SMS "HELP" is not sent to our API endpoint

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jparnell

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  • Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2018 12:45 pm

SMS "HELP" is not sent to our API endpoint

PostTue Apr 30, 2019 2:08 pm

Hello, our team encountered another undocumented behavior. We are working to meet the CTIA’s best industry practices for text messaging, which includes guidance for supporting STOP and HELP keywords.

We’ve observed that users who send the keyword HELP will receive this message: “Reply STOP to unsubscribe. Msg&Data Rates May Apply”. Unfortunately, the “HELP” message is not passed along to our API endpoint, so we don’t have the opportunity to provide our own response. The pre-built message does not include our company name or contact information, so it does not satisfy CTIA’s requirements. I haven’t researched if this is a legal compliance issue yet, but it definitely leads to poor consumer experience.

Can we make a change so that “HELP” is sent to our API endpoint?
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support

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Re: SMS "HELP" is not sent to our API endpoint

PostWed May 01, 2019 9:42 am

Hello,

Thanks for your inquiry. We would be glad to expand on this for you.

As you have observed, the keyword HELP will return this message - “Reply STOP to unsubscribe. Msg&Data Rates May Apply”. Our carrier has informed that this is to help ensure that the messaging app complies with recommended practices for the commercial use of SMS. Because they don't forward the message with the keyword HELP to our end, it does not get passed along to your API endpoint.

Unfortunately, thus it is currently not possible to customize the default response triggered by the keyword HELP.

We do apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. Perhaps if you could provide us with CTIA's requirements documentation, we may pass that along to our carrier and get their input. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Regards,
Plum Support
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jparnell

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Re: SMS "HELP" is not sent to our API endpoint

PostWed May 01, 2019 11:20 am

Thank you for your reply. The simplest resolution would be if the HELP keyword could be passed to our API endpoint, so we can send the consumer an additional message which we can customize.

CTIA’s Short Code Monitoring Handbook requires the following (pg. 4):

A.3 CUSTOMER CARE
Customer care contact information must be clear and readily available to help users understand program details
as well as their status with the program. Customer care information should result in users’ receiving help.
Programs must always respond to customer care requests, regardless of whether the requestor is subscribed to
the program. At a minimum, the HELP keyword must return the program name and further information about how
to contact service providers.
Short code programs should promote customer care contact instructions at program
opt-in and at regular intervals in content or service messages, at least once per month.

Link: https://www.wmcglobal.com/ctia-short-code-handbook
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support

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Re: SMS "HELP" is not sent to our API endpoint

PostThu May 02, 2019 11:33 am

Hello,

Thank you for providing us with CTIA’s requirement documentation! Could you confirm with us if you were planning to use short-code for SMS? The documentation requires the HELP keyword to return certain information for short-code messaging, and we currently only support long-code messaging. Would the requirement still apply to you if your account utilized long-code SMS? We would also like to mention the costliness of short-codes, no matter which provider of the service.

Regards,
Plum Support

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