What is the Relay Service?

MassRelay is a service designed for people who live or work in Massachusetts and use a text based device for phone conversations or want to communicate with someone who does.

What is a TTY?

A TTY is a telecommunications device used by individuals with hearing loss and/or speech disability to communicate through the telephone.


How does relay work?

A Relay Operator acts as the go-between for TTY users and standard telephone users. The Operator will complete your call, dialing the party you wish to contact and then stay on the line to relay messages electronically via a TTY or verbally to people who can hear. The Operator provides exact transcriptions of what they hear and speak exactly what is typed to them.

How do I place a relay call?

Massachusetts Relay is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. 
You may contact MassRelay using the following numbers: DIAL 711: Simply dial 711 and a MassRelay Operator will answer your call. This service is available within Massachusetts only and is not always available at payphones or PBX-type phone systems. 711 calls are answered first in Voice, then in TTY.

Or you may choose to dial one of the toll free numbers:

1-800-439-2370 ( TTY/ASCII )
1-800-439-0183 ( Voice )
1-866-887-6619 (Voice Carry Over)
1-866-645-9870 (Speech to Speech)
1-866-930-9252 (Spanish to Spanish)

When your call is answered, simply give the Operator the number of the person you wish to call. The Operator will then dial out that number for you and relay your conversation. All MassRelay Operators are trained to handle standard Relay, VCO, HCO, 2-line VCO and VCO-to-VCO/TTY calls. Specially trained Operators handle Spanish and STS calls.

Who pays for relay calls?

The Massachusetts Relay Service is publicly funded. There is no cost to use Massachusetts Relay Service. Your completed calls made through the MassRelay Service are subject to Local Exchange Carrier rates for local and regional calls between your location and the location that your are calling.


Can I make long distance calls?

MassRelay Operators are trained to allow callers to place direct dial, third party, collect and calling card calls. Callers may use their personal choice of long distance carrier for toll calls.


How many calls may I make?

There is no limitation on the number or length of calls you may place through MassRelay

Can I set up my calls to meet my specific needs?

Yes! MassRelay offers a variety of Relay Preferences to enhance your Relay experience. Please contact the MassRelay Customer Service for more information and assistance in choosing your Relay Profile. Some options include: VCO, HCO or ASCII automatic connections, request for a Spanish-speaking or Speech to Speech Operator, and Long Distance or Regional Carrier of Choice.


How do I reach MassRelay Customer Service?

MassRelay Customer Service is available 7 days as week, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
 TTY and ASCII Users 800-720-3480
 Voice/Hearing Users 800-720-3479
 Email: customerservice@massrelay.com


What is the Customer Profile and how is it used?

Relay provides the ability for relay users to establish a profile with Relay customer service. The profile lets the relay user save their call preferences and have the relay operator's use those call preferences every time they connect to relay. Those preferences can include:

What is your preferred long distance provider?
What is your preferred method of accessing relay? Is it from a TTY, or through VCO, or are you a hearing person connecting to other relay users, etc.

Do you want to store and frequently dialed numbers, such as "Mom" or "Doctor." When you connect to relay, instead of giving the relay a phone number, you would tell them to call "Mom" and they will pull up your profile and connect to your frequently dialed numbers.

What is your emergency information? You can store your emergency information in advance for when you need to dial 9-1-1, you then can call into relay and the relay operator will have your information to connect to the nearest emergency dispatcher. This will speed up getting emergency services to you.

Are all my calls private?

YES! 
MassRelay is serious about protecting your privacy. All MassRelay OPRs, Supervisors and Administrative staff are required to attend special training in

Confidentiality and Ethics.

Can medical information be exchanged via MassRelay?
Under the Privacy Rule, a covered entity such as a doctor can contact a patient using a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), without the need for a business associate contract with the TRS.



What is VCO?

VCO stands for Voice Carrier Over and is a type of Relay that enables someone who is deaf, hard of hearing or late-deafened to speak directly to a hearing individual, and then receive that individual's responses via TTY. Persons who were once able to use a standard telephone and prefer to use their own voice often prefer VCO, as it feels more natural to them. To request VCO say or type "VCO PLS GA" ("VCO please, go ahead"). You may set up your Relay Preferences and request an automatic connection in VCO when you place calls to MassRelay. Our Customer Service representatives can assist you in completing your Relay Preference form.

What is a VCO-to-VCO call?

VCO-to-VCO enables two persons who are deaf; hard of hearing or late-deafened but prefer to use their own voice to call one another via MassRelay. Each caller voices their own portion of the conversation and an Operator types their words to the other VCO user. Both VCO users speak, and both read responses on their respective Text devices.


What is HCO?

HCO or Hearing Carry Over is provided for persons with speech disabilities. The Speech-disabled person types his/her side of the telephone conversation on a TTY and the Relay Operator voices what is typed to the other person. The HCO user then listens as the other person speaks. To request HCO, type "HCO PLS GA" ("HCO please, go ahead"). You may set up your Relay Preferences and request an automatic connection in HCO when you place calls to MassRelay. Our Customer Service representatives can assist you in setting your Relay Profile


What is STS?

Speech to Speech (STS) is provided for persons with speech disabilities to make or receive phone calls using their own voice or a voice synthesizer. STS calls are handled by Relay Operators specially trained in a variety of speech patterns and who listen to what the speech-disabled person says, revoicing verbatim to the other person. The STS user listens as the other user speaks. A STS Relay Preference is highly recommended to speed call setup and also provides a 10-number speed-dial list for frequently called numbers. Our Customer Service representatives can assist you in setting up your Speech Relay Preference form.


How do I share compliments or complaints?

MassRelay Customer Service is available 7 days as week, 24 hours per day, 365 days a year.
 TTY and ASCII Users 800-720-3480
 Voice/Hearing Users 800-720-3479
 Email: customerservice@massrelay.com. Please see the "Contact Us" section for more contact information and the escalation process.