SMS Marketing: Short Code Error Message Causes & Solutions

August 10, 2018

I'm Derek Johnson, with tatangocom

And today, I'm gonna be talking about what happens if a consumer disables short code messaging on their phone which means they've told the wireless carriers they do not wanna receive text messages from a five to six digit phone number, or they don't want to send text messages to a five or six digit phone number Now, what happens if the consumer tries to send a text message to a five to six digit phone number? They're gonna receive an error message, so I'm gonna review that in a second First off though why do consumers disable or suspend short code messaging on their phone? There's a couple reasons One is sometimes it's a business phone and businesses they usually just have a blanket, a setting that says, you know, this is a business phone they shouldn't be opting in for text message marketing messages We're just gonna disable this on all of our business phones

That's usually one reason Another reason is more of kind of a legacy reason, but a lot of phones still have this disabled on their phone because of this So back in the day consumers could download ringtones or sign up for joke of the day and they would be charged, you know, $999 a month, or a week for these jokes or for a download of a wallpaper or ringtone And all of these were sent through short codes

This is no longer the case this is not a thing anymore It's called premium messaging It no longer exists But when people would get these charges on their mobile phone it would be from a short code, so usually consumers would call up their wireless carrier they would complain and then they would say, "I don't ever want this happening again Please disable short code messaging on my phone

" So they were not only disabling short code messaging for premium messages, but they were also disabling short code messages for standard messages, which are the kind of messages that are currently sent nowadays when you're communicating with a brand So there's two different reasons usually why we see consumers have short code messaging disabled on their phone Again, this is very rare, but it does happen So when a consumer has short code messaging disabled on their phone this is what happens So when they text the short code, and let me just text a keyword, "Join9," they will receive either this message, which says, "Short code may have expired or short code texting may be blocked on your account

" And then usually follows with "Msg 1051" So this usually causes a lot of concern from brands because the first thing they're saying is, "Short code may have expired" And if you have a short code and you lease that short code that could be really scary to hear that your short code may have expired Well, it could be the case the short code has expired The majority of the time at least, you know, the clients we work with, this is the reason, is "Short texting may be blocked on your account

" Which again, does not mean the brand's account, it's the consumer's account This mobile phone has short code messaging blocked, therefore they can't interact with a short code So it's always a good idea I think, you know, when a consumer receives this have them call their wireless carrier, have them turn on short code messaging There may be a very, very small chance that a short code may have expired, you know, so definitely check with your SMS provider, but majority of the time it's going to be because short code texting has been blocked on this specific phone number But unfortunately, the carriers do put this in here, so it does cause a lot of anxiety for brands where usually this is not the case

The other kind of error message that you'll receive, or a consumer will receive if they've turned off or suspended short code messaging, is "Service Access Denied" And this is another unfortunate one because that really doesn't give you much information So this again, this "Service Access Denied" means that this phone number has short code texting disabled or suspended on their mobile phone And again, the only way that you can activate short code messaging for a phone number is for that phone number, the owner of that phone number, to call their wireless carrier and have them turn on short code messaging Unfortunately, as a brand, you can't call on their behalf, you can't turn on anything

Even as a software provider like Tatango, we can't turn on anything either It has to be the owner of the cell phone number has to contact the wireless carrier and tell them to activate, or turn on short code messaging And sometimes if you are giving advice to the consumer on how to turn on short code messaging, you can say either "Short code messaging" or "Turn on messaging from five to six digit phone numbers" Depending on the support person you get at the wireless carriers, some people know what a short code is, some people don't know what a short code is so usually I recommend kind of both, saying short code, and five to six digit phone numbers See which one clicks for them and they can then activate short code messaging for that phone number and then they will not receive these kind of error messages when they're interacting with your short code

Source: Youtube