What hours is captioned relay available?
You can make and receive calls through captioned relay 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Will it cost to make captioned relay calls?
There is no cost for the actual phone call. You only pay broadband or data costs for connecting to the internet to receive the captions. Generally a phone call does not use a lot of data, although the way you are charged for this data will depend on the plan you have with your internet service provider. For most computer or smartphone plans, data is part of a monthly cap.
If you want to make overseas or premium-rate calls you will need to use a pre-paid phone card or pay for the calls through an account with the NRS.
Note that if you use a captioned relay handset, you will need to pay for the phone call – both local and national calls as you would for an ordinary call depending on your particular phone plan.
Do I need to register?
No. You can make calls without registering.
However if you want to receive captioned calls you will need to register. This is a simple, once-only online procedure. We ask for your name, your phone number, a password, email address (in case you lose/forget your password) and a secret question/answer (in case you change/forget your email address).
The reason you need to register to receive calls is that because the service uses the internet to deliver the captions, there needs to be a process of identifying you with your internet connection.
You can change any of your registration details at any time once you are logged in. Just go to ‘My details’ in the top navigation bar and follow the instructions.
Note that if you use a captioned relay handset, you won’t need to register and you will be able to receive calls directly.
Are there any other benefits from registration?
Yes, once registered, apart from receiving calls, you can:
- develop, use and manage an online list of contacts with phone numbers (‘My contacts’)
- make calls without having to enter the security captcha letters
- change any of your registration details (‘My details’).
Once I’m registered what do I do?
Once you are registered you just login using the phone number you registered with and your password. You can then receive and make calls and use your address book (‘My contacts’).
Remember that you can always make calls without logging in. You can also change, any time, the phone number at which you want to receive calls.
Can I get captioned calls if a hearing person rings me or is it only when I initiate the call?
Yes you will be able to receive captioned calls just as you can initiate them. You will need to be registered and logged in to receive a call. The other person needs to ring the NRS on 1300 318 850, enter your number including area code, and press #.
Note that if you use a captioned relay handset, the other person can ring you directly by just dialling your number.
Can I change the phone number I want to receive calls on?
Yes. You will see under ‘I want to receive a call’ the phone number with which you registered. The system assumes you want to receive phone calls on this number. But if you want to receive a call on a different number just click the ‘Change number’ link and follow the prompts. It doesn’t change your registration phone number, just the number on which you currently want to receive calls.
If you want to change your registration phone number you need to click ‘My details’ in the top navigation bar and follow the instructions.
Is the role of the relay officer different in captioned telephony than in other relay calls?
Captioned relay is similar in some ways to a Speak and Read call on a TTY. The relay officer only relays one side of the conversation – that of the hearing person. But instead of typing the hearing person’s words (as in Speak and Read), they re-speak them to a computer with voice-recognition software which then generates the text that appears on the computer or phone screen of the person with the hearing impairment.
Another difference is that the relay officer only hears one half of the conversation. They don’t hear the voice of the person with the hearing impairment.
I use a captioned relay handset. Why do I have to turn the captions on each time? Can’t they be left on permanently?
The NRS is a service for people who are deaf or who have a hearing or speech impairment and is paid for by a levy on telecommunications companies. Therefore the NRS needs to make sure, as far as practicable, that the service is only used by the people for whom it is provided. As a user of the captioned relay handset, this means you are required to ‘opt in’ to using captions. If you don’t press ‘Captions on’ then the call will be a standard voice call, with no relay officer involved in the call and no captions provided.