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Blog - May 2015

I See Books Differently (#IAmYourCustomer)

I remember my very first online shopping experience in 2005. I was exploring the choices available in the digital world for books. Although downloads of audio books had already become available, I was shopping for reading materials on CD from commercial booksellers, as I wanted to share the joy of listening with my brother Peter, who was at that time loosing his fight with cancer.

My first stop was at a well known online book store, where I added almost $300 worth of audio books to my shopping cart.

Seeing ourselves as "customers" (#IAmYourCustomer)

Sometimes sitting around a kitchen table produces amazing results. This is exactly what happened one day recently when AEBC members Sharlyn and Deanna got together around Sharlyn's kitchen table - the new AEBC's "I Am Your Customer" campaign was the result.

We have come to see ourselves as "consumers," and this is a positive development, as a growing number of us now have developed heightened expectations of the extent and quality of services that are available to us.

Greyhound Bus Online Ticket Purchase (#IAmYourCustomer)

Recently I attempted to purchase a Greyhound ticket for a trip I was planning. I appreciated the fact that it could be done online using my credit card, then printed and stowed away in my suitcase for convenience. What a wonderful way to ensure that they’ll have a seat for me when I arrive at the bus depot, and for me to be organized so as to reduce my stress levels during the trip.

I was planning to take this trip without a sighted guide, and as I’m totally blind it was important to me to have all my ducks in a row. Sadly, my repeated attempts to complete the transaction on my Windows 8.1 PC computer or my iPhone 6 failed. Some of the fields wouldn’t allow me to access them with the help of the screen reading technology I use to access both of the above noted online devices.

My cell phone bill in braille ... or not. (#IAmYourCustomer)

My journey started when I purchased my very first iPhone in May of 2012 after putting my old Nokia 6682 to rest. I spent two hours in the local Roger's store, playing around with mobile phones to see what would suit my needs as someone who is totally blind. The 4S was the newest mobile phone that I wanted so bad; it felt great holding a 'somewhat' accessible device in my hand that was further advanced than my Nokia. Sold!

The Customer Service Representative was great. He set up my phone, transferring my contacts to my new iPhone and making sure that Voiceover and Siri was turned on. I think I taught the Customer Representative a lot that day using Voiceover with an iPhone.

I walked out of Roger's very excited - almost like a child in a candy store.

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