I challenge you, Sorenson…

Just recently, I got this video-mail from Sorenson Video Relay Service, pleading us for help.

Sorenson VRS wants us to let FCC know not to cut down the rates which may significantly impact the quality of their VRS services.

Initially, I am impressed how Sorenson made an effort to create this 3 to 4-min video clip and made LOTS of calls to videophones across the America hoping to get their support.

Then, the more I thought about it… and I am presenting a big challenge for Sorenson.

SHOW ME THE MONEY!


Sorenson VRS, I challenge you, to present us your HARD DATA with numbers (money received from FCC and how this money been spent) with all of us to review and show us how this rate actually affect you in the future, affecting the quality of your VRS service.

Sorenson VRS, I know that you are ‘under’ the umbrella of the SORENSON companies…

See link: Sorenson Companies

1. The Sorenson Group – Real Estate Companies
2. Data Chem Laboratories, Inc.
3. Sorenson Genomics
4. SorenCo Laboratories
5. Sorenson Media
6. Rosecrest
7. Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
8. Sorenson Medical
9. Sorenson BioScience, Inc.
10. Sorenson Development Incorporated
11. Sorenson Mold
12. Relative Genetics

and, don’t forget that James LeVoy Sorenson and James Lee Sorenson donated over 5 million dollars to Gallaudet, to help to build Sorenson Language and Communication Center.

I know that Sorenson Companies helped to financially support the special firmware development for the videophone that you got from the DLink company. I know that you poured millions of dollars to mass produce special videophones to ‘give away’ to Deaf people, with understanding that we must subscribe to high speed internet connection to access your video relay services.

REVISED STATEMENT..

On July 2002 through June 2003, FCC raised the rate of $17.044 dollas per minute, to help to accelerate the growth of the need of VRS services. Do you remember that during DeafWay 2002, there was a HUGE exhibition booth set up by CSD? Sprint/CSD were the first to provide trials and introduced the first VRS model at Deaf Way II in 2002. That was when CSD skyrocketed, but… Sorenson got into the market for Video Relay services in January 2003. Sorenson partnered with DLink in 2002, to create their firmware, and mass produced the videophones. So, Sorenson, as clever as always, beat CSD by the low brow punch, by providing FREEBIES (Videophones) to Deaf people, and comes with easy to remember, phone numbers programmed in their firmware, plus they also added the program to prevent Deaf people to use their VP to call other VRS companies. Sorenson grabbed the huge market share by 80 percent, and causing CSD’s downfall.

Then, in July 2003, the rate went down to $7.751 dollars per minute, then slowly going down to $6.644 dollars per minute this year.

FCC created the rate to provide SERVICE (video relay services) to the deaf people according to the ADA law, and these rates are not for creating products or spending so much money on research and development. Sooo…

I think its time for us to start purchasing products that is best for us, instead of depending on Sorenson providing VP 200s, when VP 100s starts to break down, which is happening right now.

REVISED STATEMENT END HERE

I know that the first few years, you have prevented your videophones to make calls to another VRS companies, until the FCC created the mandate, called the videophone interoperability feature.

Now, you reaped over 70 percent of the videophones across the America, and you got the major share of the FCC money. No doubt about that.

Kudos for your ingenious business practices, and you certainly created the massive market of video relay services.

Now, we haven’t seen the HARD DATA from you explaining how this possible rate reduction will affect the quality of SVRS.

SHOW US… SHOW US…

It’s hard to believe since you are making so much money, and spending so much money with outreach services, training, equipment, donations, and so forth.

Yet…. you want to convince me? As Cuba Gooding, Jr. would say, “SHOW ME THE MONEY!”

Sorenson, I challenge you!

148 Responses to “I challenge you, Sorenson…”

  1. Oscar the Observer Says:

    Firstly, WELCOME BACK!

    Secondly, I second you :D. We shall see what happens then!

  2. DCABlogs Says:

    Wow good vlog I understand your view about sorenson having money..

    My other concern is about sorenson taking so many good Freelance interpreter which we need in the community. And now many states have shortage of interpreter for freelance I mean not for VRS. VRS is great thing to have yes but wonder how many people do they have working for them, is it more than neccessary? and what about the community’s needs for those interpreters outside of VRS.. I do not want VRS to closed down no its great thing but we need look at whats happening with interpreters shortage and where did they go they go to work for VRS now my question how much do they have is it more than neccessary? or what?

  3. Mishka Zena Says:

    Whoa! $17.04 per min? That amounts over $1,000 an hour. I find that pretty exhoribant. I can understand with the start up operating and financing of new technology, etc. But is there justification for maintaining such high expenses nowadays? Normally as years progress, technology becomes cheaper.

  4. Jay Says:

    You are hot on their trail. There are some business practices I questioned (maybe to be discussed later), but having a monopoly are destined to crumble in the long run. As soon as other VRS providers come up with their own video phone devices, it will be very interesting watching VRS really compete based on their quality, customer service and others that does not revolve around VP-200 itself. When D-Link died out, and by default, we flock to Sorenson just because they had the latest devices for us. I am excited to see increasing competition, which is the beauty that free America has to offer us, which tends to stablize prices, better equipment, better service, or they will simply fade away and die out.

    I will watch this dialogue closely.

    Amy, you came back with, as usual, a big BANG. Maybe that is the big bang theory, eh? Chuckling.

  5. Janis Says:

    I have to wonder if the increasing likelihood of video cellphones isn’t going to impact their business model … I don’t think there is necessarily a clear link between the possibility of good-quality video cell calls in the near future and this exact request for activism by Surenson, but I do wonder if the inevitable concern isn’t impacting their business decisions and model behind the scenes, in a broad-stroke way. If so, I wonder how. Hm.

  6. IamMine Says:

    Exactly how I’ve been feeling, Amy!!!

    I even got in touch with a friend on how to find more information on them… and I’m trying to look for their annual report and have my accounting instructor who’s also a CPA to interpret their data.

    But I haven’t been able to find their annual report… yet. Sigh.

    Also, I want to add that they are ALSO discriminating deaf people!

    Here in Michigan, they REFUSED to hire deaf people who applied for higher level of management positions!

    The deaf who are black? DOUBLE DISCRIMINATION!

    You’d think they would be providing MORE JOB OPPORTUNITIES for the deaf especially those with degrees?!!!

    While it’s “not” their fault for stealing the top interpreters because who, in their right minds, wouldn’t want better pay with FULL benefits interpreting, but they did NOTHING for the deaf people who complained about the losing qualities of interpreters for colleges, job interviews, doctors, etc…

    Now they want us to cry for them?

    Not I.

    I have NOT sent the card back to them… nope.

  7. Rene Visco Says:

    The best way is to get rid of VP-100/200 and find better solutions for us to communicate with each other.

    That’s the tough part. Removing VP-100/200 devices will leverage other VRS providers into equal playing field.

    Again, we can create a powerful political force by dumping VP100/200 devices and use cheaper solutions like using freeware open source IM/video chat conference systems.

  8. NO NAME Says:

    First “deaf mute”, second “copying movie”, third “sign S & Y”, now “Sorenson/VRS”, what next? I think I want to become hearing!

  9. me Says:

    Thanks for doing this, Amy. We all know that Sorenson, HOVRS, and other relay services are taking away interpreters from working outside in the community.

    This fact, in my opinion, shows how VRS companies are creating a class divide in terms of access to qualified interpreters in our community. To have VRS, what must we have? Technology and high-speed internet. Do we all have the prerequisites to access VRS? No. Those with money usually do and those without usually don’t. Now, if qualified ‘terps are flocking to VRS companies because of benefits, good pay, et cetera, then aren’t VRS companies, by extension, removing access from a segment of our community, therefore creating a class divide?

    For this reason alone, I’m perfectly fine with VRS rates being reduced. Let ‘em reduce the rates. Force the companies to have to compete with local interpreting agencies. Let the pool of interpreters become more equitable and balanced.

    Go ahead, FCC. Please do reduce VRS rates.

  10. Dianrez Says:

    Let’s not forget that the massive influx of money has created the videophone technology and software in the first place and the service that has made the TTY obsolete overnight.

    It may be reasonable to reduce the money, but I wonder if that will halt the progress of research? Neat as the VP is, is it completely developed and versatile enough? Is it freely available to all the deaf people who could use it? No, the fact remains that most deaf people do not have it due to cable being too expensive or the network not developed enough.

    Already gaps are forming. I haven’t been able to get a technician to come to my home for months and my VP service has been broken for as long. When I used my webcam the last few times, the wait for the interpreter was so long that I gave up and used the TTY on the internet.

    Let’s have a Deaf community overseer to monitor the videophone funds and make sure it is going where it should–to service and to research. And to train more interpreters

  11. Sorry to tell you Says:

    The Sorenson Company does not own SorensonVRS anymore. It sold this VRS business to the investment company in Chicago. 17.04 per min is the past. Right now it is something like 6.48 per min.

  12. Kate Says:

    I don’t mean to butt my stupid hearie nose in, but I guess I will butt my stupid hearie nose in…

    There is a lot of talk about training new interpreters, but aren’t new interpreters the ones that really suck? I mean, they don’t have practice, aren’t qualified…it takes a LONG TIME for most people to become good. There isn’t a lot of talk about interpreter retention though. Incentives to KEEP the good interpreters working. I have heard that a lot of people simply burn out of interpreting. Why is this?

    It has been so interesting to hear all of your perspectives about this issue over the past few months. I realized, as I decided I want to try to become an interpreter, that there is a lot of distrust and animosity on both sides. It’s too bad.

  13. abcohende Says:

    Sorry to tell you,

    That’s good to know that SorensonVRS is now independently owned business, to the investment company in Chicago. Which company is that?

    Remember, in the past, it was Sorenson Companies/Sorenson Media who helped to build the firmware and mass produced the videophones at the first place.

    Yes, the rate of 17.04 dollars was in the past, and it slowly reduced down to 13 dollars, then 9 dollars, then 8, 7, then 6.48 — and the possible threat is under 5 dollars.

    If you know so much about Sorenson, then why cannot they produce their annual report? Or why cannot they provide hard data how these rates can affect them? Why they are spending so much money to notify the public to inform FCC to not cut rates? Then, the irony of this, Sorenson filed a motion to dismiss other VRS companies about hiring intepreters who no longer working with Sorenson?

    Is Sorenson is trying to be monopolistic?

    I question their business tactics, which is ingenious at the best, which made them as the top performer. Good for them!

    Then how would Sorenson is able to respond to increasing number of consumer complaints?

    Granted, that Sorenson have done so much to the community, and yet, something is little bit fishy.

    Did you realize that what happened at this moment, that Sorenson is the first company who did the ‘videophone’ spamming???? Sending out the short videoclip to all of the VP users pleading us to let FCC know? Is it legal?

    That is news to me, and it is like an unwelcome telephone marketing tool! Gosh! It is outrageous!

    Is it legal for them to do that? Makes me wonder…

    I still think it is an invasion of my privacy, to have a company like Sorenson calling me at my home, with video plea…

    Amy Cohen Efron

  14. Richard Roehm Says:

    Bravo another new front for the Sorenson beehive!

    Thumbs up.

    Richard

  15. CDC Says:

    Amy,

    I am so glad that you brought it up because it has been bothering me for a while, but I don’t have a gut to do the videoclip. Thanks! I am dying to find out how much Sorenson VRS has been earning and how much it has spent to help the Deaf Communities. I am waiting for the hard data, too.

    Concerned Deaf Consumer

  16. Mishka Zena Says:

    There was a record of Sorsenson call in my vp. I was like huh? Why would Sorsenson be calling me? I was irritated, feeling like it was a ‘videomarketer’ call and immediately deleted it. However, I never got the videomail and didn’t know what it was all about until your vlog. I didn’t appreciate their using my private phone number for spamming.

  17. David Says:

    WORD! The quality of Sorenson customer service is getting poor.

    I wondered who paid for all free VP 100/200 for all of us? That has to be worth $200-400 therefore Sorenson can afford to cover it for us. Wonder???

    Interestingly idea, Rene. :) I don’t know how much impact on all deaf people who became heavily addicted using VP. I know my friend would scream b/c they so rely on VP everyday.

    Amy, how long have you worked for WA Deaf School? Just curiousity b/c your face/name seemed to be familiar.

  18. Fred Says:

    I am glad you’re making waves! Good thinking also.
    I have my surfboard and ride the wild waves!

    Way to go!

    Sorenson, we better hear from you soon!!

  19. Ken Rose Says:

    I think VRS is very soon to become Dinosaur technolgy, like the TTY and Sorenson knows it. I give it 5 years TOPS. Keeping qualified Terps locked in a BOX somewhere to thank Grandma for the Cookies is really ridiculous.

    They have the best VRS and they know it. So it’s in their interests to try to KILL OFF new technology, so they can maintain their near MONOPOLY.

    That’s why they spent millions to create their TEMPLE to THEMSELVES at Gallaudet. Please, oh please, Deaf people, worship our soon-to-be-outdated technology!

    With the ADA forcing the government to foot most of the bill for VRS, it makes sense for the Feds to crack the whip on Sorenson. They did great with VRS, but they have to make the NEXT step.

    Like an automatic speech converter that makes an e-mail, Blackberry or text message be heard over an ordinary phone line as speech, then converts the verbal response as text to the other device.

    Aw, crap! Give me a five-minute meeting with STEVE JOBS and Sorenson is HISTORY!!!

  20. Peachlady Says:

    Sorenson reminds me of Microsoft!

  21. Todd Says:

    Sorenson does not give back to the Deaf community and its time for us to turn our eyes to a Deaf owned VRS service such as CSDVRS!

  22. Karen Mayes Says:

    Yes, that crossed my mind several times when I heard that the FCC said it would charge whatever and I did wonder where Sorenson got lots of money (relay operators have higher wages than regular interpreters, SLCC, etc…) I will keep a close eye on this, I’d be interested in seeing how much Sorenson make and how much S spends etc…my husband who worked as a Sorenson installer/trainer in Rochester, NY for a year did tell me that he had a few questions on how S. got money but he was brushed off, being told to mind his business as the trainer… that was two years ago.

  23. Fred Says:

    It’s very interesting message and very hot issue out there… Ms. Cohen, you might not realize that the private company doesn’t require disclosing the financial information. So do other VRS competitors are not required to obligate to disclose their financial as well…

    Please be aware that Jim Sorenson, Sr donated over 5 million dollars to Gallaudet University from his pocket, not from Sorenson Communications. You need to be aware of that before you backlash at Sorenson Communications. Please be careful with what you are saying…

    That’s correct about Sorenson Communications being merged to another company GCTR, I think, in Chicago as they owns 51 percent of that company while Sorenson Communications own 49%. I am not sure if that’s the correct information but that’s what I heard…

    What I see that Sorenson Communications is doing what they think the best of interests of all of us, VRS competitors. Sorenson Communications doesn’t want to see other VRS companies being closing due to VRS rate cut down. Sorenson Communications wants to have all VRS competitors to maintain their business as normal operation as much as possible to prevent them from doing the monopolizing.

    As for interpreters, there will be always shortage no matter how hard we want it to be… Basically I believe VRS is the best thing that ever happens to us… As I recall in getting an interpreter for any purpose meetings or appointments. It would take a month to make a schedule appointment. With VRS, you would call via interpreter within less a few minutes. You can talk through the interpreters for a few minutes to a few hours if you like as there are no limitations…

    Ms. Cohen, regardless your challenge with Sorenson Communications is becoming futile because Sorenson Communications did the right thing and you can find the money how it spends via http://www.neca.org/source/NECA_Home.asp as they have documented the VRS rate for past years and how it is spent… You can research on this matte on your own…

    It is not an issue that Sorenson Communications being distribute the video spamming… I believe Sorenson Communications has the legal department to check out the appropriate on how to distribute the information.

    I must admit that Sorenson Communications is one of the best companies that ever happen to us because if not for them, we would still be a hermit with a web cam, yuck!

    So out of respectfully, please do not pinpoint Sorenson Communications as they have done a lot for us individually and the Deaf/Hard of hearing Communities with their support.

    I will be always on their backbone regardless what you think of Sorenson Communications.

  24. Lois Says:

    Amy,
    Is there any way to force Sorenson to be compatible with D-Link using both IP# & phone # instead of phone # only?
    Lois

  25. Judge Says:

    Amy,

    We, the Deaf/deaf people, must thank Sorenson for enhancing our lives by having the equipment at the most comfortable level rather than using the ‘puter with webcams or etc. It made alot difference for the seniors, visually impaired, etc..

    I am glad that you challenge the Sorenson!

    FCC expects the VRS to be the “SERVICE” company not “in-for-money” company.

    There is difference between the phone companies and Sorenson.

    The phone companies, by the law, are *NOT* allowed to use the phone directory for their political gain! Unfortunately, Sorenson does!

    Please take a look on
    http://puredeaf.blogspot.com/2007/05/vrs.html
    Then, look at the Judge’s response.

    Also, one anonymous posted the message on same website about VRSCA’s representatives making money ($40,000) each (three of ‘em). Someone “confirmed” this message by sending me a private message saying that they supposedly make $57,000 (perhaps including bonus) each. (Sorry, i can’t enclose the person’s message.)

    Very sad to see that Sorenson is taking advantage on deaf people.

    Way to go Amy!

    Judge

  26. abcohende Says:

    Fred,

    See my responses in italics…

    It’s very interesting message and very hot issue out there… Ms. Cohen, you might not realize that the private company doesn’t require disclosing the financial information. So do other VRS competitors are not required to obligate to disclose their financial as well…

    Ahh….private companies does not require to disclose the financial information? How interesting! Why not? FCC is our taxpayer’s money, and I’d really like to see how this money was spent.

    Please be aware that Jim Sorenson, Sr donated over 5 million dollars to Gallaudet University from his pocket, not from Sorenson Communications.

    First of all, that is very generous of James LeVoy Sorenson to give this donation to Gallaudet University. Common Sense prevails that this person like Jim LeVoy Sorenson (not Senior..) reaped some profits from his company, which is rather very huge. My big question is that what is the motivation of Mr. Sorenson to give so much money to Gallaudet University in return for what? It was my understanding that the one of the first memos written by I. King Jordan that this donation was used to build the new building to help with interpreter training programs for VRS industry. It is all about “I’ll scratch your back, and you’ll do mine…”

    You need to be aware of that before you backlash at Sorenson Communications. Please be careful with what you are saying…

    Oooooo… would you be kind to tell me what do you mean by be careful with what I am saying? Backlash? All I am asking is to provide hard data how would the reduction of VRS rates can affect Sorenson. Just tell us, is it a possible reduction of outreach services (or elimination?), reduction of interpreter training programs for VRS, or reduction of installation /technical support? How that can be difficult for Sorenson to outline the possible effects, and if they don’t profit from that… just tell us simply. A honest company who utilizes FCC money, should be transparent with the community at large.

    That’s correct about Sorenson Communications being merged to another company GCTR, I think, in Chicago as they owns 51 percent of that company while Sorenson Communications own 49%. I am not sure if that’s the correct information but that’s what I heard…

    Interesting that you confirmed the fact, as do other commenter, and I did some checking online, and here is a link : GTCR Announcement about their agreement to invest Sorenson Then, if that information is true for the investment company owns 51 percent of share, then they really making lots of profits eh? Also, I am wondering about the hiring practices. Only one person at the highest level is Deaf, named
    Ronald C. Burdett, who is one of the vice presidents, specializing in Community Relations. Community Relations, my arse!

    What I see that Sorenson Communications is doing what they think the best of interests of all of us, VRS competitors. Sorenson Communications doesn’t want to see other VRS companies being closing due to VRS rate cut down. Sorenson Communications wants to have all VRS competitors to maintain their business as normal operation as much as possible to prevent them from doing the monopolizing.

    How sweet… if Sorenson is truly a leader of the VRS industry, and maybe they need to clean up their image teeny weeny bit..

    As for interpreters, there will be always shortage no matter how hard we want it to be… Basically I believe VRS is the best thing that ever happens to us… As I recall in getting an interpreter for any purpose meetings or appointments. It would take a month to make a schedule appointment. With VRS, you would call via interpreter within less a few minutes. You can talk through the interpreters for a few minutes to a few hours if you like as there are no limitations…

    Oh my god, did you ever realize that when I am at the appointment, I cannot use the VRS to get interpreting services in the same room with my doctor? That is the VRI (Video Relay Interpreting) function, and who is footing the bill? Me? Or the doctor’s office? Sorenson does not work as quite hard to ‘advertise’ their VRI services to the general public as an option for hiring an interpreter through technological means, instead of hiring a freelance interpreter? Come on… we don’t live in our homes forever, and we need to get out to get services at their place of business, then it is a moot point for us to use VRS to do the VRI-type service? Come on!

    Ms. Cohen, regardless your challenge with Sorenson Communications is becoming futile because Sorenson Communications did the right thing and you can find the money how it spends via http://www.neca.org/source/NECA_Home.asp as they have documented the VRS rate for past years and how it is spent… You can research on this matte on your own…

    Yippeee… thank you for referencing this source, and I’ll check it out…and will do the checking. I admire your loyalty to Sorenson, and I recognize their business strategies, effective it may be, and yet, they can do bit more by being responsive to our issues, plus be transparent as well.

    It is not an issue that Sorenson Communications being distribute the video spamming… I believe Sorenson Communications has the legal department to check out the appropriate on how to distribute the information.

    I still feel that it is an invasion of my privacy for a large corporation to call my own home, to ‘videomarket’ their concerns and asking for support. Sorenson is the first who did that – with the mass videomarketing, and now I fear for the precedent they may cause for other companies who may will want to catch on that… oh gosh… horrors!

    I must admit that Sorenson Communications is one of the best companies that ever happen to us because if not for them, we would still be a hermit with a web cam, yuck!

    How that different from being a hermit with a videophone? Several people had complained that their VP100’s are breaking down, and they are waiting for their replacements… then that kind of inconvenience really made us HERMITS! Some people had to resort to webcam or using text relay while waiting for their replacement. Is there something wrong with this picture, eh, Fred?

    So out of respectfully, please do not pinpoint Sorenson Communications as they have done a lot for us individually and the Deaf/Hard of hearing Communities with their support.

    and for you personally? I believe so. I don’t defute this part of argument, and all I am challenging Sorenson is to be TRANSPARENT with us. How simple is that?

    I will be always on their backbone regardless what you think of Sorenson Communications.

    Good for ya, then can you tell Sorenson yourself to clean up their image someway, somehow, and start being honest with all of us? Simply said.

    Fred, thank you for your time to write this out, and it shows that you care about Sorenson. Remember, it is my job to bring attention from the community to start speaking up our gripes about Sorenson, and other VRS companies. VRS companies need improve their services and start creating innovative products as soon as possible to keep up with the pace of ever-changing technology. Lastly, thank you everyone who made these comments! Pass this vlog to your friends…

    Amy Cohen Efron

  27. White Ghost Says:

    Hey Girl!

    I believe that Sorenson and other contractors HAVE to report the budget lines to the FCC. However, the Sorenson SHOULD have mailed to all of us the annual reports. (Those of us who owned the Sorenson model should have gotten the annual reports from Sorenson.)

    Since you challenged this vlog to the Sorenson gang, it will impact other contractors such as Sprint to take some actions against FCC. However, the Sorenson and other contractors might have to testify the FCC and other meetings at the Captial Hill.

    Politics can be filthy, duh. I feel like I wanna to run away from all the politics!

    White Ghost

  28. JS Says:

    Keep fighting! I let you know that we do want this service in UK but there is none. the government won’t pay for the free video relay service. However, I always love to watch your other vlogs especially with Gallaudet Protest! These are fanastic!

  29. Aaron Valentine Says:

    Go, Amy, go!

    There is nothing wrong with your challenge. It’s neccessary!

    My eyes are on this one!

  30. Good Luck Says:

    Sorenson VRS is our enemy, They are owned by an Equity company, (also known as a Venture Capitalist), Those type of company only have one GOAL, BIGGEST PROFIT MARGIN AS POSSIBLE.

    FCC is trying to ensure that the cost does not get overblown, and make sure of proper profit margin, instead of outrageous profit margin that Sorenson VRS is creating for themselves.

    From what I understand, the true cost for SorensonVRS to provide VRS service is NOT EVEN $4.00 per minute because of their company’s background. While the OTHER VRS companies cost exceeds 5-6 dollars easily due to start up funds such as Research and Development Dept. (that is the most expensive department for any VRS provider) Sorenson VRS took advantage of that because of existing R&D Dept. they had already.

    FCC is trying to ensure it does NOT spend too much money on a certain company who will make their bottom line (PROFIT) jack rocket.

    Sorenson VRS is actively pushing this issue because they want the MOST profit for themselves. NOT BECAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY LIKE YOU AND WE DO.

    You may claim Sorenson VRS gives back to the community, I consider their “giving back” to the community issue as a HUGE JOKE. They are brainwashing the Deaf Community with false hope, misleading facts and manipulation of VRS services.

    You have to realize that at the current moment, there is about 8 million minutes used per MONTH on VRS, Sorenson is claiming about 85-90% of the market so lets say 85% of 8 million is 6.8 million minutes per month. Currently FCC rate is $6.644, lets do the math.. it comes to incredibly HIGH rate of $ 45,179,200.00 PER MONTH , again THAT is FORTY FIVE MILLION ONE HUNDRED SEVENTY NINE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS a month.

    Be realistic will you, Sorenson Says they have about 60 call center and average about 30 interpreters per center So that’s 8-10 million dollars for interpreters, 4.5-6 million for the call centers and maybe 3 million for the corporate office that comes to about 20 million dollars a month. Sorenson VRS is looking at about 15-20 MILLION dollars profit a MONTH.

    NOW add that into a YEAR that’s roughly $180 million dollars a year profit margin, they claim to give back to the community. HOW MUCH???

    From what I heard its not even 10 million dollars a YEAR total for the community.

    Therefore SORENSON VRS is our number one enemy! We need to speak out and stand up for our rights not to be MANIPULATED by a profit seeking company.

    One other thing to think about, WHY is VRSCA actively endorisng what SorensonVRS is doing? probably because SorensonVRS pays their board of director in the amount of $40,000 plus per year EACH. Yes, EACH including Donalda Ammons, Gertie Galloway, Larry Fleschier recieves OVER $ FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS, ($40,000) A YEAR just to be on their so called “voluntary” board committee. WHAT A JOKE!

    Thank you

  31. Oscar the Observer Says:

    I just checked my Missed Calls list and THERE I found “Help Save VRS – SaveVRS.soren” on 06/07/2007 at 5:52p!

    What the heck is that ip address!? It looks too much like a spamming ‘number’!

  32. Oscar the Observer Says:

    Then I just now clicked on it and ALL I got was a recorded message instead of Customer Service where I can ask questions. Huh? Is that normal?

  33. Jared Evans Says:

    There’s nothing wrong with making a profit in the American capitalism system. This is why we have a lot of competition in field of VRS providers in the first place- it’s the potential for profit. This shouldn’t be an issue at all and a sign of a healthy industry.

    Sorenson has no legal obligation to release their internal information to the public if they are a private entity with no public stock offering. The risk is theirs alone to bear and not placed upon the public stockholders.

    However, they are asking Deaf consumers to get in touch with the government to keep the reimbursement rates up or else the VRS quality may suffer. If you look at this request from the perspective of a US taxpayer, you would want to know that it is indeed worth the higher taxes to pay and make sure that the companies are able to continue to offer quality VRS services for the Deaf.

    I agree that the company could be a bit more transparent to meet the information requests of the taxpayers. Maybe they have already made some information public to FCC but we haven’t seen this. However, I don’t think they should be required to divulge all their intimate business data which could be exploited by their competition.

    This is not about abuse of the Deaf- they are providing us a professional and public service that is of a great benefit to our lives. It is not cheap to ensure quality service.

    Do you know what the other VRS companies have to say about the possible rate cut?

  34. abcohende Says:

    Hi Jared,

    Okay, as a private entity who reaped money from FCC – and I’d like to have an access to information how this money was spent. Not only for Sorenson alone, I also would like to see how other VRS companies do the same too.

    If, I am unable to see how they do with their money, for legal reasons – that’s fine with me. All I am asking Sorenson to clean up their image teeny weeny bit.

    I picked Sorenson, because they made the first move by calling us with their videomarketing technique – a videomail for all of us to watch about FCC threatening to cut some rates. That is a lot of money/effort for them to do that.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  35. Aaron Valentine Says:

    Update:

    Interesting, I received “The Federal Communications Commission is threatening drastic VRS cutbacks which severely impact you” bronchure or postcard, whatever you call it from VRSCA.

    Now I wonder how much more money they spend on those cards and staffs to “videomarketing” deaf people. Boy, they must be desperate.

  36. Jean Boutcher Says:

    Sorenson is a Capitali$t.
    All Capaitali$sts shrug.
    To understand more about Capitalism,
    read Anti-Altruist Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”.

  37. White Ghost Says:

    Jared,

    Well, per the telephone bill, we, the USA citizens have paid about 10 cents per month. That is where it goes to the relay funds.

    My gut feeling is that the 10 cents per month are not enough to the FCC’s perspective. The reason why the FCC have to make the threats to the VRS.

    In my opinion, I think the FCC will be forced to increase the $$$$ for us to pay for the VRS.

    We’ll see what happens.

    White Ghost

  38. Peachlady Says:

    To Fred,

    You said “I must admit that Sorenson Communications is one of the best companies that ever happen”.

    What about the interpreters who works for the Sorenson?

    I must admit I am not that happy with some of the interpreters at Sorenson. My deaf husband refused to use Sorenson because he was uncomfortable with some of the interpreters. Some of them can’t understand my husband. He uses pure ASL.

    I use Sprint Video Relay at work. Federal Government signed a contract with Sprint. I am so comfortable with the (sprint)interpreters. Sprint did a good job with the hiring of interpreters.

    Something is wrong with Sorenson? Did Sorenson hire any interpreter who applied for the job?

    I have not tried the other video relay services.

    Peachlady

  39. Aidan Mack Says:

    Amy, please remove my first comment due to many grammar errors. I would like to use this final letter. Thanks Aidan

    Dear VRS Companies, Interpreters, and Agencies,

    Firstly, I wanted to thank each of you for making sure Deaf and Hearing community will be able to communicate through translators. I appreciate your hard work.

    I must say that Amy has a good point. We Deaf people need to get involved in the VRS community in order to make our interpreting service’s costs are not a burden to the Deaf and Hearing community’s economic values. We value the reputation or our Deaf community. Anything that is a burden to the hearing community will not affect you but it will AFFECT the Deaf community. I wanted to make sure our taxpayers are not burdened by Hearing and Deaf needs. I am sorry to say but I suspect you charge very unreasonable price. As Amy said we need to see the Data Report. If companies like apple provide data reports, why can’t you?

    Why do so many people complain that the costs of interpreting service are unbearable? We as Deaf people have a right to be concerned about them. As I see it, they feel burdened by your expenses. The Deaf community has a right to know how much you all charge people for interpreting service including VRS, freelance interpreters, and agencies.

    I notice VRS/Agencies/Free Lancer interpreters, and interpreting requesters do not share their cost agreements with Deaf people. I feel strongly that Deaf people should have access to this information.

    In closing, May I request of copy our most recent Annual Report? I will also be writing to FCC to request an explanation of why they have decided to cut the funding.

    A solution to this problem can only be possible with full and clear communication between all parties.

    Sincerely,

    Aidan Mack

  40. VRS Advocate Says:

    For VRS consumers:

    Q. I received a postcard from VRSCA and I would like to send the reply card, which was included to the FCC. However, I noticed that the FCC’s mailing address on the Web site is different from the one on the card I have. Will my reply card get sent to the FCC?

    A. Yes. All of the reply cards that are sent in are actually hand delivered directly to the FCC. The VRSCA organization tried to make it very easy for anyone to send in their own comments to the FCC. The reason for the differences in addresses is because a business reply was used on the postcard so that stamps would not be needed. Please be assured that your reply card will be delivered directly to the FCC. If you would like to use your own postage/stamps, just use the address posted below.

    RE: CG Docket No. 03-123
    Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
    445 Twelfth Street SW
    Washington, DC 20554

    Secondly, please feel free to learn more about VRSCA by visting this link- http://www.vrsca.org/faq.php.

  41. Jmillersoftball Says:

    Amy,

    You should say “I challenge you, FCC instead of I challenge you, Sorenson.

    The FCC is responsible because they are threatening drastic VRS cutbacks to reduce the rate based on minutes for Video Relay Companies.

    there is expensive to spend $$ to let Video Relay Companies are expanding.

    I remind you that Sorenson has patent rights for to develop videophone for deaf people.

    Sorenson did help for deaf people to have videophone due to quality of life and communication barriers.

    Sorenson did help to set up a VRSCA to protect the consumers’s rights about VRS. It is not about Sorenson. it is about to protect losing more best interpreters for VRS and consumer’s rights issue.

    It is very hard to find highest quality of interpreters. They spend a lot of $$$ to get an interpreter certificate.

    I am glad that video relay companies are growing because They are attempting to get more quality of interpreters.

    Come back to FCC Issue,

    FCC should know about Deaf Rights under ADA Law, hard to find highest quality of interpreters to work for VRS, and paying bills.

    Deaf People uses videophone to depend on interpreter, and to must pay Electric as such as (without electric, you cannot use the videophone) and and pay more $ to upgrade upload speed to clear more picture on videophone on the internet as such as (without internet, you cannot use the videophone.

    Hearing People uses their wireless phone that they do not need to use electric, interpreter, and internet.

    I do not see that FCC did submit the annual report about overpaying $$ to VRS companies:

    To pay $$ rate of minutes for interpreters.

    Ratio numbers of interpeters to consumers who use video relay service.

    It does not make sense to me because

    FCC did order VRS Companies to reduce the waiting time for Interpeter to answer your call.

    Now, They are threatening toward VRS cutbacks to reduce the rate $ to cause and disassemble VRS Consumers’s rights.

    It is time to focus on FCC instead of Sorenson.

    I know that you have many excellent valid points about Sorenson but we need to focus on our VRS consumers’s right.

    Readers,

    I respect Amy’s rights to voice about Sorenson.

    It is great idea to encourage VRS companies to compete to recruit more interpreters with highest quality but they are depending on FCC.

    Sorenson is not the powerful tool for us.

    VRS Consumers are the powerful tool for us because:

    In the past, VRS Consumers were depending on some VRS Companies to provide free videophones.

    Now, VRS Companies are depending on numbers of Consumers because they already have the videopones and FCC for funds to use Video relay service.

    Please check on http://www.vrsca.org/

    Amy,

    I am very glad that I did learn alot about your different comments.

    Enjoy your worth time to read. (Smile)

    Peace of Mind,

    Jmillersoftball

  42. Wesona Says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! AMY,

    I have been feeling such as what you feel. Sorenson controlled Deaf Community at beginning —-WHY??? due to money issue—-to make a huge profit from FCC by seeing how many Deaf People use VRS to its own only not share===

    Now Closed Captioned cut off why??? why??? due to over paid to SORENSON business?????

    Yeah===about DLINK and SORENSON need to get thru easily either using IP and Phone numbers.

    May GOD BLESSING and HELPING all of us into a one piece

  43. Katherine Says:

    One problem I have is that many times we jump on the topic and we do not know full information and assume things, point finger and then start bad gossip. Actually, many interpreters with Sorenson and other vrs DO work in the community, too. Their skills increase because they get more experience with tough situations. It is very tough to interpret through TV – not same as in person. Also, vrs interpreters are from all over US and the calls come from all over US and many signs not same in all places in USA. Give them a break. Many times we do not understand that we cant sign fast on video or we not know about colors that mess up the picture, etc. All affect qulality of picture the interpreter sees. SOrenson does not hire unskilled terps. They have high requirements. It is hard to learn how to do everything at once so a skilled interp may be new to vrs. Also, FCC has rules for how fast to answer phones – so Sorenson has to have enough terps to meet the conditions or requirements. Not easy. We do not understand everythng about how it works. I think need to give Sorenson a break. No one is perfect. Terps take call after call after call and all kind situations and people. Very stressful job. If u do not understand or match terp, ask to get new terp and they will be glad to do for you, too. Need to make sure FCC knows we need all our services, including video relay. Just my two cents worth.

  44. Joan T. Horak Says:

    please please support FCC and no no no cut and we need that service no no remove and keep and support that

  45. Beverly Armstrong Says:

    I sat down and looked the phone bill and found that in USA have to pay FCC likely small pay say .08 cents or more depend on state. Where the monies goes to?? I know FCC are variety programs is Sorenson part in FCC? THanks

  46. James Cartledge Says:

    Hi Amy, I didn’t see ya for a long time. By the way, FYI: Sorenson Co donated VP-200(I’m not sure how many VP-200 are) to Texas School for the Deaf. I just wonder where their funds come from?? Did they receive the funds from other company(ies)?? from government grants?? I support you that we all(members of VP), need to know what hard data shows. Wait and see what happened to you and Sorenson very soon. Hopefully, Sorenson or FCC reply back to you. Thumb Up!!! James

  47. Jimactor Says:

    Hi Amy
    It’s nice to see u again I admire ur guts I always enjoy to read ur comments

  48. HOVRS #1 Says:

    Move over to HOVRS! and dump sorenson

  49. Ken Rose Says:

    Capitalism thrives only where COMPETITION thrives. A lot of “Free Market” capitalists don’t see that it is in every company’s best interests to ELIMINATE competition and establish a MONOPOLY.

    The ability to convert Text to Speech is widely available. (STANDARD on a Mac.) The ability to convert Speech to Text is less reliable. But it seems the ability for a Deaf Person to send text to a standard phone and have the person on the receiving end receive computer-generated speech and for the Hearing person respond in Speech and have the Deaf Person receive the text can only be a few years away.

    Thus ELIMINATING the need for VRS.

  50. Just Jodi Says:

    Its time for the DEAF TO UNITE,, and e mail Sorenson and challenge them like Amy did,, If they can afford a mass video mailing .. then they can afford to READ each e mail or video mail that is challenging Sorenson ..
    In Europe we do not have access to VP,, or RELAY services,, so consider yourself lucky to have any access at all,,
    I am over in Holland cheering and rooting for each and every one of you fighting against these TECHNOLOGY giants for the deaf ( ie SORENSON)
    I feel no sympathy for them ( Sorenson) they do not want to pay any thing OUT,, they want to contiune making a profit off of deafness,,
    I too totally agree with AMY show us the DATA and PROOF that FCC will cause you SORENSON hardship, then we may consider it…
    AMY THANKS FOR POSTING THIS,, ALL THOSE COMMENTORS SHOULD TURN AROUND AND CHALLENGE SORENSON AS WELL for proof:-)
    You rock Amy !!!!!!!!!!

  51. Barbara c. Bentley Says:

    THAT TRUE…SORENSON GIVE TO DEAF PERSON IS FREE SO STOP MONEYWAR TO FCC…INTERPTER FOR THE DEAF PERSON NO CHARGE SERVIE SORENSORE.I HOPE SO ALRIGHT OF ALL AND GOD BLESS ON US…..GOOOOD LUCK

  52. Charles M. Greer Says:

    It really is so important for the world of deaf people to understand better. We must have an interpreter at anywhere so we can understand clearly.
    We would appreciate that so much. God’s Blessings!

  53. Bryan Says:

    I don`t understand …. All deaf americans
    are pay as taxes. used “sorenson”.
    IF closed a sorenson. all deaf american can lawsuit to
    F.c.c. better be careful it to F.C.C
    very worth it about sorerson !!!!!!!!

    don`t give up….

    Pride Little Native Indian,
    Bryan.,

    Good Luck !

  54. f.b Says:

    whoa , wait am minute that amy cohen said that. that is not right if soreson gonna pay that, no way they cant afford it. it only sorenson pay emplyment to do job if sorensonvrs is cutting down from fcc. yu guy have to sign petiton against fcc. sorenson is not gonna pay all the money. that is suppose to do job as it.i am not challenge yu. amy cohen make up idea .she is troulbemaker to hurt there companies.

  55. Ange cheverez Says:

    I agree and we all need sorenson for most important.

  56. James Cartledge Says:

    Hi Amy,

    SORENSON HUMPTY DUMPTY

    – When Sorenson Video was invented for the DEAF to communicate visually, it has been a great BOON!

    -Then just because VIDEO is invented for the Deaf, the Video interpreters step in.

    – Because “video” or “see” interpreters are in use (really not a must for the DEAF to use 95%), $$$$ trickled into torrent – very costly to pay for interpreter training to use Sign Language, to pay for interpreter transportation, hotels to accommodate interpreters in training, to pay $6.644 for Video Interpreter like what Ed points out, so on and on.

    – The DEAF each gets a nice little black box, a router and a modem only once, then uses it 95-98% to talk visually with their friends. The technicians do their jobs, setting them up at homes once and then moving on to next house.

    – The Deaf use Video interpreters 5 %. Do the Deaf use VI 95% ?????

    – Which does the Deaf use Video Sorenson the MOST – their friends or relatives or VInterpreters?

    – Therefore very expensive Video interpreting service is hurting the Deaf. In old days relay service through TDD did not require such expensive, intensive training because any hearing person can just read what the Deaf say and talk to Hearing person – like Russian, Japanese, Mexican interpreters with their first language used and NO need for expensive training how to “sign” and NO expensive travel costs and NO expensive offices to be built to accommodate the Video interpreters.

    – Video interpreters fight to save VRS. Why? They do not want to lose their golden egg.

    – It all boils down to Sorenson Video is made for the DEAF to use 95 or more % and it is not costly. Deaf uses interpreters 5% or less and it’s very costly like Ed shows.

    -Without Video interpreters, the DEAF can be still blessed to use Sorenson Video.

    – Therefore Sorenson Humpty Dumpty sat on the Video wall
    l Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
    All Deaf and Expensive Interpreting Video
    Cannot put Sorenson Humpty Dumpty together again.

    – Which comes first – the DEAF or the “video” interpreters?

    James

  57. Bobo Says:

    Amy, I strongly agreed with u about hard data from Sorenson and FCC about rates.

  58. CODA VRS INTERPRETER Says:

    I highly respect each and every one of your opinions. I just wanted to stop in and say I pay very close attention to these topics not only because I happen to be a VRS Interpreter (specific company to remain nameless), but I also am an O.H.C.O.D.A. and use Sorenson VRS as a hearing caller, frequently considering myself and 2 cousins are the ONLY hearing people in our family. Everyone in our families use Sorenson VPs. My question is why is everyone attacking Sorenson. I wonder if you all have the hard core annual reports for all of the other companies and if so are they posted somewhere? Sorenson just happened to have put themeselves out there asking for you all to help in saving funding cuts for ALL VRS.. not just Sorenson themselves. An earlier comment stated that the other companies are in danger of being put out because of Sorenson’s actions, what will this FCC funding cut do to the smaller VRS companies? Will this cut not also hurt them? As far as VIs qualifications, this is partially your responsibility as deaf consumers to NOTE the VI’s # or ID and report this to the company they work for. There is no need to be rude about it but note their identity, ask for another interpreter and then notify what that VI needed to work on and report it! How can any one person improve if they don’t know where the problem is?!?! In closing this comment which happened to be much longer than I expected I want to make it VERY clear I understand both sides to the pendulum believe me! KUDOS N THANKS TO KATHERINE..
    Your beloved VRS Interpreter!

  59. Richard Roehm Says:

    I just picked this up while I was meeting some deafs on Bear Harbor, Maine for lunch this afternoon.

    A VRS company will start ‘membership accounts’ whereas a monthly or a yearly fee is used to maintain membership and pays 25 to 50 cents ‘co-payment’ per minute of VRS service. Non-members would be pay $1 to $2 per minute for the same thing.

    Now this is out, I want to see how the community reacts to an idea being explored.

    Richard

  60. abcohende Says:

    Richard,

    Rumors, rumors — if that company ever consider taking this route by charging their services with co-payment per minute. It won’t fly.

    Also, whomever didn’t send out the postcard from VRSCA, and their videophone will NOT be taken away.

    Any more rumors? Please wait until we all find out what FCC had decided on July 1st.

    Right now, we all need to let FCC know that we didn’t want to cut the rates, that will affect smaller VRS companies even more.

    We have approximately 17 smaller VRS companies and subcontractors altogether touching the FCC TRS pot, and it’ll go down to smaller numbers when FCC cuts the rate. Remember, the airline industry? It all started with a few airlines, and their flight fares were so high until the more little companies joined, with lower fares – such as $39 dollars one way, remember? It stimulates competition, and it helps other big companies to reduce their fares. But, the merge between two big companies, or one big company with a little airline (regional), or smaller airlines folded, now what is happening? Fewer airlines left, and their fares skyrocketed, along with increasing gas / fuel costs.

    Please keep in mind that any rumors about the VRS companies who ‘will’ or plan to do something that will take away our machines or making us pay for the service are not true.

    The only possible way that we “may” need to purchase our products – i.e. videophone or software to access VRS. That is something we need to be prepared when it happens. I support the idea of purchasing new products.

    Lastly, my message/vlog was primarily about asking for TRANSPARENCY from the VRS companies, and I am challenging Sorenson, because of the largest company who was and still is, most generous with contributions, donations, and support, plus the most aggressive one to be a part of the marketing plan, including asking us to contact FCC not to cut rates.

    Why Sorenson is concerned? How would rate reduction affect this company?

    I already know how the rate reduction will hurt smaller companies, no matter what.

    Sorenson? What might hurt them? Just wondering.

    Amy

  61. Cathy Says:

    What a bold! Keep your head high and your hands fly as well, Amy!

    Applause!
    Cathy

  62. Marcia Says:

    Hello ! I would like to talk to u and I really love vrs best than tdd. why, there is asl(america sign language) communication and more understand and face to face expression to understand clear! there tdd is very hard to understand for long and hard words that cause not understand and frustration! I dont like this tdd at all but I really love love love this VRS Best of world ! PLS dont cut it out! give us chance more time and more time we do love best vrs i keep begging u to stop cutting us out thanks!

  63. Tim Says:

    Nodding head and rolling eyes here… Hear this saying “Deaf people are like crabs stuck at the bottom of the buckets”. Each time someone (a crab) succeed or accomplish something you deafies (all the crabs at the bottom of the bucket) have to try and stop the others from getting out of the bucket! Yes I am deaf myself. I appraise CODA VRS INTERPRETER and support what he/she had to say. No need to be in denial we all find VRS very useful and helpful to our communication access to the outside world (out of the deaf world), however, I do know there’s some people out there that prefers to stay isolated and in their own “deaf world” (again all those crabs in the bucket). I will not come back and read or respond to anyone’s comments here because not into opening a can full of worms. Thumbs Up and Thank You to EVERY VRS providers. FCC needs to set a fair rate so every VRS providers can plan on their future and assure job availability to the interpreters!!! I rest my case.

  64. Erma Says:

    Hey,

    We support to EVERY VRS providers. FCC should stop to cut rates for VRS. Deaf people need to communite to VRS.

  65. butch Says:

    Hello Amy,

    Glad u brought this up. Last weekend I attended an interpreters’ conference. Most, if all, work for Sorenson. And, I don’t see many of them giving back to the Deaf Community, supporting its causes and arts. Lately, one friend said she will work for Sorenson but was told if she leaves the company, she could not work for another VP untll one year later. Is this democratic or pure totalitarianism (taking control to where others will not prosper or thrive)?.

    Good job, Amy! Keep up the challenges….

  66. f.b Says:

    hey amy,
    it no way that soreson pay to emplyement, understand. but some deaf are not working who can afford. if sorenson gonna tell yu all people to pay likke phone bills, but we are not to pay bill like phone,thinking about it ok. fcc must gonna pay that all fee. true story that sorenson paid donate to gaudellette for 1 million dollars not 5 million dollars

  67. abcohende Says:

    F.B.,

    Sorenson Legacy Foundation and Sorenson Media did donate Gallaudet University five million dollars in November 5, 2004 (see link: http://www.sorenson.com/press/press_release_full.php?pr_id=43), and additional one million dollars from Sorenson Communications in April 4, 2007 (see link: http://www.sorenson.com/press/press_release_full.php?pr_id=113)

    That brings to the total of six million dollars from Sorenson to Gallaudet.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  68. Jackson Says:

    Amy needs to get her facts straight. Many people agree with her because they do NOT know true facts. Why could not Amy contact Sorenson herself and do this work? She wants deaf to follow her and think she is leader for deaf. This seems that Amy want to cause trouble.

  69. abcohende Says:

    Jackson,

    I sent email and personally called for Mr. Ronald Burnett, Vice President of Community Relations of Sorenson Communications. I have not heard from him, yet, but I know I’ll be in touch with him soon.

    I will share with you after my contact with Mr. Burnett.

    I am in touch with several people who are involved with VRS industry, and most of them said that they are glad that these issues needs to be addressed, and keeping us informed.

    I am not taking away the VRS industry from you, and I am in very much support using VRS, because it is a life-changing moment for me too.

    It is important that we all are INFORMED consumers, and we need to ask questions, challenge the industry, and keep involved with the pace of the fast-changing technology.

    I am not afraid to speak up when I see that is not right, and I hope people do the same.

    Thank you, Jackson for your comments and if you do know some of true facts, please do share or correct my errors on the blog. We all need to be informed.

    Amy Cohen Efron

  70. Carrie McCarthy Says:

    when i just got home yesterday last night and i decide to check my video phone and it say missed calling and it say Help Save VRS -SaveVRS.Sorenson called at 5:00pm on June 8 , 2007 I have no idea why they called me . it look like spamming . what the hell ?????? why they call me for that savevrs. sorenson to help . Not my responilibly. it their responilibly to call everyone on videophone,without permission their videophone number to call everyone. they need to stop call on videophone try to bother everyone. thanks for your help.
    Carrie McCarthy

  71. Extreme VRS User Says:

    I don’t think you understand. Sorenson has provided many new jobs and given deaf and hoh people benefit of the doubt and allowed them to work as business people when they were previously not given that kind of opportunity by society in their lives. When you attack Sorenson, you’re basically attacking those honest, hard working DEAF and HoH (even hearing interpretesr) individuals raising their families and living their lives while working hard to keep up with our ever-increasing demand for Sorenson products and service.

    You’re just creating a cultural divide for us and irrationally looking for flaws. It is pointless. Yes, we know it makes you feel like you’re doing something meaningful and helps boost publicity for yourself, as well as pass the time.

    As Sorenson grows, of course more and more people will be looking for flaws against them. It’s all part of the crab theory. Once Sorenson hires the angry irrational person, that person sees the truth and sees how these VRS providers are working internally like a family, constantly pushing forward and deflecting the negative energy being thrown against them every day. Sorenson would not hire that person in the first place anyway. Negativity is just like a plague.

    Sorenson is not the enemy. None of the VRS providers are. The enemy is the green eyed irrational monster in some certain bored individuals trying to challenge the industry giants singlehandedly or with a small army. You’re just going to give yourself high blood pressure and then a heart attack. Just kick back and enjoy our new lifestyle. You only live once. Is this how you want to spend it?

    Oh. By the way, some of us got this blog link of yours via a spam email blast. Ironic?

    Maybe we should begin a new complaint blog thread on how we got this link blasted out to us.

    No, we will not do that because I was very happy to get this link so that I can participate.

    Sorenson just wanted us to feel included and have our participation with the FCC issue. Would you prefer to not have them treat us as human beings and completely ignore us?

    I think that your vision is a little jaded and you’re seeing good things through a flawed glass window, making things appear ugly, when they really aren’t.

    I just hope that HOVRS, Sprint, and the others follow this example and create something that reaches out to all of their users as well. You have to see the big picture from a different standpoint on where all of this is going for the greater good for all of us.

    Money is just money. A lot of money is going to the Gulf war. A lot of money is going here and there. You don’t really need to think about it. Just let the business geniuses do their thing and we’ll go along for the ride of our life with an ever increasingly boosted lifestyle, thanks to VRS for the explosive beginning in the past (only) four years.

    I am proud to be deaf and I no longer feel like an outcast to the hearing world, thanks to VRS!

  72. JANET BAZANT Says:

    HI,

    PLEASE KEEP VRS FOR ALL THE DEAF PEOPLE TO NEED USE THIS TO COMMUNATE TO ANYONE WHO HAVE VP.. VP IS REAL WONDERFUL FOR THE DEAF PEOPLE TO COMMUATE TO PEOPLE BY VP CUZ WE ALL CAN`T HEAR .. PLEASE KEEP VRS FOR ALL THE DEAF PEOPLE CUZ THEY REALLY NEED THEM.. THANKS, JANET

  73. Jackie Van Manen Says:

    With all the talk about VRS services why has nothing been said about the high cost of High Speed Internet services. I mean $60 – $70 a month is a lot of money for some people to pay. So why has no one said anything about getting this cost lowered for deaf. I have been considering dropping my VRS and internet service to save money. I can fax and tty a lot cheaper.

  74. nonamepls Says:

    I rather have VP as long as it is in good quality for deafies users only. It is always good to see faces on VP but of course can not hug them, haha.
    Anyway, it will be very nice for them to donate to deafies to use any VP. It costs money to have high speed internet, to buy a TV for VP.
    Why not donate to deafies for high speed internet and TV only for VP.
    That is something to think about.

  75. Can't live without VRS Says:

    I use VRS daily – can’t live without. I have experience with Sorenson, HOVRS and sprint – my humble honest opinion – all interpreters are same as champ to low quality interpreters. I am sure that you have experience such as attend to doctor’s office, oh shit, lousy interpreter. OR Yahoo! Best interpreters. All are human beings and varies of skills to suit varies of individual like you.
    In addition, FCC who ORDERED NOT allow to use VRS to talk with a hearing person in the same room.

    You know we can’t live without money – want comfortable life. Same with interpreters, they want stable paycheck as reliable income to survive. Of course, some of them want to have pay raise according to the cost of living, so we are, too.

    Why do you complain more from Sorenson? They give out VP-100/VP-200 for free while the other VRS asked us to buy VP unit.

    Donation are generous thing to do, why do you complain? Did you donate 5 millions to Gallaudet University? Gallaudet University is a small university and how many wealth deaf alumni donate $$ out of their pocket? Gallaudet needs depend on donations to keep the university to operate.

    Let’s focus on FCC! We are losing our freedom if FCC cuts the rates then go back to TTY where it would be communication barrier for some deaf people.

  76. Can't live without VRS Says:

    I use VRS daily – can’t live without. I have experience with Sorenson, HOVRS and sprint – my humble honest opinion – all interpreters are same as champ to low quality interpreters. I am sure that you have experience such as attend to doctor’s office, oh shit, lousy interpreter. OR Yahoo! Best interpreters. All are human beings and varies of skills to suit varies of individual like you.
    In addition, FCC who ORDERED NOT allow to use VRS to talk with a hearing person in the same room.

    You know we can’t live without money – want comfortable life. Same with interpreters, they want stable paycheck as reliable income to survive. Of course, some of them want to have pay raise according to the cost of living, so we are, too.

    Why do you complain more from Sorenson? They give out VP-100/VP-200 for free while the other VRS asked us to buy VP unit.

    Donation are generous thing to do, why do you complain? Did you donate 5 millions to Gallaudet University? Gallaudet University is a small university and how many wealth deaf alumni donate $$ out of their pocket? Gallaudet needs depend on donations to keep the university to operate.

    Let’s focus on FCC! We are losing our freedom if FCC cuts the rates then go back to TTY where it would be communication barrier for some deaf people.

  77. EMILE abiabdallah Says:

    yeah, i want to keep to use my vp#200 and i need to call any for doctor or my working and some my family ,i think seem not much my friend deaf not much talk with my vp#200 for short time not long , but i was surprised they sent me mail for need to sign up and email send to fcc again ..i know sometime happen my vp#200 , when i call vrs interpreter after 20 or 30 min disconnected often so i called tech support told me thats your vrs had a problem seem data and network from disconnected since time last four month same thing happen durning to disconnected my vp#200 ???

  78. EMILE abiabdallah Says:

    wel , i need to keep my vp#200 for very improtant and i need to call any doctor or work, something i need call vrs interpreter help me thanks smile ..

  79. Mark Says:

    Amy,
    Excellent input about Sorenson.
    I have my webcam with i711.com VRS. It is perfect crystal clear screen. I have troubled VP 100 and wanted to replace with VP 200 but my buddy told me if I call Sorenson VRS all the time for VRS then get new VP 200.
    Greedy? yeah

  80. David Justin Welker, Junior Says:

    Hello Folks, I agree with you as well but Sorenson not make us happy becuase we wait for 200 videophone while who people have new customer recvied 200 and not even start with relay service with SVR before. We work so hard to call Relay Service some people recived 200 videophone but most people and I are still have 100 Videophone and waiting for 200 videophone.. Thinking of cusotmer will help with FCC for Sorenson if people still have 100 videophone????

    David Justin Welker, Junior

  81. Extreme VRS User Says:

    You shouldn’t be “working hard” to get a VP-200. VRS should come naturally to you as you use it in your daily lives.

    There are many rumors as to how to get a VP-200, but Sorenson has the choice on where to roll the VP-200’s out to first. For all we know, Sorenson just picks us randomly as they do the roll-out.

    I still have a VP-100 and I can wait for the VP-200 or even VP-300, as they were nice enough to inform me via their website that the roll-out would take a few years to reach out to all existing VP-100 users.

    Just be patient, grateful, and appreciative and avoid the greed that comes with free technology.

    I have a Sidekick 2. Does this mean I should bash and attack T-Mobile and make them give me a Sidekick 3 upgrade for free?

    When you’re paying for something, you have rights to complain. When things are free, you don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

  82. D.S. Says:

    Why picky on Sorenson? Sorenson is trying to tell everyone about FCC cut rate. Did other VRS tell you about it? No, they just want let Sorenson do the dirty job and take the blame. Who made Videophone device? Sorenson did and spend alot of money on it. Sorenson did not get any money from FCC or grant for it. Did other VRS companies help for it? NO! Other VRS want you to contact Sorenson to get free VP and not call Sorenson VRS and call thier VRS. Did they pay for service? NO. I don’t think FCC is paying for equipments to run videophone and ne development. You should be happy to get free VP100 or VP200 and use it. It is wonderful to have Sorenson VRS. We love it.

  83. Roy Bonnett Says:

    Do not cut FCC budget, WE love Sorenson for emergency calls Doctor, Hospital and business as important
    Sorensons are important for us to call business, doctor, emeregncy call to relatives
    Keep FCC pay full

    No Cut, NO CUT NO CUT

  84. stephen t. &beth Barksdale Says:

    hello , we want to let fcc tokeep full amount and please DONT CUT VRS RATES DOWN PLEASE !!!!and we want keep vrs stand strong and support deaf and interpper and we love it vrs we want our support vrs and we know they are hard est working . and we need our goal to back vp200 soon as possbile and P L E A S E D O N T C U T VRS INTERPTER R A T E S AND S T A Y F U LL
    THANKS ALOT MR &MRS Barksdale

  85. Teresa Rothwell Says:

    Dont cut VRS RATES DOWN. Please!!!!!!!!!! I want keep vrs stand strong and support deaf and interpreter, very important vrs, need vrs bec doctor, family case in emergency!! I love it VRS FOR DEAF. Also Pls dont cut VRS INTERPRETER RATES AND STAY!! I am fully deaf and ASL. THANK YOU,TERESA ROTHWELL What website it?

  86. Water Says:

    WOW! 83 comments. Did not read thru them all. Just wanted to share this. I did receive “signed email” from Sorenson, pleading for help. Since it arrived after your Vlog. I deleted the signed email. Know what? IT kept coming back on “MISSED CALLS”. In over a week, i think I have deleted it 10-12 times. It is now a game to see if Sorenson will eventually allow me to delete the signed video without reading it. I know, in time, i will give up and let that dang video mail run thru, so I can fianlly get it deleted permantly.

  87. Sam Says:

    I am just curious. How would you like Sorenson to SHOW YOU the MONEY?? Sorenson was and is a Major sponsor to the deaf olympics.. some funds go there. other funds as you said yourself was donated to galludet, technology is not cheap, alot of time and money has gone into making the NEW vp 200, for newer versions ( which would never happen if FCC cuts the rates). They sponsor a lot of deaf events and training programs. They provide the deaf and HH free VP’s. Ever stop to think that it might not be FREE to us anymore? And it is not just Sorenson that the rate cuts are going to affect it is all VRS services, SOrenson is just the only one that is saying anything because they are one of the largest VRS providers we have. MS. Efron.. Think before you speak..

  88. Samuel Says:

    Ms. Mack May I ask you to tell us what you make while you are at work..

  89. don Says:

    I THINK SORENSON DOING A GOOD JOB SO U JUST NEED TO BACK OFF WHAT ABOUT CSD, SPRINT AND OTHER VRS SO JUST LEAVE SORENSON OUT OF IT.

  90. Kilee Evans Says:

    I concur, Sam – Sorenson was a blessing to us so that we ARE able to communicate with each other through our own language, and Sorenson provide for free like Sam say, and we also have Sorenson Tech Support that help us, but they demand too much from Sorenson and calling their names and even when they did everything for us and give us a free vp and we should appreciate for what they did for us to support us and that we should stand up and prove it to FCC that we are needed just like most of Disability and they provide the need for them and we do have need too. Hearing people have cell phone and easier way to communicate with hearing people out of the house. Be grateful for Sorenson! Like Sam say think twice before you say something.

  91. SHEAN OBERRY Says:

    BE GRATEFUL YOU ALL HAVE FREE VPS!!!

  92. kristen Says:

    if the fcc cuts the rates. all VRS companies rates will be cut

    if they cut the rates, maybe the VRS companies wont get good terps and we will have to go back to tty

    i like using sign language to call hearing people. if you dont like vrs, dont use it

    if you dont like sorenson, dont use them, use other companies

    if you hate sorenson so much, give them back their vp and go buy ANY webcam you like. sorenson doesnt force u use them. it is your choice but dont hurt other deafies by making them go back to tty!!!

  93. f.b Says:

    Subject: IT IS NT TRUE ABT VRSCA…PLS READ CAREFLLY…

    Hi, I just wanted to clarify this. It is inaccurate. FCC will NOT
    disconnect VRS services at all.  VRSCA sponsored by Sorenson
    is asking deaf individuals to contact FCC not to cut the VRS rates.
    Right now FCC is paying Sorenson and other VRS providers approximately 5
    dollars per minute.
    Â
    As a Deaf VP user, I do not find it threatening. The VRS providers
    like Sorenson are worried because they will have to change their budget
    to pay all the interpreters.  Imagine — 5 dollars per
    minute times 7200 minutes per day is $36,000 a day. Sorenson and other
    VRS providers make $36,000 per month times 12 months is $432,000 a year.
    That is just one phone call. How many phone calls per minute do VRS
    providers make? Â Millions! Hmmm

    this is not really truth… dont worry abt it ok…
    Hi, FCC (Federal Communication Commision) has threatened to cut the VRS
    program fund.. On June 30th of 2007 Vpchat100-200 will disconnect (cut-
    off!!)

  94. George III Says:

    What really burns me up? How much does Sorenson co. pay for interpreter? $40,000-$60,000 plus benefits??? Also I live in small community darn, I cannot get alive interpreter at emergency hospital or doctor’s appt or else where. FCC wouldnt allow hospital to have third person in same room. I had tried in vain to urge any hospital to consider to have Video Interpreting on line. But I think they are scared because of the cost to pay for the services and the equipment. Where all our qualified interpreters???? They are working for VRS. Good pay and benefits.

  95. Shakespeare Says:

    How much are the terps at Sorenson being paid? My ex husband was an interpreter for the school, he left a wife with four small children high and dry, high tailed it to his home state because his mama told him she was tight with some Sorenson fellow. He did not have a certificate, he FAILED the RIT twice. So I KNOW that Sorenson hires terps with no certificates. He used his old salary in court to provide child support, and I had a lousy legal aid lawyer, so I couldn’t fight him and Sorenson. He travels back and forth between states for the Sorenson company, making it hard for me to find him, took my children to a different state during their visitation without telling me. I had no clue where my children were for eight weeks..and he got off scot-free. I have a personal agenda with Sorenson because they would not provide my lawyer with information on how much my ex husband is being paid and where he is.
    The next thing that really vexes me is I see small elementary age deaf children in schools, they do not have very good language skills because the terps at the schools do not sign very well. Sorenson took all the good terps. How the heck can our children learn well in school without good terps? Please leave the good terps alone! We need them in schools for our children. Those children would grow up with poor language skills. Maybe emailing, tty, texting ain’t so bad after all. At least it hones our english skills, after all, the reality is that we DO live in a hearing world and we DO need our english skills to survive. Kudos to Amy for making a stand.

    Peace out

  96. G.R. Says:

    To Amy and to others pushing this in a negative light.

    There is one thing that many of you may not realize. Do you notice that we are the only country in the world that has Video Relay Services with the Video Phone provided by the various Video Relay Services? Now the question to realize is why is that? It is a very simple answer and it is called “capitalism”. The VRS companies would not have come by themselves through the govt such as the text relay services has. In fact, even though the technology was there, it was not provided because the costs were too high and would be unprofitable. When FCC came in and paid these high rates, the video services became possible. Now that was a GREAT thing!

    No one or any company is going to create something of a product or services if they are not going to be paid back for their service. If the video phone were a non-profit venture, it would not survive. The technology for video relay services is very demanding and requires the highest quality possible for the best video relaying experience. The company would ask the question of first, can we afford it? It’s a great idea, but we can’t just create something out of thin air without money. If not for the high rates of FCC at the beginning, we would not see VRS as we see it today.

    Sorenson in the beginning saw an opportunity to make good money and at the same time help the deaf people AND hearing people with the ushering in of the video relay services. Others followed doing the same thing seeing they could possibly make a profit and provide a good services. If there were to be no profits from it, we would not see the services we have today.

    Again back to the first question, do the other countries have the VRS like we have it today? No they do not. Why? Because their governments won’t let any company that gets involved make a profit. They would lose money and no one wants to create something to lose money and also their rules make it very difficult for such a services to survive.

    The challenge that Amy is pointing to Sorenson is in my opinion pretty silly. I would prefer to challenge the FCC to make sure the rates stay high to ensure we get quality services. The lower the rates go, the lower quality of service we will get. It’s not just the money, but also requires that any business “reinvest” into the service to keep it going and to improve. If there is no re-investment into the company, the company will lose out to others due to competition. Competition is what created the great services that the video relay providers offer. But without money for any services, if the rates are too low, we will ALL lose, both hearing and deaf.

    I don’t wholeheartedly agree with Amy. I think she is doing this just to get attention and rock the boat for the wrong reasons. We have other things that we can do that would serve us better. Such as the one year prohibition from Sorenson that each interpreter gets where they can’t interpret at another service agency for one year after they stop working for Sorenson. Now that is something I would advocate in saying that’s not right. Interpreters should have the right to interpret whenever their services are needed. I don’t know if other VRS services have this requirement or not and if they do, I would advocate that this practice be stopped and encourage their interpreters to be of services in other areas.

    Also remember that Sorenson was bought out by another company about two years ago in 2005 or near that time. It is not the same company that Sorenson was before. And the obvious reason is that this new company is in it to make money. If there were no money to earn, they wouldn’t have done it and we wouldn’t have the great services we have now. Thanks to FCC paying high rates for us, our quality of lives have increased a great deal. Seeing the charts of how much is being spent, shows that quality interpreting is increasing as well. In other words, we should be cheering for the services and be happy with the rise in numbers. If the numbers were as low as the others, the VRS would die out. It costs more money for video data streaming to make it all work. But in return, there is more quality. More hearing people use the services. With the old TTY text relay services which is still a very good service that many deaf people still use, hearing people did not like it because they had to speak slowly and pause while talking. It is difficult to speak slowly where with the VRS, hearing people can speak normally at their pace.

    Rather than challenging Sorenson, which I agree with one says is another deaf person acting like a crab-tree effect pulling others down. Sorenson and other relay providers are our friends. FCC is our enemy. We don’t want enemies. We need friends in this situation. FCC can be our friend if we show them what our concerns are and we can work with them. Finger pointing and accusations and words flying around with no real need for it just hurts all of us.

    So I challenge you Amy to rethink what you’re doing and instead ask what we can do to improve the VRS and keep it that way? One big challenge I want to ask all of you is to contact the FCC and tell them that they need to keep the rates up to allow future creation of better VRS and video services for the deaf. The other request would be to ask FCC to tell all VRS providers that they can not contract with the interpreters preventing them from interpreting at another agency or service while they are employed or for at least one year after termination. Now that is something I would react to and encourage.

    So take back the challenge you started and change it to these two things. Challenge Sorenson to change their ways of hiring interpreters and allow them the freedom to interpret at other agencies, too. FCC is paying them for running the services, they shouldn’t be allowed to forbid interpreters that can provide services with another company. We don’t have enough high quality interpreters at this time so they need to know that. That’s where FCC comes in and we can ask FCC to tell Sorenson and others who practice the forbidding of allowing interpreters to interpret else where. With all the new interpreters coming in, it’s not just an expense there, but is bringing in many more qualified new interpreters that in the future, we will have more interpreters and never have the feeling that there are not enough of them for us. So we have a winner where good interpreters are being trained and hired and they will be of a service to us in the future. Cut the rates and we won’t have as many good interpreters.

    What I am saying is bottom line here is don’t kill the goose. Make sure the goose stays alive. By what I mean about the goose, it’s a goose that lays golden eggs. The golden eggs are providing us with many good services that no other country has for deaf people. Kill the goose and we all lose because the golden eggs wouldn’t exist anymore. It affect us both deaf and hearing.

    And capitalism is what made our country strong. True it hurts people, too. When people are forced into something and not getting something in return, it won’t work very well. Capitalism encourages people to work at making things better knowing their investment into the business or service will keep their jobs and companies running. Without it, the service does not function as well.

    I hope the comments here bring others to think twice again before pointing fingers at Sorenson or any other service for the wrong reasons and instead point them to FCC to let them know that we NEED good services and also expect fairness for all. Cutting rates will affect the services in a bad way and what we are accustomed to will be gone if the rate cuts go into effect. Hearing people do not always understand the needs of the deaf people and it is our responsibility to let them know what our needs are. And when responding to the FCC, don’t just bash them about this. Thank them for the services they have provided in the past. If we send them enough thank you notes and encourage them to keep the rates high enough to ensure we get quality services, we will be in good hands and we won’t have enemies, but instead have new-found friends.

    So that’s the challenge I have for you Amy and my two cents. Again, remember not to go pointing fingers and killing the goose. Look beyond and see what the purpose was and use it for good reasons and take it from there. We do not need more crab-like people pulling us or anyone down just because someone is making money and the other is not. It is what makes us work harder and provide something for better. Encourage competition and encourage a good working relationship with all instead of pointing fingers and blah blah. I agree I was puzzled by receiving a video call message, but I could understand the reason behind it so make it positive and see what we can do to assist the FCC in understanding our needs. That’s what all of us deaf people need to do and the hearing people can assist us as well by letting FCC know how helpful the VRS is. And back to Amy’s quote of “Show me the money”, all companies ask this same question before they go into a venture for profit or even a non-profit venture. If the money will be there, they’ll go for it and if not there, they won’t. Simple as that.

    Best regards to all,
    Gary R.

  97. f.b Says:

    everyone, listen to me now. yu guy have nothing worry about it so fcc is accept to pay ,so federal government dont care to pay sorenson. what pay for it. dont worry about. someone made up .everything are lie. fcc is accept to pay for lifetime

  98. Renee Says:

    I AGREE BUT ONE THING YOU ALL FORGOT ABOUT THIS! THE HIGH SPEED INTERNET MAKES A LOT OF MONEY FROM US ALL AND WHY DONT THE FCC ASK THE HIGH SPEED INTERNET TO PAY HALF BECAUSE HIGH SPEED INTERNET EARNS A LOT OF MONEY FROM DEAF THAT THEY REQUIRED TO HAVE HIGH SPEED INTERNET FOR SORENSONVRS TO WORK!!! SO IMAGE THAT HIGH SPEED INTERNET EARNS APPROX 20 TO 50 DOLLARS PER PERSON,,, SO HOW MANY DEAF ARE THERE AND HOW MANY DEAF HAVE SORENSONVRS? SO THERE S A LOT OF MONEY THAT HIGH SPEED INTERNET MAKING FROM US DEAF CUSTOMERS SO THE FCC SHOULDVE GET HALF OF THE MONEY WHAT THE HIGH SPEED INTERNET MAKES FROM US!!!! SO THAT WAY THE FCC WOULDNT LOSE ANY MONEY!!!

  99. R Says:

    I am sick of crab theory!!

    I agree with Gary R, Extreme VRS, Jackson, CODA VS interpreter, Jared Evans, Tim, and jmillersoftball’s comments 100 percent..

    Why pick on Sorenson to attack?? They did wonders for us all..Pick on FCC..

  100. Streetmannet Says:

    I love sorenson vp-200 is best than i2eye/vp-100 and also i711.com is best video with microsoft webcam,too…sorenson don’t need sprint help! we all always need vrs to call doctor or family….thank you!

  101. Jvickersnet Says:

    I love sorenson vp200.. I must keep Keep Keep Vp200 for information to call our doctor, interpeter, bils, family or everything than tty… Please Keep Keep my vp200.. We all alway need vrs to call doctor or family for information.. Thank you lots.

  102. Sam Says:

    Fb.. I dunno where you get your source of information, but it is not a lie, it is not made up. it is True. This I know for a fact. Again I say in general and not just pointed to you but others… THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK AND GET YOUR STORIES STRAIGHT BEFORE BLURTING OUT STATEMENTS THAT YOU HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT.

  103. Terp Chick Says:

    I used to interpret for video relay. It sucked balls! I am glad I quit the video relay interpreting business! Now I do educational and freelance interpreting in the community and I love it! To me, this is live, one-on-one, more personal and rewarding than sit in front of a computer monitor all frigging day! Thanks for allowing me to put my 2 cents in.

  104. f.b Says:

    hi sam , it true i spoke to my buddy about fcc. i found out but someone made up to get involved every deaf peoples. so my freind work for sorensonvrs, he got confuse what the hell going on but someone made up and i spoke to fcc. that fcc is accept pay all that , there is no cut down at all ok

  105. Sam Says:

    have ur buddy look at Pat Nola’s announcement for SVRS employee’s only next time he goes into work

  106. Steven Van-Nest Says:

    IT IS VERY IMPORTMENT USE VEDIO PHONE FOR DEAF OR HEARING IMPARIED.I USE ALL TIME.IT IS WORTH A BETTER COMMUNICATION AND BETTER THAN TTY MORE UNDERSTAND WITH SIGN LANGUAGE (A.S.L.) I AM VERY SUPPORT THEM VIDEO PHONE.

    IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTION PLEASE SEND ME EMAIL

    THANK YOU,

  107. Sandy Carter Says:

    Good Point! But do we take the chance of losing VRS, that most of us deaf people need this VRS for purpose of communication with others and hearing world, especially when we need to contact any medical emergencies. I would not want to take the chance of losing its VRS. Its the best of communication relations than having none..

  108. Daniel Says:

    Here the rough idea of the hard data of how VRS company spend that you wanted to know. interpreters earn about 30 dollars an hour. Installer/trainer earn 50 dollar per install (that depends on how many hours to install and train people, for young customer it fast and easy since they learn quickly. It take much longer for older people to learn thus more time.) The install/training does not include the time contacting the customers by email or other method, sometime frustrating and take forever to reach customers. Not including the time for planning and scheduling. Mileage paid about 50 cent a mile according to federal adjustment allowance. (this is somewhat reasonable because of the time usage, and not because of the gas price and getting double of that money of gas purchased i.e. an hour drive round trip with 60 miles on it you get 30 dollars – gas costs about 6 bucks, so that like 24 dollar of hour time to drive) That for any mileage used for trainers, interpreters, and workers. Support Trainers earn about 12 an hour. VRS company also pay for flight, car rental (mileage don’t count but gas purchase count here), hotel stays, and 30 dollar a day limit meal for regional manager who needs to travel and train trainers/installer. Also for trainers who have to travel several hundred miles or need to fly to another area and need to travel. VRS company pays UPS for shipping their products via priority mail it costs 12 dollar a box.

    On the average it costs Sorenson $500 per customer for equipment, training, ups, and mileage.

    It costs more for replacement, VRS training for people took advantage of equipment by not using VRS service. again for mileage, and an average of 12 dollar an hour service call. Upgrade pays $50 same as new install.

    VRS company has to pay their eletricty, water, and sewer bills and other tax related i.e. property.

    It all adds up to a lot of money and leaving a small amount of profit and money for charity.

    Sorenson originally spend 50 million for start up and it take time to get all of that money back and start getting profits.

  109. f.b Says:

    i know that is there is no cut rate from fcc, that amy cohen to make up story but it is not what she say ans sorenson have limit pay all his companie so that sorenson want help deaf as well and i knew that fcc wont cut rate for vrs.what yu saying yu think. yu guy and gal dont have pay rate at all cuz we are deaf in america cuz it is ADA

  110. f.b Says:

    http://sorenson.com/press/press_release_full.php?pr_id=119&PHPSESSID=f29a7d5a6f7e3d120ea6c129b6d1c1ce

  111. joe dirt Says:

    Dear Shakespeare..

    it is not the interpreters fault alone that children are not getting educatedin schools, everyone is so quick to blame others when the REAL FAULT LAYS WITH THE PARENTS.. IT IS SO EASY FOR EVERYONE TO BLAME EVERYONE BUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY AT FAULT.. another case of thinking before you speak.

  112. joyce smith Says:

    hello friend i tell u that i need 200vp i tell u that i have problem for my health i am deaf i was 5 yrs old i had scarlett fever thank u from joyce smith

  113. Joe Dirt Says:

    Lol Joe Dirt, the name you chose speaks volumes. I, for an fact, have seen with my own eyes, terps that can’t sign diddly squat at the schools. Yes, there are some sucky parents, but there is the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND ACT, it was passed for a reason, and it includes the deaf kids!!! Therefore, it is the school’s job to make sure the kids are educated. Parents do not have teaching degrees. The interpreter’s job is to translate the teacher’s spoken word into the signed word. So Joe Dirt, go back to your mullet and trailer house, eat some pork rinos. Stick to what you know. (RIMSHOT)

  114. Ramona Says:

    hi how are you doing ? and i understand how your feel and i agree with you i know that i hear that i did get that fcc letter so i just wonder that bad news about sorenson . i not know that my vp was free that why but they told me that they give all deaf people world for free vp but fcc and vrs need more money up tha why but i just thought that free vp but not i decide that i want support by fcc and vrs and i did send sign my name from that fcc and vrs letter few month ago . i just postive my life that reason that true thank u amy !! smile

  115. Sonny Says:

    I propose several solutions to absolve Sorenson from their sins.

    One, interconnect Dlink and Sorenson videophone numbers. To date, Sorenson purposefully keep them non-interchangable by isolating respective servers even though they both are within a few feet apart.

    Two, start selling videophones, To date, they unilaterally manipulate the distribution which by itself is discriminatory. The only reason why they have the legal right to discriminate is because they are able to circumvent by claiming that they “own” every videophone. As result of their manipulating the distribution, they limit one videophone per deaf household while hearies could have their phone in every roon. This creates inconvenience because deaf people have to climb stairs or walk across the house to make a vp call. What if there is a fire in the room where vp is? How would a deaf person call 911 from other room; that is, if there is no TTY?

    Bottom line: ADA is to create EQUAL opportunties for all, including deaf people…not to make money out of at the expense of deaf people!

  116. debby Says:

    Don’t forget if VP breaks down who fix it. Free for all Deaf customers include VPs, long distance calls, free equipments such as remote, cords, etc., free VP to be repaired/replaced, and many lists. WOW! Sorenson also hires all DEAF employees to work as managers, installers/trainers include as repairman, sign language instructors, area specialist – field managers, Help Desk Field (Tech support), clerk, etc. Of course, D-Link were first made by Sorenson before CSD. Why complain? Sorenson relay interpreters get very good pay. Therefore; Sorenson does not want hearing to get VP…Because we will lose relay interpreters if you get VP for your hearing family that most deaf community complained. They want more. I have hearing children but I understand Sorenson’s good point, if you are not happy with Sorenson then use TTY and pay long distance calls.

  117. debby Says:

    Amy, I thought I admired you until I saw you on video. I think you should not have the right to attack Sorenson without really understand what is going on and should not listen to other person who worried about FCC’s plan to cut rates. I think it is important to ask Sorenson with your positive attitude if something bothers you. It sounds like you are very much against Sorenson or being unhappy with this company. We should show our thanks/ very much greataly appreciate to Sorenson for many things they have done for us all the Deaf communities. We know we all can’t live without Sorenson and they did wonderful job for us to meet our needings with no charge. Why worry about CSD or other providers? We do not attack them but they should not mess up VP without getting training. If they mess up VP who pay installer/trainers – Sorenson of course. It happens many times. My deaf husband works as installer/trainer and his boss and supervisors are deaf…wow they communicate on vp, discuss important issues about future deaf customers needings and still want to hire deaf employees better than working hearing boss who do not know sign. Did you know that Sorenson has hired a deaf CDI (Certified Deaf Interpreter)recently. Isn’t that neat! Give our big congratulations to Sorenson.

  118. Anonymous Says:

    Debby-

    Really? Sorenson was one who refused to sponsor one of the largest conferences in 2009, where sorenson videophones are mostly provided in the Nevada community including Utah.

    What Sorenson is doing is selfish. They will not allow us freedom of choices which relay service to use on the Gallaudet campus. At the public locations on the campus, Sorenson refused to allow us to choose, while in the dorms, we were allowed. Now this year after the summer break, learned in the dorms, the VP blocked the freedom of choice to use other relay service companies.

    Now I learned again, Sorenson is frustrated that HOVRS, CSDVRS, and Hawk Relay, so forth use the space bar then the contact name to put at “top” of the contact list for us to make it easier to make calls. Sorenson decided to develop a program to block the “space” thingy or whatever, they are trying to be selfish and make us to use Sorenson instead of our choice of video relay service.

    I found Hawk Relay to be friendliest one who gives back to the community more amount than Sorenson. Sorenson just want to donate to Gallaudet to look like they are giving something- while they refused to help the deaf and hard of hearing community that much, nothing more than average of 250 dollars.

  119. Robert R Sewell Sr Says:

    Hello Amy Cohen,
    I was very impressed when I saw your movies of explaining about Sorenson. Can I have your e-mail so that I want to ask you about the rights of deaf to keep their own VP 100 or 200 from Sorenson several times
    trying to scare some of Senior Citizens Deaf people that they can take away their VP from them. I was very angry too so I called ADA LAW under Nevada State to protect Deaf rights and ADA law said no one can take things away from deaf people at all. I agreed. State of Nevada did scolded to them last year, it makes me feel good about it. We still keep our own VP 200 !!!!!. Thank you Amy keep fighting for the deaf’s rights. God bless you !, Sincerely, Robert

  120. steel city Says:

    its not only sorenson… no Viable is setting up shop in greensburg PA. there isnt enough community intepreters there now as it is… i dont think the pittsburgh area can afford another VRS. colleges, dr offices, SS appoints etc will all feel the impact.

    i like VP but we need to strike a ballance.

    peace

    steel city intpereters

  121. James, Sorenson worker Says:

    I’m a Sorenson employee. I make $10.60 an hour…and no raise after almost 2 years. Its NOT an easy job. We are not allowed to even bring a soda or food to our desk. We can only put drinks in small Sorenson labeled mugs or we get fired. we also get fired if we accidentally answer an instant message while a call window is open, or god forid we try to softly socialize with a co-worker. Individualism is frowned upon and if you complain, –don’t–because any criticism gets you fired.
    The “new” building has a disgusting small bathroom with 3 stalls to 200 people. We are not allowed to socialize and only full timers (who make 60 cents less) get a weak form of insurance. The management is full of “clicks” and they pick us apart and we have to work on eggshells. A poor kid got fired for having a shut OFF cellphone tucked between his legs because it fell out his sweater pocket. Sorenson is so negative and underpaid you guys have no idea…people USE MY JOB as an example as to why they are grateful for THEIR jobs!

  122. verlie _belcher@yahoo.com Says:

    hello my name is verlie belcher well i need vrs for call the dr also hops and something happen to my family pls dont remove vrs because i need vrs to help me to get dr or something dont remove vrs please ok thank you god bless y and soreson vrs and fcc too thank you verlie

  123. verlie _belcher@yahoo.com Says:

    pls d o not remove vrs i need them thank y ou fcc

  124. lorie correia Says:

    pls pls keep go on sorenson dont be off and i pray made it keep go on sorenson i need for use sorenson . vrs are wonder good people some bad people
    i hope so vrs are very keep job and i hope fcc will understand of deaf people need use sorenson

  125. Julia Ann Bernard Says:

    We need keep our real good sorenson vrs that reason we need call drs, dentists, health, doctors, etc because we are deaf not hearing, see …Really help alot better that what we needs vrs…Keep Sorensore vrs…thanks,

  126. Rass Bernard Says:

    Do not give up, please …Want keep sorenson vrs so badly and let FCC thinks about deaf need vp very much

  127. terrance rouse Says:

    am deaf my name is terrance rouse and from rochester, new york united states so and i heard about sorenson vrs means video to fcc will off no way pls keep we deaf unfair about all hearing people not right we deaf how talk with communication number one conact with family and doctor and job and we deaf must required talk with commuication and good edcuation number one same sorenson vrs to fcc if we deaf what happen accident or heart attack or die and how conact talk with communications sorenson vrs and we deaf will get complain to fcc that imporant we deaf help must be get understand fair deaf and hearing and share try sloveing pls keep sorenson vrs i think better impove. and no off on sorenson vrs because we deaf will complain and angry all people yes that ture make sense we deaf how talk with communication number one that imporants to fcc must require sloveing and keep sonreson vrs with video and mobile need emengercy and pls dont give up to fcc get hard work we deaf support to fcc must understand and we have deaf 90,000 in area community top in rochester, new york rochester school for the deaf and nitd and rit college will complaining to fcc yes i belive and will support to sorenson vrs that imporant 100% and thank you and i hope see foward again from smoothcoolman@yahoo.com and deaf my name is terrance rouse nice to fcc hope slove and work out toghter.

  128. helen carson Says:

    i was shock tht dont want see deafs dont want back tty no way but people love sorenson vo than tty and fcc dont cut on rate bec important to deafs have more understand from vp or vrs and they love it see face than tty is nothing see face smile and u know mean…. and u know tht pls respect people have deafs or blind or etc…have enjoy but not fair to hearing alway high rate than deafs feel…………keep send me message to know make sure……..dont fed up this and pls support this message from vp………….

  129. renata millet Says:

    I gotta agree with this woman that just portrayed facts that VRS has granted a whopping 5 million dollars to support Gallaudet.

    Now what is this?? MOre money, becoming greedy? That you want money from FCC? U can do this without them!!!

    As long as FCC doesnt shut us down for any reasons. IN short there are none, i do not forsee any of this.

    I want to see the hard data as well.

    Thank u
    Ren

  130. Michael Shostak Says:

    yes i challenge you fcc not let rate cut down let sorenson vrs keep runny don’t let anyone down used sorenson vrs they need talk to realy service to help support.any question call me on my sorenson vrs 267-415-1825

    thank you
    michael shostak

  131. YOLANDA P.RIOS Says:

    Hi,Federal Communication Commisson,Please don’t lose it my Sorenson Vrs/VP, becuse Its very important good a improve in the future a communication for the deaf and a interpeter service Also need more a interpeter service to support help Deaf and Hard Hearing to keep communication with a Sorenson VRS/VP. Thank you,YPRios Have a nice Day! Smile.

  132. david maher Says:

    dont take our video relay services !!! how do you feel if we take your phones ??????????

  133. LAZARO CABRERA Says:

    PLEASESONRENSON ,I AM DEAF MY NAME IS LAZARO CABRERA , BECAUSE I NEED HELP ME ABOT THE COMMUNICATION FROM VRS AND I HAVE BIG COMMUNICATION FOR ALL BUSSINEESS ,WHAT IS DWN VRS FOR THE INTERPRETERS THAT I NEED SOME COMUNICATION FOR ALL BUSSINEESES PLEASE CALL ME MY NUMBER IS 561 290 1358 BECAUSE I NEED COMMUNICATION FROM HEARINGS PEOPLES AND MY FAMILYS IN ALL THAT I NEED VERY IMPORTANTS FOR MY BUSSINEES PLEASE TO CONTACT WITH THE FCC AND ADA BUT WHAT IS THE PLM WITH VRS BECAUSE IS GOOD FOR ALL OUR FUTURECONECTIONS FOR OTHER PEOPLES HEARINGSFOR ALL IN WORLD IS VERY GOOD PLEASE CONTACT ME FOR E-MAIL OR ON MY VP NUMBER PLS CALL ME FOR THIS RESOLUTION ,PLS DONT FORGET THAT I NEED TO IMMEDIATE ON VRS FOR ALL SERVICE IN FAST. OK THANK U AND I WAIT OF OUR ANSEWER ,LAZARO OF ALL SINCERELY AND ALL COOPERATIONS OF OUR FUTURE DEAFS.

  134. LAZARO CABRERA Says:

    HI AM LAZARO SO REPEAT TO YOU INTO OUR MESSAGE ,BUT PLEASE FCC DONT LOSE TO OUR FUTURE GO TO EXAMPLE OF OUR DESTINITY DEAFS INTO THE FUTURE IS VERY IMPORTANTS SAME OTHER PEOPLES HEARINGS TO ADVANCE THAT WE DEAFS , BECAUSE WE DEAFS NEED MORE IDEAS FOR OUR COMMUNICATIONS, MORE SERVICES , MORE FOR THE FUTURE FOR ALL WORLDS THAT WE NEED , PLEASE FCC DONT LOSE HIM TO CONTINUES WITH THE LOVE GOD IN AMERICAN FOR OUR UNITED STATES FOR ALL THE HONOR AND THE RESOECT OF OUR SINCERELY , DEAF LAZARO CABRERA.

  135. lowell j gilbert Says:

    i dont understand that fcc give you lots of money in past.donate to gallaudet colleges. maybe fcc had reason some fraud or not honest. u must be honest and watch budget without waste money. fcc earn from cells charge. they should be plenty moneyto depend on vrs acting honest. hope vrs not close. teason poor deaf cant afford in visiting so they can use for chatting without lonesome. if in case they cant coomunicate with problem help using vrs helping lots. better than tty because they dont understand to read lang, rather taking vrs for deaf easy. need watch out and never leave vrs for helping deaf.

  136. lowell j gilbert Says:

    i dont understand that fcc give you lots of money in past.donate to gallaudet colleges. maybe fcc had reason some fraud or not honest. u must be honest and watch budget without waste money. fcc earn from cells charge. they should be plenty moneyto depend on vrs acting honest. hope vrs not close. reason poor deaf cant afford in visiting so they can use for chatting without lonesome. if in case they cant coomunicate with problem help using vrs helping lots. better than tty because they dont understand to read lang, rather taking vrs for deaf easy. need watch out and never leave vrs for helping deaf.

  137. Bobbie Says:

    We live in America, we have the freedom to earn money and make money for a living. Imagine that concept. When the economy is so bad, isn’t it wonderful that a company is surviving and prospering, so WHAT if SVRS is making money. I applaud their energy and efforts to the DEAF communities. Everyone wasnts something for nothing, Sorenson has provided many deaf/hh and businesses videophones, FREE. THe installers go into the homes and businesses FREE. Deaf and Hearing have access to contact AS NEVER in the PAST with loved ones, businesses, etc… I applaud SORENSON for being a leader in the INDUSTRY and for keeping so many employees working both DEAF and Hearing. HOOAH! KEEP up the GOOD WORK.

  138. DENNIS Says:

    CUT THE RATES PERIOD SORENSON IS GREEDY FCC–YOU ARE BEING BLINDED BY SORENSON

  139. Liz Wilbur Says:

    Why, oh why ruin the deaf’s healthy happiness after all the suffering and being shut out from the hearing and the deaf world.
    Please, oh please save vrs for heaven sake.

  140. JOHN Says:

    I’AM HEARING BUT MY WIFE IS DEAF AND HAVING THE V.P. HAS BEEN THE BEST THING TO COME INTO HER LIFE. IT GIVES HER A CHANCE TO SEE AND TALK TO HER OTHER DEAF FRIENDS AND TO KEEP IN CONTACT WITH THE DEAF COMMUNITY IT IS A WHOLE LOT BETTER THEN THE OLD TTY,HERE YOU CAN SEE AND TALK TO YOUR FRIENDS, HEARING AND DEAF AND ARE NOT LIMITED TO JUST TYPING WORDS AND NOT SEEING THE PERSON ON THE OTHER END. AND WHEN YOU ARE TYPING YOU CAN NOT SEE THE OPERATER LIKE ON THE V.P. IT IS LIKE YOU ARE TALKING WITH A REAL PERSON AND NOT JUST TYPING A LETTER. IT HAS MADE HER LIFE ALOT BETTER HAVING THIS V.P. AND BEING ABLE TO BE CONNECTED TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD WERE IN TIMES PAST BEFORE THE TTY,V.P. AND CEIL PHONES THE DEAF WERE SHUT OUT FROM THE REST OF THE WOURLD. SO PLEASE DO NOT MESS WITH THE V.P. AND CUT FUNDING OR EVEN LOWER FUNDING JUST LEAVE IT ALONE AND LET THE DEAF PEOPLE ALONE AND STOP SCREWING UP THINGS FOR THEM LIKE COMMUNICATION AND ANY OTHER WAYS OF COMMUNICATION. START TREATING THEM LIKE REGULER PEOPLE.

  141. What a Shocker | Echo Says:

    [...] This is not the first time that Sorenson has asked for our help telling FCC to not cut rates! Back in 2007, there was a vlog post by Amy Cohen Efron about challenging Sorenson to show the hard evidence of their losses if FCC were to cut rates. To view the Vlog Post go here. [...]

  142. Sorenson's scare tactic is pathetic - AllDeaf.com Says:

    [...] Amy's blog and vlog last three years ago. DEAF WORLD AS EYE SEE IT I challenge you, Sorenson… Sorenson has 85% market and give away to Gallaudet. Why worry to about FCC cut rate. [...]

  143. VRS World Says:

    I think thats why FCC is hunting VRS down to make sure they are not doing stupid thing to abuse FCC’s money.

    SnapVRS shut down by worldgate not pay on time
    HawkRelay cheat $$
    Viable cheat $$ now married to Snapvrs = SnapViableVRS = cheat $$
    CACVRS cheat $$
    Purple cheat $$
    Sorenson cheat $$

    What else??

  144. Steven Smith Says:

    I support NECA/FCC’s cut rate on Sorenson. FYI- Your vp will not shut down. If Sorenson wants to, then you have nothing to worry becz all port will be move to other vrs provider. I think Sorenson uses people to beg FCC not to cut and you are doing a dirty job for Sorenson. Cut the rate and Sorenson will use wisely with budget to spend on whatever they need.

    Steven

  145. Fcc plan cut vrs - Page 5 - AllDeaf.com Says:

    [...] [...]

  146. Tweets that mention DEAF WORLD AS EYE SEE IT » I challenge you, Sorenson… -- Topsy.com Says:

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by D.J. Stacey. D.J. Stacey said: Have you seen Amy Efron's vlog about Sorenson? Click here to check it out – http://bit.ly/9PpTBX [...]

  147. Lowell John Gilbert Says:

    The main problem is that there is no money. The United States has a $13 Trillion debt. This does not count the over $100 trillion owed to Social Security and other unfunded mandates. Why do you think Unions in Greece have members rioting? Greece is broke and is in debt. Spain, Portugual, Italy are being toold what to by the IMF. They have no soverienty. The whole world is in a economic debt crisis. U.S. Union pension funds are asking the Federal govermnet for a $100 billion bail out. Think sorenson is the least of problems.

  148. Mark Says:

    It is not $17/hr now, more like $6.25 per hour. The $17/hr was the initial rate for approximately the first year or two of VRS (that was something like 8 years ago, for about one year only). It does take a lot of capital to get the ball rolling, free VP distributions, get consumers to make VRS calls, not just point-to-point, which does not generate any money at all. I do not work for Sorenson, but I think it is not at all unreasonable to ask for support from the consumers who use their equipment, servers, network, to make VRS calls and to use the servers for point-to-point, for something like $1.10 a month (the tax that the FCC still collects, and has several million dollars collected in a fund). Sorenson is a private company which only generates reimbursable funds when VRS calls are made. At the low rate (basically the text relay service rate) it is almost impossible to support the VRS platform – interpreters are more expensive than typists). Of course, I remember years ago, when the Deaf Community itself supported DICO (SF/Bay Area text relay service) with subscription of $15/month limited and $25/month frequent or daily calling, Mon-Fri, 6am to 6pm (if I remember right). Truth be told, Deaf and Hard of Hearing have a right to access, but when FCC threatens this access with severe cutbacks of reimbursement, and not a lot of research to make this decision – after all, they ARE politicians – then this will hurt the Deaf community IF VRS companies have to cut back services. Just an opinion.

Leave a Reply