“By making use of the Vodacom National Relay Service, you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions and any subsequent amendments or variation thereof.”
We will provide the NRS as set out in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.
The Vodacom Specific Needs & Relay Centre provides two types of call centre services to consumers with disabilities:
The National Relay Service (NRS) is exclusively available for registered Deaf, hearing- and speech impaired consumers
Customer Service support for consumers with various disabilities such as visually impaired, physically disabled, Deaf, hearing impaired, DeafBlind and speech impaired.
‘Consumers’ in this section refers to registered Deaf, hearing- and speech impaired persons.
The National Relay Service (NRS) enables Deaf, hearing- and speech impaired persons to communicate with hearing persons. This is facilitated by trained staff called Relay Officers (RO)/Agents.
The Relay Officer/Agent act as a ‘relay’ or a bridge between people with hearing or speech impairments, and hearing individuals.
The RO/Agent is the central link in any relay call, re-speaking what the deaf user is saying and relaying what is said by each party.
Types of Relay Services
The ‘service’ in these terms and conditions refers to the National Relay Service (NRS) which consists of the following relay services:
Voice relay (speak and listen); When you are able to speak, but find it difficult to hear on a phone
Text relay: (type & read); When you can’t speak and/or can’t hear well on a phone
SMS or text-based services; When you can’t speak and/or can’t hear well on a phone
Live chat; When you can’t speak and/or can’t hear well on a phone
Video: When you are Deaf and use South African Sign Language, and
Captioned telephony: If you can speak but have a hearing problem. Captioned telephony is available to customers who have devices with Live Captions functionality that are able to translate speech to text.
Users of the service
The NRS is a real-time service exclusively available to registered Vodacom Prepaid and Postpay customers who are Deaf, hearing- and speech impaired.
Types of calls customers can make to 3rd parties (organisations/businesses)
The NRS will allow registered Deaf, hearing and speech impaired consumers to communicate with a hearing person.
Consumers can contact the NRS Relay Centre to make the following calls to hearing people of 3rd parties (businesses/organisations):
Bookings, for example - make a booking at a Restaurant
Appointments, for example – make an appointment with a medical doctor
Reservations, for example – make a reservation at a hotel or guesthouse, note you are responsible to make payments yourself
Emergency Services – Deaf SA Sign Language customers request the RO (SASLI) to request emergency services on their behalf, such as police, ambulance, traffic, sea rescue and fire services.
Placing a call to the NRS Relay Centre
When making a call via the NRS using your preferred channel, you need to provide the following information to the Relay Officer/Agent:
Area code and number you wish to call
Name of person you are calling
Message for the hearing person you are calling
You may not select a specific NRS interpreter for your call.
The NRS will not act as a payment gateway and you need to manage any payments yourself.
Devices and equipment
You are responsible, at your own cost, for providing any equipment necessary to access the NRS, including computers, mobile phones, telephone and other equipment.
To access Vodacom’s video relay service, please ensure that your device is capable of video calling.
Ensure that you have a working internet connection when making a video and live chat call.
Vodacom will provide the various NRS relay services free of charge for Vodacom consumers using a Vodacom SIM.
Requesting services where costs is incurred is for your own cost.
Depending on your Carrier, video calls and live chat may be chargeable by your Service Provider.
SMS and other channels will work from overseas, but will be charged at roaming rates if accessed from overseas
Channels / Modes of communication
The below channels are exclusively for the use of Deaf, hearing- and speech impaired
Depending on the nature of your hearing or speech disability, you can choose your preferred mode of communication to interact with our Relay Centre:
Live chat is available only for registered deaf, hearing and speech-impaired customers on the following channels:
Vodacom’s WhatsApp, save 082 009 8624 in your contacts. Select ‘Specific Needs and Disability’ - select ‘National Relay NRS’ – select ‘Message Chat Relay’ – select ‘Go to live chat’ and follow the prompts
My Vodacom App - click on ‘Support’. Select ‘Tobi’ – select ‘Specific Needs and Disability’ – select ‘National Relay NRS’ – select ‘Message Chat Relay’ – select ‘Go to Live Chat’ and follow the prompts
Video is available only for registered deaf, hearing and speech-impaired customers on the following channels:
Vodacom WhatsApp - save 082 009 8624 in your contacts. Click on Main menu, select Specific Needs – click on Disability Menu‘, select ‘National Relay’, ‘select ‘Video Relay,’ click on ‘Ready for video call’ and follow the prompts
My Vodacom App - click on ‘Support’. Select ‘Tobi’ – select ‘Specific Needs and Disability’ – select ‘National Relay NRS’ – select ‘Video Relay’ – select ‘Ready for video call’ and click on the link to start the video call.
Captioned telephony – switch on Live Captions feature on your device to enable the translation of voice or speech to text.
Making a video relay (VRS) call
A Video call connects you to our specially trained Contact Centre staff called Relay Officers, who are SA Sign Language Interpreters (SASLIs).
The RO speaks your message to hearing persons using a phone whilst simultaneously signing their responses and conversation.
You may use the VRS option to select the type of service required, such as Emergency Services, assistance with Vodacom Products and Services and calls to 3rd parties such as businesses/organisations/family/friends.
You must ensure that both your hands and face are clearly visible to the NRS Relay Officer/SASLI for the duration of the call.
The VRS operates on a ‘first available’ basis - calls are answered by RO’s in the order in which they are presented in the queue (note that an emergency call will receive priority.
Emergency video calls will be prioritised over calls to 3rd parties or Vodacom Products and Services Support and will be presented to the first available Relay Officer (RO).
Access Emergency services as follows:
Vodacom WhatsApp - save 082 009 8624 in your contacts. Click on Main menu, select Specific Needs – click on Disability Menu‘, select ‘National Relay’, ‘select ‘Emergency Video Relay,’ click on ‘Ready for video call’ and follow the prompts
My Vodacom App - click on ‘Support’. Select ‘Tobi’ – select ‘Specific Needs and Disability’ – select ‘National Relay NRS’ – select ‘Emergency Video Relay’ – select ‘Ready for video call’ and click on the link to start the video call.
The response times from emergency services are aligned to provincial response times
ER24 will contact emergency services telephonically on the Deaf customers’ behalf.
Critical emergency and life threatening calls made through the VRS by dialling will be subject to monitoring and call recording as required by law.
This is to ensure that calls relayed to the ER24 Emergency Services Contact Centre, such as the police, fire, or ambulance services, may be recovered by the relevant emergency provider subject to strict compliance with the relevant legislation. The monitoring and recording of such calls is to ensure that access to critical information is available.
Should you require emergency services outside of the Contact Centre hours, you can contact the ER24 Emergency Services Contact Centre independently via:
The Vodacom 112 App (download from the Playstore and App store)
The Vodacom 112 SMS Emergency Service (SMS the word ‘Register’ to 082 112)
RO’s will treat every call and interaction with sign language users with the highest level of confidentiality and privacy.
The NRS is a strictly confidential service and Relay Officers/SASLIs have signed a privacy declaration which adheres to the SA Sign Language Code of Ethics.
Your calls to the NRS inclusive of video relay will be recorded for training and coaching purposes.
You can choose to not continue with the call if you do not want your call recorded.
When you use the NRS we may collect personal information about you such as your name and contact details and cellphone number.
By using the service, you consent the RO to share information of your conversation to third parties (organisations).
We may also collect information about the type of service you use.
Unlawful use of the service
You must be respectful at all times when using the NRS and interacting with NRS staff.
Should you show behaviour that is abusive, insulting, improper, obscene or offensive on a NRS call, Vodacom reserves the right to end, interrupt or block or disconnect the call.
Do not use the NRS for unlawful purposes or to harass recipients.
I release Vodacom from all liability to the maximum extent permitted by law, agree to indemnify and hold Vodacom, its officers, employees and agents free and harmless from any and all costs, losses, expenses, damages (direct, indirect, consequential or otherwise), claims, suits, causes of action or any other liability or responsibility whatsoever arising from using the NRS.