Sorenson Gives iPad2s Away!

Hello all,

Please stop leaving comments how to get a free iPad from Sorenson. If you wish to inquire about free iPads, contact Sorenson directly. Not me. Thank you.

This blog entry is to generate important discussion about the appropriateness of one company, Sorenson Communications to “win-back” their former customers by providing attractive equipment(s) as long they continue to use their video relay services and nTouch products.

Sorenson Communications are allowed to use “win-back” strategy to woo their former customers to port their 10-digit number back to their video relay services. Sorenson assured that they will not do ‘win-back’ during the porting process, only after the process is done. Check my previous blog about Sorenson are allowed to use “win-back” their former customers.

For more information about “win-back”, there is one great article I found online, “Customer Winback Programs: Are They Worth It?” Below is the excerpt from this article:

There are lots of reasons, other than the economy, why you might be losing customers. Customers could’ve been frustrated by delays, or aggravated by one bad experience. They could be annoyed by lack of response from you, or seduced away by your competition.

The point is: “If you are losing customers—do you know why?”

There’s a big difference between customers who are gone and customers you can win back. Unfortunately, most sales managers and salespeople don’t make that distinction.

And many executives neglect to direct their managers to ferret out the reasons why customers are defecting. Why? In the rush to get new business—we ignore lost business—even though in many cases the closing ratio for winning back lost customers can be much higher than the ratio for new business. And the reasons for customer defection are vitally important.

A customer winback program is valuable for three main reasons (1) you win back “lost” revenue (2) you can uncover potential weaknesses in your organization, and (3) you can discover potential threats from the competition.

Okay, I discovered one specific commenter who left a video comment under the discussion tread called, “Did u get ipad from sorenson??” that was posted on DeafVideo.TV on December 26, 2011. Several hours later, this video was abruptly removed, and that comes with all of the video comments too. I was able to save one because I consider this as an evidence which Sorenson did give Apple’s iPad2s to specific customers in order to continue using their nTouch products.

Click on this video, then click play on the bottom of the video. Give it bit more time to upload the whole video before playing.

winback testimony

Apple sells Ipad2s for $499.00 dollars each, and some companies sell them for a little less. Ipad2 is the most attractive ‘win-back’ offer. It is also the most effective ‘win-back’ strategy.

My opinion, I think it is discriminatory because it was given to specific number of customers, not everyone who will get it. Other people are waiting for long time to have their nTouchVPs installed in their homes. Please visit Facebook’s Sorenson page, and you will see a lot of people leaving comments about when they will get their nTouchVPs, and also there is a ‘contest’ where they can click on “Like” button with hopes that they can get a priority installation of nTouchVP.

Also, I wonder what kind of funds Sorenson are using to ‘win-back’ their former customers? Sorenson wrote on the exparte letter response to FCC, mentioning about ‘win-backs’ are allowed, so therefore, does that mean Sorenson used FCC money to purchase iPads2 for their customers? How is that different from “brown bag” programs to the customers, that was prohibited by FCC? I hope that Sorenson is not using FCC money to purchase iPad2s! That is something I would like auditors from FCC to check into this.

Anyone of you received iPads2, VoIP phone, Wifi Router, 22-inch HDTV, cash money, or dinner at restaurant from Sorenson Communications as a part of ‘win-back’, I hope you will come forward with a video or a picture of items that you did receive from Sorenson Communications. Did Sorenson provide you paperwork to sign that these items belong to the company? Or comes with a two-year contract? I’d like to see the documentation that you did receive iPad2s. If there is no documentation, then is it considered as a gift? Is iPads2 are yours? So many questions…

It is important to discuss this because we are in the middle of giving comments to FCC for their new Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) posted on December 15, 2011. We have 30 days to respond. I would like FCC to come up with rules and restrictions for companies using FCC money to develop any kind of “win-back” programs, because I strongly believe that any money from FCC should NOT be used for any kind of “win-back” programs at all.

Please be cordial when you leave comments here. Any personal attacks or responses that is not relevant to the topic will be removed. Anonymous comments will be removed too.

Amy Cohen Efron

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92 comments on “Sorenson Gives iPad2s Away!

I think it is utterly pathetic for Sorenson to do be doing this. First of all–they’re only using this to strong-arm customers to come back. What ever happened to rewarding current customers? And why are they porting away from Sorenson in the first place? Dissatisfaction. Strong-arming someone with an iPad2, etc, only means those people come back to take advantage, but it doesn’t pacify the reason they left in the first place. The way I see it, having been in retail for over 30 years—-you need to satisfy the current customers first, so they do not leave. Sorenson pesters the customers that leave until they are utterly faced with no choice. Chasing a customer that has left for over 4 months is lame. Pathetically lame. Instead of wasting time, energy and money on customers who left–focus on the customers who are still there. If I were a customer and I heard my company was doing this–I’d be insulted because “Where’s mine? I’ve been here all along–what about me? Obviously I’m not important enough to the company” and then I leave.

One more thing to add–lest we forget, this is the very same company that threatened VRS shut down back in May 2010 when the tiered rates by FCC was proposed. This is the very same company that owes MILLIONS (we’re talking over 100 million minimum) to its investors. And yet, they can afford to give away iPad2’s to strong-arm customers to come back to them? Where’s the money coming from?

I worship Sorenson to the ground and I get no special treatments. I have been their client for years! I received no IPAD, no gift certificate to go out and eat..Darn! I would love to go out and eat all by myself and read a good magazine. 🙂 I had NTouch Vp installed on my computer…don’t like it because my DSL speed go slow and fast on different days/time so I prefer VP (hook on TV) and plus I do not use VP everyday. I will have NTouch VP removed soon. Sorenson…if you are reading this…and do give out gift certificate to eat out. I want one! 🙂 I doubt they do that but when I see the tech person very soon I will ask about it. This tech person is very honest in, out and round about. Serious so if I learn anything new then I will leave comment here.

A possibility is that the iPad2s may be coming from Project Endeavor, which sells a variety of devices at approximately half price and some with free internet via G3-G4 connection. The requirement is that one have limited income, be a VR client, etc. and the devices come with ZVRS software installed. One could theoretically replace it with any other software desired.

The problem here is that once a consumer has bought a device, they are locked out of switching to a different device (such as an iPhone or netbook). If VP usage is so important to this provider, they would be better off offering a flexible system. Same with Sorenson and other providers: flexibility and variety of choices are more likely to retain consumer loyalty.

Personally, I would wait until a saner time when all VRS providers are offering the same variety of devices and services at a reasonable cost. I have had free vp100, vp200, Ojo, low-cost netbook and notebooks, and today pay more than $50 for my cable service. A more ideal situation would be low cost devices plus low g3-g4 fees.

Since our consumer base is what the VRS providers are avidly seeking, we should play it cool and encourage them to compete with one another by asking questions such as: what will this cost me, in total? what services do you offer? what flexibility and devices do you offer? what maintenance and support services do you have? what other devices are compatible with yours, and if not, why? We shouldn’t allow them to use us as pawns and entice us by fudging interoperability and making us worry about being able to use P2P functions.

Thank you for an article. I want to share with you, the readers. When I ported to ZVRS from Sorenson, I got the calls from Sorenson district manager and arranged to meet district manager and regional manager for lunch. They bought me a lunch. Discussed about my leaving Sorenson and told them that Sorenson did the poor services like customer service and tech support. They offerred me to have NVP if I port back to Sorenson. I found it interesting that district manager said we can do the verbal statement about porting back to Sorenson without the written agreement. I ported back to Sorenson. I got a call from ZVRS and the customer care representative simply asked me one question “Do you want to stay with us or port back to Sorenson?”. I see the big difference between ZVRS and Sorenson. I recalled Sorenson did not call me about porting to ZVRS and shut me down before I got Z340. I decided to stay with ZVRS and signed LOA with ZVRS. Got Z20. Sorenson got pissed at me. Again Sorenson offer me IPAD 2 if I port back to Sorenson. Also I asked Sorenson to let me test ntouch on my pager and used it for 2 weeks. Sorenson told me that I can unstall ntouch on my pager after my test to see if I want it or not. I stay with Z4 and ZVRS..


Thank you so much for your bravery to leave this comment on my blog. It is so important that a company to be held accountable for their marketing behaviors. Your story is powerful.

Thank you for visiting my blog and most of all, leaving a comment.

Amy Cohen Efron


My instinct tells me that you are friends or aquaintance with district manager and regional manager and that was why they were comfortable enough to take you out to lunch —to have a talk with you. I doubt very much that they would do this to strangers including me if I wanted to leave Sorenson. I can’t imagine getting calls from people above to see if they can take me out to lunch to have a talk with me. Please. I am having a very difficult time believing you that they do not know you and treated you out to lunch— to find out why you were leaving Sorenson and etc.

Kudos to Karen!

I know of no other VRS companies that use “strong-arm” strategy to win back customers.

Project Endeavor–you yourself have to apply for it and qualify for it. They will ask you which VRS company you prefer and pre-install it for you. They cannot just go ahead and pre-install a particular VRS company on the iPad2 or mobile device. I’ve spoken with them at Deaf Nation Expos.

I believe in the Power of Choice. One thing I love about ZVRS—they are always striving to develop new features. They were the FIRST to come out with a mobile app in July of 2010. They were the FIRST to come out with an answering machine for both deaf and hearing to leave a message, and to get it on your pagers.

Also I suggest you, the readers to check website. I researched on this website. Sorenson is under Sorenson Media. I found the list that Sorenson Media donated. Sorenson Media have the different groups like Education, Non-Profited organizations, and others. They donated to Gallaudet University (Sorenseeeon Hearing & Speech Center), Oregon School for the Deaf, and Texas School for the Deaf in the education catergory. I found there is nothing in Deaf organizations in the non profited organization. I believe Sorenson’s giving away IPad 2 comes from Sorenson Media cuz of the stockholders and investors invest in this media company.

From an free enterprise perspective, win backs are fair game. If a company wants to spend a lot of money to get new business/win back old business…it is all the same to me.Your service provider choice shouldn’t be reliant on the business practices of the said provider, but rather what YOU get out of it. I don’t care if one company has a deaf CEO and another has a multi-millionarie CEO who makes significant contributions to the AGBAD…if I can dial a number, get an terp fast, and complete calls…I am happy…and the company that provides that will always win my business. Offering an iPad2 doesn’t hurt…it’s using your capital, but it is also a risk. Anyone can simply add an App from ZVRS/Purple/Convo?/Etc…

What I am more pissed about is the interoperability issues with P2P calls…I know the VRS companies don’t make money on P2P’s, but c’mon…I should be able to talk to my deaf friends anytime I want….grrrr….

In addition, has anyone else besides me noticed that it takes longer to dial up a terp than in the past? (last 3 months or so across ALL service providers) It is probably because of VRS certification requirements cutting down on terp centers and terps being reshuffled all over or something….but it isn’t just me, right? I am routinely waiting 20-25 seconds lately….


I care and I do feel guilty for worshipping Sorenson to the ground because of their huge investment on Hear and Speech…it is like I am giving them golden approval for investing $$$ to blind parents how imperative to use ASL to communicate with their Deaf children. As soon as I see vp provider who contribute good cause for our community invent a new device with better colors then I will change to a different provider. I have seen Purple and ZVRS…colors are too strong for my eyes. I am not blind but I am visual person and I am picking about colors. I like ZVRS with videophone…but the screen is midget sized. If we get a bigger size with comfy colors then that would be great. They do not invest monies for Hear and Speech. I am stuck in the middle right now. I care for children. I do not care for parents rights…corporation rights…but for DEAF CHILDREN.

J.J.—as far as wait time for terps–I know with Z it has improved dramatically. There were certification issues, new policy mandate from the FCC stating terps had to be an employee and not a contractor, and work at call centers, not from home. This is across the board with ALL VRS companies.

I too, agree on interoperability issues. I personally think it is immature to prevent interoperability. Sprint.ATT, TMobile, etc do not stoop to this low level. And they do not make money off a person to person call, only to terps. So what’s the point really? Just do it and move on, be the bigger person and gain respect. Period. LOL.

My response to Peggy. As Deaf customer, I suggest you to contact ZVRS and Purple to discuss with their customer care service rep to have open discussion about what customer with visual like you need. I am sure ZVRS will be glad to have your fedbacks. I often give ZVRS my feedbacks and found very helpful.

Peggy–the Z20 would most likely suit you color-wise. And I also do know that you can change the color balance on the Z340 and Z20 like you do on a TV. ZVRS do donate VP’s to non-profit organizations and schools.

Also Peggy–as for Sorenson taking Karen out to lunch–I know of someone who had 2 out-of-state reps come visit him at his home unannounced, and offered to take the family of 5 out to dinner to win them back. They declined-but point being-it doesn’t matter if you’re friends with someone at Sorenson to get taken out to eat.

Karen and Can’t help it-

Correction! My name is not Peggy. My name is Penny. I love that name. 🙂

Thanks for sharing info about ZVRS. I will discuss with my friend about it when we get together soon. My friend adores ZVRS and even will die for ZVRS too. I will ask some questions and see it from there.

Now about taking out to lunch and family of 5 to dinner. Does Sorenson HR Director know about this because it is unethnical to do this with customers. Maybe I should close account with Sorenson and be invited to lunch or dinner. 🙂 I am silly. I think HR Director should know about this because it is unethnical and not professional like.

Usually if a customer is a Diamond customer (this simply means they earn many minutes for a customer) then really the cost of dinner is nothing compared to what that customer is earning for the company. A single person with 1,000’s of minutes can earn the company quite a bit of profit. This is why Diamond customers are treated with VIP gloves. If you are getting visits from higher ups in Sorenson, it is because you use their service often and they don’t want you to leave.

[…] […]


I was thinking the same thing about taking family of five out for dinner…..something isn’t right.

However I got a rather interesting phone call….I’m planning on making my vlog soon in regards of that call, win backs, FCC and whatever.


I was just visited by an out of state Sorenson representative. They tried to get me to switch back by saying they had nvp ready for me as well as a 22in HDTV. He tried other tactics too but I saw through them. I turned them down. I switched to ZVRS for a reason and I would like it if my choices were respected. I do believe that Sorenson does have the right to win back customers, but this was too much. Make an unannounced visit at 8 o clock at night and tried to bribe me. I don’t appreciate that.

Ok, I’ve uploaded two vlogs. ZVRS vs SVRS Part 1 and2. Even mentioned this vlog, FB discussions and everywhere out there as well.

It was 2 out of state reps that wanted to take the family of 5 out to dinner. Yep. True story. The family turned it down.

FYI I did not get iPad2 sad… Also I do have question about that, I heard that on back of iPad there is engrave on it say property of Sorenson I am not sure if thats true.. Also if customer change mind decide to port to others iPad or TV or whatever you get for free has to be return back to Sorenson so it is not really yours to keep Thats what I heard…

One question about those porting and winbacks…..

When a customer port to ZVRS and get Z20, I imagine they are then officially under contract with Early Termination fee….when Sorenson win back their former customers, do they pay the Early Termination fee and provide the ipad2s to their “favorite” customers….

yes I label those as “favorite” as it’s selective customers who get one. Hundreds or thousands may have ported and never got anything as part of winbacks…I know for sure bribes are ILLEGAL under FCC’s policy and I guess Sorenson found a loophole and getting away with it! Nothing new with this kind of Corporation who lies to their employees and customers on a regular basis.

Misha- I saw your videos. You explained well and both messages were clear for everyone to understand you. When the tech guy comes to install VP300 I will see if he will make me to sign something. Yes! always read the contract agreement first before we sign it…if not understand then need to ask someone for help or ask for more time to read the contract. You are right. Many people including Deaf and hearing do not follow that advice (me sometime). I agree with you that Sorenson or other providers should not pressure on anyone to make decision or become upset at them if they want to change to different provider. Everyone has right to choose which provider they want to use and respect others’ decision or wish.

I see your point about win back…I agree with you but for white collar workers to take customers out to lunch or dinner in order to get them stay with Sorenson…sounds tacky and unethical. They can call customers to ask them why they decided to leave Sorenson and what improvements they need to make……nothing is wrong with that but to go over to their home and take them out to eat….I laughed a lot last night as I could not believe it when I heard those stories. This does not make Sorenson look good. Bad move really.

You made good point about Termination fees. When someone uses phone service with AT and T, Sprint and etc. and decide to end using service with them before expiration date then it makes sense to pay for termination fees but with Sorenson or other providers that we do not pay for service should not be billed for termination fees when we want to stop using their service. Good vlogs, Misha.

Just made a vlog about Sorenson contract.

Thank you, Penny. It’s very much straight forward and standard to win the customers back with products, dinner, tickets and whatever. It’s normal practice as long as there are no bribery or blackmail involved in between the parties.

As for termination fee, I discovered in the contract…you can see my latest vlog on that part.


Zvrs and Sorenson both are dirty company. I can never understand why you people support VRS company that only hire WHITE MEN in the executive and mangers levels.

Look at the big picture, There isn’t there any color people in those positions and that SHAME!

It clearly when you look at ZVRS you see bunch of white men who are Deaf and hearing in power. This what happen, those people who raise up in the company have no background or interacting experience with color people. They do not look after these color people, they look after their close friends and result they get better services compare a person who is color. Many of them get hired because they have a relationship of some kind.

Am tired of this bullshit and it time we raise up and do something about it. I know am having my first town hall meeting in Washington DC in January to discuss this very issue and hoping we will take our message after that and spread it out to the community.

The truth, we should be seeing at least half of those management level in all VRS company filled with color people and women. The fact is color people and women produce more VRS calls than any other group in America.

So I say to Zvrs, Convo and Sorenson, get your act together, start hiring color people and women in power ASAP!. Or change will come rather you like it or not after January.

Change is coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeff, I want to respond. I finally see african american guy when I called ZVRS help. Believe ZVRS are going to have some.

Jeff, why trouble about colored people while we have problems with hiring deaf ?

I Never Have Sorenson For Almost 8 Yr’s , Till I Found Out Dirty interpreters Job , I Keep Trasnfer Other interpreters Still same Thing Old @*#! As Long As I Pray FCC Will Cut The Rate Tier Min Sorenson Will Scream Out Greedy Again!!! Am Glad Not Support Kind Of Vrs Sorenson Service is Stink….Let Them Eat a Cup of Cake!!!

Jeff-there are some men of different ethnic races that work at Z in the higher up positions. Hector Brual, USC, etc. Do your homework first before making accusations.

Thanks for pointing that out, Can’tHelpIt. I would like to paste a comment I posted on another blog in response to Jeff’s comment regarding diversity.

“Jeff, for your information, I am a ZVRS employee and I can assure you that there is diversity within ZVRS. There are two female executives on the upper management team. One is the CFO, Chief Financial Officer, the CEO’s right arm, and the other is the VP of Technology, the person who runs the VRS engineering, development and network team, imagine that! Those two are, by far, the most important positions next in line to the CEO. Not only that, there are four deaf executives in upper management as well, of course, along with your usual group of corporate white men. Considering that the executive team is a small number of people, I hope that’s diverse enough for you and safe to say that ZVRS is run by a bunch of diverse people. We may not have “ethnic” diversity on the executive board…yet, but we do at the very least have a good number of people from all walks of life within the ZVRS family. If an opportunity were to arise with an open position on the executive team, any person would be welcome to apply and only the most qualified would be chosen no matter the race, gender, religion, or disability.

I completely respect that you prefer to choose a different VRS provider other than my employer, but I had to comment on here to set the record straight regarding the diversity on ZVRS’ upper management team and the whole team overall.”

One more thing to add for Jeff about hiring people with some kind of relationship and I wanted to say, whether you like it or not, that is the case for ALL companies, big or small, hearing or deaf, and there’s actually a word for it. It’s called “networking”.

And, John, there is absolutely NO problem with deaf being hired at ZVRS. None…at…all! Deaf people can even get promoted and even as a deaf female myself, I was one of them! All it takes is to recognize someone’s potential and putting them in the right place.

Once again, we ARE a diverse company, even on the executive team which consists of 12 members (if I’m wrong and left someone out, I apologize). Out of twelve, 4 are deaf, 2 are women and 1 is CODA, that’s at least HALF of the board!

Ok, I think I’ve said my piece! Amy, thanks in advance for posting my comment and for all the informative blogs you’ve been sharing with the community and the hilarious videos you’ve posted!

To be honest, I never wanted the trouble of chaning Videophone providers. Yes there are a number of VPs out there, but I’ve done my research. It turns out that Sorenson is a better product though it’s better to use a hard-line than a wireless connection.

In truth, I wouldn’t go out and change providers for any reason. I really don’t want to. It’s more of a personal mess of having to tell people my new number than changing services.

But at this point, I wouldn’t change from sorenson at any point now. Because the VRS industry needs time to settle down after reeling from the fact that the Yehs have been sentenced and another scandal is happening. The VRS needs time to process to see how the FCC and the law is going to impact on the services.

My biggest advice? If you are a sorenson customer, stay put. If you are ex-sorenson customer, research and go back if you want to. Yes, choices are free, but headaches of services are bad enough.

Steve– I just want to point out a correction or 2.

Only the Z340 from ZVRS is wireless and I actually have one and LOVE it! No problems whatsoever. The Z20, the Z150, and the ZOJO are hardwired.

As for changing your number—guess what? You do NOT HAVE TO! If you choose to switch providers you can KEEP THE SAME PHONE NUMBER!!! You said you’ve done your research. Obviously, you haven’t done enough research. Go check the blog topics on the top right and click on Goodbye Sorenson! The 10 digit number is mine!

And do some more research while you’re at it. Thanks!

I just discovered there are TWO contracts. I’m stunned because one is verbal. I believe verbal contracts are worthless. Black and white papers are very important and can be uphold in the court if that comes down to that unlike verbal contracts. Verbal contracts are usually shot down as worthless in the eyes of the court. One had told me verbal contract consists of two years (two years, my ass for verbal contract!)

Here is one I quote from Facebook from one person: “The contract for 2 years is for new customers only. No iPad, laptop, and tv. It is seperate contracts. That contract u explained is correct. That is just an agreement that customer want nvp and mail z. The installer is responsible to mail the z phone back to z. It’s interesting, I was told that z did give mac laptop. Sorenson asked FCC abt that. FCC said it is allowed. So, Sorenson do the same thing.”

Hmm, so I kept getting different stories about contracts…one or two contracts. Go figure….
I wonder about ZVRS give mac laptop to who???? I find it hard to believe because mac laptop is expensive than regular pc laptop.


We do need DEAF CONSUMERS REPORT but we do not have it. As Deaf consumer, I always believe in getting the better consumer services which are more friendly and can able to answer your questions and problems, tech support who can respond, assist you, solve the problems quickly, and send someone to your place to correct the problems and the certificated interpreters to interpret/voice. I understand we, the deaf community have the different signs cuz we live in the different states. It is same with the interpreters who work as VRS cuz they live in area where we live and sign different for any words. Like tomatoes, it have 14 different signs.
Steve, Z20 is hard lined videophone like NVP. Z20 have HD inside. In order you want to have better quality picture, you can hook NVP on HD TV which you have to hook HMI to both.

ZVRS does not giveaway MAC laptops.

Exactly, Can’tHelpIt! That is why I find it hard to believe. She has to have a hard proof that ZVRS gave mac laptop to a customer….(or more?) Why? They’re more expensive like over 1K unlike PC laptops that can run from $300 and over. iPads are from $500 and up.
BTW, Z340 can be both wireless and wired as you choose which to do. I do both…when I use it as wireless like it’s sitting in my kitchen. If I want it wired, I have to bring it to my living room. But I have Z20 in living room anyway. All of my Z products have ONE same phone number. That is called 1Number. For example, when the phone rings on my Z20, I can answer on my Z340 in my kitchen when I’m cooking or cleaning rather than running through dining room, hallways to get to living room to answer.


I was told that each Z20 console costs $1500 in retail price sold by Cisco/Tandberg. That is probably why Sorenson can do as much as ZVRS have spent money on the equipment.

The Z20 is valued at 1500

Do you know where I can find Misha’s two vlogs regarding part 1 and 2 ZVRS and Sorenon? I’d like to see. Thanks.

Go to YouTube and type : InsaneMisha on search field. That will take you to her videos.

first of all I want to say good morning Amy and also I need express something to both Z zzzzzzz maybe sleeping head and also Sorenson. Will you allow me? If yes, many thank you –

And this one for Zzzzzz too: (just made it recently before I have to go work soon today). Amy thank you for allowing me to share my videos on this post. Happy Belated New Year, Amy! 🙂

FYI: I’m sharing your link under one of my videos on youtube + FB.

Dear Z + Sorenson,
Thank you for the vp services. I wanna thank Sorenson for willing to pay my z20 ‘s ETF (early termination fee) to ZVRS for almost $500.00. What will ZVRS do with the money from all ETF??? just wondering abt that.

You don’t need to pay any ETF for your Z20 if you simply send it back to ZVRS.

If Sorenson has paid off your ETF to ZVRS, I suppose that means you now own it. There’s quite a large hearing after-market for that hardware, you need but look around. Cisco gear isn’t cheap.

No videophone is free. It costs someone something. To give you a “free videophone”, ZVRS is effectively subsidizing the price of your videophone. This means that private investors to ZVRS effectively pay for you to have a videophone, with the understanding that you will use it for some period of time. If you decide to switch back to Sorenson before then, you are on the hook for the price of the Z20 (that’s what the ETF reflects). If you return the Z20 to ZVRS, there is no cost to you: ZVRS simply forgives the ETF.

The question is really not what will ZVRS do with the money: it is what will you do with the money once you sell the Z20 that Sorenson just bought you? ZVRS is simply breaking even here.

Why is it that people continue to think ZVRS is somehow “stealing” the number from Sorenson?

The phone number is yours. Not Sorenson’s. Not ZVRS’. Yours. You can port it to whatever VRS provider you wish.


A VRS company does not *steal* a number when a customer ports. Porting is allowed in both the hearing world and deaf world.

If you wanted to change from an Sprint Evo Phone to AT&T Apple iPhone you would want to keep the same number right? That’s called porting and it happens all the time.

The 10 digit number DOES NOT BELONG TO ANY COMPANY! No amount of freebies will change that fact. Please educate yourself if you continue to believe that one company is “stealing” a number from another company.

I lost my VP200 before. I was never charged for it. I had moved and a friend was supposed to ship it to me but he misplaced it with the items I told him to take to the trash. Sorenson generously provided me another VP200 at no cost. I never had to pay a penny for probably 2 or 3 sets of VP200. Sorenson has always been good to me not charging me any ETFs. But if I lost a Z20 that would add a hefty price to my bill! Why should I port to ZVRS if I lose a Z20 (or can put away with disclosing its’ location) and have to pay the ETF? Would ZVRS forgive the ETF no matter where it is?

I better watch my bank..given my history of losing VPs it is better not to have ZVRs..Sorenson will not charge me.

John C:

Sadly, there’s logical issues with your posting – assuming there’s at least an ounce of truth in any of your ramblings – otherwise everyone is wasting their time with you:

1) Assuming that Sorenson will continue to forgive the ETFs for you, despite the fact that they DO MENTION ETFs in their terms and conditions. So you are saying that I hide VP200 and then call Sorenson and tell them I lost my VP200, so I can get another one, every time? That’s pretty damned dumb.

2) Assuming ZVRS would not forgive your ETF fee had you “lost” your Z20. Maybe if you call a ZVRS customer rep with your “sob story”, you could get away without having to pay for another. I don’t know if ZVRS would do that – have you actually lost a Z20 before to reach any sort of conclusion like you did?

3) How the heck do you reach a conclusion that Sorenson would continue to forgive your ETF fees, and that ZVRS would have not ever, or vice versa, or any so-called “conclusion” you pulled outta ass for that matter? You’re operating on conjunctions at this point.

“conjunctions” in my prev post should been “conjectures”

Any VPs, its being paid from the government. Any VRS are called “not for profit” companies. Which means, they do get assistance from government and have to provide VPs to customers. Right?

see that good example that z20 won’t work that way in case if emergency outside of my home? :

of course that’s one of the reason why Sorenson VRS offer us free ipad2 so any of us can be closer to our family or friends if something happens outside of home?


The government doesn’t pay for videophones. VRS providers either fully or partially pay for videophones that they provide to customers. This is called subsidization. A VRS provider is paid by RLSA (the current TRS fund administrator) only for qualifying VRS minutes that are serviced.

It is not a requirement that a VRS provider supply a customer with a videophone. Customers can dial-around for VRS service from other VRS provider videophone equipment. It is in the VRS provider’s best interest to do so, as a customer is more likely to use their VRS services if the VRS provider provides a videophone.


The Z20, as with all Z phones, fully support E911 calling.

If you’re away from home, you can use Z4 on your iPhone/iPad or your Android phone and place a VRS call to 911.

What is it that you think you can’t do with a Z phone in the case of an emergency?

I don’t have i-phone 4… I have cheap pager BB. cannot afford to pay full family plan of 4… I have one hearing son that has unlimited text and also voice cost more than 50 dollars per month… one deaf son has almost 50 dollars per month because of evo has video… me and hubby cheap $39.00 per month. well..

Darth Rambo- Another reason why ZVRS isn’t popular with me, is because of the way you talk to me. I am not rambling. I was pointing out that if ZVRS wanted my VP200, I wouldn’t give to them, as I pointed out in other comments under other topics. If I had ported to ZVRS, I wouldn’t give back the Z20. And I was stating I lost a VP200 in the past, and pointed out that I was not charged for it. I never had to hide any videophone I had in the past. I just don’t agree with with any VRS company asking for the equipment back, because if I became dissatisfied with the quality of the company I can always fall back to the old equipment I had and if it needed to be configurated and installed, the old company installer can use the old VP equipment I had. I praised Sorenson for not charging me any money for the lost equipment. Hearing about ZVRS who are not likely to forgive the ETFs isn’t exactly positive to me. I just believe Sorenson will always treat me better than ZVRS, who calls me rambling, etc..insulting my intelligence.

I believe ZVRS won’t forgive any ETF debt for losing their equipment based on the attitude of ZVRS reps, insiders, and their reps. I really don’t. I would be held accountible for the say, Z20 that I don’t return. Not even if I offer a SOB story. I am sorry, that is my opinion. The ZVRS people are talking me down. How can they win customers like that? I have never experienced anything like that from the Sorenson people. My goodness.

One more thing, I was speaking of many invariables, of different scenarios. Port to ZVRS on the condition of giving them my VP200? No way. I would be keeping my VP200. Port away from ZVRS, I wouldn’t give the Z20 back to them or anyone else. The way I am thinking, is if I had a iphone, I wouldn’t give it back to Apple if I switched to TMobile. Right? I don’t know if that applies to videophone customers. If I have a telephone service, but I choose my own technologically advanced telephone for the phone line, I wouldn’t have to give them the telephone. I know companies give us equipment but it should be ours to keep and for us to decide what to do with them – give it back or let the rival company send it back, etc.

I made these points because I feel like hearing people can choose their own telephone equipment and if they disconnect their phone line, the telephone is still theirs. That is my mind frame. I just want to be equal with hearing people not less and subjected to the folly of giving the previous provider VP equipment to the rival company to ship back.

So, if I port to a new VP company, do I have to always buy the equipment so I can keep it if I decide to port? I have seen households that have both VP200 and Z20. If people want both companies I have no problem with that as long they get to keep the equipment without having to give up the VP200 to ZVRS.

VRSEgineer- is that CSD BTOP or Project Endeavor under by CSD or Sprint Relay Store??? – Mine was Sprint that don’t have roll over for my hearing son (his part time job don’t pay that much because he’s a full college student. If left over for voice plan Sprint won’t have roll over plan but at+t do have roll over to carry for the next billing voice plan. never mind- I already did made vlog on that part after showing to one Deaf vlogger that zvrs do have ETF (early termination fee).

thank you Amy for bearing to read my boring comment. I did noticed vrs do have attitude and wonder why not leave the msg on answering machine in first place?????? hmmm… never mind, they will look down on me. I’m not going to say which vrs did look down on me and others. that’s part of dyscusonssion (misspelled) audism. oh well we got used to it. hope you will have good day, Amy. gotta go run to work now.

Let’s go read this; AT&T Launching Free Unlimited Voice Plan | News & Opinion |

See that?

Ok how come one of hearing co workers did paid $20 for unlimited cell phone per month while I have to pay my hearing son about $68 per month for voice plan + plus $49.99 text for fancy pager with unlimited per month under Sprint or Sprint Relay Store.

Yeah I do paid my deaf son with $49.99 unlimited fancy EVO plus add insurance fee in case if broken.

So I cannot afford to pay me + my deaf hubby for unlimited text fancy each pager in $49.99 per month under Sprint family plan under 4.

Some hearing were lucky to pay $20 to $30 per month for unlimited. So I’m not going to buy fancy pager for me + my hubby under Sprint Relay Store with no free voice plan for my hearing son. Seems so odd no respect hearing CODA?? Oj well that’s why I’m stuck with another 2 years contract.

Yeah tired of working so hard to pay the bills.

Thank you, Amy again for your wonderful job. Oh boy got my parking spot under morning dark blue sky with no stars up above top of my workplace roof. I have abt 30 more min to swipe my time card before start work. Read you (your blog) later to see if any more comments. 🙂


Project Endeavor (which _is_ the CSD BTOP program) is run by CSD (not CSDVRS), and is funded by a government grant:

“Project Endeavor is a program of CSD, funded by a two year contract with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). This program focuses on providing deaf and hard of hearing Americans with access to broadband or high speed internet through discounted internet service plans and internet devices. “

John C

Videophones are not free. A videophone costs more like a mobile smartphone. If you sign up for mobile wireless service for your smartphone, your carrier subsidizes part of the price of the phone and has an Early Termination Fee if you decide to cancel your service before some amount of time.

The same thing is true of Sorenson’s nTouch VP and ZVRS’s Z20.

If you sign up for a “free” nTouch VP, Sorenson requires that you sign an agreement that you will continue using Sorenson VRS service for that phone number for some amount of time, or you will have to pay an Early Termination Fee (or return the phone).

Likewise, if you sign up for a “free” ZVRS Z20, ZVRS requires that you sign an agreement that you will continue using ZVRS VRS for that phone number for some amount of time, or you will have to pay an Early Termination Fee (or return the phone).

Both providers have older phones that don’t have these same requirements. If you get a Sorenson VP200, there is no ETF agreement. Likewise, there is no such requirement for a ZVRS Z340 or Zojo.

The Z20 costs more than the nTouch VP, and has more of a resell after-market. That being said, ZVRS also has a heart and understands that things do happen.

All providers are going to listen to “sob stories” if the device is lost, stolen, or somehow broken. If you’re a “diamond” customer (someone who uses VRS quite a bit), you’ll probably find that any VRS provider is going to bend over backwards to make you happy regardless. If you never use your phone for VRS service, or have reported another phone as lost/stolen/broken, it will be decidedly more difficult to convince customer service at your VRS to replace your phone.

John C

You do know that Sorenson is now forcing their customers to sign an ETF where if they port to another VRS provider in 2 years, they will have to pay a $400 fee?

What happens if you lose your NVP (or VP-200) in the two years? Do you believe Sorenson would be any better or worse about the ETF’s? I honestly don’t.

I can tell you what I do know. A rep that works at ZVRS managed to get a copy of the NVP. He brought it into his work to have everyone else take a look at the NVP. Sorenson found out (presumeably through ZVRS’s IP addresses) and BLOCKED his NVP so it no longer worked. When the rep got home, he got a nasty call from Sorenson telling him if he did this again, they would take the NVP back from him. They have him blocked as a reminder that it is they (Sorenson) who control your NVP, not you. Nice people eh?

As for facts you seem to have quite a bit of a problem sticking to those pesky little facts. This comment you made “I believe ZVRS won’t forgive any ETF debt for losing their equipment based on the attitude of ZVRS reps, insiders, and their reps. I really don’t.” is not based in fact and is made based of the judgement you have on one individual in the company. You do not have facts and you have not had an issue with the ETF yet so why are you posing negatives about a company you obviously dislike?

What I do know is that everyone should have the right to choose their own provider.

All providers should be interoperable so they work with each other (thus avoiding monopolies). This is currently not the case with all Sorenson products.

All providers should be able to do Dial-arounds. This is a great feature especially when the recent FCC ruling caused several VRS providers to have long wait times for interpreters. If your provider does have an issue, you can simply use another.

John C –

When you have a couple of hours to spare (I’m fairly certain ya gonna need all that time), please read, absorb and digest contents at:

Yet again, you seem to operate on conjectures:

1) I’m not a ZVRS customer or employee. I’ve been Convo customer since day 1.
2) I’m a former longtime Sorenson customer who have had less-than-ideal experiences with interpreters more than I care to remember about.

More than anything, I’m anti-Sorenson, and pro-“rest-of-VRS-industry” – namely: Convo, ZVRS, SnapVRS, etc.

Let me give you a taste of your own medicine: I don’t use Sorenson cuz you’re a Sorenson employee who talks down to me. In fact, a number of people in those blogs don’t use Sorenson because you also talk down to them. See how ridiculous that sounded? Suffice to say, you and Sorenson deserve each other – glad you feel right at home.

Bonus points if you can identify at least two “straw-man” fallacies in my own post. I have a gold star ready to put on your forehead if you find them.

After following this issue for some time, today I ordered the z20 after making sure that if I was not satisfied after a trial period of 3 months, I would exchange it to get back my old VP200.

Whether the devices “belong” to you depends on if you BOUGHT it. You never really own any equipment that is given to you for free even if you have been using it for years. It is not important that the equipment becomes obsolete or nonworking in that time…the principle still applies. Old landline phones, cable converters, modems, DSL equipment, etc. still belongs to the company that assigns it to you as part of their service.

As a backup, I have Zvrs, Purple, text relay and ooVoo on my computer in case the videophone equipment fails, and Sorenson has failed me in the past. Let’s see if the Z works more reliably and universally.

DarthDiablo- my diatribe against ZVRS started when a high profile rep posted (shared) a video containing an offensive sign for Sorenson (and I am a Sorenson customer). For some reason it set me off. Then ZVRS and their supporters jumped in. Further alienating me from “Z.”

I firmly believe ZVRS representatives should not share offensive videos on FB. I also believe ZVRS should have taken some action like personally contacting me with an apology for the way I felt about the shared video. That is just how I feel. Personally if I was that high-profile ZVRS rep, I would not share videos such as “Sorenson’s Scare Tactics.” I would simply continue filming video commerials, advertisements and keep getting my face in posters. I would be positive relentlessly to all deaf customers regardless of which provider they have (Sorenson, Convo, ZVRS, Purple, etc).

And I would stay as far away from the ZVRS vs Sorenson war. You know, work the booths and recruit as many new customers I could. I would focus on producing ZVRS videos. Facebook doesn’t have to give ZVRS reps the “license” to do some Sorenson bashing. Remember some customers don’t care less but I took it personally being a lifetime Sorenson customer. And what made it worse, the Z people and the supporters kind of mocked me kind of saying, “come off it” and t

Continued: “come off it” and told me, you’re rambling, blah blah. They didn’t say, “despite the fact you are a Sorenson supporter and in spite of your opinion, we hope you like us and we like you. I am willing to put aside your differences with us.

Instead a flash mob dance formed singing ZVRS’ hostile tunes and retort-backs. I know you all took some time to explain. The high profile rep of ZVRS that posted the shared video was defiant instead of apologetic. Not apologetic about being a rival of Sorenson’s but apologetic about being so defiant to loyal Sorenson customers.

I sensed an attitude within the ZVRS people during all my comments. Of course I talked y’all back down as you did me. It was just a reflection of the attitude you showed me. Defiant, un-apologetic, even mocking. I can read the comments pretty well.

I have not gotten ONE comment from a Sorenson rep. They obviously are staying out of my dialogue with the ZVRS people. That, I respect. It just helps me foresee no problems with Sorenson. But I am experiencing the ZVRS culture firsthand through the blogs and shared videos. Naturally I don’t feel appreciative.

But I even as I remain loyal and a staunch supporter of Sorenson, I am willing to listen to all sides, MINUS the attitude that has been displayed to me so far. I am
surprised to find the Z people bold, or better said, emboldened.

I would say “John, we understand your dissatisfaction with our tactics used in the ZVRS. I am very sorry this high profile representative shared a video you deemed offensive. We care about you as a customer regardless of who you have as your provider. The door is open to you if you ever want to port to us, no pressure and it is not required. Please continue learning about the Z products, and if you feel you are ready to have our services, we are more than happy to help you.”

That is more diplomatic, ok? I just appreciate this attitude and customer relations more than that I have seen from ZVRS. So I became arrogant and challenged that rep, and other reps and supporters. I just don’t like the mindset many Z people have.

John and et al.,

Please stop hijacking my blog to make this too personal.

This blog entry has 68 comments and I have noticed that other people has not come back to my blog to make a comment, except a few who did. Thank you, Dianrez for sharing your perspective, also others who took time to write down the comment.

John, this blog is no longer your soapbox against ZVRS and I am getting very tired about this. I strongly encourage you, yes, YOU to create your own blog to discuss your concerns. I need to tell you to refrain yourself from hijacking my blog.

The topic IS about the appropriateness of using win-back strategies to get former customers by offering “communication tools a.k.a. iPad2” to select customers. John, you used my blog to relentlessly discuss about a purported person representing ZVRS making an offensive comment regarding Sorenson seemed to be bordering tad obsessive to me.

Please stop now.

Thank you for understanding.

Amy Cohen Efron

John C –

So if people stayed quiet while you bashed ZVRS and its people, all would be groovy with you? This is what you seem to imply. Sorry but ZVRS people are as defensive about their favored company as you are about yours. And despite your claims, you are slinging mud all over the place expecting people to not respond?

You continue to bring up the Sorenson Scare Tactic video as proof of the “evil” culture of ZVRS. Well it was not even produced by ZVRS or it’s employees. It was produced by a FORMER Sorenson customer who was fed up with the tactics of Sorenson. Not much I can say there except that I agree with the person in the video, especially having experienced it myself.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and according to you that is not true… it must pass John C’s smell test first. You want a pesonal apology from the company about a video that was not even created by the person who linked it because your self righteousness was offended? Sorry but the world doesn’t quite work that way. But go ahead, post three more posts telling us how much you hate ZVRS based on the actions of one person and how great you think Sorenson is and how they do no wrong.

How about checking out the company history on their website. It would tell you a lot… including the information that Sorenson is lying about being the first to develop a Videophone

CSD was the original company and it still exists today as It is still a non-profit organization. Deaf can apply to purchase devices such as iPad2 for $300 and various other electronic devices.

CSDVRS spun off as a FOR profit organization and was renamed ZVRS. The Z signifies the name of one of the owners daughters name Zoe I think.

Really there is no mystery. Check all the info out for yourself. Don’t let those freebies blind you to the truth.

Hi PopeMistress,

I just went to website to check it out. I noticed something on bottom: “Powered by CSDVRS”. No secret/surprise there.

Do you remember when we had CSDVRS not too long ago? Seem to be rebranded under ZVRS now.

What wri7913 said makes sense, it seems CSD and CSDVRS are actually two separate companies now. CSD has their own website:

(cue in NBC’s “The More You Know..” ad – I learned something new!)

hi i want to get free ipad 2, how can i apply for it.. i am deaf and have sorenson service.. pls email me what is going on about ipad 2.. thanks

$300 is the price I’ve heard for iPad3, but nothing confirmed until Apple releases it.

Happy Blue Monday moon 36 degrees dark morning, Amy! 🙂

How’s weather in Atlanta? Sunny or gloomy weather? Warmer than here?

Oh thank you for your time to explain “maybe iPad3 + iPad4”.

First of all- yesterday after work on Sunday, I went Best Buy to check on pagers. Confused abt “Free family plans”. So I decided not to buy any thing + then I went home. I enjoyed vp chats from several friends on z4.

So sad that I have to report you that one of them did wait for Z box for 4 months + my other friend caught one of ZVRS Customer Care Service workers got sick of my friend calling about z20 problems. I do really feel bad for my friends becuz we already had been thur our journey experience being victim from ZVRS Customer Care Services Helpers.

By the way, I’m not sure if the Z-box is for light to alert Deaf home owners, but I’m not sure that we have to go shopping to get something like “reciever” for each room lights. Suppose 10 rooms , do we have to pay 10 reciever expenses from Radio Shack or Harris Communication Center? Is that cost a lot for 10 rooms including in the bathroom too.

Some of us already know that we don’t bring our own pager all the time. We don’t sleep + making love with pager as like “Sex toy” in bed? Sometimes we do pagerless when we are at home. Some of my friends could NOT afford to buy fancy pager for download z4 or any vrs. They are too small to view on pager.

If anyone feels that I am wrong again, go ahead scolding all you want becuz I’m used to many scoldings from oralism + audism.

Many thank you Amy for accepting my comments again.

Before I have to go down to my 2nd workfloor from my parking spot on rooftop, I remember one of 5 different ZVRS Customer Care Services Helpers did suggested me to fill out on BVS form + did took care of government + prisons. Prison wow?? I wonder about Felix in Florida (Daytona Beach) prison had been denied video phone?? Does the ZVRS ever care to help??

PopeMistress: you are a bit off topic, but you raise points that should be countered with facts.

ZVRS does service multiple jails. ZVRS services numerous government and corporate entities. No, I can’t be more specific than that. It would be up to those organizations as to which VRS provider they would like to service them.

As for the Z-Box, I think I may have just lost some of my innocence with your comment.

If you already have house flashers, you can use them with Z-Box.

The Z-Box provides a standard telephony RJ-11 jack that you can plug into your standard house telephone wiring to provide a flash signal source for whatever home lighting system you may already have. There is no need for a separate Z-Box device for different flashers: they may all use the dial-tone and ringing service provided by one Z-Box device.

Z-alert allows your pager, cellphone, or other alerting device to let you know when someone is calling, using an email to alert you.

With 1Number, your Z-Box can ring the same time as multiple VideoPhones ring in your house (or Z4 on your mobile phone, etc), at the same time Z-alert is sending you an email to your pager or cellphone to let you know as well.

Now, back to the topic: this comment thread is about Sorenson iPad2 give-aways for port-back incentives.

I can tell you that the above 1Number and Z-alert features are not available to Sorenson devices once you port back to them.

Then again, you would have an iPad 2, so I suppose you could download and install Z4 with a new 10 digit phone number and avail yourself with ZVRS services that way instead. You would just need to tell all of your friends about your new ZVRS 1Number phone number, and then you could setup your Sorenson phone number as a 1Number member so that it would ring when someone calls your ZVRS 1Number, and you would get a ZAlert.

I guess, in this way, you could have your cake (Sorenson videophone and free iPad2) and eat it too (with ZVRS 1Number).

[…] […]


Hi everyone,
I decided to switch to ZVRS. I have been a customer of Sorenson since first VP100 came out. So far, I’m happy with my Z20. Sorenson executive tried to call me, and another Sorenson person that I knew previously called me. (They both left messages). Z installer warned me that they would harass me. Sure enough, they did harass me. This sorenson person left a message that she knew me from WSD and I was thinking..I never went to WSD in Washington State. Also I never gave her my phone number so I figured that it was one of Sorenson people. I put both numbers on my call-block list. I love the way I am able to set up video answering machine and call-block list. I keep contacting Sorenson to pick up their VP200. They never bothered to contact me to get their property back. It is very annoying. I like the z20 because it is smaller and roomy. I don’t need to have TV to hook it up. I do not need HDTV or IPAD2. Those people who do these things (Switching back and forth) to get HDTV/IPAD2 are greedy in my opinion. Focus on quality service, not on the bribes from the services. I also decided to switch to Z because of the quality with the interpreters via Sorenson. They did not interpret everything I sign and ignore some signs. With Z, I watched their lips and they said everything I signed and I was satisfied with that. For many people switching to Z, that should pose a sign to Sorenson that customers are not satisfied with their services and they should do something to change that instead of trying to bribe people.

Is that true that any deaf and hard of hearing who have N-Touch VideoPhone can get free Ipad2? If yes then how I do that?

hi my name is ann marie eaddy and how can i get i i am hard of hearing and will i be geting one or is it for deaf only thank

hello this is karen and how are you doing ? i am deaf smile i have a only sorenson 200vp but i am still wait for get ntouch vp not yet and how long ? but i want tell you that i am vacation in nyc for 7 month but i am live in florida but i have a reason my sister have to stay in nyc for hire working for nurse that why .. my address is 16032 86th street north loxahatchee fl 33470 and i can ask you question that true get a free ipad2

Hi y’all,I have n touch video phone,I can get it free iPad??

I have n touch video phone how I get it free iPad???

how long will i get the free ipad2 thank

Hector Hi I need Free Ipad2 free for me Pls

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