EBS: Troubleshooting SMS Message Issues in Everbridge Suite

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Topic

This article provides troubleshooting steps for:

  • Contacts not receiving Short Message Service (SMS) messages sent from Everbridge
  • Contacts receiving incomplete SMS messages sent from Everbridge
  • Sending multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages from Everbridge
  • SMS messages not being received or confirmed when sent to certain countries

Any many other issues.

Description

Disclaimer: The screenshots provided for conceptual illustration utilize the Everbridge 360™ user interface. Please note that the settings depicted remain consistent irrespective of the user interface deployed.

Everbridge continually adds infrastructure and capabilities to increase SMS delivery and confirmation success, and we continually monitor, evaluate, and expand our global telephone and SMS capabilities. Everbridge has multiple SMS service providers to increase our redundancy and improve SMS delivery, and dedicated SMS codes in several countries.

Define multiple delivery methods

Despite best efforts, no delivery method can be completely reliable, all of the time, across the world. The only way to assure that your critical communications reach your contacts is to use multiple delivery methods. Target the individual and not the device for intelligent, personalized message delivery.

To define multiple delivery methods:

  1. Log in to the Everbridge Manager Portal and select your organization
  2. Select Contacts + Assets > Contacts > Contact List
  3. Select the pencil icon next to the name of the Contact
  4. Under Delivery Methods go to Add a delivery method
  5. Add multiple delivery methods from the drop-down menu
  6. Click Save.

 

If your notification either fails to reach a contact via SMS or if your contacts receive your text message but confirmation is not recorded, then the Call Result within the notification details will indicate Sent.

To see this call result:

  1. Log in to the Everbridge Manager Portal and select your organization
  2. Select Communications > Notifications > Active/History  or Communications > Incidents > Open/History
  3. Click on the title of the message
  4. Scroll down to the Delivery Details tab, and click on a plus (+) sign in the Confirmed column

Note: Issues such as invalid contact information, device state, and downstream carrier routing are not reported back to Everbridge.

screenshot of delivery details call result

Troubleshooting

Consider the following when troubleshooting undelivered SMS notifications.

Is the Device Address (SMS number) formatted correctly for the recipient country?

Each SMS number stored in Everbridge for your contacts includes the recipient country, along with the number itself. When adding a number (as shown here), Everbridge will suggest the number formatting to be used based on the currently selected country, and the number will be validated before saving. However, older contact data may have been entered before this validation was in place, so it's a good thing to check.

For additional information, please see knowledge base article EBS: What are Globally Local Notifications in Everbridge Suite?

Is the number on the contact record correct?

While you are checking the country-specific formatting, verify that the number on file for the contact is correct as well. This is the simplest cause for a contact to not receive a notification.

Does the recipient's service provider block an Everbridge short code?

If so, please see knowledge base article EBS: How to Unblock SMS Short Codes in Everbridge Suite for workarounds.

​Does the recipient's mobile device have reception?

If not, the call result within Everbridge will still indicate Sent.

Does the recipient's phone receive SMS messages sent from other sources?

One way to ensure that the contact can send and receive SMS is to send them a text from a mobile device and have them reply back. This is also a way to confirm the correct mobile number and device reception. If your contacts are unable to confirm SMS messages from other sources, please see knowledge base article EBS: How Do Contacts Confirm SMS Messages Sent From Custom Alphanumeric SMS Sender IDs in Everbridge Suite?

Is the recipient unable to confirm notifications via SMS?

If the recipient can not confirm notifications by texting back, enabling the SMS short URL should offer assistance. Please see knowledge base article EBS: How to Enable the Short URL in SMS Messages for Organizations in Everbridge Suite.

Also, a custom Sender SMS ID does not allow contacts to reply to SMS messages (e.g., to confirm receipt by replying "YES"). Check in Settings > Organization > Notifications > Sender Information to determine whether Sender SMS ID is enabled for that contact's country in your organization. If so, it will have to be removed for the contact to be able to reply to SMS messages.

Has the recipient blocked MMS messages on their mobile device?

If a contact blocks Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages on their mobile device, SMS messages may not be received from the Everbridge short code. Some cellular providers, such as T-Mobile, have more stringent blocking protocols in place and must be contacted directly by the individual contact who wishes to remove the block for the Everbridge short code for their mobile device.

Has the recipient unsubscribed from Everbridge notifications?

If so, please see knowledge base article EBS: SMS - Unsubscribe, Opt-Out, Resubscribe which explains how they can resume notifications.

Is the phone you are sending to roaming internationally?

If so, the contact must have international roaming enabled from their service provider. When a contact is internationally roaming, Everbridge sends SMS messages to the short code of the designated country for the contact's phone number(s). Once the SMS message is received by the local provider, the provider may not deliver the SMS message through the short code of the country a roaming contact is in.

Is the contact's mobile number on a "Do Not Contact" list for the country or carrier?

For example, India has a particularly strict national Do Not Contact list. The contact's mobile number will need to be removed from any such lists before it can receive SMS messages from Everbridge.

Has the contact recently changed mobile providers?

When changing mobile providers the phone number must be ported over, which is a process that can take upwards of two weeks to complete. Text messages sent from the Everbridge short code will not reach the mobile number until the porting process has fully completed.

For more information about the phone number porting process, please see knowledge base article EBS: Contacts Are Not Receiving SMS Notifications From Everbridge After Switching Phone Providers.

Does the recipient have enough phone memory to receive new SMS messages?

Please ask the affected contact to free up phone memory in case their inbox is full and then retest.

SMS Network Service Degradations

SMS service providers and wireless carriers, like all service providers, may experience service degradations from time to time. This can cause text messages to be undelivered or delayed in delivery for anyone sending or receiving messages within the affected network. The Everbridge Network Operations Center actively monitors the health of the Everbridge platform and the various service providers related to our notification modalities to identify service degradations and determine the causes and potential corrective actions. Unfortunately, any network issues occurring within an SMS provider or network will affect delivery from all message senders, including Everbridge.

Because no delivery method (modality) can be 100% reliable, 100% of the time, across 100% of the world, it is essential to take the multi-modal approach to assure your critical communications by leveraging all possible delivery methods.

Further SMS restrictions vary by country and carrier.

For a complete list of the issues currently known to Everbridge, please see knowledge base article Global SMS Codes.

For a list of best practices for sending SMS notifications, please see knowledge base article EBS: Everbridge SMS Best Practices.

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