Thursday 30 June 2011

What about a text phone?

Loving this weather!

You know when its sunny like this, I remember what my dream place to live looks like – and it doesnt include my nutty neighbour.

Ever since I was little Ive always seen myself to have a place with doors in the bedroom that open up onto a sunshine-filled balcony with an amazing view.

Hmmmmm, does a sash window and a fruit-filled cherry tree count?

Seriously though, something tells me I shall one day have that, but for now, I have my lovely flat and my nutty neighbour.

This week has flown by – what with spinning in my lunch hour and catch ups with Fab Friend and the Singing Swede, its hard to believe its almost the weekend – and that this time last week, First Ever Friend and I were getting ready for her legal wedding.

Last night, at dinner with the Singing Swede, thoughts turned to her wedding, which is in July. Its my last wedding of the year – unless anyone gets in there quickly.

Anyway, today Ive been thinking about text phones. Ive never had a landline in London as its an expense with little benefit for me. But what about a text phone? Mostly I rely on text messages, email and online booking systems to organise my life – indeed, I booked my car MOT in this way just the other day – but sometimes, there is no option of this.

Take yesterday, when I saw a man acting very oddly, shove something down a manhole cover and run away at great speed. It was all a bit dodgy – he wasnt in a utilities uniform or obviously carrying out work, so and wondered if I should let the police know – but its hardly a 999 scenario, which left the option of calling the non-emergency number.

Except, I knew, in all honesty, that I wouldnt be able to hear and that my confusion could actually cause more panic than necessary – like the time I called the British Gas emergency number to report a gas leak in my flat, from my work phone, couldnt hear so hung up and then caused mass hysteria at the office when British Gas rang back about the gas leak.

I also got told off by British Gas for hanging up – but I couldnt hear and there was no available alternative for me.

So yesterday, the only available alternative was a text phone, which I dont have.

This means that I didnt report the strange man and the manhole cover, and I have no idea if I should have done.

So today, in my lunch hour, I am going to read up on text phones as I know very little about them. I will also read up on anything else that bypasses the need to make phone calls when there is little alternative.

If UK peeps know of a good solution, please leave me a comment – all advice greatfully received.




Liz said...

This is something I need to consider myself and after research which what you are going to do is the best way about it, I plan to later get a screen phone later in the year. Thats after seeing someone at The Ear Foundation in Nottingham. And if I'm happy with a question I need to ask, then the next thing to do is have a contract with a phone company, then I can contact Social Services who will give me that phone on loan, and see how I go. :)

Thomsen said...


I know a friend in England that uses Blackberry Curve and it's done wonders for him.

Here's the link:

Anonymous said...

As a textphone user of a good number of years, I would recommend Action on Hearing Loss (formerly RNID) TalkbyText software (see:

I have 2 traditional textphones which i havent used in donkeys years since i discovered TalkbyText.
For me the benefits of TalkbyText is that its installed on my laptop/PC, i dont need a phone line for it (all i need is internet access so i guess a phone line is still needed cos you cant get broadband without one lol), i can call another person who has the software for free, i can use the web edition when i am on holiday to call someone without international costs, theres a mobile phone version as well (out or coming out soon and its "jumble-free" (as in the words i type to the operator dont get jumbled on their screen for a number of reasons i.e. poor line, interference, etc, something that happened quite often with my trad textphones).

However, the one benefit i miss about traditional textphone is that i can use my voice and speak directly to the person i am talking to then put the phone back on the textphone cups and see the person's reply typed out by the relay operator and pick it up again to reply by voice and so on.

But i certainly dont miss the phone bill detailing more than line rental costs!

Feel free to ask me anything you'd like to know. By the way, you can get TalkbyText installed on your work PC (that counts as "reasonable adjustment" under Equality Act 2010) to make calls through your work PC. There are HUGE benefits to this and i have it on my PC at work - infact, EVERY PC in my workplace has it lol...That gives u a clue where i work!

Make a great day and sorry this comment is sooooo long!!

D x

Me said...

WOW! This is all amazing advice! Thank you SOOOOOOO much. I'm so excited about this TalkbyText thing, particularly as you can get Virgin Fibreoptic broadband without a phone line – although it's not a bargain. Thank you thank you Liz and D.
Happy weekend

Liz said...

TalkbyText is something I have shown interest in too, but like D said it would be not using my voice to make it more personal to my caller, is something I'm not sure about. But still love it. So don't get me wrong, and I may still decide to have a go using it myself.

D could I ask please. I have heard when you phone a person who uses this software, it's a long phone number that you have. I'm concerned what difficulty people may have with this. What have you experienced when someone has phoned you? Have they been put off phoning you because of long number?
What advice would you give to me that I could give to my friends or work, on phoning me on this, to make it easier, should I chose this?

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