The accessibility services on my home phone

Last updated: October 3, 2018

We think everybody should be able to enjoy their home phone. It's great for chatting to loved ones, or helping you live an independent life if you're not as mobile as you used to be.

We have access features to help you keep in touch, find business numbers and make sure you don't miss that all important phone call.

Accessibility requirements may include:

  • Being deaf or hard of hearing
  • Being blind or partially sighted
  • Having difficulty with speech
  • Having difficulty with mobility
  • Having difficulty with dexterity
  • Having cognitive or learning disabilities

If you are currently experiencing any of the issues above and haven't already made us aware of this, or would like to discuss any other issue which you feel may not be included in the list then please call our team on 150 from your Virgin Media phone or mobile, or 0345 454 1111* from any other phone and select option 1.

*For details about how much it costs to call our team from a Virgin Media home phone, visit virginmedia.com/callcosts. Call costs from other networks and mobiles vary.

You can contact our support team by using a sign language interpreter. To use this service just visit our secure page where you can download the plug-in when prompted. Make sure you have a webcam then press ‘Make call’. It’s as easy as that. But don’t forget, you’ll need a broadband speed of at least 1Mb.

You can use our service 7 days a week from 8am until midnight. If an Interpreter isn’t available immediately, simply hold or try again later. Outside working hours just leave your contact details in a video message, and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

If you have any problems connecting to the interpreter or would like to feedback on the InterpretersLive! service, simply get in touch with our partner, SignSolutions. You can contact them via a sign language interpreter at signsolutions.uk.com or send an email to office@signsolutions.uk.com.

If you can't speak on the phone, or prefer not to, you can use the Text Relay service.

All you have to do is type your conversation into your textphone's keypad and wait for the other person to reply.

It doesn't matter whether the person you're talking to has a telephone or a textphone because a relay assistant will help you and the person you're calling.

Oh and guess what? You get a discount on your calls via Text Relay with Virgin Media. Calls to UK local and national numbers, made via the TextDirect service with the 18001 prefix, get an 80% discount. Whilst calls to UK mobiles, made via the TextDirect service with the 18001 prefix, get a 20% discount.

Text Relay is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

To find out more about text relay, check textrelay.org/.

Next generation Text Relay service

The Next Generation Text Relay Service does everything our current Text Relay service does and a whole lot more.

If you currently use Virgin Media’s Text Relay Service, you won’t have to make any changes to the way you currently make or receive phone calls. You’ll still be able to use your BT Textphone, Minicom, Uniphone or similar device – and we’ll automatically connect you to the relay service as before. The only difference is you’ll have some nice extra features when you connect to Text Relay, thanks to our improved service.

Text number

As part of the upgrade of Virgin Media’s Text Relay Service, we’ve introduced Text Numbers as an alternative to the 18002 prefix. In addition to the 18002 prefix option currently available, you can now use the Text Numbers service if you’d prefer to connect to Text Relay in this way.

Next generation Text App

Prefer an app to using a textphone? No problem. Virgin Media customers with accessibility needs can download and install our easy to use Next Generation Text app.

The Next Generation Text app works with a home, office, or mobile phone and provides a text connection in parallel with the phone call you make through the Next Generation Text service.

The app is available on a range of compatible devices like your laptop, tablet and smartphone, so all you need is a good WiFi connection to download it. It’s also totally free to download and available from the usual app stores. For any updates, don’t forget to check back here.

How to make a text call

To start a call, dial 18001 then the full phone number of the person you want to call, including the area code (and international country code if you're calling outside the UK).

Prefix 18001 +Area code 01234 +Number xxx xxx. There's no need to pause between numbers. In the above example, you would simply dial: 1800101234XXXXXX.

When the person you're calling answers, if they are on a telephone, they will receive an automated message informing them this is a Text Relay call and there will be a short delay while a relay assistant joins the call. If the person who answers is on a Textphone users receive call progress information whilst the call is being established.

During a call

Each person takes their turn to type or speak. When you've finished typing your message, type GA, which stands for 'go ahead'. Lowercase ga is also suitable.

Remember to allow enough time for the relay assistant to read your message to the person you're calling and type their response back to you.

Ending a call

When you want to end your call, type BIBI SKSK, which means 'bye bye' and 'stop keying'. Alternatively, type 'bye' or 'goodbye' and wait for their reply – this gives them the chance to say something else, in case they don't want to end the call.

Receiving a call

When your textphone flashes or rings, answer the call in the way described by your textphone manual. You will then see the following message on your display: TXD CONNECTING TEXT RELAY... if the caller is using a telephone, or: TXD CONNECTED TEXT TO TEXT. GA if the caller is using a textphone.

Using your telephone

Most textphones (sometimes called a Minicom) plug directly into your phone line and allow you to make and receive calls by typing and reading the conversation on a display.

Textphone display messages

As well as displaying the typed conversation, the screen on a textphone will display information about the call. A full list of the Textphone display messages are available on the textrelay.org/using_textphone.php.

If you're a textphone user and you need to call the emergency services (police, fire or ambulance), dial 18000.

To start a call, dial 18002 then the full phone number of the person you want to call, including the area code (and international country code if you're calling outside the UK).

Prefix 18002 + Area code 01234 + Number xxx xxx

If the person you're calling picks up using a textphone, you will hear a recorded Text Relay greeting message while you wait for a relay assistant to join the call.

If the person you're calling picks up using a telephone, the call will be treated like a standard telephone call. However, if at any point the person you’re calling switches to a textphone, you will hear a recorded Text Relay greeting message while you wait for a relay assistant to join the call.

During the call

Each person takes their turn to speak or type. When you've finished, say 'go ahead'. For example: Hi Ryan, how's the new job going? Go ahead.

Remember to allow enough time for the relay assistant to type your side of the conversation to the person you're calling and read their response back to you.
Please note: The other person might use their own voice to speak to you, but they cannot hear your reply. If they do speak directly, don't try to reply until they have said go ahead.

Ending a call

When you want to end your call, just say 'bye' or 'goodbye' and wait for their reply – this gives them the chance to say something else, in case they don't want to end the call. For example: OK, give me a call Saturday and let me know about your week. Bye.

Receiving a call

If you receive a call from Text Relay, you will hear the following recorded message: Please hold for an operator-assisted call from a textphone user.

A relay assistant will then be connected to the call. Once connected, you will hear the relay assistant say: Hello, you have a call from a deaf or speech-impaired person and I will be relaying the call. Please say 'go ahead' when you have finished speaking. If you have not used Text Relay before, you can ask the relay assistant to explain how it works.

If you can't read or hold a telephone book very well, you might like our Directory Enquiries service.

If you want to contact a local business, just call 195 from your Virgin phone and we'll find the number you're looking for, up to 10 times a day for no additional cost.

How to call Directory Enquiries from your Virgin Phone

  1. Call 195 to register
  2. You'll be given a PIN to use whenever you dial Directory Enquiries again. Don't forget to make a note of it
  3. Tell us what number you're looking for and we'll find it for you. We'll even put you straight through if you like (although this will cost you a bit more)
  4. Call 195 whenever you want to use Directory Enquiries again

If you rely on your telephone, you can use our Fault Priority service.

Once you're registered, we'll make it our absolute priority to get your phone line fixed if it ever stops working properly.

To register for Fault Priority call our team on 150 from your Virgin Media phone or mobile, or 0345 454 1111* from any other phone and select option 2

*For details about how much it costs to call our team from a Virgin Media home phone, visit virginmedia.com/callcosts. Call costs from other networks and mobiles vary.

Tone callers are little gadgets that connect to your phone socket and make your phone's ringtone much louder. They're great if you miss calls because you don't hear the phone ring.

Models usually have a volume control, a choice of different tones and flashing lights that tell you when the phone is ringing.

Tone callers work with a Virgin Phone line. But make sure you don't have too many phones plugged in to your phone line around the home, as this might stop them from ringing. Try disconnecting one of the phones if this happens to you.

You can buy a tone caller from stores like Maplin or Amazon.

If we supply your telephone services using your broadband connection you will not be able to make or receive calls if there is a power outage or if your broadband connection or our broadband network fails. If you have any alarms or monitors that are connected to your phone line, these also won’t work in these instances.

If you have accessibility requirements or have no access to a mobile phone you may rely on your Virgin Media telephone to make calls to the Emergency Services. We have measures in place to help you make contact with the Emergency Services in that situation.

Our Emergency Backup Line will help you to make calls to the Emergency Services when you have a power outage or if your broadband connection, or our broadband network, goes down.

For details on how to request our Emergency Backup Line please call our team 150 from your Virgin Media phone or mobile, or 0345 454 1111* from any other phone and select option 1.

*For details about how much it costs to call our team from a Virgin Media home phone, visit virginmedia.com/callcosts. Call costs from other networks and mobiles vary.


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