Why is my mother suddenly not receiving my texts?
June 22, 2016 6:36 PM   Subscribe

I am able to receive my mother's text messages, but she doesn't get my replies. We've both tried a number of things to fix this, including calling tech support for our respective providers. This started happening suddenly after our texts always working fine. More inside.

My mother has a Samsung Android phone on Total Wireless. I have an iPhone 5 on Verizon.

As I said, she's not receiving my texts. She is getting texts from everyone else, and everyone else I text is getting my messages. Verizon tech support reset my network. Total Wireless tech support was pretty much useless.

We have both tried power cycling our phones, removing one another from contacts, and deleting messages. I have iMessage on because I use it for some people, including international friends, but I just send my mom SMS messages. My mother also had an in-store sales rep double check to make sure that she had not blocked messages from me; I am not blocked in any capacity on her phone.

What could be going on here? How can we fix it?
posted by mermaidcafe to Technology (16 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you verified that you are able to send other Android phones text messages? That is, the issue is not just with your mother's phone?
posted by teragram at 7:19 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Has she always has the android phone, or did she switch from an iPhone to an android phone. If it's the latter, they could be going to iMessage still rather than her number.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:26 PM on June 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

A quick way to tell- are the bubbles blue or green when you send to her?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:27 PM on June 22, 2016

When this happens, it's often your phone trying to send iMessages to someone without an iPhone, either through their number or an email address associated with an Apple ID.

Are you able to successfully send texts (not iMessages) to anyone? Is your mother's email address listed in your "Contact" listing for her? Does your phone appear to send texts (green message bubble) rather than iMessages (blue message bubble) to her? If so, do those texts appear to be successfully sent?
posted by Betelgeuse at 7:27 PM on June 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

I think I forgot to mention that everyone else, Android or IOS, is receiving my texts just fine. Regular texts as well as iMessages.

My mother has never had an iPhone, always Android. The text messages to her have green bubbles. Her email address is not listed with her phone number.
posted by mermaidcafe at 8:01 PM on June 22, 2016

I had this exact issue once and it turned out to be because of iMessage.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:36 PM on June 22, 2016

My problems with this in the past have also been iMessage-related. Try entirely disabling iMessaging on your iPhone and then texting her and other phones. If it still doesn't work, you'll at least have ruled iMessage out.
posted by nicebookrack at 9:48 PM on June 22, 2016

Check to make sure your phone is not, by default, sending texts as MMS (Settings > Messages > SMS/MMS, move the slider to SMS.)
posted by gingerest at 10:58 PM on June 22, 2016

I had the same issue in group texts. I have an iPhone and was using iMessage; the member with Android wasn't receiving anything. Disabling iMessage and ensuring my phone was sending messages as SMS fixed it.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 2:31 AM on June 23, 2016

Has she blocked your number by accident?
posted by rhythm_queen at 5:34 AM on June 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

Disabling iMessage didn't solve the problem.

My messages are being sent as SMS.

As I stated in the question, neither of us are blocked. Plus, we can still call each other just fine.
posted by mermaidcafe at 7:26 AM on June 23, 2016

Without trying to be annoying-- you mentioned that the sales rep checked to see that you weren't blocked on her phone, have you or her double checked they did it correctly?

If it's using the standard Android Messaging app, you can just turn off the entire blacklist under the messaging menu to be sure.
posted by Static Vagabond at 8:03 AM on June 23, 2016

As a temporary (or not so temporary if you can't figure this out) measure, you may want to try What's App or similar for texting. Not an answer to your question, I know, but it will at least allow you to text each other for now.
posted by amro at 9:15 AM on June 23, 2016

hiya. Any chance your mom has a samsung galaxy s5 and recently updated to marshmallow? (Android 6.0.1)

I ask because I am losing my text messages as well. T-mobile (my career) said it's a known issue and:

1. Try first completely turning the phone off, then back on again - see if she can receive the messages now.
2. if 1 works, yay! Unfortunately, 1 only works for me for about a day and then I go back to not getting my texts.. the next option is to do a master reset of the phone. This is the nuke-from-orbit reset everything, so she'll lose her photos, phone logs, etc unless you back them up with Samsung Smart Switch.
posted by INFJ at 12:56 PM on June 23, 2016

My mother and I had this problem for years, and same context - she'd never had a iOS device or Apple ID, we disabled iMessage and talked to apple and the carriers multiple times. No one could figure it out. We finally gave up and started using Facebook Messenger. Huge pain.
posted by marmago at 6:35 PM on June 23, 2016

I'm watching this - my husband and I have trouble getting texts to one another (both Android users.) Several calls to AT&T support have made no difference.
posted by workerant at 1:23 PM on June 24, 2016

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