Re: The facts about getting a SmartVision phone repaired

Ann Parsons

Hi all,

Eeyore, your attitude is just why we, the blind, have had such an abismal track record when it comes to unemployment. People won't hire someone if they don't have experience, but you can't get experience if you aren't hired. The only way to "prove" a track record is to use the company.

I do wish you'd quit saying "obscure company", Eeyore. It is only obscure to you and to others who live in the U.S. It may be quite well known in France and surrounding countries.

The Oden phone had financial difficulties and I don't know about the Lucia phone, but if Americans don't see potential in any companies except American ones, that's a shame. People in other parts of the world do manufacture good things. They run financially viable companies, they have market share which you, in your insular attitude have no notion of.

*Any* product may have problems, especially one that is fairly new. The Orbit Reader started out with some difficulties with its dots. That problem has been fixed. I will say that if one pays attention to only lists, all you will hear is bad news. People don't write about good experiences. So, give it a rest Eeyore, please?

Ann P.

Original message:

So your BlindShell phone started having problems after only two months? How easy was it to get a replacement? Did you have to send the phone back directly to the manufacturer in the Czech Republic? Or did the merchant you bought it from handle the replacement? I hate to say I told you so, but I warned potential customers of this phone that buying a cell phone made by an overseas manufacturer with an unproven track record could be problematic. This is what killed the Lucia and Odin Mobile phones: they were made by obscure, overseas companies with no service facilities in theUS, and when they went belly-up due to poor sales, their customers got stuck with expensive paperweights. And although IRIE promises excellent customer service, for the Smart Vision, the fact of the matter is that they are a distributor, not a manufacturer, which means that if you have trouble with your Smart Vision phone and return it to them for repair, they, in turn, may have to send it back to the manufacturer, Kapsys, which could be very time consuming, or else order parts from Kapsys to repair it themselves, which would also be time consuming. And with the pandemic raging out of control in many parts of the country, the last thing you want to do right now is to stand on line at your local post office to send a broken cell phone back to the merchant or manufacturer. Someone commented that they were extremely satisfied with their Kapsys Captain GPS device. However, I recall that when it was first introduced, it was reviewed by AFB Access World and found to be highly inaccurate, and it disappeared from the market within six months, never to be heard about again. This seems to be a common fate for many specialized products for the blind that are either poorly designed or else are too expensive for the average blind consumer. I apologize for coming across as "negative", but blind consumers should be aware of the pitfalls of buying expensive products especially designed for the blind made by companies with poor or unproven track records in the US. A major reason why the IPhone has become so popular with many blind consumers is that it is made by a large, mainstream manufacturer which has stores, distributors and facilities all over the US, so that it is easy to get it serviced without having to jump through hoops.


On 7/13/2020 6:08 PM, Abbie Taylor wrote:

Hi all,
I also listened to the tech talk presentation on this phone. Although the sales representtive from IrieATT didn't demonstrate the device, I found the program quite helpful.
I recently bought a BlindShell phone, and I love it for its ease of use and accessibility of everything on the phone. But it has had its problems, and I had to replace the unit once already in the two months I've had it. I can't help wondering what will go wrong with the phone next. Since this is my only phone, that's scary.
I'm planning to email BlindShell in the hope that the current bug with dictation can be fixed. If not, I may more seriously consider the Kapsis Smart Vision 2.
I've already checked out some of the videos on the IrieATT site and read the user manual, but I still have questions. Ann tells me the folks at IrieATT are great. So, I may call them if necessary. I never dreamed I'd want a smart phone, since my BrailleNote Touch Plus does just about everything an Android phone can do. But it might be nice to have one with buttons and not have to use a blessed touch screen, even if the device does have quite a learning curve. --

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author <> <> <>
Ann K. Parsons
Portal Tutoring
Author of The Demmies:
Portal Tutoring web site:
Skype: Putertutor

"All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost."

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