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Complaining about a VRS service

This article explains when and how you should make a complaint about a video relay service. If you’re not sure who to contact you can send us a message.

What is a video relay service?

A video relay service makes it possible for a deaf person who use sign language and a hearing person to have a conversation when they are in different places. A sign language interpreter is used to relay the conversation. The deaf person is connected to a sign language interpreter via a webcam and internet connection. The hearing person is connected to the same sign language interpreter via a telephone.

Who can I communicate with using a video relay service?

An increasing number of public services and companies are using a video relay service to make themselves accessible. The UK Council on Deafness keeps a list of organisations you can contact via video relay service, but it might not be complete.

Who provides video relay services?

The UK Council on Deafness has an up-to-date list of companies that provide video relay service. There are currently five.

What might I need to complain about?

You might need to complain about

  • the person you had a conversation with;
  • the sign language interpreter; or
  • the video relay service.

Complaining about the person you had a conversation with

If you want to complain about the person you had a conversation with you should contact the organisation they work for. For example, if you called Vodafone and the person you spoke to as rude or unhelpful, you need to contact Vodafone. Most organisations tell you how to complain on their website.

Complaining about the sign language interpreter

If you want to complain about the sign language interpreter didn’t do a good job, you should contact the company that provided the video relay service. For example, you called Barclaycard. You thought the sign language interpreter didn’t understand everything you were signing. SignVideo provides the video relay service to Barclaycard so you need to contact SignVideo. If you don’t know which company provided the video relay service, you should ask the organisation you were contacting to tell you.

Complaining to NRCPD

NRCPD (the National Registers of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind People) makes sure sign language interpreters have the proper training. NRCPD also tells sign language interpreters how they should act when they are interpreting. Interpreters must follow the NRCPD Code of Conduct. If the sign language interpreter didn’t do what the Code of Conduct says they must do, you should also contact NRCPD.

Complaining about the video relay service

If you want to complain about the video relay service you should contact the company that provided the video relay service. For example, the video of the sign language interpreter was blurry and you couldn’t see what they were signing. If you don’t know which company provided the video relay service, you should ask the organisation you were contacting to tell you.

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