hearing employees,” he explained. “This type of initiative has also improved our reputation with our stakeholders while continuing our excellence in service.”
I googled up on ZVRS to find any press release like Purple, I do not see any. Are you able to find any and post on here? I’m curious..
Im sure that Amy is busy bee, can you help her out?
I think you made a good point and I am willing to take up this challenge to see if ZVRS/CSDVRS ever made some kind of press release. There is one about Deaf-Owned restaurant in San Francisco talking about using ZVRS products to communicate with their customers.
I hope someone from ZVRS will answer to your questions.
Amy Cohen Efron
Anonymous (Z-20 User)
I read your blog through facebook, where my friends shared on my wall page. I wish to remain to be anonymous since I have a Z-20 product. I do not want any tele-specialist or subcontractor to contact me. I was so excited when I got the z20 and its very nice product, compare to VP200. BIG DIFFERENCE.
Have you experienced the frustration of waiting time to connect VI? I have waited for more than 3 minutes and sometimes more than 3 minutes. My friends were telling me if waiting for more than 120 seconds, it violates FCC rule for the answering service time?
BUT, most important is that I need the service.
After reading Jake Murray’s post, I checked at Purple Communications’s website and I have added Purple Communications on my z20 and connect to the video interpreterI. Wow– I connected to Purple less than 5 seconds. The picture was very clear when I connected to the video interpreter. I learned about the one number solution through Purple and I will use Purple for VRS and use my Z number for deaf chat. I also tried to add Convo, did not get to use their service yet.
You have to understand that in the past two months the FCC has released a few regulation changes. One FCC rule requires Interpreters and call centers to be certified. This rule change resulted in a few “white label” providers being shut down. Where a customer would have used the “white label” provider’s service they were now being forced to choose another provider. I am sure that both Sorenson and ZVRS experienced an increase in wait times for interpreters.
Jeff Rosen recently mentioned a petition for a waiver to have remote interpreters. I think this may be one reason for the petition along with a waiver that may activate in the event of catastrophic emergency where VI’s may become overloaded with calls. I know Sorenson already has such waivers and they use interpreters outside the US (Canada).
I am sure the popularity of the Z20 isn’t helping wait times either.
The other FCC reg that is impacting the VRS industry is the rule that states each VRS company or provider must have its own center. AT&T and Sprint were both subcontracted to ZVRS where ZVRS handled their customers. Now both AT&T and Sprint have announced plans to leave the VRS industry, those customers will have to choose another provider (if they didn’t already have one). This will impact the industry also as those customers choose where to go.
One of the advantages of the dial-around feature is you can choose a different interpreting service. As you found out already, this can be a distinct advantage when the market has changes like this due to FCC regs. You CAN choose to use another interpreter service and in this case for you, it helped resolve your problem. I imagine this will be temporary and when the dust settles, you will be back to using the default VI’s.
When I saw ZVRS website about several different features including one number calling to several video phones, I went ahead and tried them. I shipped back VP 200 to Sorension after I got Z-20. I used One number system. My wife and Iended up having some problems with ZVRS, so switched back to Sorenson anyway, since it has much better services than ZVRS.
1. A large number of callers call in ended up hanging up the phone after waiting too long while waiting for VRS intepreter. These caller do not understand they had to wait longer.
2. We often got missed call even we were sitting right next to the VP.
3. I got used Z-20. The screen was so small that I had to be closer. The person on the other end of the VP saw my face was too big on their screen. Z-20 was useless.
4. We have Z340, but it started having too many blue stars appearing on the screen that came from it camera. I called Z tech support to have it fixed. They ignored and said it was perfectly fine. I decided to return the equipment to get my money back, they refused to send me the money back. I still have the equipment but it is useless.
I am entirely happy with Sorenson’s N-Touch products and I was able to get a secured Sorenson Video Equipment that I can have it locked at my desk at work. All in one piece and use the lock cable to lock it up like a laptop.
Sorenson said they are in process of developing the one number system, but did not say when they will have it release.
I will NEVER go back to ZVRS again. It was totally embarrassing for me, because I need to be able to pick up the caller that may land me a job.
I disagree with the statement about the 10-digist number above. I was able to port my numbers between ZVRS and Sorenson without any problem at all. I do not care of they have to pay money or not to port the number.
hello not sure this for deaf Relay??? Please let know soon i have been have hrad getter it i need for family my wife both are deaf
Hi Bill Meyer;
I would suggest you visit the following websites and decide which one is best for you and your family. These three VRS Providers are the most popular and well known to most deaf people. If you can’t decide, ask your family to decide with you.