Open links to jump to page content
Relay UK

Frequently asked questions

  • Can a bank or other business refuse to take my Relay UK call?

    The Equality Commission advises that refusing to take calls from disabled people that involve a third party, is likely to be a breach of the Equality Act.

    Also, the Information Commissioner has said that taking calls via a relay service would not be a breach of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has made the following statement:

    "The GDPR does not prevent individuals from contacting organisations using services such as textphone, NGT* or even using a sign language interpreter. The matter at hand is not one of consent, but that the organisation should have the appropriate security in place to protect against unauthorised or unlawful processing of personal data, as outlined in Article 5, principle (f) of the GDPR.

    The same level of security should be in place for a customer using the above services as for one who is not. The organisation must have appropriate processes in place to authenticate the customer, regardless of if they are using one of the above services, before processing any personal data."

    Letter to UK Council on Deafness from the Information Commissioner's Office, October 2018

    You can find more information on this on the Ofcom website

    *Now Relay UK


    Will Relay UK work with my Braille reader?

    If you can use your Braille reader with Text Relay you'll be able to use it with Relay UK.


    When will my landline be changing to digital and will Relay UK still work once I've moved over?

    The UK fixed or landline phone network is being modernised and will work on digital technology in the near future. BT has decided to retire the old Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) by the end of 2025 and other Phone Providers plan to follow similar timescales. Ofcom provide more details on the changeover and what this means for anyone using a landline on their website.

    The Relay UK app will continue to work over mobile phone networks and on broadband connections (eg. for the Windows and Mac versions), whilst textphones should also still work after the digital switchover (see the FAQ under 'Using Relay UK with a textphone' for more detail).


    Is a call using Relay UK confidential?

    Yes. Sometimes we record conversations facilitated by the Relay Assistant but only in the following situations:

    • An emergency call
    • For quality measurement and training
    • When one party is abusive to the relay personnel
    • Where there is a technical problem that needs investigation

    Relay Assistants may not have writing materials at their workstations (except by specific arrangement, e.g. if they are asked to complete a form as part of a feedback trial).

    Relay service employees must sign a confidentiality agreement which states that they will be dismissed and may be prosecuted if they discuss or use any information from the conversations they relay. This does not cover comments directed at the Relay Assistant or discussions between a party and the Relay Assistant.

  • Can I use Relay UK when I'm abroad?

    Yes, but you need to call a different number to the one you normally dial to connect to Relay UK.

    If you're abroad using the Relay UK app or a textphone

    1. Dial +44 151 494 1260
    2. Relay UK will ask for the phone number you want and a Relay Assistant will be connected into your call.


    If you're abroad using a phone to call a Relay UK user in the UK

    1. Dial +44 151 494 2022
    2. Relay UK will ask for the phone number you want and a Relay Assistant will be connected into your call


    If you're calling someone who has a TextNumber

    1. Dial the TextNumber the same as if you were calling a mobile from abroad
    2. For example, dial +44 7777 89... or +44 3306 70...


    Can people dial my TextNumber from abroad?

    Unfortunately, there's not a simple answer to this.

    If someone is abroad and making a phone call, the local phone network controls what can and can't be dialled.

    This means that someone dialling the TextNumber for your fixed line (it starts with 0330) might connect. However, if they dial the TextNumber for your mobile (it starts with 0777) they should get through to you.

    How do I use Relay UK to call an international number?

    Dial 18001 or 18002 followed by the full international number starting with 00.

    For example, if you were calling the USA you’d dial 18001 00 1 (followed by the full number of the person you’re calling).

    And if you wanted to call Germany, you’d dial 18001 00 49 and the full number of whoever you’re calling.

    What languages do the Relay Assistants speak?

    They only speak English.

  • Why do I see this message: Pls Dial 18001 + full number?

    If you see Pls Dial 18001 + full number when you make a call you’ve probably dialled 18001 without using the full phone number including the dialling code.

    For example: you’ve dialled 1800122006000 instead of 1800102022006000.

    But if you see Pls Dial 18001 + full number every time you make a call - and you know you've entered the correct number, please contact us and we’ll look into it for you.

    Why do I see this message: Relay UK Calls to this number range are barred?

    If you see Relay UK Calls to this number range are barred on your textphone display when you make a call, you’ll probably have dialled the 18001 prefix twice.

  • If I call the emergency services on 18000, do they know where I am?

    Yes. An 18000 call uses the same location system as a 999 call. If you call from home the emergency services are given your home address from your telephone service provider. If you call from a mobile the emergency services get your location from the mobile network.

  • Is Relay UK free?

    There's no additional charge for using Relay UK, but you will still have to pay as normal for the phone calls you make.

    Do I still get a rebate for using the service?

    All telephone service providers must offer a rebate scheme to people who use a relay service using the 18001 access code because they are hearing or speech impaired. You need to contact your telephone service provider for details of the rebate scheme they provide.

    What happens if I have free weekend calls or a similar package?

    Calls made via Relay UK should be charged in the same way as any other geographic or mobile call but you may want to check with your telephone service provider.

    Who do I contact if I have a problem with my bill?

    You need to contact your telephone service provider.

    Will people calling me have to pay extra or is it just a standard call charge?

    People calling you should pay the same charge they would pay for any other geographic or mobile telephone call. They need to contact their telephone service provider for details of their charges.

  • Can I divert a telephone line to a TextNumber?

    No, the phone network will only let you divert a telephone line to another telephone line or a mobile.

    However if you have a TextNumber associated with your home telephone line and you divert your home phone to your mobile, a call to the TextNumber will be diverted to your mobile.

    You can then answer the call using the Relay UK app on your mobile.

    For this to work, the Relay UK app on your mobile has to be linked to your home phone number. Please note, your home phone provider might charge for the diverted call.


    Can I withhold my TextNumber if I don't want people to see it?

    Yes, if you withhold your phone number the TextNumber is withheld as well.


    Can people calling me still use 18002 and my standard number if they want to, or will they have to use my TextNumber if I have one?

    Yes, 18002 continues to work whether or not you have a TextNumber.


    What happens if someone sends an SMS text to an 07 TextNumber, will I receive the text?

    Yes, Relay UK will forward SMS messages to the mobile phone that's associated with the TextNumber.

    Important: If you reply to an SMS text message sent to a TextNumber, your reply will come direct from your mobile phone number and display your mobile number to the person receiving the text. So if you're using SMS messaging to communicate, let the other person know your mobile number as well as the TextNumber.


    When I call people will they see my TextNumber or my standard telephone number if they have caller display on their phone?

    If they have a caller display unit, they’ll see the TextNumber. If they call 1471 they will hear the TextNumber.


    Will my TextNumber appear in the Phone Book?

    TextNumbers will not automatically appear in the Phone Book from BT.

    BT Phonebooks can add the TextNumber to your entry. If you don't currently have an entry in the Phone Book you need to contact your telephone service provider.

  • Will my textphone work with Relay UK?

    Relay UK works with the BT Textphone, Minicom, Screenphone, TextLink, and Uniphone.

    Will my textphone work on a digital landline?

    If you have a textphone it should still work after the digital switchover, however it won’t work if you have a power outage (unless you have back-up power installed). Also, remember that like other phones you’ll need to plug it into the telephone socket on your router. For more information, please contact your Phone Provider. 


    How can I make the BT Textphone and TextLink 9100 connect quicker?

    If you only use your BT Textphone or TextLink 9100 with Relay UK it will connect quicker if you set it to V.21.

    To check the setting look at top left corner of the textphone's display. If it shows V.18 change it to V.21 by pressing Menu72Enter.

    I’m using a Minicom or Uniphone. Why can’t I connect to Relay UK?

    If you're using a Minicom or Uniphone and are having problems connecting to Relay UK, check that Turbo Code is not switched on.

    If it's switched on you might find that your textphone connects quicker if you switch Turbo Code off.

    Take a look at your textphone manual for how to do this.

  • How can I access Relay UK through our company's firewall?

    The Internet connection between the Relay UK app and the service is encrypted using TLS 1.2. Also if your company uses proxy servers the app needs to be configured and SSL Protocol Inspection should not be used.

    Can I link any business phone number to the Relay UK app?

    The Relay UK app uses your Calling Line Identification (CLI) to link your phone line to the app. The CLI is usually the same as your phone number (ie. the billing number), but on some business systems or phones that connect over the internet, the number you will see on the phone is different.

    The Relay UK app can’t be linked to an 08 or 09 number.

    If you are having problems linking your app to your business phone number, try contacting your technical or billing support to get the CLI that is being used and then enter that into the Relay UK app instead. Alternatively your phone service provider should be able to give you the billing number you need