Authorised mobile number verification

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zforum69
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:27 am

Authorised mobile number verification

Post by zforum69 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 11:23 pm

The recent changed to having to authorise mobile numbers before being able to send SMS has totally stuffed me up.

I only discovered this today when I wanted to send 350 odd messages today to my distribution list. I send large numbers of messages but relatively infrequently i.e. once a month. I even called the helpdesk and opened a ticket. Apparently I should have got an email informing me of the change to the service but I didn't. I last sent an SMS back in 10 November 2009 which did not have this requirement. I explained to the helpdesk (and wrote in the subsequent ticket) that I do not send with a number but with short abbreviated name, i.e. text. I explained you therefore cannot "verify the number" as it is not a number. I wanted them to manually enter the text as an "Authorised number". The helpdesk assured me it was being escalated but as I followed up later in the evening it seems the issue was not understood properly and I had to go over old ground before being escalated again .... very frustrating.

Changing the service doesn't bother me, as Exetel have every right on deciding how to run their business and how to offer their services, but not being informed of the change has really disappointed me. I moved back to Exetel's SMS services see http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=303&t=32054 and was very happy. Even when they started to implement the $5/day limit I was able to work with Exetel's helpdesk to quickly give me a $50/day limit after I explained why I needed it see http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=303&t=31961. All these experiences were positive, but this last one was very disappointing.

Customers need to be informed well in advance of such changes so that they can have time to understand the consequences and make alternate arrangements if required. It may not even be apparent to Exetel what the customer impact might be. I guess for me It could have been worse, I might have needed to send 350 SMSs straight away, which usually happens with me. As it happened in this case I could wait a few hours and therefore had time to set up an account with an alternate provider.

Anyway the ticket is still open and I was hoping Exetel are able to manually pre-enter authorised text based "senders", like other providers do. That would be good enough for me as I don't change the sender's text often, and it still has controls to prevent people pretending to be other persons, which I assume was the main reason this authentication mechanism was put in place. However I just logged into the user facilities and noticed the message which states "The ability to set the sender as Alphanumeric will also be no longer available, as of Friday the 13th of November". Unless Exetel change their policy/service it looks like I'm stuffed ..... that would be a shame as I was very happy with the service it provided, with the reports etc, and they were able bill me under pre-existing arrangements.

I'll post again when I get the final word but, after seeing that message I'm not particularly hopeful. I guess I should consider myself lucky that on this occasion I happened to have a few hours to make alternate arrangements .

Cheers
Z

melanieb
Exetel Staff
Posts: 58
Joined: Thu Jun 25, 2009 3:00 pm
Location: North Sydney

Re: Authorised mobile number verification

Post by melanieb » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:43 pm

zforum69 wrote:The recent changed to having to authorise mobile numbers before being able to send SMS has totally stuffed me up.

I only discovered this today when I wanted to send 350 odd messages today to my distribution list. I send large numbers of messages but relatively infrequently i.e. once a month. I even called the helpdesk and opened a ticket. Apparently I should have got an email informing me of the change to the service but I didn't. I last sent an SMS back in 10 November 2009 which did not have this requirement. I explained to the helpdesk (and wrote in the subsequent ticket) that I do not send with a number but with short abbreviated name, i.e. text. I explained you therefore cannot "verify the number" as it is not a number. I wanted them to manually enter the text as an "Authorised number". The helpdesk assured me it was being escalated but as I followed up later in the evening it seems the issue was not understood properly and I had to go over old ground before being escalated again .... very frustrating.

Changing the service doesn't bother me, as Exetel have every right on deciding how to run their business and how to offer their services, but not being informed of the change has really disappointed me. I moved back to Exetel's SMS services see http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=303&t=32054 and was very happy. Even when they started to implement the $5/day limit I was able to work with Exetel's helpdesk to quickly give me a $50/day limit after I explained why I needed it see http://forum.exetel.com.au/viewtopic.php?f=303&t=31961. All these experiences were positive, but this last one was very disappointing.

Customers need to be informed well in advance of such changes so that they can have time to understand the consequences and make alternate arrangements if required. It may not even be apparent to Exetel what the customer impact might be. I guess for me It could have been worse, I might have needed to send 350 SMSs straight away, which usually happens with me. As it happened in this case I could wait a few hours and therefore had time to set up an account with an alternate provider.

Anyway the ticket is still open and I was hoping Exetel are able to manually pre-enter authorised text based "senders", like other providers do. That would be good enough for me as I don't change the sender's text often, and it still has controls to prevent people pretending to be other persons, which I assume was the main reason this authentication mechanism was put in place. However I just logged into the user facilities and noticed the message which states "The ability to set the sender as Alphanumeric will also be no longer available, as of Friday the 13th of November". Unless Exetel change their policy/service it looks like I'm stuffed ..... that would be a shame as I was very happy with the service it provided, with the reports etc, and they were able bill me under pre-existing arrangements.

I'll post again when I get the final word but, after seeing that message I'm not particularly hopeful. I guess I should consider myself lucky that on this occasion I happened to have a few hours to make alternate arrangements .

Cheers
Z
Hi Z,

I am the manager of SMS at Exetel, and am very sorry to hear you were not informed by email. We will have to see if we have the correct email address.
You are still able to send using alpha in the sender, but first you need to verify a mobile phone number. The way this works is: You verify a mobile number, you can then set the sender as that mobile number, or as set the sender using alpha, when you set using alpha we will insert the verified mobile number into the end of the message. The reason we have to do this is, legally the recipient must be able to rply to a text message, and when you set as alpha there is no way for them to reply.

I think it best if you email me at corporatesms@exetel.com.au . I think I have a better solution for you.

Melanie

zforum69
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:27 am

Re: Authorised mobile number verification

Post by zforum69 » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:21 am

melanieb wrote:I am the manager of SMS at Exetel, and am very sorry to hear you were not informed by email. We will have to see if we have the correct email address.
You definitl have the correct email address, the helpdesk confirmed that. I looked far and wide for that email but could not find anything. If you know when that email was sent, I can ask my email service provider to restore my inbox to the nearest snapshot after that point. I really want to find it as I get every other email from exetel.
You are still able to send using alpha in the sender, but first you need to verify a mobile phone number. The way this works is: You verify a mobile number, you can then set the sender as that mobile number, or as set the sender using alpha, when you set using alpha we will insert the verified mobile number into the end of the message. The reason we have to do this is, legally the recipient must be able to rply to a text message, and when you set as alpha there is no way for them to reply.
I guess that is something but it still will not suit me. People get included on my distribution via email and can ammend/delete via that method, with the intention of receivng messages and not replying. The legal aspect does suprise me and is certainly inconsistent with my experience of other service providers. One of the providers I used to use will not allow you to freely change the sender but can be done on request as a text field or number. The one I had to use just recently (due to the Exetel change) allows the user to freely change it (like Exetel used to allow), but has disclaimers and warnings about the Anti SPAM Act etc. Although I don't know which provider is used, here at work we use SMS to inform our customers with a sender field in text and no number. On my work's mobile phone I use CALLscreen for somebody to take the message and to SMS me the message. Again no number on those but that may be a slightly different case because it is from the mobile operator.

When I think about it only Exetel have highlighted a legal requirement to have a number. I can understand providers needing to implement a mechanism to prevent people spoofing mobile numbers, in fact I was suprised at how many providers actually allow to change it freely, but the requirment to embed a number makes no sense to me.
I think it best if you email me at corporatesms@exetel.com.au . I think I have a better solution for you.
I will do that.

Regards,
Z

Yuri
Posts: 77
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2005 9:27 am

Re: Authorised mobile number verification

Post by Yuri » Mon Jan 25, 2010 3:20 pm

melanieb wrote:You are still able to send using alpha in the sender, but first you need to verify a mobile phone number. The way this works is: You verify a mobile number, you can then set the sender as that mobile number, or as set the sender using alpha, when you set using alpha we will insert the verified mobile number into the end of the message. The reason we have to do this is, legally the recipient must be able to rply to a text message, and when you set as alpha there is no way for them to reply.
Hi Melanie

Sorry for dredging up an old thread, but I only just discovered this message here rather than in the SMS forum.

I've used my personal mobile number as the authorised mobile number but have "MyBusiness" as the sender. I was alarmed to read that my number is sent with each SMS to enable the recipient to reply (which I don't want - nor do I want my clients to have my mobile number). I've just sent a round of SMSs to family, staff and a couple of friends to test this and no-one has been able to successfully reply (or find my mobile number (<whew!>).

Does that mean the number is no longer included in the SMS? Or is it masked from recipients?

Yuri.

PS. BTW, the support staff were very prompt in "upping" our message limit yesterday - on a Sunday even - approving the increase within a couple of hours: great stuff, thank you.

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