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Everything You Need To Know About Toll Free Texting

Posted by Justin McIntire on Jul 17, 2019

 

Trumpia is always striving to provide our users with the most technologically advanced software and service possible. In this vein, we wanted to cover a much talked about change in our industry: Toll-Free Texting numbers.

Carriers are set to shut down shared short codes sometime in 2019. With this impending change, all texting service providers are charged with migrating users to alternative texting options.

In the interest of protecting our users, Trumpia is retiring support for shared short codes on July 31, 2019 and migrating all customers to a Toll-Free number. However, if you have a pressing reason to postpone this migration date, please let us know so we can give you an extended period of time to migrate smoothly.

Even before this announcement by carriers, shared short codes were at risk of a single user misusing them, leading to carriers shutting down the entire code with no advance warning. This would negatively impact hundreds of customers because of one bad actor misusing the system.

While this change may be a temporary inconvenience, we truly believe this action is in the best interest for all of our customers. Toll-Free numbers cost nothing to provision or migrate, and have all the benefits of a dedicated number (including no competition for keywords and streamlined message routing). Most importantly, Toll-Free numbers are not susceptible to the surprise shut downs that shared codes were.

Below are the answers to the most frequently asked questions we have been asked by our customers.

 

General

Are the toll-free numbers guaranteed to not be shut down like shared short codes? 

As long as a user’s messaging stays compliant with carrier regulations, carriers will not shut down your code. Shared codes are being shut down because of the additional risk associated with an entire group sharing the same code with a potentially questionable user.

 

Is it only Trumpia that is ending support for shared short codes? 

No. The important distinction to make is that carriers like Verizon and AT&T are shutting down shared short codes, not Trumpia. As such, all texting service providers will be affected in the same way.

 

When will toll-free Numbers be available?

Toll-free numbers for texting are available now! 

 

Is there a good reason I should switch now vs later?

Unfortunately, if a single user is non-compliant with their messaging, carriers will shut down the entire shared short code for all users on it. This is an ongoing risk that can happen at any time. Toll-free on the other hand does not carry this risk as each number is only used by a single user.



System Capabilities

In the control panel, is there a way to find who our sales rep is?

No, but we can help you find your Account Manager if you call or text us at 1-888-707-3030. You can also email us at support@trumpia.com.

 

Is there any way to tell if your short code is shared or dedicated?

There is no place in the platform where you can see this information. If you are unsure, please contact your Account Manager or call/ text us at 1-888-707-3030. You can also email us at support@trumpia.com.

 

Will I be able to run Text-to-Win Campaigns with my toll-free number?

With Trumpia, all toll-free numbers will be dedicated to a single user and will be able to run text-to-win contests.

 

Will alcohol & firearms advertising still be restricted on Toll-Free numbers?

Yes. Messaging content is controlled by the TCPA and CTIA on any code, and does not depend on the number you are using.

 

Are we able to use multiple keywords with the Toll-Free number?

Yes! All functionalities that you currently use with shared short codes will work the same with toll-free numbers. In fact, you’ll be able to have more choice of keywords, as there will no longer be any competition for the same popular keywords since you own the whole code.

 

What’s the expected SMS throughput on toll-free numbers?

Toll-free numbers have been provisioned for high throughput, reaching speeds up to 75 messages per second.

 

With toll-free numbers not compatible with MMS currently, how can we still send pictures? 

Currently, we will continue to use our shared MMS short code to send images and videos, which will work as it always has. We hope to have MMS support on toll-free numbers later this year and will keep you updated.

 

We have the shared short code printed on our collateral that are already in circulation. Can we continue to use the short code until the end of the campaign and switch to a toll-free number later?

Trumpia is set to retire shared short codes by July 31, 2019. However, if you have a pressing reason to postpone this migration date, please let us know so we can give you an extended period of time to migrate smoothly.

 

Calling

What happens if someone calls a Toll-Free number we don't have a voice account for?

At this time, the caller will receive a message that the number is not available for voice. In the future, we will be adding call forwarding capabilities to these numbers. Or, you can provision voice capability to the same number from your voice provider.

 

Pricing

Will we have a monthly phone bill for adding the toll-free line?

You have two options for provisioning a toll-free number with Trumpia.

  1. You can text-enable a toll-free number that you already have through another provider. In this case, you will have to continue paying the other provider for their voice services, but will pay nothing to Trumpia to add the line to our service.
  2. Trumpia can also provide you with a text-enabled toll-free number for free. However, at this time, you will not be able to use it for voice calls. We are working to remedy this in a future update.

 

Are there any pass-through fee that clients ought to know?

There are no pass-through fees for a toll free number to our customers.

 

Migration Process

We already sent a migration out to our subscribers (as instructed). Will Trumpia send another migration message? 

Trumpia will only send another migration notification if you change your number again.

 

Can we check to see if a certain number is available before picking a number?

Yes! In our system, you can type between 4 to 7 numbers, and you will be given a list of options containing those numbers.

 

What happens to the customers collected by the shared short code? Do we need to input them again?

No, although it would be a good idea to send an initial message from your new number letting subscribers know that you’ve made the change.

 

Do I need to recreate all of my campaigns when I switch?

No! When you switch to a toll-free number, all of your keywords, auto-campaigns, message history, reports etc… with remain. The only difference will be the number that your subscribers text in to and you use to send out messages. However, please pay attention to your current campaign, advertising, promotion, and printed material mentioning the old number. You should time the number migration after the current promotion dies down. Also, please make sure that you are not going back to the shared code unless absolutely necessary. For example, the new keyword you created for the new Toll Free Number may no longer work with the old shared code because it may already be in use.

 

How long does the transition take? If I request the transition now, when would it be ready?

The process to choose and switch your toll-free number with Trumpia takes only a few steps and can be completed in a matter of minutes. The migration itself is instant and will not require any downtime for your campaigns. However, please make sure to strategize the best time to switch as any collateral or advertisements displaying the shared code will no longer be relevant.

 

If you have your own toll free number, how difficult is it to set up?

The process is very simple. We simply need you to contact your Trumpia account manager or support team, answer a few questions about your use case, and provide proof of ownership of the number.

 

Is it possible to claim the toll-free number in advance, and then start using it later in the year?

Yes! If you want, you can claim your toll-free number now so you get the number you want, and wait to activate it.

 

Can I have both a toll-free number and shared short code active at the same time?

No. Only one number may be active at a time.

 

Can I switch back and forth between a toll-free number and my short code?

In the UI, you can only switch your number once every 30 days. However, for special cases, our team can override this for you. One reason we discourage switching back and forth is because if a subscriber texts one number, but you happen to have the other number active at the time, you would not receive their message.

 

If we create a Toll-Free number now, will that affect our ability to create a local 10DLC number later once that option becomes available?

No. You can switch to a toll-free number now, and then switch once again to a local 10DLC number later on. However, this will require some planning and may not be in your best interest, as subscribers may get confused if you change your number too often.

 

How long will it be until 10 DLC are available?

There is no timeline currently available for this. The only thing we have been assured by the carriers is that 10 DLC will be available before shared short codes are officially shut down, and with enough time to make a transition. However, this does not mean that your particular shared code will survive the test of the times until such notice is given. Carriers are currently very aggressive about zero-tolerance policy, and many shared codes are actually shut down not because of the migration policy but due to violation of compliance rules by bad apples.

 

How do I switch to a Toll-Free number?

To replace your shared short code with a Toll-Free number, please follow these steps:

  1. Once signed in, hover over “Account” and click “Account Settings”
  2. Scroll down and click on “Long Code Setup”
  3. Click the “Provision” button
  4. The next step is to choose the Toll-Free number you wish to use. Enter up to 4 digits that you would like to be included in your Toll-Free number and click search
  5. Select the Toll-Free number you would like to use
  6. Click “Provision”
  7. The provisioning process takes about 1-2 minutes to complete. If you refresh the page, the long code section should list out the Toll-Free number you just provisioned and its status.
  8. Once complete, scroll up to the “User Information” section and click on the “Edit Info and Password” button.
  9. If your long code has been provisioned, there will be a change button next your old short code in the “Short Code” section. Click the “Change” button, select your Toll-Free number, and click “Continue”.



Resellers

Can resellers assign different toll-free numbers to our clients?

Yes. In fact, each client is required to have their own number moving forward. 

 

We are a reseller account. Can we have multiple Toll-Free numbers under a single account?

Yes! Toll-free numbers cannot be shared, so each account you sell to will need their own dedicated number.

 

Will Trumpia provide an email template, spelling out all the changes/benefits that resellers can rebrand and send to existing client base?

Yes! Depending on when you are reading this, you may already have the template we provided in your inbox. If not, please contact support, and we can send it to you right away.

 

API

Will there be an API plan that has no monthly fee with toll-free numbers?

API only plans will be $2 per month for toll-free phone number hosting.

 

If we are an API user, will we have to update our program code to accommodate for the toll-free number?

No. You will not be required to make any changes to your existing code.

 

Looking for a texting provider that can help you switch to Toll-Free? Click here to talk to one of our experts today!

Talk to a Trumpia Expert Today!

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