For Hard of Hearing Callers

Who can use Relay Texas?

Relay Texas is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and people who have a disability who require specialized equipment to place a phone call (e.g. text telephone (TTY), captioned telephone (CapTel)).

What happens when I place a relay call to a person or company and the number that I have the relay operator dial is answered by a recording?

When a relay operator reaches a recording and needs to enter a number such as with an interactive answering system that uses a menu (ex. press one for customer service), sometimes the operator must hang up and redial the number in order to provide the relay user with enough information to enable them to select the desired menu item number. You can avoid the delay if you know ahead of time where/what/who you are trying to reach. Before the relay operator dials out, you can tell them you want to talk to a live person or customer service; this would minimize the need for the relay operator to redial repeatedly.

What products are available for people who are hard of hearing?

Many people who have hearing loss benefit from an amplified telephones or voice-carry-over (VCO) telephone. Amplified phones allow the user to adjust the incoming volume to up to +55dB’s; many of these also have tone control and other desirable features.VCO users can speak directly into the phone and the relay operator then types the response from the other person back to the VCO caller, allowing him or her to read the spoken comments on the telephone's text display.

Why should I use Relay Texas when I benefit from a hearing aid or cochlear implant and can use an amplified telephone?

Approximately 10% of Americans have hearing loss, from mild to profound. Although some are capable of using their telephones with or without the assistance of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and telephone amplifiers, others still have difficulty understanding many spoken words. Many of these individuals find that voice carryover telephones used with Relay Texas provide them with the freedom to use the telephone without feeling as though they are missing parts of conversations.

To obtain more information about Relay Texas and Voice-Carry-Over (VCO), please call Relay Texas Customer Service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice).

Why are relay operators sometimes unable to process my request to place a toll-free (1-800, 877, 888) or collect call?

If you are placing an out-of-state call, it may be that the number you are trying to reach does not accept out-of-state (or out of region) calls. If you are trying to call collect to an individual, there may be a "block" (requested by the person you are calling) that prevents collect calls from being accepted.

Why was I billed by Sprint for making long distance calls through Relay Texas when I use a different long distance provider?

Relay Texas honors requests by users to be billed through their preferred long distance carriers. If the user does not make this request to the relay operator, the long distance call will be billed by Sprint as a default long distance carrier.

For greater convenience, Relay Texas users can specify their long distance carrier by creating a customer profile. This will prevent other long distance carriers from billing Relay Texas users. To sign up for your customer profile, you can either download the document here or call customer service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice).

Why doesn't Relay Texas accept my new long distance carrier?

The number of long distance carriers varies from year to year. Relay Texas strives to have them on the Carrier of Choice listing. Major long distance carriers are on the listing. If your long distance carrier is not on the listing, please have your long distance carrier send an e-mail to your Relay Texas Manager found in the contact page.

What is the Customer Profile?

A customer profile allows each relay user to specify individual preferences (such as long distance carrier, frequently dialed numbers, type of relay call, relay service announcement/explanation, etc.) These preferences are automatically displayed on the screen of the relay operator. This helps to reduce set-up time and makes the relay call more customized.

Customer Profiles will work from residential lines but will not work from restricted lines such as coin payphones or PBX telephone systems (e.g. at hotels, offices, agencies that have extension numbers). You may print the Customer Profile form here and simply follow the return instructions.

What are my rights as a relay user?

  • You have the right to ask the relay operator not to announce or explain the relay call. This will expedite the call. This information can be added to your Customer Profile.
  • You have the right to request a change of agent. (For example, because you prefer a different gender from the one who handled the call initially.
  • You have the right to use any of the relay service call types offered through Relay Texas (For example: Hard-of-hearing callers who want to use their own voice during the call may prefer to use VCO while speech-disabled callers who want to hear the other person voice during the call may prefer HCO service.)
  • You have the right to ask for a supervisor if you are not satisfied with the way the call is being handled by the relay operator.
  • You have the right to make as many relay calls as you wish of any length on any given day or time and from anywhere.
  • You have the right to say anything you want on a relay call.

What do I do if the relay operator who handles my call does not follow the proper procedures?

If you have a problem with a relay operator, record the time the call took place and the operator’s four-digit number (e.g., 4902M) and either ask to speak to a supervisor or call customer service at 1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice). If a relay operator does a great job handling your call, you can also let us know. All feedback is beneficial and appreciated.

Who do I call if I have problems making a relay call?

Customer Service (English):
1-800-676-3777 (TTY/Voice/ASCII)

Customer Service (Spanish):
1-800-676-4290 (TTY/Voice)