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Text Messaging

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Last updated by Isabel M

1. Am I billed for incoming and outgoing text messages?

Yes. All text messages are billed.

2. Can I disable text messaging?

Yes, you can disable the ability to send and/or receive messages from your Device Settings page.

3. How do I block unwanted text messages or short codes?

On a CDMA device you can block unwanted incoming text messages, by sending a message to the number '9999' with the message 'block' followed by a space and the short code or phone number of the sender you wish to block.

For example, to block incoming text messages from 416-999-2430, the message would read: "block 4169992430".

After the block was successful, the system will reply to let you know the number has been blocked.

We do not currently have a way of blocking incoming texts or short codes on GSM devices.

4. How do I unblock a previously blocked sender?

To unblock a previously blocked number (let's say 416-999-2430), send a message like this: "allow 4169992430".

5. How can I retrieve a list of all currently blocked senders?

To retrieve a list of all blocked senders,  send the message command "list" to '9999'.

6. Am I billed for spam texts?

Yes. Much like unwanted calls that you may receive, you may occasionally receive unwanted texts if you have text messaging enabled. Since those texts have been received, they do count towards your messaging usage.

7. Is there a messaging gateway that I can use to send text messages via email?

On CDMA devices use the email address <10-digit phone number>@message.ting.com to send a text message to your device.

On GSM devices use the email address <10-digit phone number>@tmomail.net to send a text message to your device.

IMPORTANT: Our network partners do not provide service level guarantees for email-to-SMS messaging delivery.

Our GSM network partner, in particular, aggressively filters messages that it thinks may be spam from common email domains like Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook.com, Aol, and elsewhere. Just like with email, there is no sure-fire way to get around a spam filter and our support team are not able to remove those filters.

If you depend on email-to-text service, we recommend a free Google Voice or Google Hangouts account.  If you need to automate SMS delivery for your business, you could also consider an (inexpensive, but paid) service like Twilio.

8. Can I text to 911 in an emergency?

Yes you can, but it's best to reserve this option for times when calling 911 is dangerous or it's impossible to speak. Individuals who are hard of hearing, deaf, or speech-impaired are still encouraged to use TTY for calling when possible. Some things to keep in mind with regard to Text-to-911:

  • always enter the nature of your emergency and your exact location in the body of your SMS message
  • it's not supported in all areas yet; to check if it's supported by your local emergency call center click here and scroll to "Status of Text-to-911 Deployments"
  • if Text-to-911 is not supported in your area, you'll get a bounce back SMS message to let you know
  • you may be asked to provide more details via SMS
Have more questions? Submit a request

Comments

  • Avatar
    Adrienne Cleveland

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for this post. One of the things I love about Ting is the ready access to information. You folks rock!

    Is it possible to create a whitelist for texts, i.e. block all texts EXCEPT those from certain numbers? There are only a few people from whom I want to receive texts, and it's hard to block spam texts, because they come from so many different numbers.

    Adrienne

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Thanks for the kind words Adrienne!

    That's a good question... let me dig into it further and get back to you.

  • Avatar
    Charles Smith

    I would like to block all incoming texts from anyone not in my contact list.  I almost never text, so the spam text I got just cost me $3 since it was the only text of the billing month.  :(

  • Avatar
    Ben Lucier

    Hi Charles, approximately how many legitimate SMS messages do you send/receive each month?

    We support blacklisting certain numbers, but we don't have a feature that blocks ALL, except for whitelisted numbers.

  • Avatar
    Adrienne Cleveland

    I'm not sure I'm interpreting the Sprint site correctly, but there may be a way to create a whitelist.

    First, text the commands to allow all the numbers from which you want to get texts:

    "allow 8005551212", for example.

    Then text "allowlist."

    According to Sprint, this makes the allowlist the "active list" and then lists all the numbers you have allowed. If you hadn't allowed any numbers, it supposedly says "you have no allowed senders. All text messages will be blocked." This is what makes me think that if you HAVE entered allowed numbers, they are the only ones that can text you. I could easily be wrong. If I do get any spam texts, I'll let you know :)

  • Avatar
    Micah Pepper

    I keep getting text messages from the national weather service or somewhere that give weather alerts about my location.  I have no idea how to unsubscribe and they are incessant when my area is under a severe weather warning.  Do you have any idea how to stop these when a callback number doesnt appear?

  • Avatar
    Adrienne Cleveland

    This is what works on my phone, and it may work on yours. From the main page of your messaging app, bring up the menu and choose "Settings." Then select "Emergency alerts" and specify which alerts you want to receive. Adrienne

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Theiss

    what about for messages sent by email (not sure how that's possible, but w/e)?

    http://screencast.com/t/2wmaElNh2rlw

  • Avatar
    B Ting

    Hey, I didn't know about this feature!  I pursued a spam SMS up the chain at freaking AT&T, and they told me there simply was NO ABILITY to blacklist text spammers, either centrally or individually.  I couldn't believe it.

     

    This is way cool -- where would I have read about this if Jonathan hadn't bumped -- is it in a FAQ somewhere?

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    Yes, that should work Jonathan. Same idea, but with the email address in question rather than the phone number you want to block.

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Theiss

    sweet. wasn't sure if you could only block #s or not. thanks Andrew!

  • Avatar
    Robin Lewis

    @Jonathan Theiss:

    "what about for messages sent by email"

    send text to 9999 with the message block email

    I found a whole list of 9999 options here http://support.sprint.com/support/article/Block_or_allow_text_messages_from_your_phone/case-cx832318-20091103-160141

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Theiss

    Ooh nice. Ability to block all email text messages! Nice find Robin!

  • Avatar
    Robin Lewis

    Apparently Sprint isn't supporting the sms blocking on Ting

    After sending a text to 9999 with the message block email I get a confirmation back that says that  "Text messages from (and to) all email addresses are now blocked" but the BOA spam keeps coming from email to the native messaging.

    The list command confirms that email text messages are blocked

    at this point I'm running about 50% BOA spam in messaging on our account.

     

  • Avatar
    Rob Lake

    Robin I've been testing this out, and I haven't been able to reach any conclusive results yet. You may very well be right that the SMS Email block isn't working.

    I'm hoping to be able to test this out a bit more before drawing that conclusion definitively though.

    I'll update this thread as soon as I can.

  • Avatar
    Robin Lewis

    Thanks for looking at this Rob.

    Today I am testing the block myself by trying to send a sms through email to my LG Optimus phone using the info from a forum entry under SMS to Email and neither the @ting or @sprint is getting through and I tried a free web service to send free sms and it hasn't got through either. yea!

    I don't know how that BOA scam spam gets through, seems to have slowed down a lot since I used the 9999 code but I still got 3 on the Samsung Transform since sending the 9999 block email thing on 09/29.

    If they keep coming through I'll see if I can snag the Samsung this weekend and see if I can send Email to SMS to it myself. [The Samsung is actually the one that was still getting the Email SMS].

  • Avatar
    Mike Beeson

    I've gotten that spam text (BOA) also from: my01@info5.com and referencing 212-871-1799.  I'm trying to figure where it's actually coming from. (from the email address or the phone number?)

    I haven't wanted to block all email texts because some legitimate text alerts are sent via computers.  (Credit card alerts from your own cards etc)   

  • Avatar
    Carl Bocek

    Unfortunately, I have not found any way to completely eliminate SMS messages transmitted to my Galaxy S3.  I don't not use this service, but I ended up being charged $3 for two useless texts sent to the phone.  The ability to block all messages or disable this service is really what I personally need.

  • Avatar
    Jonathan Theiss

    Carl, if you go to your account and click on settings for your device, there's an option to disable text messages. We don't use them at all either and disabling them has solved our spam email text message problem.

  • Avatar
    Carl Bocek

    Thanks Jonathan!  I am surprised that this setting wasn't mention earlier in this forum.

  • Avatar
    Benjamin Jones

    I recently purchased a phone and will be signing up for service once I receive my phone. I use my Google Voice number all for calls and texting. This means all texts are sent over a data or WiFi network. I will not want the ability to receive or send texts from my phone. Looking at the "Device Settings" in the account has headings Minutes, Texting and Megabytes. Under the Message there are three options: 1) can send text messages 2) can send & receive picture & video messages 3) can receive text messages.  Each has an empty check box next to it. Does this mean that if I leave these boxes unchecked I will prevent sending/receiving text to my Ting  phone number and avoid paying the fee for messages since I will use Google Voice. I am hoping the answer is yes. Thanks.

  • Avatar
    Mike Beeson

    Yes  &  you're welcomed.   :)

  • Avatar
    Andrew Costen

    Mike is correct. :)

  • Avatar
    Israel Wilson

    So, those check boxes for "Can receive text messages" and "Can send text messages" are under both each individual device's settings and under the general "Settings" tab on My Account. So question: does whatever is checked in the "Settings" under My Account override anything in the individual devices settings -- for instance, even if those boxes are checked for each device, if they're unchecked on the My Account Settings page, text messages will still be blocked both directions? Thanks!

  • Avatar
    John Moffat

    Hi Israel.  The individual device page always overrides the "Settings" tab. 

    So when to use Settings?  Think of the Settings tab as the default setup for any new devices on your account.  If you customize an individual setting, it is now the default setting for that device only. 

  • Avatar
    Ken Anderson

    I used to be able to get account notification alerts via text from American Express. Since switching to TIng they do not come through. I have noticed other text coming from short codes have also been blocked. Is there anything I can do to enable these?  Thanks.

  • Avatar
    Rob Lake

    Hi Ken,

    I've just sent you an email about this. Please get back to me when you can, and we'll hopefully have this resolved soon.

  • Avatar
    Francis Buchwalder

    The page mentioned by **Benjamin Jones **with the facility to customize texting, international calls, etc. somehow disappeared on or around Dec 4, 2012, and seems to have been replaced by a page called "Contact Info." Am I delusional, uniquely persecuted, or has this suddenly happened to anyone else? It sure came at an inopportune time for me.

  • Avatar
    Trevor Talbot

    The page that disappeared was the confusing one that only applied to devices added later.

    The page you want is reached through Devices, then the specific phone.

  • Avatar
    Robin Lewis

    Just want to mention that I haven't received any email sms spam in about two months.

    I don't know if the BOA spam just stopped and no one else is sending any or if it has anything to do with using the code from sprint but no spam email sms at all.

    http://support.sprint.com/support/article/Block_or_allow_text_messages_from_your_phone/case-cx832318-20091103-160141

     

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