Still no Group Text Feature?

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  • Updated 1 week ago
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This conversation has been merged. Please reference the main conversation: Ability to Respond to Group Messages from Outside Numbers

I've really enjoyed using RC (we use the mobile app) but incredibly disappointed that they do not allow you to do a group text.  Instead, it converts group messages into individual messages which we do not want. 

I am not interested in something like Glip or having a directory where I have to add contacts.  In my line of business, we need to group text a few leads and team members who we would not want to add to a contact list/directory.

I've done the research and RC is one of the only VoIP companies who does not support this feature.  Almost all competitors offer this feature, which is why I may have to switch companies after my year is up.  Not to mention, 90% of smartphones support this feature with their stock messaging application.  

This feature has been an ongoing request for over four years (see below).  RC prides itself on customer service and "taking requests seriously", but they haven't released any updates or developments with this in over four years that I am aware of.  I've yet to receive an answer as to the "why" behind this feature not being implemented in over four years.  

https://community.ringcentral.com/ringcentral/topics/text-message-group
https://community.ringcentral.com/ringcentral/topics/i-have-created-a-group-of-contacts-how-can-i-se...

I actually sent a feature request over a month ago to corporate RC and I got a very standardized reply, which did not include any updates or plans for this release.

For other users who need this request, what is your workaround?  Do you just have to send out individual texts?
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Daniel Stein

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Posted 5 months ago

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Donald Hawbaker

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I, too, am incredibly disappointed to find out - after I paid for a full-year in advance - that the group-text feature is not available. Other posts on here lament the inability to block spam texts, which I rarely get; but my other texting issue is being unable to send to or reply to a 5- or 6-digit text number. Again, something I was not told RC did not support, found that out after I had paid. (But they wouldn't let me out anyway, I'm sure, if I was on the monthly pay plan.) I can't even contact Uber or Lyft via my RC app.

I will definitely be dropping RC and am prepared to eat the cost by switching now, in about my 7th  month. I'm researching other VOiP providers and strangely RC is always rated #1 or among the top 5, "editors choice" on PC World. I'm leaning towards Vonage. Does anyone else have any suggested replacements for RC? TIA.
Don H.
dfhawbaker@gmail.com
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Daniel Stein

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Don let me know if you find about any replacements for RC - looking to move ASAP
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Donald Hawbaker

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I just changed to Vonage on a month-to-month contract. Yesterday my lines were ported over from RC so I've had less than 24 hours experience. I work exclusively off of my cell phone, so in order to have a wireless connection while driving around I had to get (1) a hotspot - $15/month, and (2) per the advice of the Vonage rep, a basic line from Verizon, to boost the reception to the Vonage app (which was another $35/mo.). While connected to my wifi both at my home and office the reception was crystal clear and no disruptions like I constantly experienced with RC. However, so far while in transit I can't say that Vonage is a lot better. I'm not sure why I can still call out using the RC app on my phone, but can't text. AND Vonage also doesn't have a group-text capability!!! Unbelieveable. But that's the least of my concerns - the unpredicatable interruptions I constantly experienced with RC, which usually happened when having important conversations with clients, judges, court personnel (I'm a lawyer), etc. were the big problem. My wife hated it as did my assistant who lives about 900 miles away. We'll see if Vonage is any better in the long run and lt you know. Good luck to you.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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I’m not aware of any major hosted provider that provides group texting despite many posts in the forums that say that “virtually all RC’s competitors provide this functionality”. Vonage Business doesn’t , Jive doesn’t, Nextiva doesn’t as well as others. Technically I don’t know why cell phone providers have this functionality and have had it for such a long time as opposed to hosted VoIP providers but we can all hope that some breakthrough will occur in the near future.
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Daniel Stein

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Even google voice, which is free for consumers, offers this feature.  A simple google search of "voip group text" comes up with many other VoIP companies offering this feature.
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Daniel Stein

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After a quick fact check (this took me 30 seconds to create this list)

4Voice
Google Voice
Mobility - Xpedeus
Twilio Cloud Communications

"All Vonage plans include a mobile app for iOS and Android devices, with features like SMS and group text. 

"Vonage Business: New for iOS 10 users: Group messaging also available" https://www.vonage.com/business/business-cloud/features/text-messaging/
(Edited)
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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Daniel,

Before you edited your message you said, "J.B. Please do your own research." I would suggest the same.

I am a Vonage Business partner. The "Group Messaging" is only for internal users. You can group text other users within your company but NOT to outside numbers. The link you provide is at least two years old since the current iOS is now 12.3! The "Group Texting" is actually "Group Chat" within your own company users. I have a demo account and have tried it. A "new group" will only allow company users. A new text message will only allow for ONE number.

Further...I said, "I’m not aware of any major hosted provider that provides group texting". Google Voice is hardly a business communications platform, as good as it is for what is can do. Try to have a business larger than one user use Google Voice as a platform...
no Auto-Attendants, no Barge, no Call Analytics, no Call Logs, no Call Monitoring, no Conference Bridge, no Corporate Directory, no Auto-Attendant (essentially it *IS* the Auto Attendant, no Barge. no Call Analytics, no Call Logs, no Call Monitoring, no Conference Bridge, no 3-way conferencing, no Custom Hold Music, no Extension dialing, no Dial By Name, no Call Queues, no E-Fax, no Hot-Desking....I could go on, but I think you get the point. They are simply a telephone service that provides  call forwarding and voicemail services, voice and text messaging.

Twilio...are you ready to program ALL the functionality needed to use this service? I called their Sales and Support just now (doing research as you suggest) and they weren't even sure they could do group texting. They said they were "pretty sure it could be programmed by the end-user to accomplish that). Hardly what businesses need or want to do.

Mobility - Xpedeus...Neither Sales or Support knows if group texting is available as everyone here in the forums has requested. Sure, they said you can text multiple numbers but they don't know if it can be a "group text" upon answering. They have a sales engineer calling me back as he doesn't have service in a large city he happens to be at in Florida so they couldn't transfer my call. (Service issues?) We'll see how long it takes for me to get a response from him.

4Voice...the Sales line transfers to some woman's extension. It gave me an interceptor message saying she's not available right now but to leave a message and she'll return my call as soon as possible. To get to Support, you have to dial 777 from their system. Hmmm...what if their system is down?

Like I said both in my previous message and above, "I’m not aware of any major hosted provider that provides group texting". All I ever see are "Google searches" looking for "group texting" while most, if not all, are either group chat between company users -or- 3rd party vendors who will sell you a number for texting purposes. 

"Group Texting" is a catch-phrase to often times get businesses to call a provider. The only question the business will ask is, "Do you have group texting?" to which the provider will answer, "Yes...we do.", which is technically correct. But then I refer you to my previous paragraph.
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Daniel Stein

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J.B. thanks for doing that research.  For someone like me who needs that feature (along with many many others) what do you suggest we do?  RC doesn't seem to have an plans to implement (it's been over four years now).
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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Unfortunately, I don't have an answer for you. I partner with four of the consistent top 10 VoIP/UCaaS providers (including RingCentral) and none of them provide "true group texting". Several provide group chat (not texting) but that again is within the company users. Be careful of the catch phrase of "Group messaging-texting". Messaging and texting are not the same thing.

As I wrote in my first message to this thread, "Technically I don’t know why cell phone providers have this functionality and have had it for such a long time as opposed to hosted VoIP providers but we can all hope that some breakthrough will occur in the near future."
(Edited)
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Kevin Hart

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If group messaging is a must try bandwidth.com - they are both a major provider and offer this feature via both api and on their mm4 platform https://www.bandwidth.com/messaging/
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Daniel Stein

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Thank you both for the feedback.  JB that remains my same question.  I'm somewhat new to VoIP and I assumed that I would have the group text feature that my smartphone had.  Kevin, I'll check that out.
(Edited)
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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I just checked with bandwidth.com. After much explaining as to what I meant by group texting (not messaging or chat)  the sales person didn't know but checked with a sales engineer. When he came back on the line he did say that as far as they knew, the API would allow a group text response, as requested so often in these forums. However, there was a caveat...if one of the text participants wanted to send back a private message to the original sender, they would not be able to do that.

While it looks like that might answer your question Daniel, two things concern me about this type of situation. First of all, it's an API which means it needs to be programmed into your developed app or other UX. Most businesses want the capability to do this out of the box as they don't have the programming ability or staff to accomplish what the API would do. Second, when the sales person, speaking for the sales engineer said, "...as far as they knew, the API would allow a group text response." You would think they'd be 100% sure.

Daniel, If you, or someone on your team, have the programming skills to implement an API through bandwidth.com, I'd say "Go for it!" If however, you want it from your voice system application on Android or iPhone, this would not be for you since it appears that ALL their SMS and MMS functionality is based on APIs.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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Daniel and Kevin,

One final note about bandwidth.com, if you look at this page on their site https://www.bandwidth.com/why-bandwidth/  it specifically states that they are "THE POWER BEHIND THE BIGGEST BRANDS IN THE WORLD" and the RingCentral logo is included below that phrase. Then it says, "What can you build with Bandwidth?" (Note: I bolded the word "you").

If they are the power behind RingCentral, why can't RingCentral provide group texting through the bandwidth.com API? Further, are you ready to build your own voice and texting application?
(Edited)
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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Daniel...by the way, still waiting for the call from the Mobility - Xpedeus sales engineer. He was supposed to call me right back according to the sales person I spoke to 2 1/2 hours ago.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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Daniel...by the way, still waiting for the call from the Mobility - Xpedeus sales engineer. He was supposed to call me right back according to the sales person I spoke to 2 1/2 hours ago.
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J.B. Ferguson, Champion

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Daniel,

I wouldn't hold my breath for any type of group texting from Mobility - Xpedeus. The sales representative didn't know, in fact she had no idea what I was talking about. The sales engineer who was supposed to call me right back, and hasn't to date, is over 27 hours late from when he was supposed to call.
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Daniel Stein

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Don, you are not alone!  It's crazy that it's been four years and they've done nothing to solve this.  Let me know if you find out about other VoIP companies - I'm about ready to jump ship.
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Kevin Hart

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It is even worse than that on the phone app. The phone app just says "message is not sent. Message cannot be sent at this time. Please try again later." So we spent the last month with support only to be told "we don't support group sms try posting to the forum" Why wasn't that the answer when I first called? It is insane that you can't send a group text message in 2019.
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Daniel Stein

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I would have to agree, Kevin.  You would think that developers would do something about it, considering this has been mentioned for over four years now.
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Max Mittler

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Bump this post. Group texting is a must have. We chose Ring Central because of their texting abilities but we are super disappointed to find out that it is not just a glitch, we actually are unable to send any kind of group SMS to clients who don't use ring central (aka everyone). Please RC, put some resources into this feature dev. If what JB says is correct, you may be the first big player with this feature so it will pay off for you. 
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I have clients that send me a group text message including two or more people.  These are people all outside my company and non ring central users.  The conversation string is important to keep in tact so the group can have a normal group discussion via text that is seen by all.   When replying to their group text I get a error message "Message not sent. Recipient extension not found" 

The only work around I have been able to use is to create a new text myself and manually re-create the group to reply to all.  That then sends out individual messages to each  person on the list.  This is obviously unacceptable and unworkable. 

The only other option I have is to use my personal cell phone texting capability for texting with my personal cell phone number rather than ring central. 

With everyone texting now a days, it is inconceivable to me that ring central has not implemented a solution to this problem.  It is really affecting my business and, as a tech company, it looks horrible that I cant reply  to a simple group text. 

As much as i like ring central and recommend / implement with other companies, this can well be a deal killer.  I will be looking for alternatives to ring central.  Does anyone have any suggestions?  

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