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[Main Thread] Premium rate / short code text messages

PeterWh_1550878
SMARTY Maverick
SMARTY Maverick

Hi I gather from a few other posts that these are not possible at the moment!

I found this in some information blurb from SMARTY - 

At some point you'll be able to send other kinds of messages which will be chargeable. This will include premium-rate texts and short-codes, which are used for entering competitions, buying ringtones and voting on reality TV shows, and paying for parking."

As other people say they don't indicate when this will be available! I agree with the others that it should be no problem with a decent quality service! 

I too, like some other people may well be switching to another provider which doesn't have this problem! 

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

George
SMARTY Moderator SMARTY Moderator
SMARTY Moderator

Hey, @PeterWh_1550878 

We understand how this service is becoming more popular with our customers and have already been feeding back. This is something we are still looking into, hopefully, this is available for you soon.

View solution in original post

Here is an article from Smarty:  https://help.smarty.co.uk/en/articles/952515-are-all-texts-free-with-smarty-plans

They don't give a date when it will become available unfortunately.

View solution in original post

155 REPLIES 155

MSF
SMARTY Guru
SMARTY Guru

While I understand your frustration with this issue, I believe that many customers choose smarty primarily for value. For that reason, it may be that there is a bit of a lag in some developments.

It occurs to me that, in order to send many short code texts, the customer will need credit on their account to pay for it. I wonder if this could be an issue. Where a network sends out monthly bills (rather than prepaid plan being purchased), it may be easier to claim the cost of such usage?

Rebekah_150
SMARTY Moderator SMARTY Moderator
SMARTY Moderator

unfortunately, we do not support short codes, so adding credit or an out-of-plan add-on will not help in this case.

Does this mean we cannot report crimes to British Transport Police on 61016 from our Smarty phones?

Why doesn’t Smarty support short codes? The 3 network, which Smarty runs on, does. 

Michael_1932266
SMARTY Commentator
SMARTY Commentator

You use a short code, free sms to locate buses from a specific bus stop and to contact Transport Police on the trains. Smarty have made it possible to buy out of plan add ons, so making it possible to use them should be a priority 

I agree this is becoming a real pain for me and I will switch provider soon

George
SMARTY Moderator SMARTY Moderator
SMARTY Moderator

Hey, @PeterWh_1550878 

We understand how this service is becoming more popular with our customers and have already been feeding back. This is something we are still looking into, hopefully, this is available for you soon.

Hi can you help me with this. I am trying to opt into a medical service from a 67 number. It is free to reply to, and under the UK regulator but it keeps failing my 'Yes'response to opt in. This is for my medical care?

Okay @LauraFis_317418, unfortunately SMARTY don't support sending messages to a short-code number.

You might need to check with the medical service guys (using the short-code) for an alternative mobile number to use.  

I have - they have to link it to my mobile number and that's the only way currently to access my medical text service. Will need to look at another provider as this happens with my regular blood bookings also. This is a free text service with no charges so frustrating that these are blocked.

What is the actual short code number? Only chargeable (premium rate) sms should fail.

I'm trying to send one to 85099 which I'm pretty sure should be free but isn't working.

No short code sms “should” fail, but they all do, even with an active out of plan add on. A fairly basic operation on most providers, but seemingly beyond Smarty

I agree if we can't get a date when this issues will be rectified I will be looking at a new provider next month 

It's interesting that the NHS and GP practices are certainly able to send out texts to mobiles and it only requires patients to opt in beforehand.

I regularly receive texts from them and also from a pharmacy and I never need to opt in to their short code number.

This organisation will surely find the same problem with a number of their customers/users/patients so I wonder if it is perhaps worth discussing with them an alternative way of opting into their service.

Or Smarty can make a fairly basic phone operation available 

Now that's a really good idea!

Is there any progress in allowing short code messages? Becoming a deal breaker for me. 

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

Any news on this, George ? 

Since I joined Smarty on June 2nd this year (2023) it’s been great, I hope I have been a decent contributor to this forum, but I may have to sadly switch to another network simply because Smarty does not allow its users to use short codes. 

In the little over three months since I have been with Smarty, I have received, and been expected to reply to, short codes from my water company, doctors surgery and now my bank. All of which of course I cannot currently reply to using Smarty. I emailed my water company, but as you can imagine, ringing my GP surgery and bank was a massive user of time, “You are number 19 in the queue” etc when a simple 5 second text message would have got the job done….

Do I want to leave Smarty ? Heck no, I don’t, but Smarty really needs to get its backside in gear re short code texts, which seem to be increasing in their use by various organisations. If Smarty doesn’t rectify this issue very quickly, they will be responsible for eroding their own customer base, which would be a crazy state of affairs. 

MSF
SMARTY Guru
SMARTY Guru

@JJP2 I do wholeheartedly agree with you here.

Although I do not seem to be personally affected as my utilities and GP/Hospital don't seem to use short code texts requiring a reply - YET!, I can see that it is a massive inconvenience for many people.

It's not as if we have had any explanation as to why it cannot be done.

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

Hi @MSF I presume, but don’t know for sure, that Three, Smarty’s parent company, allows short code texts. That being the case, it’s not as if Smarty would need to deploy a systems change, software upgrade, etc. 

I really don’t want to switch networks, but circumstances beyond my control may sadly force my hand into making a switch. 

jassingh
SMARTY Motivator
SMARTY Motivator

Three do support shortcodes (including where there could be a charge for them - they just get added to your billing in a separate section). 

@JJP2 @MSF are there many other MVNOs that support this service?  I recall that iD Mobile had/has the option to switch on 'premium' within the account settings if that's what you want to do, to enable use of these services.

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

I know Voxi do support shortcodes “out of the box”. 

The fact that ID Mobile, also an MVNO on Three, supports short code use, even on an “opt in” basis, shows that this is possible for Smarty.

MSF
SMARTY Guru
SMARTY Guru

@JJP2  Almost makes it worse, doesn't it?!

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

Yes it does @MSF It’s a ludicrous situation, really. Just doesn’t make any sense.

MSF
SMARTY Guru
SMARTY Guru

@JJP2 While I see that many people have complained via the Community Forum, do you know if anyone has actually complained more formally to the company and received a meaningful response setting out valid reasons why they do not support these texts?

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

Hi @MSF No, I don’t. 

I guess the only forum users who would probably know are the moderation team. 

The more I think about the situation, the stranger it seems that shortcodes are not supported “out of the box” as other networks do. 

Michael_1932266
SMARTY Commentator
SMARTY Commentator

I have complained formally, but without a meaningful response. The fact that the issue continues to affect Smarty months later is more than disappointing 

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

Hi again @MSF @jassingh 

I just requested my PAC code from Smarty, 

I received the PAC from 60575, the usual PAC code number and another message, from another short code ! 

So, Smarty as a company sends shortcode messages to its users, but us users can’t use shortcodes to communicate with other companies 🧐

IMG_1033.jpeg

MSF
SMARTY Guru
SMARTY Guru

Bring on the 🤡🤡🤡 !!!!

jassingh
SMARTY Motivator
SMARTY Motivator

Hey @JJP2 @MSF Yeah this does sound ludicrous! Personally, I've not had to use any kind of shortcodes (YET!) but I am anticipating it to be painful when the time comes, if its not supported by then - more having to work around this by calling etc

I'm assuming the same thing happens when you text "INFO" to 65075? 

Judging by the number of posts here and how long this thread has become, I can only hope that someone from Smarty HQ is reading this and thinking, "hang on a minute seems like a really important feature to our user base .. why don't we actually start making an effort to implement it"! Give the people the shortcodes!! They want it now! 

JJP2
SMARTY Pro-coach
SMARTY Pro-coach

Yes @jassingh the same thing happens when you text ‘INFO’ to 85075.

It is time consuming having to ring doctors and banks rather than a simple very quick text reply to a shortcode. On hearing the reason why I am ringing rather than replying to a text, I have been told / asked “Maybe you should think about switching mobile networks ?”

IMG_1041.jpeg

jassingh
SMARTY Motivator
SMARTY Motivator

@JJP2 totally agree. I believe that users with accessibility needs can make use of a call/text relay system, which relies on use of shortcodes. In being curious to see whether Smarty supports these, I checked out the price guide and it mentions:

Text relay calls to international numbers (via the shortcode 18001) will have a 25% discount to the rates above. 

jassingh_1-1694160079645.png

Unless a prefix doesn't count technically as a shortcode? 🤔

I couldn't have put it better myself! 

Thank you @JJP2 

Hi. When? and how. 

Hi All frustrated Users! I can't believe that this is still dragging on, and that Smarty are, as far as I am aware, the only provider who don't have Short code messaging as a basic part of their plan! 

I first asked about this 7 Months ago, and there has been so many people asking for this to be sorted out, it's unbelievable! 

Come on Smarty - This just can't be Rocket Science - Please get this sorted out ASAP! 

Hi George,

I have an urgent text from my bank (60303) which I must respond to. It’s a free number. Naturally after a bit of googling I've discovered this thread and I’m pretty shocked you don’t allow this feature.

It’s essential to be able to text these numbers as often they’re important fraud checks or healthcare related.

Please can you advise when the problem will be rectified?

Please can you make sure this issue is highlighted to new customers before sign-up, as you could indirectly cause people financial hardship (couldn’t approve a bill payment) or a risk to a persons health (couldn’t accept a GP appointment). 

I look forward to an appropriate response in a reasonable time frame. It would be a shame to involve ASA/regulators, but I’m concerned you’re missing the point on just how vital this facility is.

Regards,

Brian

Hi @BrianMcBriany the inability to text short codes isn't so much a 'problem' as it is just being a feature we haven't yet introduced to our service! However, we are aware of the demand for this and are actively looking into it so hopefully it will become available in the near future.

With regard to making customers aware before sign-up - I do understand where you are coming from with this and appreciate your feedback so will be sure to get it passed on to the relevant team for review.

In the mean time, companies and services will usually have an alternative contact method you can use instead of the short code.

Thanks but I still feel you’re downplaying the significance here.

Have you tried to ring your GP surgery lately? Sometimes texts are the only way to communicate with essential service providers. If this isn’t yet considered a basic and fundamental right of communication by the regulators, I’m pretty certain it soon will be.