Frequently Asked Questions

Relay Hawaii provides the answers to frequently asked questions about relay services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blind, speech-disabled and hearing consumers. Should you have any further questions, please consult our contact form on your right.

 

 

 

Need Information?

Do you need more information, or have a question or suggestion about our relay service? Let us know! 

FOR HEARING CALLERS

 

NOTE:  If you want information on CapTel, please click here.

 

  • Who can use Relay Hawaii?

Relay Hawaii is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephone (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

 

  • How do I contact Relay Hawaii?

It's simple. Just dial 711 to reach a Relay Operator. The free 711 access number is available anywhere, anytime. CapTel users dial the 10-digit number directly.

 

  • Can I still use the old relay toll-free numbers (e.g., 1-800, 877, 888)?

Yes. You can continue using the 10-digit toll-free numbers. Also, you can use the numbers when you’re unable to place a 711 relay call.

 

  • When dialing 711, I am unable to make a relay call. Why?

If you have problems with 711 when calling through your switchboard (which usually is a PBX telephone system), you will need to contact your PBX administrator to have the system reconfigured to allow 711 outdial. Information on how to set up and/or reconfigure your PBX system(s) can be obtained from your PBX administrator or vendor.

 

If you are not on a PBX telephone system and cannot access Relay Hawaii when dialing 711, call a customer service representative at your local telephone company. It is possible that your local telephone company many not have set up 711 outdial.

 

PBX telephone systems are usually at hotels, businesses, agencies, and offices that have extension numbers. A way around this issue would be to dial the 10-digit toll-free number.

 

  • How much does it cost to use Relay Hawaii?

There is no extra charge when using Relay Hawaii. 

 

  • Is there a time limit on how long a call can last?

There is no time limit on the calls. The Relay Operator will relay the conversation until the conversation ends. 

 

  • How do I call a person who uses a TTY (Text Telephone or TDD), if I do not have one?

Call Relay Hawaii by dialing 711 and give the Relay Operator the phone number with the area code and/or extension of the person you are calling. The Relay Operator will place your call to that person and will type your spoken words to the person you have called who uses a TTY; then, the Relay Operator will voice the typed words from the other person to you until the conversation ends. Don't hang up! Voice users may experience high pitch beeps or tones when dialing Relay Hawaii. Please just stay on the line and the Relay Operator will voice to you within a few seconds. This sometimes happens when a switchboard is used at your location or during the first time you dial 711 instead of the original 1-800 number.

 

Remember to say "go ahead" when you have finished your part of the conversation. When you hear this, please remember it is your turn to continue the conversation. The Relay Operator is not a part of the conversation. They must type everything heard, including background noises. Speak directly to the person, not use third party terms, "Tell him... Ask her..."

 

  • What is a Relay Operator?

A Relay Operator is the confidential, transparent link between hearing and deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and/or speech impaired callers. The Relay Operator voices conversation to voice users and types the conversation to TTY users.

 

The Relay Operator is not a part of the conversation. They must voice everything typed to the hearing person, even what is typed in parentheses. Also, they must type everything they hear, including background noises. Remember to talk directly to the person, not use third-party terms such as "Tell him... Ask her..."

 

  • Are relay conversations confidential?

Yes. Federal law requires that all relay calls are kept confidential. No records are kept. Conversations are automatically erased from the computers after the end of each call. Relay Operators working with Relay Hawaii adhere to the confidentiality requirements by signing the code of ethics agreement.

 

  • How do I connect to Relay Hawaii when the line keeps ringing?

Relay Hawaii has a delay call announcer that will be played in either TTY or voice when the relay center is busy and unable to take your call right away. After 30 seconds of ringing, you will see an automated message that will say, "Welcome to the relay center. Please wait for the next available relay operator." It will then keep ringing until your call is answered. If you hang up and call again, you will be placed behind the people waiting.

 

  • If I have Caller ID on my telephone and call a person through Relay Hawaii, which number will show up?

If the person you are calling through Relay Hawaii has Caller ID, your telephone number will appear on their Caller ID (not any of Relay Hawaii's toll-free numbers).

 

  • Why is my number showing up on Caller ID when I have already placed a block?

When a call is placed through Relay Hawaii, the call comes through an 800 number; therefore, Relay Hawaii is unable to detect if your number is blocked. If you would like your number to be blocked when placing a relay call, inform the Relay Operator to enter the information into your Customer Profile.

 

  • How do I access relay service in another state when I am traveling?

As of October 1, 2001, all 50 states are required to have 711 relay access. You can dial 711 anywhere in the United States.​

 

  • Are languages other than Spanish offered by Relay Hawaii?

At this time, Relay Hawaii provides Spanish-to-Spanish dialogue only as part of its Spanish Relay service. Relay Hawaii does not offer Spanish-to-English translation.

 

  • When I attempt to make a relay call, the person hung up on me. Why?

Sometimes, a person hangs up on relay calls because they are not familiar with Relay Hawaii and think the caller is a telemarketer. The Relay Operator makes this announcement when they are connected with voice users, "Hello! A person is calling you through Relay Hawaii. This is relay operator XXXXM. Have you received a relay call before?"

 

If the voice person says no, then the Relay Operator will explain the relay service by saying, "The person on the line is using the relay service to communicate with you. The caller is typing their conversation which will be read to you. When you hear the words “go ahead” it will be your turn to speak. Please speak directly to the caller. One moment for your call to begin."

 

Relay Hawaii users can request that the Relay Operator not announce and/or explain the relay service. When electing not to announce and/or explain the relay service, it is your responsibility to inform the voice user that you're calling through Relay Hawaii. See sample conversation below.

 

RELAY HAWAII 6789F NBR CALLING PLS GA
PLS CALL MY DR S OFFICE AT 360-555-1234 DO NOT ANNOUNCE OR EXPLAIN RELAY THANKS GA
DIALING 360-555-1234 RINGING 1...2...(F) DR SMITH S OFFICE HOW MAY I HELP YOU Q GA
HELLO THIS IS JOHN CALLING THROUGH RELAY TO MAKE AN APPT COULD WE DO THAT PLS Q GA

 

If you have experienced repeated hang ups by the same person/office/store, please fill out a "Please Don't Hang Up" complaint form by clicking on the link here. Relay Hawaii will attempt to educate the person or place of business regarding the relay service.

 

Go to top 

FOR HARD-OF-HEARING CALLERS

 

NOTE:  If you want information on CapTel, please click here.

 

  • Who can use Relay Hawaii?

Relay Hawaii is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephone (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

 

  • When using the relay, I have trouble with interactive recordings and Relay Operator redialings. Why?

Because of the way the relay center computers are set up, when a Relay Operator reaches a recording and needs to enter a number, they have to hang up and redial to enter the 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?

Amplified telephones and Voice-Carry-Over (VCO) telephones have features of a standard telephone and a TTY. 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.

 

The captioned telephone (CapTel) displays word-for-word captions of everything the caller says. It works like any other telephone with one important addition. It displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel users can listen to the caller and read the captions on the CapTel’s display window. Learn more about this option.

 

  • Why should I use Relay Hawaii? 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 hearing. Some are capable of using their telephones with assistance of hearing aids/cochlear implants and telephone amplifiers. Others are not able to hear enough to use their telephones; they use a Text Telephone (TTY) to type and read words.

 

Some people who are hard of hearing have difficulties in understanding many words spoken, even with hearing aids and amplified telephones. Those who are “on the fence” might be reluctant to use a TTY and Relay Hawaii Eventually, they will find it much more convenient after making a few Relay Hawaii calls.

 

CapTel or Voice-Carry-Over (VCO) is a popular feature for hard of hearing Relay Hawaii users because it allows them to speak directly to other persons. To obtain more information about Relay Hawaii and CapTel or Voice Carry-Over (VCO), please call Relay Hawaii Customer Service at 1-844-882-3160 (TTY/Voice), 1-866-931-9027 (VCO) or email at Sprint.TRSCustServ@sprint.com.

 

  • 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 connect 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.​

 

  • What is the Customer Profile?

Individual preferences (long-distance carrier, frequently dialed numbers, type of relay call, relay service announcement/explanation, etc.) in the Customer Profile are automatically displayed on the screen of the Relay Operator. This helps reduce set-up time and makes relay call more customized. 

 

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

 

For more information, go to the Customer Profile webpage.

 

  • 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 speed the call if you are calling someone already familiar with the service. You can add this information to your Customer Profile.

    • You have the right to request a change of agent. For example, you can request a Relay Operator change because you prefer a different gender from the one who handled the call initially.

    • You have the right to ask for VCO (Voice Carry-Over). Hard-of-hearing callers who want to use their own voice during the call can use VCO. The Relay Operator types the caller's response back to the VCO user.

    • You have the right to ask for HCO (Hearing Carry-Over). Speech-impaired callers who want to hear the other person voice during the call can use HCO that is similar to VCO except that the calling process is reversed. The Relay Operator voices what the HCO caller types. The HCO caller can usually hear but has difficulty with speech.

    • 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 also have the right to ask for a supervisor to give a compliment if you are pleased with the Relay Operator.

    • You have the right to make as many relay calls as you wish on any given day or time and from anywhere.

    • You have the right to carry on relay conversations for as long or as short as you wish.

    • 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, you should record the operator’s four-digit number (e.g., 4902M) and ask to speak to a supervisor or you can call the Relay Hawaii Customer Service at 1-844-882-3160 (TTY/Voice) or 1-866-931-9027 (VCO) with your complaint. If a Relay Operator does a great job handling your call, you can also let us know. All feedback is beneficial and appreciated. Click here to contact Relay Hawaii Team.

 

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

    • English Relay Hawaii Customer Service:
      1-844-882-3160 (TTY/Voice)
      1-866-931-9027 (VCO)

    • Sprint.TRSCustServ@sprint.com (Email)

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

 

Go to top 

 

FOR DEAF CALLERS

NOTE:  If you want information on CapTel, please click here.

 

  • Who can use Relay Hawaii?

Relay Hawaii is a free public service that provides a communication link between standard telephone (voice) users and persons who are deaf, deaf-blind, hard of hearing and speech-disabled using text telephones (TTYs), captioned telephone (CapTel) or personal computers via the Internet.

 

  • How do I call Relay Hawaii? 

It's simple. Just dial 711 to reach a Relay Operator. The free 711 access number is available anywhere, anytime. CapTel users dial the 10-digit number directly.

 

  • Can I still use the old relay toll-free numbers, 1-800, 877, 888? 

Yes. If you are unable to place a relay call when dialing 711, you can use one of the 10-digit toll-free numbers. The old relay toll-free numbers do not gain access to CapTel.

 

  • When dialing 711, I am unable to make a relay call. Why?

If you have problems with 711 when calling through your switchboard (usually a PBX telephone system), you will need to contact your PBX administrator to have the system reconfigured to allow you to reach 711. PBX telephone systems are usually at hotels, businesses, agencies, and offices that have extension numbers. A way around this issue would be to dial the 10-digit toll-free number.

 

If you are not on a PBX telephone system and cannot access Relay Hawaii when dialing 711, call a customer service representative at your local telephone company. It is possible that your local telephone company many not have set up 711 outdial.

 

  • How much does it cost to use Relay Hawaii?

You will never be charged extra when using Relay Hawaii. 

 

  • Is there a time limit on how long a call can last?

No time limit for relay calls. The Relay Operator will relay the conversation until the users end the conversation.

 

  • How do I call a hearing person through Relay Hawaii?

Call Relay Hawaii by dialing 711 and give the Relay Operator the phone number with the area code and/or extension of the person you are calling. The Relay Operator will place your call to that person and will speak your typed words to the hearing person you have called; then, the Relay Operator will type the voiced words from the other person to you until the conversation ends.

 

Remember to type “GA” (go ahead) when you have finished your part of the conversation. When you see “GA” please remember it is your turn to continue the conversation. The Relay Operator is not a part of the conversation. They must read everything typed to the hearing person, including what is typed in parentheses. The Relay Operator is not permitted to make judgmental comments on how the hearing person feels during the relay call. However, you may ask how loud the voice sounds.

 

  • What is a Relay Operator?

A Relay Operator is the confidential, transparent link between hearing and deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind and/or speech impaired callers. The Relay Operator voices conversation to voice users and types the conversation to TTY users.

 

The Relay Operator is not a part of the conversation. They must voice everything typed to the hearing person, including what is typed in parentheses. Also, they must type everything they hear including background noises. Remember to talk/type directly to the hearing person instead of using third party terms, such as "Tell him... Ask her..."

 

  • Are relay conversations confidential?

Yes. Federal law requires all relay calls to be made confidential. No records are kept. All conversations are automatically erased from the computers after the end of each call. Relay Operators working with Relay Hawaii adhere to the confidentiality requirements by signing the code of ethics agreement.

 

  • How do I connect to Relay Hawaii when the line keeps ringing?

Relay Hawaii has a delay call announcer that will be played in either TTY or voice when the relay center is busy and unable to take your call right away. After 30 seconds of ringing, you will see an automated message: "Welcome to the relay center. Please wait for the next available Relay Operator." It will then keep ringing until your call is answered. When you hear this message, please stay on the line and wait. Your call will be answered in turn. If you hang up and call again, you will be placed behind the people waiting.

 

  • If I have Caller ID on my telephone and call a person through Relay Hawaii, which number will show up?

If the person you are calling through Relay Hawaii has Caller ID, your own telephone number will appear on their Caller ID, not any of Relay Hawaii's toll-free numbers.

 

  • Why is my number showing up on Caller ID when I have already placed a block?

When a call is placed through Relay Hawaii, the call comes through an 800 number, therefore, Relay Hawaii is unable to detect if your number is blocked. If you would like your number to be blocked when placing a relay call, inform the Relay Operator to enter the information into your Customer Profile.

 

For more information, go to the Customer Profile webpage.

 

  • How do I access relay service in another state when I am traveling?

As of October 1, 2001, all 50 states are required to have 711 relay access. You can dial 711 anywhere in the United States.​

 

  • Are languages other than Spanish offered by Relay Hawaii?

At this time, Relay Hawaii provides Spanish-to-Spanish dialogue only as part of its Spanish Relay service. Relay Hawaii does not offer Spanish-to-English translation.

 

  • When I attempt to make a relay call, the person hung up on me. Why?

There are times when voice users who do hang up because they are not familiar with Relay Hawaii. Sometimes, they may think that it is a telemarketing call. The Relay Operator makes this announcement when they are connected with voice users: "Hello! A person is calling you through Relay Hawaii. This is Relay Operator (number). Have you received a relay call before?"

 

If the voice person says no, then the Relay Operator will explain the service by saying: "The person on the line is using the relay service to communicate with you. The caller is typing their conversation that will be read to you. When you hear the words “go ahead” it will be your turn to speak. Please speak directly to the caller. One moment before your call begins."

 

Relay Hawaii users can request that the Relay Operator does not announce and/or explain the relay service. When electing not to announce and/or explain the relay service, it is your responsibility to inform the voice user that you're calling through Relay Hawaii. Below is an example.

 

RELAY HAWAII 6789F NBR CALLING PLS GA
PLS CALL MY DR S OFFICE AT 360-555-1234 DO NOT ANNOUNCE OR EXPLAIN RELAY THANKS GA
DIALING 360-555-1234 RINGING 1...2...(F) DR SMITH S OFFICE HOW MAY I HELP YOU Q GA
HELLO THIS IS JOHN CALLING THROUGH RELAY TO MAKE AN APPT COULD WE DO THAT PLS Q GA

 

If you have experienced repeated hang ups, please fill out a "Don't Hang Up" complaint form by clicking on the link here.

 

Relay Hawaii will attempt to educate the person or place of business regarding the relay service. 

 

  • When using the relay, I have trouble with interactive service recordings. The Relay Operator hangs up and redials. Why?

Because of the way the relay center computers are set up, when a Relay Operator reaches a service recording and needs to enter a number, they have to hang up and redial to enter the 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?

Amplified telephones and Voice Carry-Over (VCO) telephones have features of standard telephones and TTYs. 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 so he/she can read it on the telephone's text display.

 

The captioned telephone displays word-for-word captions of everything the caller says. It works like any other telephone with one important addition. It displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel users can listen to the caller and read the captions on the CapTel's display window. Learn more about this option.

 

  • Why should I use Relay Hawaii? 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 hearing. Some are capable of using their telephones with assistance of hearing aids/cochlear implants and telephone amplifiers. Others are not able to hear enough to use their telephones; they use a Text Telephone (TTY) to type and read words.

 

  • 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 connect does not accept out-of-state (outside of region) calls. If you are trying to call collect to an individual, there may be a block (requested by the person being called) that prevents collect calls from being accepted.

 

  • What is the Customer Profile?

Individual preferences (long distance carrier, frequently dialed numbers, type of relay call, relay service announcement/explanation, etc.) in the Customer Profile are automatically displayed on the screen of the Relay Operator. This helps reduce set-up time and makes relay call more customized. 

 

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

 

For more information, go to the Customer Profile.

 

  • 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 speed the call if you are calling someone already familiar with the service. You can add this information to your Customer Profile.

    • You have the right to request a change of agent. For example, you can request a Relay Operator change because you prefer a different gender from the one who handled the call initially.

    • You have the right to ask for VCO (Voice Carry-Over). Hard-of- hearing callers who want to use their own voice during the call can use VCO. The Relay Operator types the caller's response back to the VCO user.

    • You have the right to ask for HCO (Hearing Carry-Over). Speech- impaired callers who want to hear the other person voice during the call can use HCO that is similar to VCO except that the calling process is reversed. The Relay Operator voices what the HCO caller types. The HCO caller can usually hear but has difficulty with speech.

    • 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 also have the right to ask for a supervisor to give a compliment if you are pleased with the Relay Operator.

    • You have the right to make as many relay calls as you wish on any given day or time and from anywhere.

    • You have the right to carry on relay conversations for as long or as short as you wish.

    • 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, you should record the operator’s four-digit number (e.g., 4902M) and ask to speak to a supervisor or you can call the Relay Hawaii Customer Service at 1-844-882-3160 (TTY/Voice) or 1-866-931-9027 (VCO) with your complaint. If a Relay Operator does a great job handling your call, you can also let us know. All feedback is beneficial and appreciated. Click here to contact us.

 

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

    • English Relay Hawaii Customer Service:
      1-844-882-3160 (TTY/Voice/ASCII)
      1-866-931-9027 (VCO)

    • Sprint.TRSCustServ@sprint.com (Email)

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

 

Go to top 

The Relay Hawaii website is an online information service provided by Sprint - Relay Hawaii. Although the information is available to anyone, Relay Hawaii retains copyrights on all text, graphic images, and videos. Therefore, you may NOT:

 

  1. Distribute any of the contents (text, graphics, or videos) of this site without the express written permission of Relay Hawaii;

  2. Include the information on your own server or in your own documents without the permission of Relay Hawaii;

  3. Modify or re-use the text, graphics, or videos located on Relay Hawaii's website.

 

You may print copies of the information for your own personal use or store files on your own computer for your personal use only. 
Relay Hawaii reserves all other rights.

 

Relay Hawaii service is provided by Sprint Relay as regulated by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC).  

 

© Relay Hawaii 2010-2019. All rights reserved.