Major Problems with Bell/Rogers/Telus Canadian IP-Relay Service

Hello
There are currently numerous problems with Canadian IP-Relay services at this moment, so I had to mail a CRTC complaint (Home Phone section) at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/phone/plaint.htm

I am posting here, since other deaf Canadians may need to know about this.

Hello,

There is a Canada-Wide IP-Relay accessibility problem for the deaf that is now affecting Bell/Rogers/Telus.

I am a DEAF person dependent on relay telephone service.
I have Bell Home Phone and Rogers Mobile. Both use the same IP-Relay service system. So this covers both Home Phone and Mobile.

There is a CRTC legal requirement for IP-Relay:
crtc.gc.ca/eng/phone/acces/mrsrt.htm

But the carriers seems to be letting the IP-Relay service degrade in quality over the last few years with little maintenance since the first IP-Relay.
The below affects Rogers/Bell/Telus, all of them, because they use a shared IP-Relay system:
1. The IP Relay Service (both Bell & Rogers) user interface is not mobile friendly on an iPhone device.
2. The IP Relay Service (both Bell & Rogers) does not correctly work with a wireless keyboard with an iPad
3. The IP Relay Service doesn't resize gracefully with narrow browser windows
4. The IP Relay Service is not visually accessible, and the text is extremely small on iPads. No choice of "small/medium/large/jumbo" text sizes.
5. Often I have to wait a long time for an operator, sometimes 30 minutes to make a 1 minute phone call
6. Login screens are difficult to get past quickly especially on mobile devices.
All the above affects Bell/Rogers/Telus

In addition, there are some service-specific issues.
1. Bell IP-Relay registration has a broken Chat button
2. Rogers IP-Relay is illegally insecure at the moment (red padlock) at go.iprelayservice.net
3. Rogers IP-Relay has an unusually mandatory password-change every few months more strict than ONLINE BANKING and the ROGERS BILLING and the BELL BILLING system. The disabled often have more difficulty with passwords than the average population.

The design of the IP-Relay service is very discriminatory as a result; and discourage users
A. Deaf friends tell me they have stopped using IP-Relay because many of above problem.
B. There is currently no legal mandate to persuade Bell/Rogers/Telus to maintain accessibility standards of IP-Relay
C. Time-consuming (up to 30 minutes) just to make a 1-minute phone call. (bad login screens, mobile-unfriendly screens, long operator hold times, unusually mandatory password changes, etc)
D. Lack of advertising, in combination to above, means that # of subscribers of IP-Relay is currently less than one-tenth what they are in some other countries. Some people claim that the combined IP-Relay difficulties may be a tactic to lower costs of operating IP-Relay (Whether intentionally or unintentionally) but even if not, the effect is still a discouragement of use of IP-Relay.

As a deaf software developer (by trade) I noticed many easy bugfixes. I would be happy to donate the instructions for the bugfix to Rogers and to Bell Canada. (Some of it is just simple CSS and HTML5 edits, and can save money over rewriting the software while making it compliant). It is not necessary to do a costly rewrite the IP-Relay software, but to do some maintenance. (In fact, I could potentially offer my services to do so, because this is also within my skills as a deaf software developer!)

Being a deaf software developer gives me a unique ability to relay complaints about this -- things that other disabled people are unable to complain about (e.g. difficulty in communicating a complaint). I have attached 10 screenshots and photographs that explain the problems of IP-Relay Canada-wide.

I give my 100% permission to relay this message. And to release my contact information to the software development teams at Bell / Rogers / Telus (and any other carriers that need to use IP-Relay) to get in touch with me. So that I can assist them in helping improve IP-Relay to current modern specifications.

Thank you very much,
-- Deaf since birth & unable to make phone calls without Relay



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