After the shutdown of Purple Communications IP-Relay Service, I've been waiting patiently for Sprint Relay to contact me with a new registration number and ability to make relay calls.
Sprint Relay requires a Driver's Licence or State Photo I.D. & a copy of the utility bill where you live. I sent those but only showed company name and our address (no account number, amount owing and such). Today I get an email saying to contact Customer Service to finish the registration. They asked a series of questions such as High School, College attended, mother's maiden name, etc. With each question, the knot in my stomach grew tighter as they get more personal. They requested a better copy of the Utility Bill with more information on it. I lied and said I'll do that later.
As soon as I finished with Customer Service I went to the FCC.gov site and tried to search for information on why the FCC (allegedly) needs all this information just for me to make a damn phone call? With no answers in the search, I went ahead and filed a complaint form:
"I would like to know why the FCC (according to Sprint Relay) is requiring new registers to provide a Drivers Licence or Photo ID and a copy of a Utility Bill as proof of person? Then a series of questions based on their "search" which feels like a violation of privacy. There must be a better way to be able to make an IP relay call without having to expose everything about myself! Please provide your reasons for requesting these information if they are in fact valid? IF not, please look into Sprint Relay and their inquest into our lives!"
Here's an excerpt their reply:
"Among other things, the interim rules required each IP CTS provider, in order to be eligible for compensation from the Fund for providing service to new IP CTS users, (i) to register each new IP CTS user by obtaining the consumer’s name, address, and telephone number; (ii) to obtain from each consumer a self-certification regarding the consumer’s understanding of and need to use IP CTS"
Here's their reason for the implementation of these rules:
"the Commission initiated a rulemaking proceeding to address the misuse of IP Relay
and VRS.1 The Commission noted that it was concerned that people without a hearing or speech disability were taking
advantage of the anonymity of the IP Relay service by calling merchants to place orders using
fake, stolen, or otherwise invalid credit cards. Such abuse drains the Interstate TRS Fund and
harms legitimate consumers whose calls are rejected by individuals and businesses that have
been the victims of such misuse."
Well there you have it! Stupid idiots abusing the system! It's hard enough to convince people that it's a relay call from a Deaf consumer, you have these idiots faking it for criminal use!
As much as I hate sharing private information, I need to rely on Relay Services for every day family management.
One finds limits by pushing them" ~ Herbert Simon