Important Information About New Industry Approach to Text Messaging - Action May Be Required
As part of the U.S. wireless service industry’s efforts to combat spam and improve the delivery of legitimate text messages, businesses that send text messages to US ten-digit phone numbers will be required to register the phone numbers they are using for their SMS messaging.
In 2018, SMS (Text Messaging) was reclassified as an informational service, granting US mobile carriers the ability to regulate how SMS may be sent, what type of content may be sent, and implement and manage fees for different types of SMS. In 2021, US mobile carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-mobile, reclassified all business SMS as 10DLC A2P (Application to Person), a new kind of SMS with numerous regulations, registration requirements, and fees. Failure to comply with these new regulations can result in increased costs, SMS messages being blocked, or significant fines.
For businesses to send messages to AT&T customers, companies must first register how they will be using SMS with AT&T. Likewise, Verizon and T-Mobile have their own registration requirements.
To make registration more manageable, the carriers have authorized a new entity, known as The Campaign Registry (TCR), to collect brand information and SMS usage on their behalf.
Registration involves providing information about the business (Brand Registration) and about how SMS will be used (Campaign Registration).
Messages sent by unregistered senders will be blocked altogether.
What do I need to do?
If you do not intend to use your Phone.com phone numbers for outbound text messaging, you don’t need to do anything. Beginning on March 31, 2023, your Phone.com phone number will work for inbound text messaging only. (Calling is not affected by this change.)
If you intend to use your Phone.com local number(s) for outbound text messaging, please watch your email over the next couple of weeks for a message from us with a link to complete your registration.
Pass-through Costs for Outbound SMS Messaging
The Campaign Registry will charge a one-time brand registration fee, a one-time vetting fee, and a monthly fee. These fees are determined and charged by The Campaign Registry, not by Phone.com, so you will incur the same cost no matter what platform you use for texting. For most customers, the one-time fees will total approximately $19, and the monthly fee will be approximately $1.50 (plus applicable taxes).
If you do not have an EIN/TIN
The Campaign Registry considers businesses without an EIN/TIN to be sole proprietors. Unfortunately, T-mobile has made the decision to block all traffic from even registered sole proprietors starting on April 1, 2023. This decision led the Campaign Registry to discontinue sole proprietor registration. We are hopeful that the carriers and the Registry will come up with a solution for sole proprietors soon. Therefore, we are asking customers in this category to wait form more information from us on sole proprietor registration.
Why is Phone.com Implementing This Change?
These new requirements are not the result of a decision by Phone.com. The major US mobile carriers, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, have introduced registration and fee requirements in an effort to reduce unwanted or fraudulent text messages and to cover the costs associated with the increase in commercial text messaging across their networks. Phone.com is doing what we can to help our customers comply by providing a simple registration form and passing along the fees with no markup. The registration requirements and fees will be the same, no matter which provider you choose. If a provider is not compliant, their customer’s messages will be blocked by the carriers.
What is a brand ID?
A brand ID is a collection of information to identify the business sending a text message. A brand identifies the company or entity the end user believes to be sending a message. For example, if a pool service, Splash & Swim, sends SMS service reminders to its end customers using Phone.com, the brand would be identified as Splash & Swim.
What is a campaign ID?
A campaign denotes your phone numbers and how you’ll use them for outbound text messaging. A company will typically have only one brand ID but may have several campaign IDs, depending on its SMS usage. For example, if Splash & Swim wants to ask its customers for referrals via SMS, the campaign ID for that usage would be “marketing.”
Can I opt out of registration?
If you want to opt out of registering with TCR, you may do so, but you will be unable to use SMS messaging on Phone.com’s network.
Phone.com can’t allow unregistered message traffic across our network. If you do not complete the registration form, you will have opted out of registration.
Is opt-in/out/help required for non-marketing messages?
Yes, US carriers require these options for any kind of message. This includes two-way conversational messages, marketing, informational-only messages, customer care, etc.
Can I get business SMS messaging without an EIN/Tax ID?
The Campaign Registry considers businesses without an EIN/TIN to be sole proprietors. Unfortunately, T-mobile has made the decision to block all traffic from even registered sole proprietors starting on April 1, 2023. This decision led the Campaign Registry to discontinue sole proprietor registration. We are hopeful that the carriers and the Registry will come up with a solution for sole proprietors soon.
Therefore, we are asking customers in this category to complete and submit the registration form now so that we can submit it to the Registry when sole proprietor registration becomes available.