If you're having trouble sending or receiving regular text (SMS) messages, here are a few quick and easy troubleshooting tips that might get you up and running.
Remember, these tips apply to text messaging using the standard messaging app on most smartphones and won't have much effect if you're using a messaging app that primarily uses the data or Wi-Fi networks to transmit messages. These troubleshooting tips are also not specifically meant for resolving issues with picture or video (MMS) messaging. For tips on troubleshooting MMS messaging, click here.
1. Check that voice service is available in your area.
SMS messages travel over the voice network, so if you're in a "no service" area for voice services you won't be able to send or receive text messages. To make sure that voice/SMS service is available where you are, plug your address into our map and check your voice coverage.
A "no service" area will show up in white.
2. Confirm that your phone number is active.
To check the status of your phone number, go to the Device Settings page in your account and check that the Status of your phone is listed as "active".
If your number is suspended or still porting, those statuses will show up here and you will not be able to send or receive text messages.
3. Confirm that text messaging services are enabled on your account.
To confirm that text messaging is enabled on your account, go to the Device Settings page for your phone and make sure that both "Can send text messages" and "Can receive text messages" are "Enabled".
If there is no edit icon at the top of the Messages section (i.e. you can't update your text messaging settings) then the number is not active.
4. Confirm that you're allowing your phone to roam.
If you're in a roaming area, you'll want to make sure the voice roaming settings on your phone are set to allow you to access the network. If voice roaming isn't enabled when you're in a roaming area, then your text messaging won't work.
5. Make sure you're entering a 10-digit phone number when sending a text.
If you're trying to send text messages using seven-digit phone numbers and they're not going through, try sending the messages again using full 10-digit phone numbers. Ting services are designed for use with 10-digit phone numbers and trying to use just seven digits can produce error messages.
If other people are trying to text you using only seven digits, ask them to try again with 10.
If you're choosing a contact already entered in your phone's address book, confirm that the contact is entered with the full 10-digit phone number.
6. Delete and re-enter your contact.
If you're having trouble texting to one specific contact, try deleting that contact and re-entering it. Make sure to re-enter it with the full 10-digit phone number.
7. Confirm your email-to-text address with any senders.
If someone is trying to use email-to-text to contact you, ensure that they've entered your address correctly. It should be <your 10-digit phone number>@message.ting.com (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org).
Remember, email-to-text only supports regular text messaging, so if someone is trying to send you a picture or video message, it will not come through via email-to-text.
8. Make sure iMessaging isn't interfering.
If you've recently moved your phone number from an iPhone to an Android, Windows or feature phone, your number may still be registered as an iMessaging number and you'll need to disable that.
9. Power cycle or soft reset your phone.
Shut your phone down by holding and pressing the power button on a smartphone or the Call End button on a feature phone. If you have a removable battery, remove it for about 30 seconds after you've shut the phone down. Then reinsert the battery and power the phone back up.
10. Deal with any specific error codes.
11. Re-sync your phone with the network and run a profile update.
If you've recently changed phone numbers or just activated for the first time with Ting, you may need to sync your phone with the network by doing a carrier reset.
You may also need to run a profile update. Running a carrier reset will generally prompt a profile update but some iPhones and feature phones don't have a carrier reset option, so you'll need to do the profile update separately.
12. If you're having issues with group messaging:
If you're the sender, click here for more information on resolving group messaging issues.
If you're the receiver, try enabling picture, video and group (MMS) messaging on your account. Often, group text messages are converted into MMS messages by the sender's phone (depending on their settings) and your phone may need to have MMS messaging enabled in order to receive those messages.
Remember, MMS messaging requires a data connection and will count towards your data usage so you'll also need to enable data ("Can access the Internet) if you don't have it enabled already.
Get in touch.
If none of these tips have gotten you up and running, then it's time to get in touch so we can help. Please be sure to let us know what you've done already so we know where to pick up.
A note about Google Hangouts and iMessage
Apps like Google Hangouts and the standard messaging app on iPhones can be a little confusing when it comes to SMS messaging because they allow for standard text messaging as well as web-based messaging.
If you're using Google Hangouts as your default messaging app (it's the default on the Nexus 5 out of the box) you will have the option with each contact to send as SMS (or regular text) or as a Hangout message, if the recipient has a phone number associated with their gmail account. Somewhat like Google Hangouts, the native messaging app on iPhones is used for both regular SMS messaging and iMessaging. If a recipient is not an iMessage user, if iMessaging is disabled, or if neither data nor Wi-Fi are available, texts will send as SMS messages.
Since sending as SMS is a possibility through both of these apps, some of the troubleshooting tips in this article may be helpful if you're having trouble with text messaging, but you may also need to do further, app-specific, troubleshooting.