Tuesday 29 September 2015

Deaf Girly & Twitter

This morning, I was frustrated because the programme on Rugby and head injuries I'd downloaded onto iPlayer iPad app to watch on the way to work didn't have subtitles. I was frustrated because this hardly ever happens anymore. Especially not on iPlayer.

This year, I've been frustrated that the subtitles didn't work when I visited Odeon. It was annoying. I ate plastic cheese – that was horrendous.

But what I have to remember is that things have changed.

They really have.

When I look back at my early blogs – I can't believe I've been writing Deafinitely Girly's ramblings for more than eight years now – so many of my posts were full-on rants about how many things were inaccessible to me in London.

If I went to see a subtitled movie it was a massive event. It normally didn't work. This year, I have successfully watched four subtitled films at the cinema. Things have changed.

Other blogs I wrote were about my difficulty in contacting customer services for companies. Anything from British Gas and O2 to car insurance and doctor's surgeries.

But things have changed. And the thing that's changed it the most for me personally is Twitter.

Now, I don't even consider calling a company if I have a question, a problem or something I want help with. No longer do I struggle with the automated options, the beeps, the strong accents and the fact that I am a deaf person trying to make a phone call.

Nope. In the last two years alone, I have sorted out my phone via the @O2 Twitter peeps, sorted out a meter problem via @BritishGasHelp and got @TheAA_UK to email me about something when I couldn't find how to contact them by email on their website.

Yesterday, I had a text from DPD to let me know they were going to deliver a parcel to my flat. The postcode was wrong. I was at work. Online, I could alter the delivery so that I could pick it up at the DPD depot, but I still had a lot of questions, such as 'Would they hand it over if I didn't have documentation with that postcode on?' and 'Had I changed the day correctly online?'

Forgetting about the power of Twitter for a moment, I lifted the phone (I know!! Why do I even bother?) and got trapped in an automated recorded message with loads of options and no way of hearing them. And then I remembered Twitter. And Tweeted @DPD_UK. They got straight back to me. They followed me and continued the conversation over direct message. And by the end of the day it was sorted. Just like that. No tears of frustration. No roping poor, unsuspecting – but never complaining – friends and colleagues to sort it out for me.

'This must be what it's like for hearing people when they call up customer services,' I thought. But do you know what, I think I'm luckier. I don't have to go through a million options on the phone before getting to a real person. Real people are on Twitter for these companies and more than happy to help me... and most likely anyone else who Tweets them.

Twitter has totally changed how I interact with companies for the better. So many of the struggles I used to blog about are disappearing little by little, year by year.

Amazing huh?

There is however just one final thing I want to fix. And that is having a GP surgery where I can make appointments online. So I don't have to get someone else to make an appointment for that embarrassing problem (NOT THAT I HAVE ONE BY THE WAY) and so that I can finally take control of most aspects of my life.

So yesterday, I trawled through all the GP surgeries in my area until I found one that I could make online appointments with. And I'm going to join it. I am ridiculously excited about this.

Sure, there's still things that could be improved, and I'm sure I'll rant about them at some point, but today, I'm quite happy to say that from Deafinitely Girly's point of view, things are changing. It's not so hard anymore.

Have a lovely day peeps


1 comment:

spratton said...

They will continue doing so too , I'm sure.

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