eTXT FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Sending Messages

Can the recipient see a name instead of a number when they receive a message?
Yes, this can be done (on some networks). Please contact Support or Sales.
Can I see when a recipient received a message on their handset?
Yes. Although a few networks do not provide the message status information, most do and they will be shown with the message in the eTXT Inbox
Can I see when a recipient reads a SMS message I sent them?
No. Standard SMS does not provide this sort of information. The closest you can get is if the carrier notifies us when the message is received on the handset.
When sending SMS by email can I tell if the person received it?

Yes. When sending an email set the option for a “read receipt” (each email system has a different way of doing this so see the relevant vendor for more information).

When a message is processed with a read receipt request, eTXT waits for a few minutes and sends an email back that has the status information for each recipient. If you have login credentials you can also view this information in the eTXT Inbox.

Can I send in different languages?

Yes. Some languages may not display correctly on some handsets and carrier networks.

If you are using a UTF-16 language (Chinese, Cyrillic etc), your character payload per SMS message part decreases to 70 characters in the first part, and 134 characters in the second part and 201 in the third part.

This means if you send a message that is 100 characters (for example) in a UTF-16 language, you will be charged for 2 messages.

Are messages delivered immediately?

Spark New Zealand Limited attempts to send all messages to the carriers within seconds of receiving them, but SMS is a best effort, store and forward process which means that the carriers may have their own queuing, delivery and expiry policies.

Once Spark New Zealand Limited has passed the message to the carrier delivery is beyond our control, however, we will request status updates and use these to keep you informed of the of the message if these are available.

You can use the status information to decide whether you should resend the message or use an alternative communication method.

How Many Messages can be sent per minute?

If individual (customised) messages are prepared and sent then about 3000 per minute can be sent through the Spark New Zealand Limited API. The speed of message delivery will also be impacted by:

  • Network connection speed between your client and Spark New Zealand Limited.
  • The destination carrier. Some carriers throttle message delivery based on their network requirements.

SPAM

Spark New Zealand Limited Services must not be used for unsolicited SPAM or marketing messages. Users that do so may have the service restricted or cut off.

The messages I send arrive from different numbers

To enable all your messages to be replied to, and in any order, the messages arrive from a rotating pool of numbers. This is standard operation.

Within the User Interface you can select ‘Consistent Numbering’, as a best-effort attempt to use the same number, but this will mean you can not have multiple concurrent conversations with the number.

What networks does eTXT work with?
eTXT has worldwide SMS messaging capability.
How is sending text messages from eTXT different from usual text messaging?
You have the convenience of messaging from a web site and being able to send a group message from your phone in a very cost-effective manner.
How do I send a message to a mobile?
When you log in to eTXT you’ll be presented with the main screen for sending messages. Here you simply type your message into the text box, select the contacts or numbers you’d like to send the message to, and click ‘SEND’.
How do I send an SMS by email?

It’s dead simple:

  • Ask your Administrator to enable Email2SMS for your email address
  • Send an email to “phonenumber”@etxtservice.co.nz, eg: 6427000001@etxtservice.co.nz

More information available here

Can we set up eTXT so each login can only see certain numbers/groups?
A Company Admin user can enable ‘Restrict Contacts’ so Users can only send to contacts in Groups that are configured by a Company Admin. Also you can place Contacts into ‘Security Domains’ and then tightly control which users have access to those contacts within a ‘Security Domain’.
How do I create a message that will be sent at a later time?

Create the message as normal, by adding the recipients and entering the message text. Instead of clicking Send, click Schedule. This takes you into the Schedule Message screen where you can select from a calendar what day and time to send the message.

More information available here

Why am I billed for two messages when I only send one?

A Text Message is 160 characters long. In order to send longer messages Telcos actually send multiple individual messages that are glued back together via the phone in order to give the illusion of one message.

Consequently ‘long’ messages (more than 160 characters) are seamlessly chopped into fragments by eTXT, but we are forced to charge for each of these parts individually.

Receiving Messages

Where do replies go?

All replies to messages sent from eTXT appear in the Inbox in the web site. Replies are attached to the original message in a ‘thread’ so you can keep track of your conversations.

If you have configured a ‘callback url’ messages will also be delivered to your own server.

If you have the eTXT app installed, messages will also be delivered to the app.

If you have ‘forward2mobile’ enabled, messages will be forwarded to your phone.

Why is the recipient receiving the same message repeatedly?

This is rare but it does occur when the there is a communication glitch between the recipient’s handset and their network, that stops the phone from acknowledging that it has received the SMS.

When this happens the carrier continues to attempt to deliver the same message (as per its store and forward procedures) until it receives an acknowledgment from the phone. This situation results in multiple messages on the handset if the handset does not acknowledge properly (if they all have the same sender number then this is probably the situation).

We have found that doing a hard restart of the phone fixes the issue. The recipient should simply pull the battery from the handset, wait a few seconds, reinsert the battery and power the handset up again.

Contacts

Why can't I add a new group or contact?
In some instances your Company Administrator may deny access to add Contacts. Contact your Company Administrator if this is the case.
How do I import contacts?
Information on importing Contacts can be found here

General Information

What do people use this service for?

The range of ways people use it is quite varied. Some people use it in ways we never intended and have managed to integrate it into their system very nicely.

The following are examples of how people use eTXT to improve their productivity, communicate with customers and staff and reduce costs.

  • International company utilise the system to send SMS to thousands of their customers to confirm addresses and notify of shipping dates
  • Many local restaurants and hotels use the system to let their clients know of special deals and VIP promotions
  • A courier company uses to assign jobs to drivers
  • Universities use the system to
    • Communicate with students
    • Liase with on-call staff
    • Notify technicians of important IT issues
  • Banks use the system to inform branch managers of currency rate changes
  • Real Estate offices get a lot of milage out of the system by using it to broadcast to their teams
    • Open home information
    • Contract state (unconditional sales or signed contracts)
    • Property information
  • Helplines use the SMS2email service as an alternative to 0800 numbers to spread call centre load and as a different means of people getting in touch.
  • Call Centres send out “while you were out” messages to their clients
  • Major infrastructure providers keep people (customers and other key stake holders) in the loop by providing information on outages and delays
  • Credit agencies and video stores find that the response rate from SMS ‘reminders’ are higher than traditional means (and much cheaper!)
  • Customer facing organisations are able to provide low cost, quick notification of transactions so their customers know what is happening.
  • City Councils and Government agencies integrate SMS into their systems to provide information to stakeholders quickly and effectively without the need for new infratructure or high cost changes. They usually like the fact that using the email service messages are logged for audit purposes.
  • Everyone uses it to let someone know
    • they are going to be late for a meeting
    • they love them
    • the boss needs to call someone urgently
    • that an event has been cancelled/sold out/changed
    • what the weather is going to be like at the beach, on the ski fields or on the water before the big weekend
    • a phone number or address
What is international number format?

International Number Format is a number format that includes the country, carrier and phone numbers without any dialling prefixes (eg 00 or 001) or special characters such as the plus symbol (eg ‘6427000001’ not ‘+6427000001’).

The following table shows how some numbers are displayed in international format.

Destination Prefix Local Number Int’l Format
Australia 61 0403 416 7216 614034167216
New Zealand 64 021 525 582 6421525582
United Kingdom 44 07700 954 321 447700954321
United States 1 954 555 1234 19545551234
France 33 06 87 71 23 45 33687712345

More information on Country Prefix can be found here.

Who do I contact for more information or help?

If your question is not answered in the User Guide then feel free to contact us. Either contact Sales, or if you already have a login contact, in the first instance contact your local Company Administrator. If they are unable to help, please ask them to contact Support.

It would help if you have the following information available:

  • The login used in to access eTXT
  • A Contact Phone Number (please include Country and time zone so we are able to call you if necessary).
  • Specific details. Clearly state your intention or issue and provide all relevant details. It is better to provide more information than too little and in the process of gathering the information your solution may actually appear without further assistance being required. State what you are trying to do and what you have tried.
How can I troubleshoot other problems?
More detailed information about common problems, especially with Email2SMS, can be found here.