SMS short code deliverability problems?

by KaylaB
13 replies
Is anyone else having short code SMS delivery issues?

I am in Canada.

I have been using a long-code provider, and I am thinking of switching to short codes only.

I recently signed up with one of the highly rated short code providers, and when I was testing, ran into some deliverability issues. The first was with a prospective client. The test I set up worked on my iphone, but not his, even though we use the same cell phone provider. The message failed to send. It is possible he had the short code blocked because he had been receiving spam texts and being charged for them, but I can't believe this would have come from a reputable provider.

I then tested it on my son's cell phone which uses Virgin Canada. The text was send, received by the SMS provider, and return SMS appears to have been sent (as per web interface) - but not received. Tried this several times. Checked with the SMS provider- appears to be on the Virgin's side. Waiting a return call from Virgin.

I live in Toronto. Three million people. Not a small town. There are only a handful of cell phone providers, so it should not be a problem. BOTH these providers are supported, yet the SMS was not received.

This is something that I don't hear anyone talking about regarding SMS short codes- deliverability problems. Yet it seems to be a very real problem.

Anyone else running into this problem? How do you explain this to your clients?

I was thinking of switching my real estate client over to a short code, but now I am having second thoughts.

Long or short code? No simple answer. Any feedback would be appreciated.

Thanks!
#code #deliverability #problems #short #sms
  • Profile picture of the author HypeText
    Originally Posted by KaylaB View Post

    Is anyone else having short code SMS delivery issues?

    I am in Canada.

    I have been using a long-code provider, and I am thinking of switching to short codes only.

    I recently signed up with one of the highly rated short code providers, and when I was testing, ran into some deliverability issues. The first was with a prospective client. The test I set up worked on my iphone, but not his, even though we use the same cell phone provider. The message failed to send. It is possible he had the short code blocked because he had been receiving spam texts and being charged for them, but I can't believe this would have come from a reputable provider.

    I then tested it on my son's cell phone which uses Virgin Canada. The text was send, received by the SMS provider, and return SMS appears to have been sent (as per web interface) - but not received. Tried this several times. Checked with the SMS provider- appears to be on the Virgin's side. Waiting a return call from Virgin.

    I live in Toronto. Three million people. Not a small town. There are only a handful of cell phone providers, so it should not be a problem. BOTH these providers are supported, yet the SMS was not received.

    This is something that I don't hear anyone talking about regarding SMS short codes- deliverability problems. Yet it seems to be a very real problem.

    Anyone else running into this problem? How do you explain this to your clients?

    I was thinking of switching my real estate client over to a short code, but now I am having second thoughts.

    Long or short code? No simple answer. Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Thanks!
    It's not uncommon for Longcodes to have issues.

    Shortcodes get priority since the carriers actually get paid for those.

    Longcodes are nothing more than virtual phone numbers. since the Carriers arent getting compensated for access to their Networks those get a lower priority, much like SMTP Protocol.

    I am sending you a PM about our services in Canada.
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  • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
    I guess my post was not clear.

    My problem is with the SHORT SMS code - not the long one.

    I recently signed up with one of the highly rated short code providers, and when I was testing, ran into some deliverability issues.
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      Originally Posted by KaylaB View Post

      I guess my post was not clear.

      My problem is with the SHORT SMS code - not the long one.
      Guess I misinterpreted your post.

      Just out of curiosity...what provider are you using? There is a possibility that it could be an integration issue on their side and they just aren't aware of it or don't want to admit it.

      With ANY mobile transmission (Voice, Text, or Data) their is always a possibility of Packet Loss due to equipment issues, atmospheric conditions, signal degradation, or even interference on RF Waves.

      Is this an ongoing issue or just an isolated incident?
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  • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
    I don't want to say who the provider is. Suffice to say they have been around for a while and are highly recommended.

    I don't know if it is an isolated issue or not, but the SMS failed (and for different reasons) on two of the first four phones I tested it on, and with carriers that are supposedly supported.

    Makes me question whether there is any benefit in using short codes for smaller businesses that will not be doing huge text blasts. Yes, the number is easier to remember, but if it does not always work that is irrelevant.
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      Originally Posted by KaylaB View Post

      I don't want to say who the provider is. Suffice to say they have been around for a while and are highly recommended.

      I don't know if it is an isolated issue or not, but the SMS failed (and for different reasons) on two of the first four phones I tested it on, and with carriers that are supposedly supported.

      Makes me question whether there is any benefit in using short codes for smaller businesses that will not be doing huge text blasts. Yes, the number is easier to remember, but if it does not always work that is irrelevant.
      Longcodes can experience the same issues...and more often due to lower delivery priority as well
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  • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
    Is anyone else having problems with their SMS short code texts being blocked by their cell phone provider?

    I am having a problem with Virgin Canada blocking incoming SMS short codes texts on a pay-as-you-go plan. Still waiting for a reply from Virgin. Tbeir customer support leaves a lot to be desired.
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    • Profile picture of the author KateSaunders
      Kayla,

      I don't have a lot of experience w/short code providers. I believe the Sprint network is blocking some short codes - and that is not an issue w/long codes because they are perceived as phone numbers.

      I use both short and long codes, and right now apart from the need for some clients to send large numbers of messages quickly, I can't honestly say I see a benefit to short code over long code.

      At times, both will likely have deliverability issues.

      Good luck!
      Kate
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      • Profile picture of the author KaylaB
        Thanks Kate!

        It is good to know you are using both. I was thinking of switching to only short codes, but realize there are definitely some downsides to them - like this deliverability problem.

        I have seen a lot of people on the forum claim that short codes are superior in every way, including guaranteed delivery, but that is clearly not the case.

        I do like the fact that short codes are easier to remember and text than a 10 digit long codes.

        Kayla
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  • Profile picture of the author Edge88
    Kayla,

    I'm having trouble with short codes too and its very annoying. Just today a client on sprint was not able to subscribe, and my clients on simple mobile are never able to subscribe...
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    Every short code has to be approved for delivery by the phone service provider ie Sprint, AT&T, etc this is usually why it takes around 12 weeks to set up a short code - additionally in the case of Sprint they charge an additional fee to your SMS gateway provider for delivering SMS messages to Sprint subscribers it could be for whatever reason your SMS gateway provider maybe in a dispute or not paid the fee... Sprint being Sprint am sure will have no problems suspending the service till the issue is resolved, leaving all kinds of interruptions to service...

    Since each shortcode is unique your are far better off contacting your SMS provider direct for answers likewise if you are having problems with longcodes.

    Also your SMS gateway provider should be able to supply you with a list of approved networks that accept your SMS.

    HTH

    Jay
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      Originally Posted by Jay Moreno View Post

      Every short code has to be approved for delivery by the phone service provider ie Sprint, AT&T, etc this is usually why it takes around 12 weeks to set up a short code - additionally in the case of Sprint they charge an additional fee to your SMS gateway provider for delivering SMS messages to Sprint subscribers it could be for whatever reason your SMS gateway provider maybe in a dispute or not paid the fee... Sprint being Sprint am sure will have no problems suspending the service till the issue is resolved, leaving all kinds of interruptions to service...

      Since each shortcode is unique your are far better off contacting your SMS provider direct for answers likewise if you are having problems with longcodes.

      Also your SMS gateway provider should be able to supply you with a list of approved networks that accept your SMS.

      HTH

      Jay
      Also worth noting, Virgin Mobile is an MVNO for Sprint, so if there are Sprint Issues then Virgin subscribers will not receive messages either.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jay Moreno
    @hypetext - your absolutely right, i did use to have a list somewhere of all the top tier providers and feeder networks, will see if i can find it and share it.

    cheers

    jay
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    • Profile picture of the author HypeText
      Originally Posted by Jay Moreno View Post

      @hypetext - your absolutely right, i did use to have a list somewhere of all the top tier providers and feeder networks, will see if i can find it and share it.

      cheers

      jay
      Yep, and that also includes Straight Talk and TracFone As well.

      I am aware of this because back in the 90's I also launched another MVNO called Vibe Mobile which I later sold, but we used to buy our airtime directly from Sprint.
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