If you communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) then contacting companies over the phone can be quite a challenge! There are of course Text Relay services (formerly known as TextDirect and Typetalk) such as NGTS, however they can be quite cumbersome - wouldn't it be great if you could just have a normal, free-flowing conversation using BSL in the same way that others pick up the phone and talk to an advisor? Well, the great news is that with SignVideo you can do exactly that!
SignVideo replaces the slow, cumbersome Text Relay with a video relay making use of your PC's webcam, or your mobile phone's built in camera so that you can communicate with an interpreter using BSL. This interpreter will then relay what your are saying to an advisor, and relay their responses back to you using BSL.
Do O2 offer the SignVideo service?
Yes, absolutely! O2 are proud to offer this innovative solution for BSL users to contact the Customer Service team. Lots of other companies use SignVideo too, which is great as it means that it's getting easier for BSL users to communicate in the way that spoken language users do.
For a British Sign Language video explaining what SignVideo is and how it can benefit you click here
What do I need to use the SignVideo service?
To use the service from the comfort of your home or office using a computer, the most important thing you'll need is a webcam, as that's how the interpreter will be able to see you. Many modern laptops (and some desktops) have a camera built, but if not then you can usually plug an external one in. You'll also need stable, high speed internet connection which is capable of streaming video - most home broadband connections should be more than capable, although please don't try to use the service via dial-up! And finally you'll need a compatible internet browser - Microsoft's Internet Explorer (version 7 or above), Chrome (PC Only) or Safari are the best options as they are tested and proven to work.
You can start a SignVideo call to O2 from your PC by following this link
The first time you use the service from your PC or Mac, you'll be prompted to download and install a plug-in. Don't worry, just follow the instructions on the screen.
So long as your mobile phone has a front facing ("selfie") camera, and is capable of installing apps from the Google Play Store (for Android phones) or the App Store (for Apple iPhones) then you shouldn't need anything else. You can download the latest version of the SignVideo app for your handset by following the links below.
Once you have downloaded the app you can open the app without the need for a username or password by using the following link - https://o2.signvideo.net/
What if I'm having difficulty using or setting up the service?
Once you're connected, the team will always do their best to help and support you, however that obviously doesn't help if you are unable to connect a video call in the first place. If you are having difficulties, you can email a dedicated technical support team who will talk you through the setup and any problems you may be having. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com should get you the help you need.
How exactly does it work?
It's really quite simple, you place a call to a SignVideo BSL interpreter using your PC/Mac or Smartphone and when it's connected simply tell the interpreter that you need to call O2 - make sure that your webcam or phone camera can see you, as this is how the interpreter will understand as you sign to them. They will then connect a voice call with one of the Customer Service team, and will seamlessly interpret the conversation - relaying what you say to the advisor, and vice versa. There may be a slight delay whilst the interpreter listens to information provided by the advisor before they are able to relay this to you, however this shouldn't be overly noticeable, and the conversation should flow normally.
Is it safe/secure?
Yes! The video call connection between you and the SignVideo BSL interpreter is securely encrypted, to ensure that any private information discussed during the call remains protected, and all information is treated in the strictest confidence by both the interpreter and the advisor as you'd expect wtih any call. None of your personal information relating to your O2 account (or your relationship with any other company who offer the SignVideo service) is stored by SignVideo at all.
When is the service available?
SignVideo BSL interpreters are ready and waiting to help you connect with O2 and other companies between 8am and 6pm Monday to Friday, although please remember that they aren't available at weekends or on Bank Holidays.
What does it cost?
Absolutely nothing! This service is provided free of charge, as O2 (and other companies using the service, of course) believe it's important that all customers have a convenient means of contacting them in a way which is comfortable and natural.
Don't forget, O2 (and other companies offering the SignVideo service as a means to contact them) are not responsible for any content or service provided by SignVideo. That said, if you do have any problems with the service when using it to speak to O2, or are unhappy with any other aspect of this service offering, the please do let O2 know.