We often get inquiries from our clients regarding cheap SMS they may have seen advertised on the web or elsewhere. Unfortunately not all SMS are the same though vendors will generally not tell you this. Smartsoft only uses locally routed On-Net SMS. The only PMS company in Australia to do so. The important part being locally routed, with messages going directly to Telstra, Optus and Vodaphone. None of our SMS are sent over cheap overseas routes, which improves delivery failure rates substatially.
Due to the volume of SMS that we send every month, we can purchase overseas routed SMS for as little as 3c or less and resell them for something like 5c. Yes - we do need to make a small margin to pay for our SMS gateway infrastructure (smile). These are the same SMS being used by the other PMS companies being sold for between 11c and 25c. The problem is that based on our best industry knowledge, up to 2% either fail to be delivered or are delivered with issues ie several hours or even days late. That's up to 2 patients not turning up for every 100 appointment reminders. After much consideration, and having real world experience testing cheaper grades of SMS, we do not feel they are acceptable for appointment reminders.
Are our SMS delivery rates perfect - No, but they are industry best. A very small number of SMS will not be delivered due to network/handset issues and problems with your clients phone accounts (ie no credit), but this is magnitudes more reliable than using the cheaper overseas routes. From what we can tell this affects something like 1 in every 10,000 messages.
The ACCC is looking into the costs that telecommunication carriers charge to send messages between each other and for sending SMS in general. We believe that due to this, the rates for locally routed SMS will come down in the future and as they do we will pass on any savings in this area.
For our overseas based clients in Singapore and New Zealand, your messages are sent through a local carrier in your country to also improve delivery rates and to have a locally recognised sending number.
By the way - our SMS industry sources tell us that we are the largest sender of SMS in the Australia PMS market today!