SMS failure notification

  • 4
  • Idea
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • Planned
  • (Edited)
Hi all,

We noticed today that we had a lot of SMS's failing to send or are "Delivery Pending".  I've spoken with Frontdesk and they are checking into why.  It would seem sometimes our system just doesn't get the "Successful" message.

However a bigger issue is that we have 1 client that we noticed is constantly failing to receive our text messages.  The SMS is sent, but fails to deliver and 3 days later, the SMS tab shows "Delivery Failed".  But we don't get a notification of this.  According to FD, they only display the failure notification if it actually fails to send, not if it fails to be delivered.  I've just spoken to this patient and it turned out that she has a new number.  So we've been charged for messages that haven't actually gone!

I would like to suggest a report or something that shows us "Delivery Pending" and/or "Delivery Failed" messages. 

We consider this really important.  We rely on these SMS's to remind our patients of their appt.  If they fail to turn up, we charge them.  So it's not fair if they haven't actually received the message, is it?
Photo of Meaghan - KingsWilliam Natural Health Care

Posted 3 years ago

  • 4
Photo of Andrew

Andrew, Community Manager

  • 390 Posts
  • 119 Reply Likes
Official Response
Hi Meaghan

In regards to the SMS with a ‘Pending’ status, this was due to a temporary fault with the mobile providers. Unfortunately for a short period they were sending the status updates out of order, meaning we would receive a ‘Successful’ (delivered) response, followed by a ‘Pending’ response, which should never be the case. This was resulting in the final status being recorded as pending despite the SMS actually being sent. We have since updated our system to handle this scenario if it occurs again in the future. It should be noted that SMS were delivered as normal and only the status displayed incorrectly.

As for the patient with the incorrect number, the SMS is still sent by Smartsoft to the mobile provider regardless of the end-result. If the mobile number you are sending to appears valid (length, formatting) we can only assume it has a valid destination and forward it appropriately. You are being charged for the SMS, but it’s not that the SMS was never actually sent by Smartsoft. I guess it's like sending a letter with Australia Post - even if it turns out to be an old address they still expect you to pay for postage :).

On the point of failure notifications, we can only confirm a message has failed after the telco has provided us a ‘Failed’ delivery receipt. This varies across providers, but typically a telco will attempt to deliver the SMS for several days before they ‘give up’ and return a failure receipt. This is to accommodate scenarios where the handset is unavailable for extended periods (no reception, switched off, damaged etc).

Delivery receipts are a useful tool to gauge SMS success, however we are limited in that we can only provide information when it is made available to us. If the delivery receipt isn’t sent or is delayed by the mobile provider, we can’t confirm the status of your SMS. It's worth noting we are one of the few PMS companies that actually provide this information.

We do agree an SMS report would be useful to monitor the status of SMS in bulk, and it has always been a planned inclusion. At this stage the delivery receipt system is still relatively new and cutting edge functionality, so we intend to continue improving the system and include reporting and greater feedback for users at a later date.