Interview with Jeffrey Bradford, Director of Marketing, CaptionCall
Carolyn Smaka: Hi Jeff, nice to talk with you again. I know the FCC has recently implemented some new regulations to the Captioned Telephone Service (CTS) industry, and I wanted to follow up with you regarding the current proceses for qualified consumers to obtain the CaptionCall phone and service.
Before we get into that, can you give us a brief review of CaptionCall?
Jeff Bradford: I would be happy to. CaptionCall is a telephone for people who have difficulty using the phone due to hearing loss. You’re probably familiar with captioned television - similarly, the CaptionCall phone displays written captions of what callers say on a large, easy to read screen. Using voice recognition, the caller’s words are converted to text that scrolls smoothly across the screen so you can read what they’re saying and reinforce anything your ears might have missed.
Carolyn: Other than the captions, does it work like a regular phone?
Jeff: Yes, CaptionCall works just like a regular phone. You can dial like you always have with other telephones; when it rings, you answer it like any other phone, so it’s extremely easy to use.
Along with the captions, there are some nice additional benefits from CaptionCall, such as superb sound quality with customizable audio settings to match an individual’s unique hearing loss; a sleek elegant design; and an easy-to-use touch screen. It’s also fast so you can have a natural conversation. Often times, people can’t even tell that you’re using an assistive listening device unless you tell them.
Carolyn: How does a consumer obtain CaptionCall?
Jeff: The CaptionCall phone can only be ordered through our website – www.CaptionCall.com or by calling toll-free 1-877-557-2227. Qualified individuals with hearing loss can actually get the CaptionCall phone and service absolutely free!
Carolyn: How is that possible? How can it be free?
Jeff: That’s probably the most common question I get. As a provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Federal Communications commission (FCC) has established a fund that gives individuals with hearing loss access to Captioned Telephone Service (CTS) at no cost. CaptionCall is an FCC Authorized CTS Provider and is compensated by the FCC for providing the captioning service at no cost to the user. The CaptionCall phone is not covered by the FCC fund, but is provided by CaptionCall so that eligible individuals may have access to the service. There is literally no cost for qualified participants in this federal program. All they need to do is maintain their phone line and internet connection.
Carolyn: Who is considered a “qualified” consumer for CaptionCall?
Jeff: Being an FCC-regulated program, an individual must certify that they have a medically recognized hearing loss that impacts their ability to use the telephone. Hearing healthcare specialists can determine if their patient’s hearing loss makes it difficult for them to use the phone, and if so, can complete and submit a certification form to CaptionCall for a free phone. Once they submit their certification, we deliver and install a free CaptionCall phone in their home.
Carolyn: So if a hearing professional wants to make CaptionCall available to their clients, what should they do?
Jeff: It’s easy! They simply sign up as an Authorized CaptionCall Provider by visiting www.captioncallprovider.com and completing the online form. A CaptionCall representatives will contact them to explain the program in more detail and get them set up as an authorized provider. Then a local CaptionCall rep will get them set up with a demo phone and brochures. There are no contracts to sign and no inventory to stock. CaptionCall provides a refreshing new marketing tool for hearing professionals who want to drive new and repeat traffic into their clinic.
Hearing care providers can use CaptionCall as a motivator to get ‘tested—not sold’ clients back into the office. It’s also a great motivator to minimize service or annual checkup appointment no shows. The free phone offer is a value that customers recognize, and practitioners are seeing success with. We can also provide professionals with marketing tools that will help refresh their ads and catch people’s attention.
We’re proud of our phone and service, and we are getting raving reviews from people on how it’s given them their life back. Helping people get the most out of life is really what we’re all about.
Carolyn: Thanks Jeff. It sounds very straightforward for consumers to get the help they need with the telephone. I appreciate your time in running through the process with me.
JEFF: Thank you, Carolyn.