I bought my Braille Sense U2 in August-September 2013 from Pacific Vision, the Australian distributor of HIMS International. I made this decision after exploring all the current products on the market at the time, namely Braille Sense and Braille Note. SO my decision was based on my needs and usability of both 1s. I did also consider the after sale support I would receive as a customer. That is really why I am writing this blog because I am not happy with the level of customer support I have received from Pacific Vision.
While I am a high end user of the product, and what I use I use well, I consider that I am not a tech savvy person, meaning that if something goes wrong with whatever the technology, I need help to fix it.
But I am a power user, meaning that I use my Braille Sense every day.
Since I bought my Braille Sense I have become a part of the Braille Sense users community in Australia through which I have made many friends. One friend, in particular, is Caz. She worked for Pacific Vision and sold me my Braille Sense, although I did not know her that well then. Caz came to my home to deliver my Braille Sense. She spent a few hours with me unpacking and setting it up to my specifications.
One major specification is my right hand is paralysed so I use the Braille Sense In one-handed mode. I think I must have investigated getting in touch but I do not know anybody else who uses the Braille Sense in one-handed mode so as far as I am aware I cannot compare notes with anybody else about this.
I got my Braille Sense on a Friday. I am used to businesses operating only five days a week, so I was a bit worried if I had any problems with my Braille Sense over the weekend. Caz assured me I could call her if I had any problems. But still I did not know her that well, so I did not want to bother her. Therefore I was very impressed when Caz called me on Saturday morning to see how I was going. Caz’s professionalism and her friendship has been a big part of my life and I am here to say that I cannot praise her enough. Frankly I do not understand why Caz no longer works for Pacific Vision. I would be interested to see if the level of sales of HIMS products has gone down since 2014.
I was dismayed, bemused and confused when Caz lost her job from Pacific Vision last year. But I am
just a user of the product, so do not have any influence. I have not had any trouble with the hardware of my Braille Sense until May 2015. I knew that the Braille display itself needed some attention as it has detiriated.
On 15 May 2015 I noticed the flashdisk had disappeared. I was busy that day so could not deal with it until the day after. Eric was visiting me on the Saturday so I could transcribe a vocal piece for my choir which I do on my Braille Sense. When he arrived I was in a panic because I could not find any way of saving a file on the flashdisk. I was speaking to Caz about it, although she does not work for Pacific Vision anymore and we could not get it going. My old Braille Note was not where I was, so I had to use my Perkins Braille Writer, which I never use anymore at all.
So later on that day after Eric and I had finished I made a mad dash up to Caz’s place. Caz offered for me to come to her place as she is now a friend and she knows a whole lot more about Braille Sense than I do, even though she does not work for the company anymore. There was nobody else I knew of. Imagine if your computer stopped working. What would you fall back to| Pen and paper| You might laugh but at least you have that option. I was without anything. I basically use my Braille Sense like somebody would a personal assistant type of device like a tablot, it is not a full blown computer but it is still pretty powerful. You become reliant on it.
Anyway, I really do appreciate that I had the option to dash up to Caz’s place, even though for some reason she lost her job last year. I cannot tell you what Caz did to try to fix my Braille Sense but everything still did not work.
The Wednesday after this I bit the bullet and got in contact with Rangit, who is the contact person for Victoria now. He said he would look into it and get back to me. I waited and waited. I was busy as well as I was working, was starting to rehearse for a new choir piece etc. But I heard nothing until I followed it up myself last Thursday 25 June.
This is unacceptable and unprofessional. He doesn’t understand what the problem is and there is no evidence that there is a concern that the technology has failed and further steps need to be taken. He kept asking me to take out the flashdisk and try it in a different computer. I do not know how else to explain that it is an internal flashdisk, not external.
On Friday 26 he passed it onto Chantelle who he says is the Braille Sense expert working for Pacific Vision now. She wrote an email to me expressing some options that have already been done to try and restore the unit which Caz tried a month ago. At least I can receive emails on my phone, but some people may not have this option. Email on my phone is a stop gap option for me because it is hard to write on my phone with one hand. To write a big, long email on my phone is most frustrating and something I do not like doing. What I find erksome is that there was no alternative contact details given, no phone number, no nothing. The only option is to reply to the email. I will do this tomorrow and see what happens.
Now, I work as a Customer Service Officer. So I know that if you want to get somewhere when dealing with an organisation as a customer, it does not help to get annoyed or verbally abusive. The way you need to be is assertive. I admit the lines are blerred because Caz is now a friend as well, but to have no alternative contact details and just expect me to reply to an email, especially when the person knows that my right hand is paralysed, is very poor. I may be getting worked up about nothing but I don’t think so. How many professional organisations do not have an email signiture| 0.
I think what I might do is reply to the email and ask her to call me.