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Thu, Apr 9, 2020 11:23 PM

Short Code Messages

My phone is not receiving (and never has received) what I think are called "short code messages" (such as...a bank may text me a short code of about six digits that I can then regurgitate back to them to prove the I am myself...but these codes NEVER arrive, from any entity who tries to send one). A bank told me the service provider (AT&T) has likely disabled "short codes" for my account...but getting through to speak to someone at AT&T is a many-hours-wait prospect that always ends in failure, and the online tech support capability only runs me through the smplest most obvious things I'd naturally have already tried (like power-cycling the phone, disabling/enabling messaging, etc). Is there a way I can enable such short code messages myself? I already have SMS and MMS protocols enabled.

Thanks in advance.

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ATTHelp

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120.1K Messages

2 months ago

Hi @vorhis,

 

Thanks for reaching out! We'd love to assist.

 

The first thing we'd like to try is to test this issue. Head over to the Short Code Directory to get started. Click on the FAQ at the top, and then select the section Why can't I receive Short Code Messages. View this page, and follow the instructions, namely where it has you texting "HELP" to a short code. Let us know the results!

 

Collin, AT&T Community Specialist

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*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

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The instructions you asked me to follow say that if the test fails I don't have short-code messaging enabled. Yes, that's what I'm saying. No matter what six-digit short code I send the string "HELP" (without quote marks) to, I get an immediate "Not Delivered" error. Always. I tried several short code recipients on the list you referred me to and of course got the same result each time. SMS is definitely enabled on my (recently power-cycled and rebooted) phone.

What's most aggravating to me is not that I cannot send to short codes but that I cannot RECEIVE a short 6-digit code from an institution who's trying to authenticate me by sending me a unique code that I must then regurgitate back to them.

So: How can I get my phone to accept & receive such codes? My wife's phone, hardware-wise and geographically identical to mine, can do this stuff fine...but then Verizon is her service provider. Surely AT&T can do it...?

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ATTHelp

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Hey there @vorhis!

 

To begin receiving short code text messages try one of the following steps respective of your device:

 

Android

  1. Open the messaging application.
  2. Go to message settings by tapping 3 dots in top right corner.
  3. Tap Settings.
  4. Tap Blocked Numbers.
  5. Review the blocked numbers and remove the short code from the list.

Apple

  1. There are a few places where you can block a phone number or contact with IOS devices.
  2. Phone: Go to Settings > Phone > Call Blocking & Identification.
  3. FaceTime: Go to Settings > FaceTime > Blocked.
  4. Messages: Go to Settings > Messages > Blocked.

We hope this info helps.

 

Lar, AT&T Community Specialist

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*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.

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Thanks for trying Lar but this is not a blocked-caller issue. NOBODY who tries to send me a short code can get it through--nobody. And I cannot text to any short codes either, regardless of who they are. For both of these basic triage reasons, it cannot be an "individual blocked number" kind of thing.

Somehow I need to enable the ability to receive short codes. (I don't care if I can't send them, although the capability is probebly enabled/disabed via a common switch.)

But I cannot find how to do it myself.

(In "settings/phone/SMS/Call Reporting" I see the setting "None" with no option to change it...not sure if that is applicable...I know we're talking SMS protocols here but whether that setting can have anything to do with short codes I don't know.)

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ATTHelp

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Thank you for the update, @vorhis!

 

I want to look further into this for you. Please reply with the make and model of your device so that I may provide assistance.

 

Lar, AT&T Community Specialist

Still need help? Ask a question! Our 1.4 million members typically respond within 1 hour.

*I am an AT&T employee, and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.