This article outlines various carrier restrictions, Federal mandates, and general best practices for utilizing text messaging for business purposes.
The Level365 texting solution is for one-to-one business communications. Messages may be sent and received via the Level365 Web App and Desktop / Mobile Softphones. The texting portion is assigned to an individual user with the voice side remaining as needed for telephone calls.
Level365 texting service is not intended for marketing, appointment reminders, or multiple-recipient messaging. A third-party texting message service should be utilized for those types of applications. Your voice services would remain with Level365 with texting supported by the messaging service provider.
Text Messaging (SMS) Content
To protect recipients, the CTIA (Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association) has created a list of prohibited content called S.H.A.F.T. S.H.A.F.T stands for Sex, Hate, Alcohol, Firearms, and Tobacco. Carriers may also block any messages that share personal information such as birth dates, social security numbers, credit card and other sensitive information. Anti-spam policies are also implemented, to reduce illegal activity such as "phishing" or identity theft scams, unlawful threats, or fraudulent activity.
All carriers monitor and filter SMS traffic and have their own policies regarding message content. If your message triggers a perceived violation from the carrier’s perspective, your text will not be delivered.
SMS and MMS text messages are not encrypted and are not able to be recalled. As a Level365 customer, you are responsible for your own as well as your end users’ compliance, in all respects, with any requirements of HIPAA, as well as all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Please consult with your legal and compliance officers regarding best practices and procedures regarding any messaging services.
Guidelines to help prevent your businesses’ messages from being blocked:
- Get the consumer’s consent before sending them a message.
- Include your name and/or business name to properly identify this to the receiver.
- Do not include anything that may be interpreted as sensitive information or S.H.A.F.T. violation.
- Limit using links. Many carriers will filter out text messages that contain links and flag domains.
- Avoid referring to other numbers. Many carriers consider placing other numbers inside your text messages suspicious and will filter out those messages as spam.
- Avoid sending form type messages. These can be flagged as phishing.
- Vary your messaging. Carriers may flag duplicate text messages as spam.
- Limit messages to 250 characters or less. Standard SMS is 160 characters.
Note: A violation may occur on either the sending or receiving side of the message and the carrier may not notify you if the message was filtered.
Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)
When using our service to send media you may encounter an issue due to size of the file. While our service will allow you to attach/send media larger than the below limits, the media may not successfully reach it's destination. If the recipient does not receive your media you will need to use another application to compress the size so that it fits within the limits listed below. Please note, the restrictions listed below are for the receiving party's carrier.
Receiving Carrier Restrictions
- AT&T: 3MB
- Verizon: 1.2MB
- T-Mobile / Sprint: 3MB
- US Cellular: 500KB