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mary-community-moderator posted Jack Hainline commented

Questions about TCR/Restrictions for Business SMS? The Community wants to hear from you!

Today, 1/11/2022, our customers received an email about The Campaign Registry and new restrictions on business SMS traffic.

We wanted to create a space for discussion and questions about this topic.

The highlights of these changes are as follows:


  • In 2021, mobile carriers imposed new restrictions on business SMS traffic sent from text-enabled phone numbers, known as “10DLC” - 10 Digit Long Code, in line with industry requirements set out in the CTIA’s (Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association - the trade association representing the wireless communications industry in the United States) Messaging Principles and Best Practices.


  • The mobile carriers have extended these restrictions to all business SMS, including conversational texting. All customers using SMS must now self-register with The Campaign Registry (TCR) or their SMS traffic will be blocked by the mobile carriers.


  • To simplify this process, RingCentral will be adding the ability to self-register inside the Admin Portal. We expect this feature to be available on February 10, 2023, at which time we highly recommend you register. Please note carriers and TCR impose registration and other fees. Read more about these fees here.


NOTE:

After March 31, 2023, SMS will be automatically disabled for all existing numbers that have not been registered. If you have already registered via the manual PDF form process, your registration will automatically be added to the admin portal for you to manage moving forward. You can learn more about these changes here.


RingCentral is making every effort to support our customers using SMS, as we react to constantly changing requirements from the mobile carriers over which we have no control.

If you have any questions, please share them here and we will be happy to point you in the right direction.

As usual, the Community Team is here to help - please don’t hesitate to share your questions and concerns in this thread.

sms and text messagingnews and announcements
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Wayne Sherman avatar image Wayne Sherman commented ·

"The mobile carriers have extended these restrictions to all business SMS, including conversational texting."

"Conversation texting" is a message type that is defined for Non-Consumer A2P (Application to Person). We are not using A2P or automated SMS o bulk SMS in any form. All of our SMS message usage is person to person. According to the above reference CTIA Messaging Principles and Best Practices our SMS use falls under "Consumer (P2P) Messaging":

"Consumer (P2P) messaging is sent by a Consumer to one or more Consumers and is consistent with typical Consumer operation (i.e., message exchanges are consistent with conversational messaging among Consumers), as described in Section 4.1.1."
(see PDF page 10 referenced above for more info)

Since "Consumer" SMS does not require registration, can we continue to use our RingCentral phone numbers to receive SMS texts without registering?

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Mike Stowe avatar image Mike Stowe ♦ Wayne Sherman commented ·

In 2021 mobile carriers reclassified all non-mobile carrier originating business SMS traffic as 10DLC A2P. Unfortunately, for businesses P2P messaging (and the rules associated with it) no longer exist.

As such, all businesses must comply with A2P SMS rules regardless of how they are using SMS.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2022/07/05/read-this-if-your-business-uses-text-messaging/?sh=18386d70a576

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Wayne Sherman avatar image Wayne Sherman Mike Stowe ♦ commented ·

Treating casual SMS users the same as bulk and automated (A2P) users is insane. The language used by CTIA does not even fit what they are trying to apply it to. "Application-to-Person" SMS are automated software systems for sending SMS messages but they are treating that the same as person-to-person SMS. A text message conversation between two persons does not constitute a "Campaign".

Basically ALL business in the US would be required to register in case ANY OF THEIR EMPLOYEES happens to text another party in the course of their business (unless you happen to be using a major carrier for your phone service).

This looks like a money grab from the phone carriers:

1) If you sign up with them directly you don't have to register.

2) They get a huge database of business contacts.

3) They have a bunch of new revenue sources.

4) And if you happen to not use our service periodically we will even charge you a penalty not sending an SMS to our system. (TMOBILE)

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dheighton29 avatar image dheighton29 commented ·

I'm seeking clarification on the failure to utilize campaign penalty fine.

If I were to register a campaign for our conversational use. (Our company agent calls client, client replies via text, our agent then continues the conversation via text). But then we happen to not send any texts to t-mobile. Are we fined once, or every 60 day time frame it doesn't happen? The fine says one-time, but the wording hints that it would recur every 60 day timeframe.

If we choose not to register, can our numbers still get incoming SMS?

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Becky-Community_Manager avatar image Becky-Community_Manager ♦♦ dheighton29 commented ·

Great question! Let us dig into this with our team.

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Mike Stowe avatar image Mike Stowe ♦ dheighton29 commented ·

Unfortunately, it would be assessed every 60 day period where no messages have been sent from the campaign to T-Mobile.

To avoid this penalty, at least one number assigned to the campaign (most customers will have all of their numbers under one campaign) would need to send 1 message to a T-Mobile recipient every 59 days.

For customers who less frequently use SMS we are working on a solution to help our customers avoid this fine (through notification or automation), and I hope to have more information on this for everyone soon.

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J. Kitty Maurey avatar image J. Kitty Maurey commented ·

The announcement contained the following statement:

You can, however, port SMS capabilities to another provider, allowing you to utilize RingCentral for message, video, and phone while using a third-party provider for your SMS messages.

I don't send texts to my clients, but sometimes people contact me by text, assuming that "everyone" texts, and of course, I wish to reply to give them information, typically about how to find my office or how to contact me by email.

I would like to port my messages to my actual cell phone, which is a separate number from my RC account. How would I go about doing this?

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Mike Stowe avatar image Mike Stowe ♦ J. Kitty Maurey commented ·

Please first confirm that your mobile carrier will support this. As long as they support and your device will support multiple numbers you or they can put in a porting (LOA) request through RingCentral support.

Please be sure the request is specific to SMS to prevent voice from being ported as well.

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J. Kitty Maurey avatar image J. Kitty Maurey Mike Stowe ♦ commented ·

My provider would only allow for porting the entire account, which I do not wish to do. I suspect that is true for most providers.

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Nicole Stahl avatar image Nicole Stahl commented ·

Seeking some clarification: we do not send automated texts from our business numbers but do communicate with clients regularly using text messages. Essentially, we use the business numbers via the RC phone app as if we they were our personal numbers and call and text clients. Does this still necessitate registering our business and registering for a campaign? And if so, what would we need to register for in order to continue to use the text messaging feature with RingCentral (one of the primary reasons we use RC)? Thanks in advance.

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Mike Stowe avatar image Mike Stowe ♦ Nicole Stahl commented ·

Unfortunately yes, mobile carriers are now requiring all businesses (unless you are using the carrier directly) to register regardless of how they are using SMS. This is part of their effort to ensure only legitimate entities are sending messages (and no one is claiming to be your or another business fraudulently).

Unless you signed up for RingCentral after Dec 1, are adding additional numbers, or have been contacted by your rep to register for TCR, you can wait for self-registration to be available in the RingCentral admin portal on February 10th (just make sure to register by March 31 at the latest). Otherwise, if you need to register now you can do so by visiting https://www.ringcentral.com/tcr and filling out and submitting the manual PDF form.

To register you will need to provide your legal business name, EIN/ Corporation Number, contact information, how you are using SMS, and three sample messages. If you do not have an EIN/ Corporation Number you may still be able to send SMS, but the carriers will add significant limitations including how many SMS you can send.

Hopefully this helps, if you have any other questions please just let me know.

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Wayne Sherman avatar image Wayne Sherman Mike Stowe ♦ commented ·

Mike Stowe wrote:

"mobile carriers are now requiring all businesses (unless you are using the carrier directly) to register regardless of how they are using SMS"

Where is this documented?

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roy-haeger avatar image roy-haeger commented ·

Maybe my question is obvious. We ONLY use SMS to communicate with our parents, using the app, so that the texts don't come from our personal mobile numbers. Does this change apply to us? We don't do any text "campaigns" or anything like that. At most, we're probably talking about a several dozen texts over the school year. Thanks.

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mary-community-moderator avatar image mary-community-moderator ♦♦ roy-haeger commented ·

Yes, @roy-haeger. All RingCentral customers are required to register.


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Jack Hainline avatar image Jack Hainline mary-community-moderator ♦♦ commented ·

i signed up and have been paying for Ring Central since December 2022. I requested the ability for SMS text messaging when i started. my account executive left the company in the month I signed up. I am trying to have conversational texts with my customers. My new account exec Raven Candoy requested I fill out TCR form which i submitted on January 9th. I was told 10-14 business days before SMS would be enabled. there is nothing automated about my SMS. just 2 humans trying to have a normal conversation. it is now business day 21 and i still don't have SMS enabled. i have emailed Ring Central every single day single business day 15 and have gotten nowhere. Brandon Ramirez at TCR ensures me it is not their fault and Ring Central should have processed my form by now. I don't know what else to do and my patience is totally shot. this has been such a horrendous experience and is costing my company money every day because i can not even text my customers. i don't know know who to speak to because it doesn't seem anyone at Ring Central cares about me or my business or the fact that i have been paying for service for 2 months and still can not text

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Mike Stowe avatar image Mike Stowe ♦ roy-haeger commented ·

Unfortunately yes. Registration is required regardless of how you use SMS, and if you're planning on sending one message or 100 million messages.

The good news is that your use likely qualifies for a "low volume" use case, which will help reduce the TCR costs. You would not need additional vetting, and would likely only incur the one-time brand fee of $4, a one-time campaign registration fee of $15, and then a monthly maintenance fee of $1.50. These charges are from TCR and Syniverse respectively, RingCentral is not currently charging any fees for TCR registration.

I would encourage you however to send a SMS message at least once every 59 days to a T-Mobile number. T-Mobile does have a very significant non-usage penalty of $250 for registered campaigns that do not send any SMS in a 60 day window to their customers. We are also working on a process to help our customers avoid this potential penalty.

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