My name is Frieda and I am hearing impaired. Here, you will find stories of my life growing up and what it is like for me to be a wife, a mom of two boys, and hearing impaired.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CaptionCall Phone

I just got this today ...

It is a CaptionCall phone!

My son called me from Ohio and this is what came up.  It uses a voice recognition software to caption everything the caller on the other end says.

As you can see, it is not perfect, but better than the alternative... Border reviews is actually, "Board of Reviews," but I understand the meaning.

Anything in GREEN has been changed by a real person, who reviews what is being captioned and corrects the word(s) that the voice recognition software may have entered incorrectly.

Get this:  if I have a cell phone message, I can hold the message to the speaker and have CaptionCall translate it for me ~ cool, huh? 

There is a $100 installation fee, but it was waived through a special promotion on  This promotion is good until the end of the year.

Does it cost me anything to use this phone?  No.  The service is provided through FCC fund that compensates telephone companies, making this service FREE to ANYONE who is deaf or hard of hearing.  That includes anyone who is late deafened or wears a hearing aid.  Cool!

The phone belongs to CaptionCall, and doesn't charge me anything to have it in my home.

I'm not sure how often I will use it, because I rely on my cell phone/text messaging more often.

I'm still figuring out how to use this.  If I find out any cool features, I'll be sure to let you know!


After having this for a couple of years, I found that it doesn't work for me. The captioning is very delayed and often the autocorrect feature drives me nuts. If the person editing the captions can't hear or the voice is distorted, the conversation becomes difficult to follow. The software needs to be better in order for the service to be better. I returned the CaptionCall with no questions or pressure to keep it.

For now, I have no land line and use my cell phone for all my calls. I rely on TEXTING, which has been WONDERFUL for me.


  1. Looks really good. And I hope the service youget turns to be good too. Which I am sure it will. Over here in the UK when it went on trial, I found when I joined in that I could not rely on it myself the translation, when speaking to my Mum. It really could not cope with her at all, and this was being interpretured by a human voice. Yes an operator. So I was disappointed that I could not have a phone call with my Mum in this trial.

    After trial they went live on air for a bit. It did not surprise me when it disappeared again, because they had done the same thing as before, make it too expensive the phone call. £2 per minute. Not everyone could apply for this using access to work. So unfair charging us expensive phone calls. More than what a voice call would cost. Its bril;liant and you are lucky for getting it free.

    Over here in the UK for me will be text relay, which I will have soon before Christmas hopefully in my home. :)

  2. Liz, how frustrating and disappointing! I agree, human translation, when I used it many years ago to talk with a deaf friend, took forever and I'm not sure how accurate it was.

    Every person in the US pays a small fee (7 cents per month) which covers the fee for these types of services.

    I was surprised to hear that my neighbor (from Manchester) grew up paying for every single phone call while growing up. In the US, it is a flat fee and you can make as many calls as you want locally.

    I can't wait to hear about text relay and how it will work for you ~ that would be a wonderful Christmas gift!!

  3. I will certainly discuss my first text relay call experience in a post on my blog, and I'm sure I will share some other stories using text relay too. :) As I make a practice call with my boyfriend, to gain confidence, before trying it out on others.

  4. Interesting post, Frieda. Do you have to have a landline for this service to work?

  5. I have my landline phone through my cable company. You also need an ISP for this to work. It can either be wired or wireless. It needs to be 20-25 feet from your router in order for the wireless to work. So far, I'm happy with it!

  6. This sincerely rocks! I want all my family members who are hearing impaired to get one at their house...that includes ours of course!

  7. I like the Captel better. They are the other Captioned Telephone that came out a few years back. Their captions are a lot more accurate and you can save the captions to review later.

  8. Anonymous, Caption Call has been 99% accurate in my situation. I haven't run into any major errors. I did wonder if it keeps the captioning (so I could show my husband "his" message) and this is what I found from CaptionCall's site:

    "You can review call content immediately after each call. However, once you move on to another function or activity, the call content is automatically erased due to legal and privacy issues"

  9. I enjoyed reading these posts. If anyone is interested in the CaptionCall, please check out website at

  10. Hello Everyone!

    My name is Arlene and I just wanted to post a comment to both CaptionCall users AND employees/manufacturers at the CaptionCall company.

    TO CAPTIONCALL EMPLOYERS: I just received my CC phone this month (Feb. '12) about 2 weeks ago, and so far, everything has been wonderful....clear call reception, voicemail setup was a breeze with the manual and CC's Customer Service Reps are VERY friendly and helpful, as well as patient!

    Future Phone Improvement Suggestions: PLEASE! When you all come out with "CaptionCall 2" (and I'm confident you will, because there's always room for improvement of a product), please add a SPEAKERPHONE feature to the phone-why? Because just as with a regular phone, no one likes to have to put someone on hold and then unintentionally forget their caller and come back and the dial tone is 'beeping' like crazy because the caller hung up and who knows how many other callers were trying to reach you?; if the phone could have been "in its cradle" while on hold, there would have been an automatic hang up, but other calls could still get through, you see?
    2nd Additional Feature: Please allow your CC2 phone capable of connectivity to supported cordless phones which come standard with the CC2 phone-why? if a cordless phone (or 2) could come as attachments with the corded caption call phone, then a person is free to roam around the house while still able to see captions or his/her calls while 'roaming', get it?

    TO: CAPTION CALL USERS: Just in case any of you do not know or are not aware of it, I use my CaptionCall phone with the Magic Jack Plus and it works immensely well! So far, I have not been having any issues/problems with call quality or anything; it works like a breeze!
    Just wanted to let you all know this, so that you don't think that getting a 'landline' phone is going to cause you additional phone bills. You won't have any phone bills at all if you get the magic jack plus! I am using my magic jack plus WITHOUT my computer and my caption call phone works great, even when my computer's off! So, seriously consider this'll be so glad you did!


    1. Hi Arlene, I just got my CCphone installed and the technician said it would NOT work with Magic Jack. Thanks for letting me know it does work.

  11. I'm planning on dumping the phone and have the installer come back to retrieve it and take it away.Tooooomany problems what u have to go thru if theres a place where u want 'ur capcall,they say its best to keep it in pc room.They are not pleasing customers.Need lots of extras to purchase.
    The words misspelling are terrible,
    I agree with others who complain,arlene says the phone is seated in its cradle and that happens with me.It is seated in cradle!!!!TEXT CAPTION IS SAYING BE SURE CRADLE IS SEATED and I will try another name brand.'
    TO ALL OF YOU'S OUT THERE #1 AT&T has best landline phone,I use the speaker phone.
    and try the new cell phone thats just release called CLARITY PAL CELL PHONE
    gOOD lUCK!!!!
    Sign off.. No Name

    1. I have kept my Caption Call in the pc room, which is not a room I use very often. As a result, I haven't been using this phone at all. Instead, I have been relying on my speaker phone on the handset. If I could get a good wifi reception with the CaptionCall in the kitchen, I would get more use. Thanks for the info!

  12. Dear Anonymous,

    Hi! It's Arlene again! Glad you were able to note that Caption Call works with magic jack plus, and I hope others catch on as well. I just think it's sad when someone who actually works for the company isn't aware of what the phone will work with and what it won't work with, you know? Isn't that just sad! You should have asked him if he knew for sure that it didn't, you know? Just sad! Yet, he/she has a job!


  13. Freida,

    Are you still using your Captioncall phone? How far, in feet, is the WIFI router from the kitchen, where you would prefer the Captioncall phone?

    1. I have not used it as much as I should....I don't have many phone calls on my landline as many of my calls are through my cell. I believe that the wifi needs to be within 20 feet, but we got a new router that reaches farther and it works from 3 rooms away. The last time I used it was last year and the captions were lagging too far behind the speaker and many of the words were incorrect... :-(

  14. Hi! I found your site while looking at company reviews. I am a communications assistant so I don't know much about the technical/installation aspect of the phone. I'm one of the many dictators. I do know that you can look on YouTube for captioning phone comparisons to see the different phones by different companies. Our lag time is 2-3 seconds. If it is longer than that you should call customer service and let them know. I ask forgiveness for any mistakes I have made during captioning. Please believe me when I sayou that most mistakes are not intentional. Sometimes words come out wrong no matter how I say them. It's frus rating when it happens because I want to help. I am glad for the opportunity to work for a great company who cares not only about the customer's but also the employees. I am glad that you have found it useful and sad for those that have experienced problems. You should be able to save conversations for future review. God bless!

  15. I have a profound loss in both ears and wear OTE power aids and I've stopped using my CaptionCall phone. I found the captioning to be barely intelligible, but more importantly, it never could get what I didn't hear, which is exactly what I wanted it for. I also found the phone clarity itself to be relatively poor, which is VERY surprising for a phone designed for hard of hearing people. But then again, they only make money if you use the captioning service. I'm glad its working for other people, but it wasn't a solution for me.