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Relay Etiquette

What are some of the basic rules of etiquette for making or receiving a relay call?

  1. Many deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals have "flashers" on their phones to alert them of an incoming call. Since flashers can take longer to notice than ringing, it is customary to wait for at least seven (7) rings before hanging up.
  2. It is polite to identify yourself at the beginning of the call, and to identify any other parties present on the call or who join the call at any time.
  3. Speak directly to the text (PC or TTY) user. Relay operators are not permitted to engage in conversations unless it is for specific call processing reasons (i.e. requesting a number to dial, providing status on a call, etc.)
  4. If the call is going to be put on hold or transferred, please notify the text user prior to completing such an action.
  5. It is customary to be familiar with and/or use standard abbreviations such as GA (Go Ahead) and SK (Stop Keying). The following chart indicates some of the more commonly used text abbreviations:
Abbreviation Meaning
ANS Answer
CA or RO Relay Operator
CUL See you later
GA Go Ahead
GA TO SK Go ahead if you have more to say, but I'm finished
HD Hold
HOH or HH Hard of Hearing
ILY I Love you
IMPT Important
LTR Letter
MSG Message
MTG Meeting
N And
NBR or NO Number
NITE Night
NP No Problem
NOYB None of your business
OIC Oh, I see
OPR Operator
OXOX Love and Kisses
PLS Please
PPL People
Q Question
R Are
SRVC or SVC or SERV Service
SK Stop Keying (end of call)
SKSK Hanging up
THX Thanks
TY Thank you
TMW Tomorrow
U You
UR Your
URS Yours