Anyone having issues with trying to use your phone number, for services requiring SMS validation?


#1

Twitter & Google Voice are both not accepting my phone number. They both say something about “carrier not supported”.

I can’t create a Twitter App, without adding a phone number to my Twitter profile. Twitter says they support all US carriers.

I have learned that Republic Wireless is not a wireless carrier, rather they are a VOIP operation which down stream makes use of varies wireless carriers.

Not happy, as I doubt that I would have this issue with TMobile which I switched over from.


Text verification codes (2 Factor Authentication)
#2

I’ve had issues trying to set up two-factor authentication using a Republic number with Twitter. Is this what you’re attempting or something else?

Regarding Google Voice, many of us use Google Voice in conjunction with our Republic numbers. More specifics here might help as well. Do you have an existing Google Voice number? Or, are you attempting to establish a new Google Voice number? Something else?

I’m not understanding what you mean by trying to create a Twitter app? Might we have some further clarification on that? Again, I’ve not been able to get Twitter to accept a Republic number for two-factor authentication. At least when I tried, Twitter professed to support all wireless carriers and Google Voice for this purpose.

You’re correct that Republic is not a wireless carrier. Indeed it is a service provider that blends the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) network of Bandwidth.com with one of two cellular network partners. VoIP is the technology powering the WiFi portion of Republic’s blended service. Republic numbers are housed with Bandwidth. Bandwidth is a VoIP carrier. Per the FCC, VoIP numbers are deemed to be wireline (landline) rather than wireless numbers. Despite the fact Bandwidth’s numbers are perfectly capable of sending and receiving both SMS and MMS (and have been for over six years) not everyone chooses to recognize this. As a point of information, Google Voice numbers are also Bandwidth numbers (and thus also VoIP) just like Republic numbers.

I can appreciate the frustration, however, Republic’s blending of WiFi (VoIP) with cellular is part of what makes its pricing structure possible. And, yes, as T-Mobile is a wireless carrier, it’s unlikely you would be having this experience. In many cases, it can be worked around, however, it depends on what one is trying to accomplish.


Twitter won't send a text message to my phone to verify account
#4

I’m not understanding what you mean by trying to create a Twitter app?

A Twitter app is a script/bot which accesses Twitter data. It is just an additional Twitter account, which gives you an id you use when your script/bot talks to Twitter. So Twitter can keep track of who is using it’s API. To do that they require you have a phone number with your profile.
So yes, it would be the same as setting up 2FA.

Do you have an existing Google Voice number? Or, are you attempting to establish a new Google Voice number?

A new Google Voice number, as an attempted work around to Twitter not liking my RW number


Twitter's bot problems
#5

Thank you for the additional context! A workaround for this used to be sending the START command to Twitter’s short code 40404, however, I just tested that and it’s no longer working for me. In any event it worked for everything other than 2FA, so I’m uncertain it would have helped with your use case anyway.

This is the workaround I eventually settled on. I’m curious as to where it’s failing for you as I’m able to claim new Google Voice numbers using multiple Republic numbers. I’m doing so from a computer rather than a GV app. Does Google claim to have sent the required six-digit code via SMS? Does the SMS just not arrive at your Republic number?


#6

If the SMS method won’t work, from a computer you should see a link to request a call:

16 PM

Does that work?


#7

Doing this from a laptop.

When I tired doing this the other day I got this:
Capture002

Just now I got this:
Capture006


#8

Sending START to 40404 I get the reponse “You cannot complete this action at this time”.


#10

Once again, thanks for the additional information!

I’ve not yet seen the first message you reference. If one accepts it at face value, it says Google Voice cannot send a text message with the needed verification code. Just for clarity, have you tried the option to receive a voice call at the same number GV won’t send a text message to? GV still offers that option but it’s no longer the default. One must select the option as highlighted in my previous post.

I have seen the second message. It’s indicative that one has tripped GV’s anti-fraud measures. GV now tracks how many times a number has been used to obtain a GV number and/or whether it’s linked to an existing GV number. Basically, Google aims to make it more difficult for someone to claim multiple GV numbers as a security measure. This enhanced security is relatively new and has been in place for the last year or so. Google does not specify what combination of events triggers its anti-fraud measures to make it more difficult for those who would try to circumvent it.

I appreciate one shouldn’t need to jump through these hoops, however, might you have another number besides your Republic number to use for claiming a new GV number? Even a landline will do if one selects to receive a phone call rather than a text message. Once claimed, it should be possible to forward the new GV number to your Republic number if you like regardless of whether another number was used to claim that number.

If no other number is available to you (and since I’m having no issues claiming a new GV number), I have one other thought. I could claim a GV number for you, which you would then transfer to your Google account. It’s possible to transfer GV numbers between Google accounts. I believe I can set this up but you would need to be OK with me knowing the GV number since I’d be claiming it for you. Other than that, I would need no personal information from you. I understand this may come across as an unusual offer from someone who is essentially a stranger you’ve met on the Internet, however, the offer is genuine. If there’s any interest, it would be better if we arranged the details via direct message privately.

Indeed, my testing confirms your experience. As mentioned, I’ve used this particular workaround in the past, however, it appears Twitter has closed that door.

My understanding is Republic is working to get Twitter to accept the reality that Republic numbers can do everything Twitter needs them to do and to convince them to support Republic numbers. This is unlikely to be a quick fix. The conventional wisdom would be to suggest you contact Twitter support directly and ask they whitelist (make an exception for) your Republic number. It certainly wouldn’t hurt for Twitter to be aware their current refusal to support Republic numbers is negatively impacting folks who wish to use their service. Having said that, I’ve already tried this myself and got nowhere with Twitter.


#11

I too have tried this, and like all things support related with Twitter wasn’t even able to get past scripted/automated responses. At no time was I able to get a human to respond with a message that even indicated my request was actually understood. I have to say, this also occurred when trying to recover a Twitter account that I had and was hijacked. I no longer had access to the email. After nearly 3 months of arguing with automated responses I gave up. Haven’t used Twitter since.


#13

Yes, I have a similar issue.

My pharmacy in Seattle cannot either text message or voicemail me confirmations when my prescriptions are filled and ready for pickup. Their messaging vendor says my phone is “not a mobile number”. I have tried twice to ask Republic to solve this without any success.

(I had received SMS from this vendor on my prior Boost and Virgin phones.)

I have spoken with my pharmacy’s IT dept and they say the issue is on Republic’s side. There is nothing they can do. This may sound like a minor issue, but I have multiple serious medical issues and depend on the pharmacy to survive and thrive.

I have been a Republic customer for several years and really appreciate this service. The fact that calls to Canada do not cost extra alone has saved me many $100s! And I really like the “Republic Anywhere” app.

But if this cannot be resolved I will have to go back to Boost or Virgin.

M


#14

I’m afraid that this is just something that Republic can’t solve. When a company does a look-up, Republic numbers are VoIP numbers. The official FCC classification of such numbers is “wireline”, but this classification comes from an era long ago. There’s nothing Republic can do to change this classification, but at the same time there is absolutely no reason that the provider can’t attempt to send a text message, discovering that lo and behold, it works. The provider is doing a look-up, seeing “wireline” and making an incorrect assumption that the phone won’t accept text messages.


#15

Thank you louisdl! That is the clearest explanation of the problem I have seen!

I just did a short code lookup and found the vendor “Arch Telecom” (see https://usshortcodedirectory.com/directory/short-code-35244/). I am going to try contacting them directly with your FCC classification explanation. See if that gets me anywhere.

Interestingly Arch is primarily a real estate messaging company, But on the lookup page (url above) it says 35244 is “Campaign Name: Pharmacy SMS Alerts”, so I think I have good info. My pharmacy would not give me the vendor’s info or attempt to complain to them directly so I hope this will work.

I found a nice explanation of this VOIP SMS issue with visual examples here: http://blog.2600hz.com/secrets-of-the-phone-network-why-you-cant-text . It also mentions Bandwidth.com in connection to Google Voice. So we are back to where this conversation started!

M


#16

Yes and no. Similar symptoms don’t always add up to the same cause. @louisdi’s explanation regarding Republic numbers (indeed housed with Bandwidth.com) and all VoIP numbers being regulatory classified as wireline rather than wireless is spot on. That said, there is no longer any inherent reason a wireline number cannot receive text messages. There are even services marketed to businesses that allow for sending and receiving text messages from their toll-free 800 numbers. The decision to send (or not send) text messages to wireline numbers rests with the originator of the text message.

I sent the HELP command to the 35244 short code you referenced and received a reply. Therefore, the reasonable conclusion is the systems involved are capable of communicating with one another. Why text messages originated on behalf of your pharmacy “can’t” be sent to your Republic number is something your pharmacy and its service provider need to take the lead in ironing out. To be sure, Republic (and Bandwidth) have roles to play, however, solutions will never be found when the parties involved prefer to point the finger at the other guy rather than communicating with the other guy.

Lastly, that Twitter will support Google Voice but not Republic (or other VoIP) numbers for text messaging is a policy decision on Twitter’s part. Both Republic and Google Voice use Bandwidth as the carrier for their numbers. There’s no technical reason whatsoever that makes it possible to send a text message to a Google Voice number and not a Republic or other Bandwidth number.

The reality is VoIP numbers have been capable of sending and receiving text messages for over six years now. It’s well past time folks refusing to see that join the rest of us in the 21st century.


#17

It might just be that the FCC classification won’t be an issue. The link you referenced lists supported “wireless carriers”. Republic Wireless is not on that list. This is what needs to change.

Given that Google Voice is on the list and absolutely is not a wireless carrier, it would seem these folks are already understanding of the capability of VoIP numbers (Google Voice numbers are Bandwidth VoIP numbers just like Republic) to receive texts. Simply asking for Republic to be added as a supported “wireless carrier” may be all that is required. Arguably it would be more effective if your pharmacy (as the paying client) made the request, however, if you decide to give it a go directly, good luck and I’d be most interested in the response.


#19

Yes, I did.


#23

4 posts were split to a new topic: Private message about thread history


#24

I had the exact same problem when trying to validate a new Lyft account. I fill out the form and they text me a code, but I never get that text.

I don’t have this issue with Uber, just Lyft. Whatever software system they use to send the verification text simply does not work with VoiP.

One thing I did not try, that I just thought of, is verifying with a major carrier (borrowed phone), then changing the phone number in my account settings to my Republic number. It is possible that only their verification system fails, because it cannot track a VoIP message, but the regular messages and notifications MAY go through.


#25

Suggested work around
1] Get phone number using google voice, use your land line to do this
2] Give out your google voice number to any place which needs to do SMS
3] Have google voice forward any text/SMS messages to your email account (or just go to your google voice account to read your text/SMS messages)


#26

With the one exception that GV numbers are also VoIP numbers (in fact, also Bandwidth numbers) and while that may work for some providers, there are still plenty that reject them just as they reject Republic numbers.


#27

I haven’t had problems with short codes from online services like Twitter, Facebook, and Google.

I have had issues from my local businesses as the person who previously had my number signed up for Liberty Tax short codes. I get their messages reminding me to file my taxes but if I sent STOP I get a reply saying my carrier is not supported xD.