FOOD FOR THOUGHT SMS providers filter messages based on message content

bond007

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I have been using voip.ms to do a very simple IVR for three months. At the end of the prompts, it calls the PHP script developed here (thanks!) to send the caller a SMS with a URL in it pointing them to a website with additional information.

It more or less looks like this:
Here is the information - http://hostname/page.html

It does not exceed 160 characters in total.

For some reason, in the past couple of days, messages with the URL in it are not being received by AT&T (my provider and an original test case that consistently worked for the past three months) or Verizon phones.

No error code from the script and the message just goes into a digital "black hole". Interestingly enough, T-Mobile goes through okay with the same exact message.

The same message when sent from their portal is also successfully sent but not received by the phone (overall failure).

The same message when sent from Google Voice is received with no problem.

Any thoughts?
 

bond007

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Well, it seems as if it may not be the script.

When sending SMS via their SMS portal (took the script out of the equation) a simple message with a hyphen and .com fails to send to some (maybe all?) recipients.

For instance:
"This is a message - test-me.com"

...does not send via their portal...

However:
"This is a message - test - me . com"

...seems to send successfully...

Something is blocking the message with that content because recipients are getting messages without the hyphen and/or URL content.

I am thinking that another provider that fully supports SMS and doesn't list it as "Beta" may be the way to go at this point.
 
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bond007

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Doing further research, it looks like carriers are doing filtering but the exact criteria for filtering are not known.

This isn't a large scale commercial operation. It is a text message being sent to someone who calls a sign outside a home to get more information about it.

From what I can tell, the only way to get around this problem is to utilize an SMS provider that allows you to send your message from either via a dedicated leased (expensive) or shared (less expensive) short code number.

This provider's FAQ on the subject seems to clarify the various use cases for SMS in the USA:
https://help.nexmo.com/hc/en-us/articles/204017023
 

krzykat

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Just out of curiosity, have you tried other SMS vendors? I've got Vitelity and VoIP Innovations SMS enabled lines I could try for you if you don't have access to try.
 
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wardmundy

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Sounds like they're calling you SPAM ??
Gotta say that clicking on links in SMS messages is a very dangerous situation. Not surprised at all that some providers would block messages with links. They probably don't want the liability of responding to complaints that text messages wiped out or compromised mobile phones. Just tried it with Pinger/TextFree, and it worked fine. But I think they probably have additional infrastructure in place to screen out SPAM and malware.
 
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