NEW YORK - Verizon's network is now "translating" the company's recorded referral announcements into text for customers who use text telephones or TTYs. The new service - called TTY Referral - can be used by customers with TTY devices who arrange to disconnect or change their telephone number.
TTY Referral now is available in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, Washington, D.C., and most of Virginia.
TTYs are typewriter-like communications devices that enable people with speech or hearing disabilities to communicate by typing messages back and forth over telephone lines, either to a relay service or to other TTY equipment. TTYs have text displays that allow users to "read" conversation as it is being typed to them.
"Many Verizon customers rely on TTY devices to conduct business and stay in touch with family and friends," said Chuck Buchanan, Verizon product manager for TTY Referral. "TTY Referral will ensure that when these customers move or disconnect service, anyone calling their old number via a TTY device can obtain information on the change, including their new telephone number."
Now, when TTY users reach recorded voice messages such as "The number you have dialed, 123-456-7890, has been changed...," Verizon's TTY Referral will translate the messages into the text code commonly used by TTY devices. An example of a referral message returned to a TTY caller follows:
- (In text) Please hold.
- (Spoken) The number you have dialed, 123-456-7890, has been changed. The new number is 123-789-0456. Please make a note of it. The tones to follow are for Text Telephones.
- (In text) The number you have dialed, 123-456-7890, has been changed. The new number is 123-789-0456. Please make a note of it.
Verizon will offer TTY Referral to all TTY users who move or disconnect their Verizon service free of charge for one to three months for residence customers and up to 12 months for qualified business customers.
Verizon worked with several TTY users and organizations to introduce TTY Referral in the Mid-Atlantic area. The service is already available to Verizon customers in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin and Southern Indiana. Verizon plans to deploy TTY Referral in more of its service area in coming months.
TTY users who want to change their Verizon phone service should consult the customer guide pages of their Verizon directory for the customer service TTY number.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.