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tdalmighty asked ·

AT&T Outbound Texts Not Working Sept 2019

Regarding RingCentral Case 09433975

About a week ago our outbound text messaging from our RingCentral app to AT&T wireless customers stopped working. This has been confirmed by multiple users. All other carriers are receiving and sending text messages fine.

Initially (Sept 20th) when I talked with RingCentral  support they checked the "logs" and said nothing is wrong and told me that I should have my customers call AT&T check their accounts.  (Probably the most ridiculous suggestion ever).  Only upon my insistence did the RingCentral support escalate the issue to "Tier 2 Support".

This morning (Sept 23) I received this message from Tier 2 Support: "We reviewed the logs for outbound
messages from (your number) it shows no errors over the past 24 hours. Looking back to the 21st I do show a number of errors labeled "Unknown error" on their side. Can you please retest the messages to the provided numbers and advise if the messages continue to fail at this time?"

I can confirm that I have tested AT&T numbers today and they are still not receiving my texts.

Please fix this issue as soon as possible as it has a major impact on our business operations.

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tdalmighty answered ·
Update Sept 23 @ 530PM EST: After confirming with Tier 2 support and providing timestamps for failed outbound messages, they have "...forwarded it to our partner carrier. I will provide an update once available..."

We are actively looking at alternatives to RingCentral.
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Hey, TDAlmighty - from the looks of it, our Tier 2 agents are actively working on your case. Looks like they reached out yesterday and left a voicemail. We'd ask that you stick with us as we try to solve this problem.
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@Jessica, see my update below.  Tier 2 support did nothing.
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account12769 answered ·
Happens often. Certain carriers will automatically ban VOIP numbers their systems flag to be sending SMS spam.

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Even if we maybe only send 2-3 texts per week to AT&T mobile customers?
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I don't know what the exact limitations are. In my experience, when you are blocked by a carrier, they will block a specific customer of theirs from receiving SMS from your specific number. They don't appear to block all of their customers from your number.

Others who have this problem report that a carrier block happens when multiple texts are sent to one person and there are no texts returned in response. I can't verify that this is true, but it would make sense in my opinion.

There's a rate limit with the RC SMS API, but I'm not sure if AT&T has a rate limit as well, although that would make sense if they did.
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Thanks for your input, but not of it seems to apply and/or fix my problem
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You're most likely not going to get a solution here on this forum and you'll probably never get a straightforward answer as to why it happened from AT&T. AT&T is not going to tell you "We ban VOIP numbers from bandwidth.com when we see 'X' happen" because spammers would just use that information to get around their filters. But if you just want a fix, your best bet for the quickest solution is speaking with AT&T directly to request they remove you from any blocking.

Let me know how that goes if you do. I'm interested in what they have to say and I'm sure others here are as well.
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tdalmighty answered ·
Update Sept 24:  RingCentral "Tier 2" support is now tell me AGAIN that our customers must contact AT&T and report the number as "not spam".  If that is not ridiculous enough, RingCentral does not give any instructions or contact numbers for doing so.

RingCentral I am very disappointed.  You will take our business's money when there are no problems.  But the minute something comes up and you have to actually fix a problem you want to put that back on my business and my customers.  RingCentral you are not the cheapest service, and now I have no reason to stay because your service is obviously lacking also. 
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I reviewed your case. Tier 2 partnered with AT&T to confirm that the texts you trying to send were blocked by AT&T with the error code 50.

The most common cause for error code 50 is that the messages were blocked by a local SPAM filter due to the content of the message. Here are some possible reasons messages encounter blocking from carriers:

  • Messages are far less likely to get blocked if few to no people complain of getting unwanted text messages
  • Missing "opt out" wording in messages
  • Use of public url shorteners
  • Sending links to questionable websites
  • Sending the same (or similar) messages from many numbers
  • Using the same number for multiple campaigns
  • Outdated customer databases where phone numbers have new owners who did not opt in to messaging
  • Some wireless providers may block A2P (Application to Person) messages from ten digit long code numbers
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We only send messages to customers after they initiate the conversation (aka replies). And this worked fine for us for 2.5 years.  You are still not providing any solutions -- only a list of potential "problems" or things we did wrong which do not seem to apply.  Step up the plate and please find a solution.  That is what I am paying you for.
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tdalmighty answered ·
It is now working.

For people that run into this problem later, do not bother contacting RingCentral.

What ended up working for us?  PAYING a customer that has AT&T mobile service to call AT&T and ask that the number be removed from the spam list.  After getting transferred around a few times, AT&T did confirm to our customer that our number was blocked from sending texts to AT&T mobile customers. After some persistence, the customer was successful in getting the number taken off the list.

I did earlier talk with a "supervisor" at RingCentral, and reading between the lines it sounds like this happens all the time with RingCentral customers.  Obviously not something RingCentral wants to advertise but super annoyed when they could have just been honest from the get-go that this is a common problem instead of acting like the whole time like this was a one-off.

On a side note, obviously these spam lists that the mobile carriers maintain are not going to stop the real spammers who can just call the phone company and be taken off the list.  But it sure did waste a lot of our time (a non-spammer).
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tdalmighty answered ·
Well I spoke too soon.  Came in yesterday morning and we are unable to text to AT&T numbers again.  We probably sent 1-2 texts TOTAL to AT&T customers during the time that it was working again.  I highly suspect this is a RingCentral/VOIP issue more than anything else.
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A hard case to make when only SMS sent to AT&T numbers are being blocked. A case against RC would mean that RC is formatting/sending SMS in a way that all carriers accept, except AT&T. Although possible, this seems highly unlikely imo.

My guess is that AT&T has auto-banning triggers in their system when they detect certain activity (possibly content, frequency or even location-related). It's also possible those triggers look for RingCentral numbers, bandwidth.com numbers or all VOIP numbers in general. Something else you may want to consider, if you end up having to port your number somewhere else, is the possibility that you may still end up with problems because AT&T is keeping a history of how many times they've banned your specific number.


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A hard case to make--but then later you agree with me in the next paragraph.  You are arguing with yourself now.
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AT&T looking for RC numbers is not the same as RC SMS causing an issue only with AT&T. I was throwing out several possible starting points of your problem, which is most likely not caused by RC imo.

If you haven't spoken directly with AT&T yourself, I doubt you even have enough information to begin working on your problem.
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Again...arguing with yourself on semantics. Both problems I have no control of and RC should be dealing with--hence why I am posting here.  And I find it amusing that you think AT&T would tell anyone, including their customers, specifics on how their SPAM systems work.

You have spent all this time responding and have not provided one bit of actionable advice with your "opinions" and are assuming that I have not already thought of all your "advice". 
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Not quite.

If you can't understand the basic concept of tracking down the origination of your issue (Troubleshooting 101), you're in line for a ton of frustration.

Good luck.

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