Why can't my friend text me?
May 14, 2009 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Why can't my friend text me? (iPhones/AT&T)

One of my friends can't text me: his texts appear to send fine, but they never arrive on my phone. I have a first-gen iPhone; he has the newer 3G version. Both phones are unmodified, un-jailbroken, and have the standard service through AT&T. We live in the same city (Austin, TX). He can text other people successfully. I can receive texts from others. We have no problems with voice calls.

I have no idea where to even start to diagnose this issue. Any ideas?
posted by magicbus to Technology (11 answers total)
Call AT&T customer service at 611.
posted by halogen at 9:27 AM on May 14, 2009

From the completely obvious department - he's not trying to send them to the wrong number is he? (home or office number?)
posted by bitdamaged at 9:39 AM on May 14, 2009

I had a similar problem after porting an old phone number to a new carrier. Text messages sent from certain people would consistently not show up, and messages I sent to them would disappear into the ether as well. I brought my phone into my new carrier's store, and they found out the number hadn't been properly ported from the old carrier. They fixed it up in about a day.
posted by cathodeheart at 9:47 AM on May 14, 2009

Building on what bitdamaged said, have him try to call you at the number he is using to text you. Does that call go through okay? If it does, it's more likely to be a carrier issue.

Also, can he get a text from you? Does it work if he replies to that text?
posted by soelo at 9:50 AM on May 14, 2009

Does he have your number saved as 11 digits, including the number 1 before the area code? Now that I think about it, it doesn't seem to make a difference on my iPhone, but on my older phones on different carriers it did.
posted by Venadium at 10:05 AM on May 14, 2009

I discovered my iPhone couldn't send or receive texts right after I got it.

Apparently, unlike other phones, you can't just pay 10 cents per message. You have to sign up for one of their 200 messages per month for $5 package (or more) to text at all. (Either that, or the AT&T rep in my store isn't the sharpest tool in the shed and just couldn't find the button to enable pay-per-text on my account.)
posted by JDHarper at 10:09 AM on May 14, 2009

Response by poster: He's using the right number. We can both voice-call each other without difficulty. His texts to me don't arrive regardless of whether he initiates the SMS or replies to a text of mine. He has text messages on his plan and can text other people with no problems.

I will check on whether he has my number saved with 11 digits, and whether his is a ported number (mine isn't).

Thanks for all the suggestions so far!
posted by magicbus at 10:17 AM on May 14, 2009

I had the same problem with my texts on att for a while (i.e. they werent coming through) - something was messed up on their end. A quick call to customer service should fix the problem.
posted by jourman2 at 10:51 AM on May 14, 2009

Try restarting both phones. I've had quirky things happen about once a month to my phone and this fixes it. For instance, suddenly the volume kept cranking all the way up by itself. I could turn it down, but as soon as I let go, it cranked back up. A restart fixed it.

I realize it's a completely different problem, but worth a try.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 2:51 PM on May 14, 2009

Is he SURE he is TXTing and not emailing? I have an iphone-like Blackberry (new, 3g, ATT, etc), and it likes to default to email if I'm not careful.
posted by gjc at 6:42 PM on May 14, 2009

Response by poster: This is, unfortunately, unlikely to be helpful to anyone else, but I got a new iPhone 3G S when it came out and now his texts come through just fine. No idea what the problem was, or even if the new phone has anything to do with it.
posted by magicbus at 11:52 AM on July 13, 2009

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