Don't forget your massage
May 14, 2008 3:58 PM   Subscribe

I need a system to automagically remind my clients of their appointments via SMS text messaging.

I use an HTC p3600i phone running Windows Mobile 5, which gets synced to my laptop running Vista.

My appointments get added to the Calendar on the PDA. I want it to automagically send an SMS reminder to the client saying something like "This is a reminder of your appointment tomorrow (insert name of day) at (insert time) - goshling". Surely there must be some organiser software that will do this?

I don't access the calendar on the laptop, it's more of a backup than anything else, so I'd prefer for the phone to be doing the work, but if there is a better solution using the laptop I'm willing to go with that.
posted by goshling to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'm not sure how you could do this, but I would give your clients an opt-in for text messaging. Some never use it, so they wouldn't receive the text (that's costing both parties money, no less) anyway.
posted by pedmands at 4:36 PM on May 14, 2008

Response by poster: I'm on a capped plan with a generous allowance, so sending the messages wouldn't cost me any more than I'm paying already, and I'm unaware of any company that charges for incoming SMS in Australia it wouldn't cost the clients anything.

I believe there are online services that will send the messages out on my behalf, but that would involve me paying them a fee for the service, and I'd have to enter in the data for them somehow, in which case I may as well just SMS the clients myself.

Once I've implemented some sort of system where everyone is getting a reminder, if someone fails to show for an appointment, they'll be charged full value of the missed session unless they have a damn good excuse of the "my house was burning down" variety.

This is a courtesy to them, as usually people are disappointed if they've genuinely forgotten an appointment.
posted by goshling at 5:05 PM on May 14, 2008

One way that might make it easier would be to send the text messages via email instead of SMS. Almost all carriers have a format that will deliver email as SMS messages. The downside is you would need to know their carrier and document that in their file. The reason I know this is a hair salon software package I recently installed claimed to have text message appointment reminders - but you had to manually enter the carrier email format with the phone number for each client. More of a pain than it was worth to us.
posted by shinynewnick at 5:49 PM on May 14, 2008

Well, Google Calendar can send SMS reminders. You might want to check that out.
posted by Funky Claude at 5:59 PM on May 14, 2008

I use to send sms msgs via email. Yes service costs, but it is cheap.

Format for all phones in Aus is - so you only need to know their normal phone number.

To schedule, you could use delayed send features from outlook or whatever.

(Shinyewnick - this might solve your salon software issue as well)
posted by dripped at 10:36 PM on May 14, 2008

Response by poster: I looked at Google Calendar a couple of months ago, and I worked out that I can send SMS reminders to myself, but I couldn't work out how to get it to send reminders to other people. I think I need some hope to point me in the right direction? looks promising, thanks.
posted by goshling at 10:56 PM on May 14, 2008

The FlipOut service from Teleflip might be helpful. Allows you to send email --> SMS text to any phone without having to know the cell phone provider (like

If you could find an online calendar that allows you to set individual email addresses for appointment reminders, that would be good. (In theory you could create individual "my Calendars" in Google Calendar for each client, but that could become cumbersome)
posted by sharkfu at 12:13 AM on May 15, 2008

Ah, nuts. just noticed you are in Australia. Looks like you don't have the same "find the carrier email structure" problem that we have here in the US. sorry.
posted by sharkfu at 12:15 AM on May 15, 2008

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