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    Hearing

    Support for customers with disabilities.

    Services you may find useful

    A text relay service is designed to help customers use a phone because they have difficulty hearing or speaking. It's effectively a translation service, which converts voice-to-text or text-to-voice.

    If you struggle with hearing, a relay assistant will type what the other person is saying, so that you can read their words in real time. If you have difficulty speaking on the phone, a relay assistant will speak the words you type, so the other person can hear your words in real time.

    Next Generation Text and the NGT App

    Next Generation Text (NGT) is a new and improved version of the previous text relay service and is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    You can use a text phone for NGT (like the old text relay service), but nowadays there's also a free NGT App, which works with smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs, so that you can use NGT wherever you have an internet connection.

    There are different ways in which you can use Next Generation Text depending on your circumstances. These options are summarised below:

    .

    Option If you... How it works
    'Type and Read' ...can't hear and don't use your voice You type what you want to say on a phone call, and read what the other person says.
    'Speak and Read' ...can't hear but can use your voice You speak directly to the other person, a relay assistant types the response back to you and stays on the call for as long as is required.
    'Type and Hear' ...can hear but don't use your voice You are connected to a relay assistant who reads to the other person the words you've typed, while you hear the other person speak.
    'Speak and Hear' ...can hear, and are speaking to someone who needs to use NGT Communicating with someone who is not able to speak on the phone, via a text relay assistant.

    Cost of NGT

    The cost of a text relay call is the same as if you made the call without text relay. We know that text relay calls can take longer than a normal voice call, so we make adjustments to your call charges to make sure that you aren't out of pocket.

    Need more help?

    NGT is not a service provided directly by Plusnet. To find out lots about the options available and how to use NGT we recommend that you visit the Next Generation Text website: www.ngts.org.uk.

    You can also contact our customer support team on 0800 432 0200 or through our Twitter and Facebook pages.

    The emergency SMS service is there for people who struggle to speak on the phone, so they can alert the emergency services without needing to call them.

    The emergency SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard.

    How to register

    Before you can use the service you need to register your mobile phone by sending the word 'register' in an SMS message to 999.

    You'll then get the SMS message below about the service.

    "After reading ALL this message, SEND THE WORD 'YES' TO 999 TO COMPLETE YOUR REGISTRATION - otherwise your phone isn't registered. In an emergency, you will know your message has been received ONLY when you get a reply from an emergency service; until then try other methods. Full details, Terms & Conditions are available at www.emergencysms.org.uk"

    When you've read the message, reply by texting 'yes' to 999 and you'll then get a message telling you that your mobile phone is registered or if there is a problem with your registration.

    For more details go to www.emergencysms.org.uk

    The easiest way to ensure you don't miss a payment is to pay your bills by Direct Debit. This way you'll never need to worry about missing a bill. However, we appreciate that some customers prefer to pay with a credit or debit card.

    In exceptional circumstances, like a long stay in hospital, we know that anyone can accidentally forget to pay a bill. Therefore, we offer various ways for someone else to manage bills on your behalf if your personal circumstances change, whether temporarily or on a permanent basis.

    Service Protect Scheme (Phone and broadband customers only)

    We have a scheme in place to prevent service interruption should you be unable to make a payment due to, for example, a long stay in hospital or a change in circumstances. You can nominate a friend or relative (a nominee) who we will contact should there be a payment outstanding on the account. We would attempt to contact the nominee before any service restrictions are applied, and that nominee will be authorised to make a payment on your account. In order to add a nominee, please fill in the Protected Services Scheme application form (pdf 102KB) and send it in to us or, if you are unable to print the form, please contact our support team on 0800 423 0200 to request one.

    Authorised Users (Phone and Broadband)

    You can nominate up to two people to manage your phone and broadband account. They can manage your bills, make payments, contact us about faults and ask questions about the account.

    Authorised users cannot close the account, accept additional charges on your behalf or make any changes to your contract.

    To set up an authorised user for phone and broadband, just give us a call on 0800 432 0200.

    Authorised Users (Mobile)

    You can nominate one authorised user to manage your mobile account. They will have access to your account information, such as usage allowance, details about the bill and any out of bundle spend.

    The authorised user cannot edit any details, cancel the service or request a PAC, edit security questions, request a SIM swap or complete an upgrade.

    To set up an authorised user for mobile, just call 500 from your Plusnet Mobile device, or 0800 079 1133 from any other phone.

    Power of Attorney

    There may be times when you need someone to manage your affairs for you. A Power of Attorney (PoA) is a legal document which gives someone else (known as the attorney) legal authority to make decisions and act on your behalf. If you have a PoA we’ll treat them as the account holder, which means you’ll no longer be able to manage your account.

    The types of PoA we accept are:

    .

    PoA type Proof we need
    Lasting Power of attorney Must be registered and validated by the Office of Public Guardian
    Enduring Power of attorney Must be signed by both parties Only needs to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian if the donor has lost mental capacity
    Ordinary power of attorney Must be signed by both parties
    Deputyship order Must be stamped by the Court of Protection
    Benefits appointee BF57 form must be provided which has been processed by DWP with an official stamp

    *Please note we're unable to accept other types of PoA.

    You can find out more information on PoA including other types of PoA on Ofcom’s website.

    If you have a power of attorney you can send a copy using the options below:

    .

      Phone and broadband Mobile Method
    Postal address Plusnet plc
    The Balance
    2 Pinfold Street
    Sheffield
    S1 2GU
    Plusnet plc
    The Balance
    2 Pinfold Street
    Sheffield
    S1 2GU
    Photocopy
    Email address postroom@plus.net Mobile-help@plus.net Scanned copy

    We do our best to keep all our services up and running at all times. However, it's not possible to guarantee a completely fault-free service and occasionally, we know that some customers may experience problems with their phone line.

    For customers who are dependent on their phone service, we operate a free priority fault repair scheme, which offers enhanced support and speedier fault resolution for eligible customers.

    Who can receive priority fault repair?

    If you register as disabled and/ or vulnerable with Plusnet then you may be entitled to priority fault repair. We can only provide the service to those who need it most, so if you tell us about any disabilities or vulnerabilities we can assess if we're able to offer you the service.

    You can let us know about any disabilities or vulnerabilities by calling 0800 432 0200 or via the Additional Support Form in Member Centre.

    Need more help?

    If you have any questions about our priority fault repair scheme, please contact our customer support team on 0800 432 0200 or via our Twitter and Facebook pages.

    Help with landline and mobile phones

    Plusnet Home Phone customers can also benefit from a range of call features. Here are some of the features we offer which you may find useful:

    .

    Call feature Description
    Caller display This is also sometimes known as Caller ID and does exactly as it says - shows you who is calling. All you need to use it is a phone that has a display to show the numbers that you're calling or that are calling you.
    Call Divert Divert your calls to your UK landline, mobile and most international destinations. If a diverted call is included in your call plan, it won’t cost you anything extra. If it's not part of your call plan, you'll be charged the standard rate for that call.
    Voicemail 1571 Voicemail makes sure you never miss a call. It's basically like an answering machine, only you don't need the machine bit. You can save messages for up to 20 days and record your own greeting.
    Voicemail Extra (or Call Minder) Voicemail Extra does everything that standard Voicemail does, but has additional features, such as being able to choose how many times the phone rings before a call goes to Voicemail, the ability to check your messages from any phone, link up with your mobile so it will send you a text to say you have a new voicemail message, and you can save your messages for up to 30 days.
    Anonymous Call Reject You can use this to block calls from withheld numbers. It won't block calls if the incoming number is 'unavailable', as the caller hasn't made any attempt to hide the number they're calling from. There are a few reasons this might happen, like if the person's calling from another country.
    Plusnet Call Protect Plusnet Call Protect catches nuisance calls on your landline and sends them straight to junk voicemail, where they belong.

    Some of these call features are free, others are chargeable. For information on pricing, and how to add and use these features, please refer to our call features page.

    At Plusnet, we don't sell home phone handsets. However, we appreciate how important it is that you have equipment that suits your needs in order to get the most out of your Plusnet service.

    This page describes some of the features on modern handsets that are designed to help people who might have difficulties using a standard phone.

    .

    Feature Description
    Hearing aid compatibility You can buy phones that are specifically designed to be compatible with hearing aids, to prevent any buzzing or interference.
    Hands-free options Some phones have a hands-free option, such as a loudspeaker or separate headphones. This means that the sound can travel to both ears. It also allows for easy note taking.
    Separate keypad A lot of phones have the keypad built into the handset which sits by your ear. However, a phone with the keys on the base unit will allow you to keep the handset next to your ear if you need to press any buttons during the call.
    Visual call indicators You can get handsets with a visual call indicator, such as a flashing light, to let you know when someone is calling you.
    Amplify button Most phones should have a volume control which allows you to boost the sound of the ringtone and the incoming volume of the other caller. You can also get phones that make your own voice louder for the other person.
    Two-way recording Two-way recording allows you to record parts of a phone conversation and replay it later.
    Slow playback Some phones allow for slow playback of recorded messages, so that you can take down details more easily.
    Nuisance call blocking You can now purchase phones with built-in technology that will identify and block unsolicited marketing calls. This means the phone won't even ring and you won't be bothered by the unwanted intrusion.

    The ability to communicate using a mobile phone can give everyone more independence, and we want to make sure that everyone can reap the benefits of a more flexible and connected lifestyle. Did you know you can buy mobile phones with special features designed especially for people with disabilities or impairments? And most of them are built in. We don't sell mobile phones at Plusnet, but we have put together some useful tips about what to look for if you’re buying a phone from elsewhere.

    If you struggle with your hearing, here are some phone features that may help you:

    .

    Feature Description
    Hearing aid compatibility Some mobiles have an induction loop so they can connect directly to your hearing aid. You just need to switch your hearing aid to the “T” position. Modern hearing aids that are Bluetooth enabled can connect directly to some mobiles, for example Apple have a MFI option (Made For iPhones) that connect to some hearing aids
    Hands-free options Most mobile phones have a hands-free option, such as a loudspeaker or separate headphones, meaning that the sound can travel to both ears.
    Visual call indicators Most mobiles have a visual call indicator, such as the screen lighting up or a flashing light, to let you know when someone is calling you.
    Caller display Mobiles phones will display the number of the person calling you, meaning you can chose not to answer if you don’t recognise the number.
    Volume control or amplification Most mobile phones have a volume control which allows you to boost the sound of the ringtone and the incoming volume of the other caller.
    Vibrating alert Mobile phones have a vibrate feature, meaning you can feel when someone is calling you.
    Ability to change the ringtone Mobiles have a range of ringtone options, so you can select one that you can hear more easily.
    Next Generation Text Lite app Designed for people with hearing loss or impaired speech, it is worth checking if your mobile can download and run the Next Generation Text Lite app, giving you access to text relay services.
    Emergency SMS Service This service allows you to send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard. Please bear in mind you will need to register your mobile phone before using the EmergencySMS service.

    If you need more specialist information try the Action On Hearing Loss website or visit Hearing Links website for more information.

    If you would like additional help for you or someone you know, the Global Accessibility Reporting Initiative (GARI) is a project designed to help you find mobiles (as well as tablets and apps) with features that might help you. It’s based in the USA, however does include some phones that are available in the UK. Find out more at gari.info.

    Helpful features of your YouView TV box

    If you find it hard to hear what people on TV are saying, then you might find subtitles useful. Subtitles are a text version of the dialogue and sound effects in programmes. If a broadcaster has added subtitles to their content, you’ll be able to see them using YouView.

    How to use subtitles with YouView

    Subtitled programmes have an [S] icon next to their title in the programme guide.

    You can turn subtitles on or off by pressing the Sub button on your remote control or by pressing the YouView button then going to Settings > Accessibility > Language & Subtitles > Subtitles.

    If available, subtitles are automatically recorded even if you have them switched OFF at the time of the recording.

    Sign language is a visual language that uses hand shapes and patterns together with facial expressions to communicate. Programmes using British Sign Language will show a person in the corner of the screen translating the speech and expressing feelings.

    How to find out if a programme has sign language

    Not all programmes have sign language – it depends on whether the broadcaster has made it available. You can find out if a programme has sign language by viewing the programme summary:

    • press the information button on your remote, on the programme you want to view with sign language
    • if the programme summary shows [SL], it has sign language available.

    Turning on the sign language feature

    You can turn on this feature on by pressing the YouView button on your remote then going to Settings > Accessibility > Language & Subtitles > Sign Language. Turning on this feature means that if a version of On Demand content with sign language is available, you'll see that version of the programme.

    If you record a programme with sign language, its sign language will be recorded too.

    If you use a hearing aid, then you can attach an induction loop to your YouView+ box. An induction loop works with your hearing aid to reduce background noise, so you get a better sound and don't need to turn up the TV volume.

    Using an induction loop with YouView

    You can connect an induction loop to the audio out socket on the back of your YouView+ box.

    The loop will only work when your hearing aid is switched to the 'T' setting. It then connects the sound from your YouView+ box to your hearing aid, cutting out background noise.

    An induction loop is prone to electromagnetic interference from computers, mobile and digital phones, so it's a good idea to keep these away from your TV.

    If you have the mini YouView box and you want to use an induction loop, you can connect it to the audio output of your TV set.

    You can find out more about hearing loops on the RNID website.

    You can plug in a Bluetooth headset to your YouView box so you can hear the TV better.

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