Support Center

I sent an SMS but it didn’t reach its destination – what should I do?

Last Updated: Dec 09, 2013 03:48PM AEDT

Delivery Status

Message statuses are reported for every message sent through SMSGlobal. These statuses provide delivery information for an individual message, making them extremely useful for reporting and troubleshooting. A list of possible message statuses and a description of their meaning are listed below. For more information on exactly how delivery receipts work, please refer to the full article about delivery receipts (DLR).
Status Description
Delivered The message has been received at the destination handset, and carriers have provided
Sent The message has been delivered to the carriers by SMSGlobal, and SMSGlobal is awaiting confirmation of message delivery from the relevant operator
Undelivered After attempting for a period of time, the carrier has failed to deliver the message to the destination handset. Possibly caused by an invalid Sender ID. Please confirm the number is correct, the handset is on and within reception range, and try again at a later time or with a different Sender ID.
Invalid Number The destination number is invalid and cannot be recognised by our system for delivery.
Common causes: the number is not in international format, is incorrectly entered or is too short/long
Rejected The message was successfully submitted to the carrier for delivery, but has actively been refused. This is very often related to issues with an invalid Sender ID on the destination network.
Expired In the case of a mobile device not being reached, delivery will be reattempted over a period of time. After the maximum retry period has been reached for network the message is being delivered to, the status will be marked as expired and delivery will no longer be reattempted.
No Credits Your account is out of credits. Please purchase more credits and send again, or resend these messages from your Outgoing message report.

Troubleshooting delivery problems

The following steps will guide you through steps to take when examining delivery issues within SMSGlobal. 

1. Is the message displayed in your Outgoing Report?

It is important to check if your message is displayed in your Outgoing report. To check this report, click Reports, then Outgoing. If your message appears in this report, this means that SMSGlobal has successfully received that message - please refer to the relevant status message. However, if the message is not in your outgoing SMS report, this suggests that SMSGlobal has not received the message, and the problem most likely relates to the method used to send.
If the message is not in your outgoing report:
  • ...and you use Email to SMS, make sure your Email to SMS is correctly set up and then try troubleshooting Email to SMS.
  • ...and you use Outlook Mobile Service, please try troubleshooting Outlook Mobile Service.
  • ...and you use the one of HTTP APISOAP APISMPP, please try troubleshooting the specific API being used to send messages, and refer to our API documentation for further details.

When contacting our support team please be sure to include an example of your API request, such as your HTTP-Post request or SOAP request.

2. Confirm the number entered is correct.

  • If you receive the status Invalid Number, then the destination number may not have been recognised by SMSGlobal. Ensure that the number is in international format, is the correct number of digits, and starts with a valid prefix for the destination country.
  • If you receive an Undelivered status, this may be due to sending the message to an incorrect number which is not in service. Please confirm the number is correct and that the number is currently in service.
  • Do a Number Lookup to check the destination number is correct, by clicking Tools, then Lookup.

3. Check whether there are any issues with the destination number

  • If your message is Sent for a long time, there may be an issue reaching the destination handset, for example the handset is not within mobile service range or is switched off. Once the number is accessible, message delivery will be reattempted and the message status should update.
  • Telecommunications companies generally continue to try to deliver an SMS message for anywhere between 48-72 hours before changing the message status to Undelivered. This may result either due to upstream issues with the home network, or due to the destination handset being unreachable for the maximum time-frame.

4. Check the Sender ID used for your messages

  • Assuming the handset is reachable and the destination number is valid, messages that instantly show a status of Undelivered may be being sent with an invalid Sender ID. Restrictions and guidelines regulating the exact Sender ID you can use change between different regions, countries and even telecommunications companies. 
  • Ensure that your Sender ID is no longer than 11 characters if alphanumeric (contains any letters); no longer than 16 numbers if numeric (only contains numbers); does not contain any non-Latin characters (A-Z); and does not contain and spaces or punctuation.
  • Check that your Sender ID is at least 2 characters long.
  • Some destinations do not support alphanumeric Sender ID (text based). Try sending using a local or international number instead.
  • Some destinations do not support local numbers for Sender ID. Try sending using an alphanumeric Sender ID or non-local number.

5. Check traffic history to that number or country

  • Using the Outgoing Report it is possible to check whether previous messages to the same number have failed. If messages have never successfully delivered to the destination number, there may be a long term issue affecting the number.

6. Is the message a long multipart message?

  • Messages often do not display until all parts of a multipart message have arrived at the handset.
  • Sometimes, very long multipart messages (for example, longer than 4 or 5 message parts) can cause problems for certain destinations.
  • Try resending the message in smaller parts or using a shorter message where possible.

7. Contact SMSGlobal support

When contacting the SMSGlobal support team, please include as much detail as possible to help investigate your case, particularly: your SMSGlobal username, affected destination number(s), time stamps for affected numbers and the method (API, Email to SMS, web) for sending SMS.

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