General FAQ

General

Will I be billed for calls placed through Sorenson VRS?

No, all VRS calls are paid for by the government’s Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) fund. If hearing individuals call you using your 10-digit local number, they may receive long distance charges from their phone company.

How is Sorenson VRS funded?

All VRS companies are funded through the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) program. Funds are made available by a federal law, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which requires functional equivalency in telecommunications access. Sorenson is compensated for the minutes of Sorenson VRS calls that are interpreted. Sorenson is not reimbursed for equipment that is supplied, including videophones and routers, or installation and service of that equipment.

Is the information I share through Sorenson VRS kept confidential?

Yes, all Sorenson VRS interpreters are required to abide by the confidentiality rules as outlined by the FCC in Section 705 of the Communications Act and as outlined in the TRS rules 47 C.F.R. § 64.604. Mandatory minimum standards can be found at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/4regs.html.

Does Sorenson VRS follow the policies contained in the Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)?

Yes, according to the guidelines established by the FCC regarding the policies set forth in the Privacy Rule of HIPAA, all Sorenson VRS calls involving a doctor or health care professional can be accepted without requiring Sorenson VRS or video relay interpreters (VIs) to sign a disclosure agreement. The FCC emphasizes that all forms of TRS, including TTY-based relay, Internet Protocol (IP) Relay, Video Relay Service (VRS) and Speech-to-Speech (STS) can be used to facilitate calls between health care professionals and patients without violating HIPAA's Privacy Rule. Sorenson VRS fully supports HIPAA's Privacy Rule and follows all guidelines established by the FCC. To read more about this information, please read http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-04-1716A1.doc.

Why can’t interpreters use the privacy screen during long hold times?

The FCC has ruled that interpreters cannot use a privacy/hold screen during a VRS call. You can still use the privacy screen on the videophone, but you must be engaged in the call at all times. If you decide to use the privacy screen or leave the call, you must resume the call by taking down the privacy screen or coming back onscreen within five minutes. If you do not resume the call within five minutes, the FCC rules state that the interpreter must end the call.

Am I required to use SVRS for a minimum of minutes each month to keep my Sorenson videophone?

No. There are no minimum SVRS usage requirements for getting or keeping a Sorenson videophone.

Will Sorenson Communications ever ask for my personal financial information?

Sorenson Communications will never call you to ask for sensitive personal or financial information. Unfortunately, SVRS has been used in the past to conduct fraudulent scams. We are vigilant in trying to prevent and terminate all scams that try to take advantage of our systems, services and customers.

Never provide your personal or financial information when you receive a relay service call from someone you do not know. For example, one scammer used the name of Sorenson VRS and claimed the Deaf person contacted had won a Sorenson-sponsored "lottery." The scammer deceptively claimed that the Deaf person must pay a "fee" prior to collecting his or her "winnings" and then asked the customer to provide bank account routing information or a credit card number.

If someone contacts you making these or similar claims, it is a scam to steal your money or to commit fraud. Do not provide your personal or financial information to anyone, unless you have initiated the contact or you have confirmed that you are dealing with a legitimate organization.

If you have been or are being contacted by someone claiming that you have won a prize or lottery sponsored by Sorenson Communications, please immediately alert Sorenson Communications by sending an e-mail to VRScomments@sorenson.com. Immediate investigation will begin to stop fraudulent activity.

For more information about how you can protect yourself against these and other fraudulent practices, please consult the Bureau of Consumer Protection of the Federal Trade Commission, at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/index.shtml, or the Internet Crime Complaint Center, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center, at http://www.ic3.gov/.

Can I use Sorenson VRS to make international phone calls?

If you are in the United States, you can use SVRS to call anyone, anywhere in the world, who speaks either English or Spanish. Unfortunately, if you reside outside of the United States, you cannot make an SVRS call or use SVRS to make 911 emergency calls.

What do I need to do if I am going to be traveling outside of the U.S.?

Please contact our Customer Service department at 801-386-8500, before you begin your travels.

Can a hearing person receive a Sorenson videophone?

Sorenson VRS equipment and videophones are generally distributed only to deaf individuals who primarily use American Sign Language (ASL) to communicate.


Default Providers

What is a default provider?

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) requires all VRS users to select a default provider. A default provider is required to provide VRS users with:


A default provider also delivers enhanced features to VRS users whom it serves.

Your videophone will be connected to the network of the default VRS provider you select. Sorenson's network cannot deliver features to a user who has selected a different default VRS provider.

What is a local 10-digit number?

Local 10-digit numbers indicate the geographic location, or "area code," in which you live or work. Calls to a local 10-digit number from hearing callers who are outside your local calling area may cause the hearing caller to incur long distance charges.

How do I make Sorenson my default provider?

Your default provider is responsible for providing you VRS, E911 and all other services. If you would like to select SVRS as your default VRS provider, please call Customer Service at 801-386-8500.

How do I port my number to Sorenson?

To port your number to Sorenson, you will need to fill out a Standard Letter of Agency (LOA) and send it to Sorenson. Click here for this form.


SVRS 911

Enhanced 911
Sorenson's E911 Experience
How do I Update my Address for E911?
Can I use all ntouch products to make a 911 call?

Yes. You can use all ntouch products to make an emergency 911 call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When you place a 911 call, your call will immediately be answered by the first available SVRS interpreter. The interpreter will locate the nearest Emergency Services center that can quickly be dispatched to your location.

It is very important to keep your address information up to date for 911 services. If you become unresponsive during a 911 call, help will be sent to the 911 address that you registered with Sorenson. If you move without updating your location information, help could be mistakenly sent to your old address.

Do ntouch products automatically identify my location using GPS or will I need to provide my location at the time of the call?

No. There is no GPS or other automatic detection of your location. Whenever you dial 911 using ntouch products, the Sorenson interpreter will always ask you to verify your location. If you are calling from the provisioned address you entered, your 911 call will immediately be routed to your local Emergency Services center (or PSAP). If you are not at your provisioned address, you will be asked to give your present address or location. Your 911 call will then be routed to the local Emergency Services center.

How do I place an emergency 911 call using ntouch products?

Calling 911 on ntouch products is easy. Follow these steps:

Step 1
Enter 911 into the Dial field. You can also use the 911 contact at the top of your Contacts list.

Step 2
Select the Call button or press enter.

Step 3
You will be connected to the first available SVRS interpreter. 911 calls are processed before other calls.

Step 4
The interpreter will verify your name and the full address where the emergency is located. Stay calm and try to sign your responses as clearly as possible.

Step 5
The interpreter will then give your information to emergency services. The police department, ambulance service, or fire department will respond to the location you gave to the interpreter.

How do I place an emergency 911 call without a remote control, using the ntouch VP SVRS Quick Connect button?

Calling 911 on ntouch VP using the SVRS Quick Connect button is easy. Follow these steps:

Step 1
Press the SVRS Quick Connect button on the front of the ntouch VP Main Unit.

Step 2
You will then be connected to the first available SVRS interpreter. Calls made with the Quick Connect button are not processed before other calls.

Step 3
Tell the interpreter that you are making a 911 call.

Step 4
The interpreter will verify your name and the full address where the emergency is located. Stay calm and try to sign your responses as clearly as possible.

Step 5
The interpreter will give your location information to emergency services. The police department, ambulance service, or fire department will respond to your location.