Craig Butcher

Bye bye TextRelay

I have been using TextRelay for nearly a decade. It is a service for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people to make calls. To use this, you call the number 18001 + area code + number, it will connect you via the operator at TextRelay sitting in between speaking for you as you type.

For years, I had ditched this service completely and rely solely on e-mails, contact forms on websites, Skype, texting and twitter.

A quick lowdown on the minicom used for TextRelay

A minicom (it is known as a textphone) looks like the one in the picture.

Can you go away please Minicom?!

What was once brilliant last century is now obsolete in today's world. These minicom are bulky device with one or two line text display where you will have to remember much of the conversation and scrolling up during the call is nigh on impossible.

During TextRelay, you will sometimes experience the handover of operators bringing frustration because the flow of the conversation get disrupted among other issues such as garbled text and confusion of 'who said what?'.

With the new call systems where you press umpteen digits on the phone, the TextRelay operator cannot keep up what you require to get through. There have been many times in the past where I have felt like giving up trying to get somewhere.

TextRelay belongs to the past.

Now we are in the new decade with the Internet reaching all corners of the globe and now all businesses are online ready to serve you via many communication methods available. We are now living in the information age where we know that we can contact someone within reach instantly online.

If we have issues with the services provided to us, it is a simple contact form via their website or tweet to the services. It is amazing how the Internet has changed over time where we are socially interacting with anyone at any time of the day.

With all this available at my fingertips, it is a thought why TextRelay still exists today.

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