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Alexander Haque Co-Founder at Clerk Chat
Alexander Haque

Co-Founder at Clerk Chat

Ever Wondered Why Your Text Messages Failed to Send?

Ever Wondered Why Your Text Messages Failed to Send?

Why is it that my text message failed to send? It’s a common question, and we should wonder why it happens.

We all use text messaging daily. Whether it’s a quick update or a business transaction, the simplicity and accessibility of SMS (Short Message Service) have made it a necessary tool for personal and professional communication.

And we’re all probably taking the reliability of text messaging for granted. So, it can be aggravating when you’re trying to communicate something important or time-sensitive, only to realize your message didn’t go through.

Despite text messaging feeling so simple, numerous factors can contribute to the failure of message delivery. From technical intricacies like NNID (NetNumber Identification) and 10DLC (10-Digit Long Code) issues to more familiar obstacles like carrier-related challenges and rate limits, understanding these dynamics makes errors way less frustrating for anyone reliant on text messaging.

Understanding the Basics of SMS and Why Your Text Message Failed to Send

Sending and receiving text messages is a straightforward process, but sometimes things can go wrong. If you find yourself wondering, “Why does it look like text messages are not delivering?” there could be a few reasons why. Let’s start with the basics.

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How Text Messages Work

When you send a text message, it travels from your phone to your service provider’s network. From there, it is sent to the recipient’s service provider and finally delivered to their phone. If your message failed to send, it could be due to a poor network connection or a problem with your service provider. Other factors, like a full inbox or a recipient blocking your number, can also prevent your message from being delivered. The good news is that most issues can be fixed with some simple solutions.

Common Patterns and Obvious Reasons Why Your Text Message Failed to Send

Text message failures, much like any technological challenge, often reveal themselves through patterns or specific circumstances. Here are some examples:

NetNumber Identification (NNID) and Split Traffic: Text message failures can happen when carriers fail to release the NNID, which could complicate the split between voice and SMS traffic.

10DLC Issues: Messages sent via 10DLC (10-Digit Long Code) may encounter challenges, especially in scenarios where carriers or messaging platforms impose restrictions on usage. This is often a problem when businesses exceed limits or violate compliance standards.

Rate Limits by Phone Carriers: Carriers implement rate limits to manage the flow of messages across their networks. When users or applications reach these limits, it results in temporary restrictions on sending messages.

5 Circumstances Leading to Text Message Failures

  1. Insufficient Network Coverage: Text message failures can occur when devices lack adequate network coverage. In areas with weak signals messages may have a hard time being delivered.
  2. Incorrect Recipient Information: Simple mistakes, like entering an incorrect phone number or selecting the wrong contact, can lead to message failures. Verify recipient info before hitting send.
  3. Device-Specific Issues: Certain devices or operating systems may encounter compatibility issues, so it’s recommended to keep devices and software up-to-date.
  4. Software or App Glitches: Bugs or glitches in messaging apps can contribute to message failures.
  5. Message Content Violations: Messages containing prohibited content, whether due to carrier policies or spam filters, may face delivery challenges. Check necessary guidelines.

By recognizing these patterns and understanding the circumstances that lead to text message failures, users can proactively address issues and enhance the reliability of their messaging experience. We’ll explore many of these in greater detail.

Understanding NNID and Net Number

NNID stands for NetNumber Identification. It is a 6-digit number assigned by NetNumber, which includes a country code and service provider ID. It helps identify which carrier manages the number and how to route voice calls and messages. Carriers also use NNID to identify campaign service providers.

When someone makes a call, the NNID helps route the call through the network. Or, when someone sends a text message, NNID helps make sure it reaches the right recipient.

Impact on Text Message Delivery When NNID Is Not Released by Carrier

It’s so important for the carrier to release the NNID, because it affects network function, especially when sending both voice and SMS traffic. If the carrier does fail to release the NNID, it can lead to complications, most likely when it comes to splitting the traffic effectively.

The impact of NNID retention is noticeable during peak usage times or in areas with high network congestion. In these situations, the failure to release NNID may result in delays, dropped messages, a customer not receiving text messages, or even a temporary inability to send text messages. This can be very frustrating for the end user, especially if they have no idea of what exactly NNID is. One of the ways for carriers to address this is prioritizing network management.

What is 10DLC?

10DLC, short for 10-Digit Long Codes, represents a standardized approach to business communication via SMS (Short Message Service) or MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) using standard 10-digit phone numbers.

10DLC offers a more affordable and accessible option (in comparison to traditional short codes) for businesses that want to engage with customers using their familiar 10-digit phone numbers while still maintaining compliance and quality.

A couple benefits?

10DLC has become increasingly popular and necessary, especially for businesses who use bulk messaging, marketing campaigns, and other Application-to-Person (A2P) instances.

It’s not just less expensive, it also lets companies send messages, at scale. And in addition, it enhances customer engagement by leveraging familiar long codes - meaning, the customer recognizes the number - which instills a sense of trust among recipients.

Additionally, it allows for improved deliverability, making it an attractive option for organizations looking to enhance their SMS communication strategy.

Instances When 10DLC is the Answer to “Why Aren’t My Messages Delivering?”

While 10DLC offers numerous advantages, there are instances where its usage can contribute to messages not being delivered:

  1. Carrier Scrutiny and Compliance: Carriers closely monitor the content and behavior associated with messages sent via 10DLC. Failure to adhere to carrier guidelines and compliance standards can lead to message failures. This includes avoiding spam-like behavior, adhering to messaging volume limits, and ensuring the content meets carrier-approved criteria.
  2. Volume Limitations: 10DLCs are subject to messaging volume limitations imposed by carriers. Exceeding these limits, especially during a sudden surge in message volume, may result in temporary restrictions or failures in message delivery.
  3. Registration and Approval Delays: Before using 10DLC for messaging campaigns, businesses are often required to register and obtain approval from carriers. Delays in this registration process can hinder message delivery.
  4. Inconsistent User Opt-In Practices: 10DLC is often used for A2P messaging, which requires user opt-in for communication. Inconsistencies in obtaining proper user consent or changes in opt-in status can contribute to message failures.

Take the time to follow best practices if you actually want to see the benefits of using SMS in your business communication strategy.


Rate Limits by Phone Carriers

Rate limits are a set of rules that restrict the number of messages that can be sent within a specific time frame. These limits, typically the number of messages per second (MPS), are implemented by phone carriers to prevent spamming and ensure that the messaging service remains reliable and secure. Makes sense, right? And it’s something consumers are thankful for.

If you’re wondering how carriers implement rate limits, the answer is: it depends. Some carriers monitor the number of messages sent per number per minute, while others monitor the number of messages sent per campaign or per day.

If you hit the rate limit, which could cause a frustrating user experience, your message delivery may be delayed or even blocked, but it all depends on the carrier and type of message. It’s worth finding out your carrier’s specific rate limits and then monitoring your usage to avoid the concern of whether or not your customer received the text.

Other Circumstances that Cause Text Message Failures

You must know the feeling when you send a text and receive the red error message. It’s a common issue that can happen to anyone, regardless of their tech-savviness, and there are many factors that can contribute to this problem.

Network Coverage and Connectivity

If you see your SMS is not delivering, check if you have a stable internet connection. Sometimes, there may be a network outage in your area, which can temporarily disrupt connectivity. Other times, there might be tower maintenance happening that could affect your ability to send messages. If the problem persists, it’s always a good idea to check online for any reports or lists of known network problems in your area.

It’s frustrating when you’re sitting on an undelivered text message. This can happen due to problems with either the sender or recipient’s device. If this happens frequently or you notice a pattern, keep this information handy, as it can help identify whether it’s a device or network issue.

If the issue is coming from your device, here are a few common causes:

  • it’s possible you’re low on storage space or there may be a software glitch. You can also check that your operating system is the most up-to-date available version.
  • Double check to confirm that your device is connected to a cell signal or Wi-Fi.
  • If you’re using a device with a SIM card, it must be properly installed in order for it to work and for you to be able to send or receive text messages.

A quick DIY fix might be restarting your device, checking for updates, or clearing your messages cache.

One of the most common answers to “why are my text messages not going through” is incorrect recipient information. Always double check your contact’s information, like a phone number, because typing in the wrong digits can lead to a message that failed to send.

And, if you accidentally just send to the wrong recipient all together, you won’t even know if the message went through because what are the odds the person would let you know you reached the wrong person. So, just take a moment to make sure you have the right information to avoid failed messages.

Messaging App Problems

Cell phone app stores give you the option to automatically or manually update. If your phone is set to manual, there’s a good chance you’re running on an outdated or incompatible messaging app.

It’s also important to be aware that outdated apps may not have the necessary updates or security in place, causing them to malfunction. Incompatible apps, on the other hand, may have bugs or crashes that prevent messages from being delivered. So when you do choose an app, make sure it’s compatible with your device so that you know it’s a reliable messaging tool. Then, there’s less of a chance to worry about text messages not delivered.

Troubleshooting and Solutions

It’s a good feeling when you can problem solve on your own. Luckily there are some basic steps you can take to avoid your text messages not being delivered.

  • Check signal strength and connectivity, and if necessary move to a different location. If you’re inside, try connecting to Wi-Fi. Some devices come with apps that help check signal strength.
  • Restart or reset the device: Restart your device to resolve any potential issues that may have been causing a “text messages not delivered” error. Some devices require you to press and hold the power button. Once the device is turned off, it’s recommended to wait 10 seconds before powering it back on again. If restarting doesn’t fix the issue, you may try performing a reset, which would require you to first backup your data.

Restart your device to resolve potential issues that may have been causing your text messages not to be delivered.

  • Update software and apps: make sure you regularly update your software and apps (super easy to do!) to avoid potential issues such as a text message sent but not delivered.
  • Clear cache and data: this can help fix any glitches or bugs that may be causing the problem. This is usually done through storage settings.

The Complexities of Text Messaging

There’s a lot more to sending a text message than we all might think. From network identifiers to message rate limits, several factors can explain why your text message failed to send.

Sometimes carriers fail to release the NNID, or sometimes your message content doesn’t meet the carrier-approved criteria. Sometimes you send too many messages in a short period, and hit the limit.

When these things happen, your message might not make it to its recipient.

By understanding the reasons behind text message failures, you can improve the reliability of your messaging. The next time your text fails to send, you’ll know exactly what to do.

Schedule a demo to see our effective messaging solution in action and ensure your texts always reach their destination. Avoid worrying about why your text message failed to send.

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