10:02AM, Friday 12 April 2019
A legally blind woman from Cox Green has been awarded damages by Aviva after it failed to provide her with documents in braille.
Yuen Har Tse has had issues with the company, which is responsible for her pension, for several years and has sued them in the past, settling outside of court.
On Tuesday, April 2 she was awarded damages at Slough County Court, but she called the result ‘unsatisfactory’ as she may still be liable to pay the company’s costs.
Ms Tse said that she has experienced the same problems with other companies to a ‘greater or lesser degree’ and hopes that other people will have the courage to take action.
She said: “For me, it’s all about having accessible correspondence.
“They send me letters and I can’t read them so I have to ask someone else to read them, which I don’t like to do because it’s my private information.
“Nationwide and Tesco are quite good, but the pension companies are rubbish.
“It’s all very unsatisfactory, you can win but still be liable for costs, but I will still fight.”
Representing herself in court, Ms Tse called the experience ‘intimidating’ and said that she understood why people were afraid to take action when they felt like they were being discriminated against.
She said: “Most people will not have the courage and determination to take on such a huge company with their mighty lawyers.
“There will be plenty of blind customers of these institutions who are being discriminated against but are too scared to do anything about it.
“It won’t just affect blind people who need correspondence in braille, but it will impact all customers who have a need for special format correspondence due to their disabilities.”
An Aviva spokeswoman would not comment on the issue as court proceedings are not fully completed but outlined the company’s policy on braille.
The policy states: “Aviva has always been able to offer braille, large print and audio communications to its customers.
“Once a customer requests an alternative format of communication (braille, large print or audio), this will be permanently flagged on our systems and documents will be sent for translation and then mailed to the customer.
“We will continue to improve this system and are increasingly automating our approach.”
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