New Suggestion for voiceover issues. Contacting Customer Relations

Accessibility Advocacy

So I realized something. A few times I have had issues directly resolved by customer relations. For example, my MacBook was being shipped to an Apple store. The policy is that a customer can only pick up a fixed device at a store (if left at a store). When talking to customer relations, they were able to divert the computer directly to my house as a way to resolve the issue and "make me happy" as the rep put it.

Today, I called apple (1800-69-27753) and asked to be transferred to a customer relations rep. I explained the reason for this was a complaint regarding voiceover bugs that have not been fixed and seem to plague visually impaired and blind user year after year. The normal customer service rep did not understand what voiceover was, but transferred me to customer relations anyway. Once there, I explained that I am an iPhone user, that I have been suffering from a great number of issues as a blind user. These are directly due to bugs within the voiceover software built into all ios and mac device. I explained that there are issues such as focus going haywire in safari, and issues with navigation becoming impossible due to voiceover freezing. I also explained that sometimes, I had to restart the iPhone (5-6 times a day at times). I explained that as a blind user, I was frustrated at reporting many of these bugs, and them not being resolved (after years for some). I also explained how I was not the only individual who had these issues.

Further, I explained that I appreciated Apple's efforts to making their devices and software accessible. However, many things had become unusable due to voiceover bugs not getting fixed. I stated that I frequent a website called and how many individuals have discussed these bugs, expressed frustrations, and worry over reporting bugs and not getting any resolution.

The rep provided me with her information, but also stated that she would reach out and call me within a few days. She also stated that she would be coming onto the applevis sit to explore some of the issues I stated we as sight impaired users are experiencing. She also stated that she hoped that more individuals would call customer relations directly to express frustration as it will provide greater incentive to have the problems resolved.

What do you guys think? This is what I did and am suggesting to you. As I stated, the customer relations seems to have a great deal of power and they are directly involved in resolving customer problems.



Submitted by Joseph Westhouse on Saturday, November 1, 2014

Interesting thought. I'll be interested to hear if she does in fact follow up with a phone call in a few days, as she said - and what she'll have to say at that point. Please do let us know.

Submitted by a woman on Saturday, November 1, 2014

This really is a good idea!
But I'm wondering what number one should call when one lives in Europe :-) .

But for those living in the US, why not call them directly and describe (at least some of) the issues? That's probably most effective. Don't you agree?

And while we're on the topic of having to restart the phone: Has anyone noticed that, once in a while, things become enormously sluggish when you type in the textfield of the Messages app? It's started happening a few days ago (8GB 4s, iOS 7.1.2, Refreshabraille), so I had to write the messages in another app and copy the text :-( , restarting the phone seems to temporarily solve the problem. I'm wondering if anyone has experienced this recently, or what's happening here.

But really, if you live in the US, please call Apple (and let's not forget to prepare a comprehensive list of bugs before we dial the number :-) ).

All the best :-)

Submitted by Vash Rein on Saturday, November 1, 2014

Of course, telling them about the bugs would be a great idea. I only worry that some will describe certain bugs and not others, making the whole thing fragmented. I ended up feeling that since applevis has such a comprehensive list, that the reps could record the website and go on it themselves.

Everyone's frustration is pretty palpable here and giving them the opportunity to take a look might encourage recognition that there is a group that might not be so happy; even if they are grateful.

However, taking the time to tell customer relations about various issues could also invite more care and effort into getting the responsible parties to fix the issues.

In terms of Europe, I really don't know. I actually thought there would be a branch in Europe, handling European customers.

Beyond that, I hope she will call. Thus far, every rep from Customer Relations has called me so far. To an extent, it became somewhat annoying until I called them back to let them know my issues were resolved. Here's hoping that it happens again.

Remember, the more of us that call and complain, the more likely it will be that things get fixed. Word for word, that is what the rep said to me.

Sorry, I'd just forgotten to mention it, I wasn't arguing that it's better to tell them about the bugs. I guess the more people call, describe (some of) the issues and refer them to this site, the greater the likelihood that this will have some effect :-) .

Submitted by Ekaj on Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hi. I never thought of calling Customer Relations to report bugs, but it totally makes sense since they're the ones who most likely deal directly with the customers. I'll admit I haven't reported many VO bugs, or for that matter Mac bugs in general but perhaps that's due in large part to still being rather new to the Mac. I did, however, report one bug via email and got back a helpful but rather complex response. I say complex because it was a bit too technical for my blood, but that's okay. Please see my previous thread on this site regarding stuttering speech. When I was at my folks' house this weekend, I picked up the Braille copy of Janet Ingber's book from a sister of mine who uses VO. She really likes the book, and thus far I'm finding it to be quite comprehensive. I digress a bit here, but I do so to say that perhaps the questions that I still have about the Mac are answered in her book. Not that AppleVis hasn't helped out too, but I am one who likes to get as much information as is humanly possible about these things. After all, knowledge is power. AppleVis is awesome. Anyway, I'll definitely consider phoning Customer Relations the next time I report a bug. I currently have limited independent travel skills so thanks for this.

Submitted by KE7ZUM on Wednesday, November 5, 2014

In reply to by Joseph Westhouse

You are very lucky. I normally get the guys who are very much out of it when I talk to customer relations and they really try and help how ever some of them really don't want to, or don't want to take the time to note stuff down. Let us know what you find as I'm curious.

Submitted by Unuhinuiʻi on Sunday, January 11, 2015

If someone is having an urgent technical issue, as long as you can get apple website to work, book a call.
So select VoiceOver (or other relevant accessibility issue) as the product FIRST, describe the issue, upload logs if needed - and save. Youʻll get a case number. Then you can call now with that case, or schedule it e.g. next day on an hour it fits you. If the case doesnʻt get solved you have your case number, and itʻll stay open, and they have your callback number too. And if it turns out itʻs a huge VoiceOver (or other accessibility) issue that needs work, the case can get quicker the attention it needs. So they can ask for all the logs and technical info if needed - as itʻs vital that accessibility features work.