Unable to send text to specific person

Running into an odd issue.  I've tried hunting for answers and haven't found anything that might help.

I cannot send text messages to a particular family member.  I used to be able to, and I can still receive messages, but if I try to reply it errors out and doesn't send.  I get a pop-up that says "Can't send message with Sprint, error 104."   I've tried searching on that error code but none of the suggestions seem to work.

Does anyone know what this code means and how to clear it up?  Thanks!

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    I'm a bit late to this party, but I've had success fixing this error by removing the contact from the sender's address book, removing the SMS and call history associated with it, then recreating the deleted contact from scratch.

    For the record, I've also seen this same issue and this same fix work on iPhones as well as Androids. It seems the issue is that the contact card (address book entry) for the number in question gets corrupted with extra non-printing characters.

    You can't see the extra characters in the phone number field either because the phone ignores them, or because they're empty spaces but don't take up space like the spaces that the spacebar on my keyboard generated when I was writing this message.

    The phone tries to send those extra invisible characters as part of the phone number, and the towers don't like them, so you get the error on the phone because the towers reject the phone's attempt to send the message.

    The reason attempts to phone the problem contact don't fail is because the non-printing characters don't have a DTMF tone (touch tone sounds), so the tower ignores them if taking a setup request for a phone call.

    With SMS, there's no DTMF setup because the text message is sent as a form of data, so the characters in the phone number field are treated literally, instead of being represented by a touch tone sound, and that causes the message attempt to fail.

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  • For the record -- this just happened to me, with one of my oldest, most frequently texted contacts.  Deleting the account and history didn't fix the problem, but on the Android Central forums I found a suggestion to edit the phone number to have "1" as a prefix, and that did it.  ‾\_(ツ)_/‾  Might be worth trying first for anyone else having the problem.

     

     

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  • Hi Ravi,

     That is a pretty odd issue. The number isn't blocked in your phone by chance is it? If it isn't we might need to do a reset of the phone but before doing that I'd say contact our customer support team who can run through some troubleshooting steps and double check everything on our end. 

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  • My wife and I occasionally have problems like that - texts won't send and/or receive.  But it won't necessarily be to/from the same people for each of us, and it won't even always affect the same people (i.e. I will have problems texting with nieces for a period of time, but later I won't have problems texting them.  And she won't have problems texting them.).  I haven't paid enough attention to say whether the change occurs after a telephone restart or just because the telephone decides to work.

    We both have Android but use different networks - hers is CDMA, mine is GSM - so I assume it is an Android problem.

    I've only noticed the problem when I'm connected to wi-fi.  What seems to work for me is to turn wi-fi off.  And then once I have an LTE signal the texts will send/receive.  Once I decide I'm finished texting that person I will turn wi-fi back on.  It's annoying to have to do that, but since I think it is caused by Android, I'm not sure how else to handle it.

    Ken

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  • Starting yesterday I'm now having this same problem and error message with one of the people on my account (I seem to be able to text everyone else fine, on or off my account and to both android and apple products). We both have the same phone on the same CDMA network and have been texting each other with no problems for a long time. Tried cycling the phone and also tried sending when not connected to wifi and neither worked. I can still use WhatsApp so have moved to that for now. When I find some time I'm going to try calling customer support.

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  • So, I did a little digging for you guys. The only thing you all have in common is that the issue occurs when connected to the CDMA network, and 2/3 of you have Motorola phones. 

    But I think you're onto something that it's probably related to the CDMA network. The error message "Can't send message with Sprint, error 104" pops up a lot in Virgin Mobile forums. 

    This forum link from VMU suggests that it's probably the built-in text messaging app that could be causing the problem. This lends credence to Ken's suggestion that it might be Android. 

    I suggest that you guys all, before trying a factory reset, try using a third-party text messaging app. I've used two in the past, Android Messages and Textra. I ended up buying Textra Premium, but that is not required in order to use the app. Both these apps send messages somewhat differently, and Textra is a common replacement for TIng users who want to send MMS over WiFi.

    This suggestion won't work for all phones, but it's worth at least exploring before you attempt a factory reset. Before you reset, it's also worth trying an SCRTN. On Motorola and Nexus devices, that's *#*#72786#*#*.

    If all else fails, you can always reach out to our tech support team at ting.com/support and we can work through some deeper troubleshooting, including a full factory reset.

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  • I believe I've resolved my situation.  I tried a bunch of other things which didn't work and had consigned myself to just using WhatsApp for this person, but then I tried a PRL update and that seemed to do the trick.  Haven't had any issues, and am able to text them freely.

    Thanks to everyone who looked into this!

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  • Mitch,

    A minor correction your comment about all of us being on the CDMA network ... my wife is CDMA, but mine is GSM (neither phone is Motorola).  However, as you mentioned, both of us do use the built-in messaging app.

    I have updated the PRL, as Ravi suggested, in the past, but I haven't updated it for a while.  It couldn't hurt to do another update to it just to see if it makes any difference.

    Thank you, Mitch, for your research.  Maybe we'll give a different messaging app a try.

    Ken

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  • The SCRTN will perform a profile and PRL update as part of the activation process. You might be on to something, Ravi.

    @Ken Does your wife's phone on GSM get the error that the message can't be sent with Sprint? And have you guys ever used iPhones on any phone number involved?

     

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  • Mitch,

    No, neither of us have ever had iPhones.

    The GSM error is something along the lines of 'Message could not be sent  Tap to retry' or 'Message not downloaded  Tap to retry'  (Those may not be the exact error messages.)  If the can't download error hasn't been noticed soon enough then after tapping there will be a msg saying 'Couldn't download  Message expired or not available'  I imagine that is due to the msg only being stored on the server for a limited time.  No carrier name is ever mentioned.

    Ken

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  • clarification - the 'not sent' or 'not downloaded' errors depend upon whether a msg is being sent or received.

    Ken

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  • Ken, 


    Two quick questions which will help me answer this for you.

    1. Do you have data enabled both on the device and the Ting website for both devices?

    2. Has either phone ever been active on Verizon, or is either a former Verizon phone?

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  • Mitch,

    1. Do you have data enabled both on the device and the Ting website for both devices?

    Yes, Cellular Data is On in Android settings, and Can Use Data is set to Enabled for both telephones in Ting's settings.

    2. Has either phone ever been active on Verizon, or is either a former Verizon phone?

    No, both telephones have only been used with Ting.

    Ken

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  • We may need to engage with the network partner at that point, because our standard troubleshooting didn't return anything out of the ordinary. 

    Send an email to help@ting.com with all the information you've got, including a link back to this thread. This will help the advisor skip a few steps we've already taken and get on the same page. Engaging with the network partner typically takes up to 72 hours, but there's usually a solid answer on the other end.

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  • I just had this issue and found a solution! My sister hasn't been able to text me since Sunday unless it was in a group message. Wednesday night, it started doing the same thing to me when texting her. I tried a few things, but blocking her number then unblocking it worked.

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  • I just got that error message too when trying to message someone on a Motorola phone. Once I added the number to my contacts, I was able to successfully send the message.

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  • Thanks for the confirmation, Celeste!

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  • I've had this same Sprint 104 error for weeks now. Tried calling and writing Ting support half a dozen times. All of your solutions have failed. I do NOT have a Moto phone or an Apple phone. Both my wife and I have LG V20 phones on the same Ting account. I can send texts to my son at his Apple phone with my wife's phone but not with mine. Today I solved the issue.

    As mentioned in your post I tried Textra and it worked but I don't like the app. So I looked up the other app mentioned, "Android Messages" and found that it was what I was already using. So I clicked uninstall and the phone removed all recent updates and VIOLA, PROBLEM SOLVED!

    Don't do a factory reset, roll back the updates in the "Android Messages" app and be happy...

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  • That's just proof that sometimes updates aren't all they're cracked up to be. Hopefully they'll fix this in a future release. Thanks for the update, Craig!

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  • I was also a victim of the dreaded 104 error, that is, until today. Here's the simple fix:

    1) Write down or copy and paste somewhere, the contact info of the person that you have trouble texting.

    2) Delete every previous text message involving the problem number. In my case, I was texting a particular number just fine and then started getting the error. If no previous messages, then skip to next step.

    3) Delete the contact of the person that you have trouble texting.

    4) Add the same contact as new and send a test message.

    Voila!!!

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  • That's a pretty simple solution. Thanks, Jay!

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  • Same exact issue, suddenly could no longer send to a long-time contact, but she could text me. Also, I was able to send her a picture ... Just no texts. My error, though, specified "Sprint error 96", not 104. I deleted contact, then deleted text history (i.e., the entire conversation).

     

    Then I hand reentered the contact info.

    Also reset the network settings.

    Now back to working.

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  • YES!!!  Adding the 1 prefix to the phone number in my contact list corrected the issue for me too!!  Thanks!

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