How to send text messages to a mobile phone Australia from the US.
February 1, 2013 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I need to urgently contact family in Australia.

I have a family member in relationship that has suddenly turned abusive and she won't listen to family locally. We have always had a close relationship and family think if I contact her she might listen my offers of help.

Unfortunately I am in the US and she is in Australia, her husband has disconnected their landline, and she is not taking mobile calls from family, but she is taking texts so I desperately trying to find a way to text message her in Australia.

We don't know what carrier she is on, but she is able to text internationally as she has sent texts to her mother in Europe.

We use T-Mobile prepaid and I am confident enough in technology etc to use any Andriod apps or online services to make this work.
posted by wwax to Technology (11 answers total)
I'm confused, don't you just put in the number the same way you do as if calling them? Are you having a problem doing it that way?

I mean that is how I've texted people in other countries before and it worked out ok. Yeah they charge you for it but I think it is the normal 20cents on T-Mobile to send and receive (at least it is on my contract plan).
posted by magnetsphere at 10:35 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

I don't know entirely that it's likely to be an issue at the receiving end. Over here SMS messages are billed at the sender's end. Make sure you're set up for international messaging, and are using the full international code (so if her number was 0411 222 333, you'd punch in 61411 222 333, I think) and you should get through.

This widget will allow you to work out which carrier she's with. Again, I doubt this is likely to be the issue, but if you feel you need to know, there it is. Shouldn't give you any more info than that.
posted by Jilder at 10:36 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

The carrier name might be useful if you were trying to send an e-mail directly to the phone - a few years ago, many carriers let you receive messages at or something along those lines. 2nding that you should be able to message her directly via her complete number, including any international dialing prefixes.
posted by jquinby at 10:39 AM on February 1, 2013

It works, it just costs $1 or so per message. Not sure what will happen if you try that on a pre-paid account.
posted by Oktober at 10:40 AM on February 1, 2013

OK, do you have a prepaid plan where you pay an amount monthly or do you have a top-up type plan? If you have money in the "bucket" it will be $.50 a text (I think), and you just enter the number as:

011 61 [Her Australian Number] (You might not even need the 011 but I think the phone will know what to do with it.)

If you have no extra money in your T-Mobile account, you can add some, change plans, or use a service like one of these (no idea if any of them work).
posted by mskyle at 10:40 AM on February 1, 2013

I also have t-mobile prepaid; my best friend lives in Australia. Texts cost me 10c each way, and have been remarkably reliable. Just throw a dollar or two of credit on your account and go. (Obviously text to the international code--+011 61, etc.)
posted by MeghanC at 10:41 AM on February 1, 2013

If you think she's in physical danger, I would call her local cops.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:47 AM on February 1, 2013

Total facepalm moment. I didn't even think I could text to Australia using my phone as I can't make phone calls to there from it. Turns out you have to remove the Zero from the start of Aussie mobile numbers to get it to work. Thanks anyway for all suggestions. Serves me right for panicking and texting.
posted by wwax at 10:56 AM on February 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

You could also use a Skype account with credit to send texts. The only downside is that you can't receive them in response.
posted by raccoon409 at 11:00 AM on February 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you both have smartphones, you can also download a free texting app like Whatsapp to make this free for you both, I think. Both of you would need to do it, though.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:18 PM on February 1, 2013

We use Viber to text each other internationally.
posted by taff at 1:08 PM on February 1, 2013

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