AT&T Causes uproar with Deaf Customers

Deafmac writes, “…we complained about their offering to the hearing people to have Voice-Only plan on their iPhones. As we all know, it spoke of discrimination and they removed it. Now we both, hearing and deaf, are back to square one where we have to pay $59.99 a month for both voice and data plans.” However, read the comments as well as the following blogs for a full picture.
Gizmodo caught wind of this and posted on the topic. According to a Gizmodo follow up, AT&T is bringing a data only plan for iPhones. But what if we don’t want an iPhone? Wish Verizon would follow suit and give us more choices.
* CrunchGear
* TUAW.
* Apple Gazette has a podcast, but that won’t do some of us much good.


I hope more companies other than T-Mobile and AT&T offer data only plans. It would be nice to have a choice. For the past three years, I’ve been using T-mobile and the network is getting worst every year. We’re at the point where we’re ready to pay an early termination fee as the network has failed us too many times including emergency situations.
iPhones have an on screen keyboard, but it’s easier to make a mistake on these keyboards than on the type of keyboards that Blackberrys, Sidekicks and Treos use. So I can’t see an iPhone being an effective phone for my needs.

6 comments

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    • Lantana on December 1, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    I have a Blackberry Curve with AT&T. I have data only, no voice. I got it last spring.
    But I pay $63.00 month! There are things that AT&T include but items that I cannot use, so I deleted them from my desktop, but I am still paying for them. ~~Sigh~~ ‘Doesn’t seem fair.
    Lantana

    • Just me on December 2, 2007 at 7:21 am

    Sprint has a data only plan for the deaf.

    • deafattemployee on December 4, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    at&t mobility does offer 2 different TAPs(text acccessibility plan) to deaf subscribers – 30 dollars for unlimited data and 5k text msgs and 35 dollars for unlimited data and unlimited text msgs. TAP acccepts any Treo Devices and WM devices such as at&t tilt, Motorola q9 and others. TAP for iphone is coming up very soon. Blackberry devices arent acepted for TAP because RIM server is very expensive. every wireless carrier pays the hevy bills to RIM for that runs the server. Personally i have at&t tilt. i love it. i have had HTC devices for two years. those HTC devices do meet my needs

    • meryl on December 5, 2007 at 1:32 pm

    Thanks for posting this information — most helpful as I could not find the cost of these plans. I assume the Palm Treos are available with TAP? I wonder if an iPhone is even useful considering the onscreen keyboard is likely harder to use than those with hardware keyboards.
    Here is the iPhone accessibility features page. It’s not clear whether iPhone works with IM apps to chat with those on AIM or other networks. It says, “The iPhone SMS application provides text-based SMS in a familiar iChat-like interface that lets you manage, track, and save multiple chat conversations.”
    But doesn’t clearly answer whether we can chat with others in AIM or something like iChat — just that it is iChat-like. Did find MobileChat and eBuddy.

    • deafattemployee on December 6, 2007 at 7:00 am

    meryl,
    treo device : yes TAP accepts any treo devices – i heard treo 500 is coming up soon.
    iphone : yes, that is correct that instant messesgings are sent through SMS, however, i suggest ya to get a third party IM software for iphone – beejive(www.beejive.com). some ppl i know said beejive is better for iphone. beejive is used through internet(data), not SMS. mundu has a program for iphone as well. iphone onscreen keyboard might be more difficult to type with my fat thumbs. i prefer full qwerty keyboard on mobile 🙂 BTW for anyone who loves high speed internet on iphone, 3G iphone is coming up.
    happy holiday

    • meryl on December 8, 2007 at 11:42 am

    I wouldn’t recommend the iPhone to those using a cell phone for typing or texting others — just read that it indeed “may lead to more errors than other types of keyboards.”
    Typing is the most frequently used feature for me when it comes to cell phones — thus, having an actual QWERTY keyboard is important.

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