Re: The facts about getting a SmartVision phone repaired

Ann Parsons

Hi all,

I purchased the phone sight unseen after speaking at length with Irie-AT and reading the manual.

Ann P.

Original message:

For the sake of disclosure, did you purchase your Smart Vision phone
online directly from IRIE totally sight unseen?  Or did you purchase it
after being able to get your hands on it in person at the ACB convention
last summer, which was hosted in your home town of Rochester, NY?  After
all, you would certainly be much more likely to spend $700 for this
phone and enthusiastically recommend it if you could check it out in
person.  But, of course, since this phone is not sold in any stores in
the US, it would be impossible for the rest of us to check it out in
person first before we plunk down all that money.     And did you pay
full price, or did you receive a substantial discount because you are a
technology trainer and have close ties to the ACB?  Bonjor, mon ami.


On 7/14/2020 8:02 AM, Ann Parsons wrote:
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
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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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