Verizon Blackberry sending my Gmail msgs from
July 28, 2015 1:34 PM   Subscribe

My brother just got a new Blackberry. (I know.) And a new phone number. He uses Verizon in New York. When he sends me a text, his messages come to my Gmail account as emails from [hisnumber] Whyyyyyyyy? Please help make it stop.

My brother is mentally ill and not at all tech savvy. I'm trying to solve this problem on my end because it's driving me nuts to have all his many texts show up as email. Right now I have like 19 emails, unthreaded, from him on this subject. He's trying to understand it. Paranoia is an issue for him, so that adds to the urgency of fixing this, lest he start to perseverate on this, as he tends to with tech issues. We don't live in the same city, so troubleshooting in person is not an option.

I last encountered this same problem with my own Verizon PALM PILOT, back in, oh, 2004 or so. Haven't seen anything like this in years. Currently I can find a fair amount of stuff in Google about, but it's all about how I can send emails or texts to him on [hisnumber] This is not what I want.

Things I've tried:

1. Pinged Verizon on Twitter. They said it's odd to them, but they need to talk to him directly on the phone, which will not go well. Especially if they're acting like this is an unusual problem that needs lots of troubleshooting.

2. Asked him to manually type in my phone number to send me a text. He doesn't know how to do that. I don't either, because I haven't seen a Blackberry in at least a few years. No idea what model he owns, but it's new.

3. When I answer him from Gmail, in response to [hisnumber], I don't see a 140-character limit, but the messages show up for him truncated ta 140. That says to me my Gmail is sending via SMS, right?

Any clues? Many thanks, Mefi.
posted by ImproviseOrDie to Technology (8 answers total)
I assume you tried texting him from your phone and had him reply to that?
posted by metasarah at 1:42 PM on July 28, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a hunch this has to do with the way your contact is set up in the Blackberry. For some reason it's sending texts to your email instead of your phone number. Can he try deleting your email from your contact -- or adding your phone number, or both -- and then trying to text you?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 1:46 PM on July 28, 2015 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Yes, I did try texting him from my phone and having him reply to that. It didn't work. Forgot to add that. I'll also try to walk him through deleting my contact info and starting over.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 1:54 PM on July 28, 2015

It is probably something related to how he entered your contact info initially. This forum post suggests that a phone number labeled as "Home" will be the default address for SMS.

Can he walk into a Verizon store and ask someone? Or do you need to solve this yourself, working directly with him?

If there is any way to get him to tell you what model his phone is, I think posting this same question to a Blackberry user forum will likely find somebody willing to post a screenshot or something super specific to his situation to allow him to sort this out.
posted by misterbrandt at 2:50 PM on July 28, 2015

Response by poster: Ugh. Now he refuses to even try to help on his end. I've started to delve into forums. No luck so far, but maybe soon. Thanks.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 7:41 AM on July 29, 2015

Can you just give him a nickname on your phone that will show up instead of his number/email/thingy?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 8:28 AM on July 29, 2015

This is definitely a problem on his phone. It sounds like he is texting your email address rather than your phone number. It's probably something that needs to be fixed in his address book entry for you. There won't be a way to fix it without him (or someone) fixing the contact on his phone.
posted by Pfardentrott at 10:31 AM on July 29, 2015

Response by poster: Ok, after a few more tries with my starting new conversations, he was able to send me a proper text to my phone number instead of my email. So it's not that his phone has a weird setting (which I feared); it's user error. At least for now, this is resolved. Thanks for the suggestions.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 10:53 AM on July 30, 2015

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