Reasons Why Text Messages Fail and How to Solve Them

September 6, 2023
Reasons Why Text Messages Fail and How to Solve Them

Text messaging is one of the most common means of remote communication. It allows people to connect and exchange critical information, even miles away, quickly. While email and calls are also widely used, text messages are a quick and convenient way to relay information while keeping a record. 

However, there are times when texts may fail us. Have you ever gotten a failed text message notification or had difficulty sending messages? Or it's the other way around - you're not receiving text messages on your phone. 

This article discusses the reasons behind failed text message errors and the solutions. We hope that by the end of this read, you can identify the problem and know how to resend a failed text message. 

Effect of Failed Text Messages

Text messages are an essential bridge between people and groups. Urgent and vital information is constantly being transmitted through text messaging. There are cases when consequences are heavily damaging when a text message is missed. That is especially the case for emergencies such as medical ones. 

Before diving into the reasons behind failed text messages, let's first dissect how they work and the possible repercussions when we miss notifications. 

How Do Text Messages Work?

The conventional text message is the one we send using our cell phones. It is commonly known as SMS, but its prolonged name is Short Message Service. 

SMS messages use standardized text messaging protocols to transmit messages between devices. They are a cost-effective means to communicate. Its primary function is sending text-based messages.

On the other hand, MMS is also known as Multimedia Messaging Service and allows users to send media items like photo, audio, and video files between users. However, this is more costly than SMS.

Information is transmitted via a standard cellular connection. Your message is sent from your device and is transmitted to the nearest cell tower, after which the same message is sent to the nearest SMS center. From there, the text is transmitted to the cell tower, most proximate to the receiving party. Lastly, the message is sent from the building to the receiving device. 

Another method of sending text messages is through OTT (Over The Top), an app, and an internet connection. It is becoming more widely used primarily as smartphones have become the norm and the Internet is always in demand. SMS can also be sent through a computer using SMS Integration, which relies on an internet connection. 

Benefits of Text Messaging

Text messaging is one of the most widely used means of reaching one another, with calls and email. It's an affordable tool that is popular worldwide, whether it's SMS, MMS, or powered by an internet connection. 

So how is text messaging beneficial to a person or a business? Here are some examples.

It's affordable and accessible

Text messaging costs little to transmit between parties, particularly text-only forms such as SMS. If you have a device, you can remotely communicate with a budget that's easy on the pocket. Texts are generally cheaper than audio or video calls, so it has a more extensive customer base.

It keeps records of conversations

Unlike calls and video conferences, messages are automatically kept in text form. That means you have access to what was discussed in the past and when it happened. That is particularly useful for work and businesses that want to organize information from text messages. For example, a lawyer will want to keep crucial details sent via SMS about a case, or a local shop will want to record the order details from a customer. 

It delivers information quickly and accurately

Because texts are in Word form and can be opened and read anytime, the information shared is kept consistent. For phone calls, data can be forgotten, misheard, or misunderstood. Text messages transmit information quickly in real-time and allow receivers to review it whenever necessary. 

It can be used for marketing

Many businesses use text messages to advertise or to share information about an event or promotion. It's also normal for new shop members to receive news and updates via text. Most businesses that employ these strategies use a business number to promote and cater to customers.

It is easier to process and organize information 

Because text messages are sent and stored immediately upon receipt, many can be received within a period, the contents of which can be viewed according to the recipient's convenience. That is an easy way to receive and filter through information and ensure everything is noticed, unlike phone calls that require an entire time and focus on talking and keeping notes on the discussion. 

Many messaging systems or applications have extended features 

Modern texting tools like business and virtual numbers offer extended viable features for companies. For example, you can set scheduled messages and automate responses via text. You can also broadcast information to a large group of people or businesses simultaneously, saving valuable time and resources. 

Disadvantages of Failed Messages

Being unable to send or receive a text is inconvenient, even for personal reasons. Have you ever missed a necessary appointment or lost an opportunity for failing to read a text? 

The same applies to businesses; the results can be equally or even more damaging. 

Here are some reasons why you want to avoid failed text messages, whether it's sending or receiving them. 

Lost Information

A missing text can contain valuable information - order details, instructions, and important questions. You can easily make a mistake at work or miss chances when the information you receive is lacking. 

Missed Opportunities

It's common for clients and investors to send a text when small businesses are involved, mainly when the relationship is personal. Failure to receive messages means you could miss a deal, proposal, or big order. 

Loss of Income

When you miss a text about an order or request, you automatically lose a sale when they don't reach out again. Failure messages can lead to a loss in profit for your business.

Damaged Credibility

Missed sales and ignored queries can build up and lead to customers and investors questioning your reliability as a business. Credibility is an essential factor in business, especially for trust-based industries like finance and healthcare, so it's necessary to notice important messages coming your way. 

Constraints in Operations

A lost text could lead to missed deliveries, not knowing that an employee is absent from illness, or even being unable to have equipment repaired in time. These communication issues can directly affect your operations, reduce productivity or miss deadlines. 

Inability or Delay in Responding to Emergencies

Sometimes a single text can mean the entire world, depending on the situation. In the case of emergencies, especially medical ones, it can be challenging for the other party to do anything other than send one text to notify you. Failing to send or receive these critical messages can mean life and death to you or your business.

Potential Civil or Legal Issues

A botched contract from communication failure could lead to legal repercussions on your end. Reasons like missing a text would sound like an excuse or even lead to questioning your credibility. 

Ensuring That Text Messages Go Through

The reasons above show that ineffective communication can lead to severe disadvantages for a business. It may sound paranoid, but a single mistake can snowball into a grave result. Ensuring you can successfully send or receive texts reduces the chances of making a mistake that could affect the company. 

Common Reasons Behind Failed Text Message Delivery

Why do text messages sometimes fail to send? What's the reason behind a message-sending failure error? Let's examine why message transmittals are compromised and how to fix them. 

False Negatives

In some countries, carriers or operators send delivery reports when messages are transmitted. There are cases when the page fails to send a receipt or issues the wrong one. That leads to a false notification that a message was not sent. 

That is purely an issue on the carrier's side. The best thing to do is wait for a reply or send another message to the recipient. 

Conflicting Applications

If a device has several apps capable of receiving messages, they could be conflicting with each other, trying to receive that message. Another cause is when the sender uses an application that sends messages through the Internet while the receiver's phone can only receive SMS. 

Always ensure you use applications compatible with your contacts, and remove unnecessary messaging apps if possible. 

Conflicting Types of Phone Numbers

There are two types of numbers - A2P and P2P. Each class is different, and one type cannot send a message to another. Personal texts are often P2P, while businesses to clients are likelier to be A2P. 

Before sending a message, confirm if your number matches your recipients to avoid failed texts.

Flagged as Spam

Carriers exert effort to protect customers from spam. Unlike emails that move spam to another folder, text messages are filtered out and not sent. Suspicious links, illegal content, repetitive or lengthy content, or using purely uppercase letters can tag your message as spam. 

Review your messages, and only send a few at a time to avoid being flagged as spam. 

Recipient Disabled Messaging

For A2P messaging, recipients have the option to stop receiving messages. They may have done this if you have not sent it to a customer. 

This option is based on the recipient's discretion and is outside the sender's control. You can try alternative ways to reach customers, like social media posts. 

Blocked Number

A blocked number will be unable to send messages to the party who initiated it. One way to identify this is if you don't see a "Delivered" or "Read" status. 

The only way to send a message to a party who blocks you is if they choose to unblock you again. 

Flagged for Illegal Content

As mentioned, illegal content can lead to being flagged by the CTIA or a similar organization in other countries. Examples of these are adult content as well as criminal and drug references. 

Review messages before sending them. Certain expressions may be mistaken for illegal content. 

Texting the Wrong Number

That is unexpectedly a principal reason. You may be typing a different, incompatible number, missing some digits, and texting an existing phone number. 

Double-check numbers or add them to your contacts list beforehand if you plan to contact them regularly.

Network Issues

In some cases, it's the carrier of the recipient who is experiencing some trouble. There could be technical issues or maintenance causing interruptions in sending messages. 

Wait for the carrier to resolve the issue and try again. You can check with the airline or social media for updates on maintenance activities or repairs.

Billing Issues

When a customer has billing issues on their prepaid plan, the carrier may disable services, including the ability to receive messages.

That is purely an issue on the recipient's part and can be resolved once their billing issues are fixed.

Out of Load or Credits

There are many countries whose users rely on postpaid loads or credits to send messages. You could be in one of them using a postpaid SIM card.

Check your active promos if they're expired or top up on additional loads or credits to continue calls, texts, and mobile data services. 

Poor Connection

Wrong signals, terrible weather, or remote locations can lead to poor connectivity. Users can only send or receive messages when the connection is good. 

Try moving to a different location with a better signal. Otherwise, your recipient may be the one experiencing poor signal if they fail to receive your sent texts.

SIM Card Issues

An old or damaged SIM card can lead to problems in texts, calls, and data connection. It may even stop working altogether.

Check your sim card for possible damages. There's also a chance it may have come loose after a fall.

The recipient's Phone is Off

When a phone is turned off, or out of battery, the carrier will continue to send your message. However, prolonged attempts may lead the airline to stop trying finally. 

Try again if the recipient has charged or turned on their phone. 

How to Resend Messages

Resending a failed text message is easy, even if there are different platforms. Here are some examples:

Resending an SMS

Press or hold the failed message and select the option to resend it. You can copy the text, paste it on your composition, and send it again, especially if you want to edit the content.

Resending an iMessage on iPhone

To resend a failed iMessage, find it and tap on the red exclamation point icon next to the "Not Delivered" status. Click "Try Again" to resend your message. 

Tips on Effective Text Message Delivery

Now that we've identified the reasons and solutions for failed message sending, we can prepare to avoid that scenario in the future:

  • Check Your SIM Card:

Check your SIM in case it's damaged or close to being obsolete. Make sure it's properly positioned on your device.

  • Double Check Compatibility:

Make sure you use the same type of number as your recipient and review your apps so they don't get in each others' way. 

  • Find a Good Connection:

Make sure you have bars on your signal indicator. Avoid sending urgent messages in bad weather or if you're in a remote location. 

  • Secure Your Plan:

Billing issues on your end can lead to the cessation of texting capabilities. Make sure your bills have been paid promptly. 

  • Top Up on Credits:

If you're based in a country that uses load or credits, always make sure you have enough on you. If you're on a registered promo, review your balance and ensure it's still valid and usable.

  • Review for Spam:

Check content to avoid being flagged as spam. 

Enjoy Unlimited Texts with LimePhone

LimePhone is a virtual business phone number that lets you enjoy unlimited SMS, MMS, and inbound calls for a budget-friendly price. Experience crisp, high-quality calls and contact customers even when abroad. 

The app lets you use tools for your business, such as call rerouting, call analytics, voicemail, auto-responses, and scheduled. There is a large arsenal of tools and skills that are useful for the business, even with their most basic package.

Need more clarification about LimePhone? No need to worry. Sign up, and provide your contact info, and LimePhone will let you use the features for a limited time with a free trial. 


  • What is the most common reason for message failure reason?

- Poor connection and wrongly typed numbers are the most widely stated reasons for failed texting.

  • What is a business number?

- A business number is another number that is used for business purposes. It can be a second SIM or a virtual number.

  • What is a virtual number?

- It is a number that operates with the help of the Internet. Virtual numbers generally have added features like call routing. 

Final Thoughts

Failure to send or receive an important message can spell trouble for you and your business. Identifying the possible issues and taking the proper measures helps avoid those repercussions. 

With LimePhone, you can enjoy unlimited SMS for only an affordable price. Try things out first in the demo and come back fully equipped to send and receive texts and so much more. 



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