MAKE BILL PAYING QUICK AND SIMPLE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE VISUALLY IMPAIRED
Horizons for the Blind makes it easier for your customers, who are visually impaired, to pay their bills. It takes very little effort on your part and it makes good sense.
What is Touch-a-Bill?
Touch-a-bill is a service offered by Horizons for the Blind to assist utilities, cable companies, internet providers, banks and other business entities, to provide billing statements in braille, large print and audio to people with visual impairments, quickly and easily.
Why Touch-a-Bill Works
Finances should be private! Money is a personal matter. People do not generally discuss their billing information with others even if they share close relationships. But blind and visually impaired people have no other choice. Imagine what it would be like to know that someone else must see your phone bill or that your charge account payments are $200 per month. And why should your sighted spouse have to know that you spent $60.00 on a Christmas present for him or her? Touch-a-bill eliminates these problems.
Better communications! Communications between customers who are visually impaired and service representatives are easier. Visually impaired people do not necessarily have the benefit of knowing their account numbers or other pertinent information on their bills. So when they make a telephone inquiry to a service representative, it takes more time to communicate basic information, when straightening out an account or answering a question about it. But if a visually impaired person has his own billing statement, that information is as accessible to him as it is to anyone else and he can quickly provide it to the service representative.
Changes will be clearly communicated. From time to time, it becomes necessary for your company to make important changes such as raising rates, offering new options or making service changes. If your bill is not accessible to visually impaired people, how can they learn of this? Even if they have the amount due read to them, they will not understand the reason for the change. It is just not good business. In addition, if visually impaired customers do take advantage of bonus or promotional offers, i.e. increased credit card benefits, they are likely to spend more.
What Can Horizons Do For You?
Horizons for the Blind provides your visually impaired customers with braille, large print and audio billing statements which they receive about the same time as their regular billing statements. This billing statement does not replace the standard print bill, it only gives the customer the same information everyone receives. We pull a file, which you create, with your current billing information. We then transcribe that file directly to either a braille or large print format and mail it directly to your customers. We do not change any of the input from the file and all employees sign a statement of confidentiality prohibiting any discussion of the material. As a not-for-profit organization, Horizons works with blind, visually impaired and sighted employees to ensure all billing statements are carefully reviewed for quality control purposes.
We will gladly answer any questions you may have in order to implement this service efficiently. For example, visually impaired customers must be told to return a certain portion of their billing statement with their payment, but this portion must be identified in a non-visual way such as differences in size or thickness of paper. You may find this technical assistance helpful.
An important step in the implementation of Touch-a-bill is to notify your customers of this new service. Since providing a printed notice is not an option, we will work with you to create and send braille and large print notices to the local agencies and organizations serving blind and visually impaired people in the target areas. These notices would direct people interested in braille or large print billing statements to your customer service department or other designated area. Once the notice is sent and people learn about the service, the request for Touch-a-bill would be initiated by your customers.
We also produce important additional, supplemental information requested by you, such as energy conservation for a utility company; new charge benefits for a credit company, etc. This information is then enclosed with the bill.
What You Need To Do
All you need to do is take names of your customers who are visually impaired and transmit your file on your regular mailing cycle dates. For a nominal fee, we do the rest of the work. This fee will assist us in continuing to employ blind and visually impaired people and to provide the best possible service for our valued customers. We are strongly committed to hiring people with disabilities.