Top 15 Reasons Why Your Text Message Didn’t Get Delivered

  • Last Updated: 26 Mar 24
  • 15 min read
reasons for text message didn't get delivered

Text messages are a quick and easy way to communicate with friends, family, and co-workers. But, sometimes, your text message doesn’t get delivered.

It’s frustrating 😢, and you may not even know why it happened 🤔.

In this blog post, you’ll know the top common reasons why your text message didn’t get delivered to someone on android and iPhone and what to do (solutions) in this case.

From your phone’s settings to the network you’re using, we will go through each problem that ruins your experience of sending SMS messages.

🔑KEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Text messages may not always be delivered due to recipient phone issues like being turned off, out of range, or having technical problems.
  • “Message Sent” means your message was sent, while “Message Delivered” means it reached the recipient’s device, but they may not have read it yet.
  • Text messages might not go through if numbers are blocked, signals are weak, or recipients opt out, so check phone status and adjust messaging as needed.
  • Text message delivery problems can be solved with providers like KrispCall, offering genuine numbers and mass SMS capabilities.

15 Reasons Why Aren’t Your Texts Delivering to a Certain Person

As much as you try to avoid it, there are days when you will encounter message delivery issues while sending text. 

There are high chances that your messages won’t get delivered to your targeted destination. Many things can be responsible for such a problem like the recipient’s phone may be turned off. It may be out of range, or it may be experiencing technical problems. 

Before starting know🧐

Message Send Vs Message Delivered: What is the Differences? 

“Message Sent” typically means that the message has been successfully dispatched from your device to the recipient’s server or network, while “Message Delivered” indicates that the message has reached the recipient’s device or platform. 

However, it’s essential to note that “Message Delivered” doesn’t guarantee that the recipient has seen or read the message; it merely confirms that it has been received by their device or messaging service.

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Here are some of the main reasons behind undelivered text messages:

1. Your phone number is blocked

The most common issue of failed delivery of text messages is blocked Phone Numbers. You can try as many times as you want to send the messages but as long as the recipient has blocked your contact number on their phone, all your effort is in vain.

There are a number of reasons for people to block others’ contact numbers. It can be personal issues, telemarketing calls, scam phone calls, or calls from unknown numbers.

phone number is blocked

People tend to block those numbers that irritate them or that they no longer want to communicate with.

You can easily verify whether your mobile number is blocked or not. Call the recipient’s contact number and if your call fails to establish a connection then your number may have been blocked.

To confirm, make a call from different phone numbers. If the call connects from another number then your number is 100% blocked.

Possible Solutions 

  • Try reaching out through alternative means such as a different messaging platform or contacting the recipient directly to ensure your number is unblocked.
  • Consider discussing any potential issues or misunderstandings with the recipient to prevent future communication obstacles.

👉You may like: Best Apps to Text Someone Who Blocked You on Android and iPhone

2. Recipient is experiencing signal issues

Another common explanation of why your SMS text messages didn’t get delivered is signal issues. Many times people’s phones do not receive any signal and they fail to make as well as receive calls and messages.

If you are sending text messages when the recipient’s phone doesn’t have a signal then your messages won’t reach them.

Commonly people lose their mobile signal when they are not in range of their mobile carrier’s signal tower. This often happens when people are traveling.

The mobile phone fails to connect with the nearby signal tower of the new location because it is still trying to stay connected with the signal tower of your previous location.

Another issue can be your device itself. Your phone may have some hardware issues. To verify, put your SIM card from your phone to another phone. If the new device picks up the signal immediately then your phone needs repair.

Possible Solutions 

  • Consider using messaging apps that offer offline capabilities, allowing messages to be sent and received once the recipient’s device reconnects to the network.
  • When sending messages during periods of potential signal issues, keep your messages concise to reduce the chances of them being lost or delayed.
You May Also Like: How to Keep Your Phone Number When Leaving a Company

3. Recipient has switched off their mobile

People often switch off their mobile phones because they want privacy, the phone is out of charge or there are some issues with the mobile. If you sent a text when your recipient has switched off their mobile phone then the SMS text will not get delivered.

Recipient has switched off their mobile

Once you sent an SMS message to a switched-off mobile device, you don’t have to resent the message. Most phones will resent SMS messages automatically at certain intervals. The message will be delivered as soon as the recipient’s mobile is turned on.

You can make a phone call to your recipient’s number to verify whether their contact number is on or off.

Possible Solutions 

  • If the message is urgent, consider sending the recipient an alternative message through a different communication channel, such as email or a messaging app that they might have access to on other devices.
  • Avoid repeatedly attempting to contact the recipient if they have intentionally switched off their mobile device for privacy or personal reasons. Respect their space and wait for them to turn their device back on.

💡 Read Also: How To Text on a Disconnected Phone

4. Your text message is flagged as spam

Phone carriers often have a policy to protect their users against spam text messages. If a phone number receives a spam message, the message will be flagged as spam and will not get delivered to the recipient.

text message is flagged as spam

There are chances that the recipient’s mobile carrier could mark your message as spam if your message violates their rules. If your SMS consists of something offensive then your message will be immediately marked as spam.

There are different reasons for your text messages are being filtered by the phone carrier. Here are some of the common reasons:

  • If your SMS text contains suspicious links such as tinyURL.com or bit.ly.
  • If you are sending multiple SMS messages with the exact same content to different numbers.
  • Each SMS consists of a maximum of 160 characters. If your SMS message length is too long like an essay, then the recipient’s carrier will flag the message.
  • If your messages consist of all capital letters. For ex: “JOIN NOW FOR FREE”.

Possible Solutions 

  • Review the content of your text message to ensure it doesn’t contain any elements that might trigger spam filters. Avoid using excessive links, special characters, or phrases commonly associated with spam messages.
  • If your message is legitimate but consistently flagged as spam, consider reaching out to the recipient’s service provider or the messaging platform’s support team to request whitelisting of your number or content.

5. Your text message is reported

There are cases when the recipient has reported to their mobile carrier about SMS messages that are spam or inappropriate. The carrier will take action against such messages. They will block that message and also can block the sender.

Sometimes you may send a text that might look similar to spam or an inappropriate which could make mobile carriers block your SMS. You can verify such cases by sending a simple message if it is delivered then your previous SMS might have been blocked by the carrier.

Possible Solutions 

  • Review the content of your message to identify any potentially offensive or inappropriate language or imagery. Make adjustments to ensure future messages comply with acceptable communication standards.
  • Contact the recipient directly to discuss the reported message and address any concerns they may have. Open communication can help resolve misunderstandings and prevent future reports.
🔍 Have a look at: Restricted Phone Call: Know Everything Before Pick up the Call

6. Your SMS messages contain illegal content

Sending illegal content is strictly prohibited. The phone carriers quickly block messages consisting of illegal content such as drug references, adult content, statements of criminal activities, etc.

text message contains illegal content

Such a thing could lead to further investigation. The sender might have to face the investigation and could end up with a court punishment.

Possible Solutions

  • Keep an eye on your messages. If you see anything that seems illegal or inappropriate, delete it right away to avoid legal trouble.
  • Familiarize yourself with the messaging platform’s policies and guidelines regarding acceptable content. Ensure future messages comply with these standards to avoid similar issues.

7. Recipient has billing issues

It’s not uncommon for people to have pending phone bills. Every mobile carrier gives a certain time window to users to pay their phone bills on time but if the users fail to do so then the mobile carrier can stop the user’s service. The user will be able to use the service again after clearing their due bills.

If you send a SMS text to a recipient whose mobile service is halted because of pending bills then your message won’t get delivered.

In such cases, there is no problem on your end. You won’t be able to send the message until the recipient’s number is active again.

Possible Solutions 

  • If the recipient is unsure how to resolve their billing issues, offer clear and concise information or resources to assist them in navigating the process.
  • Switch to free messaging apps until their billing issues are fixed.

8. Your phone number is on the Do Not Disturb (DND) list

Mobile carriers of some countries have the facility for users to include their numbers in a specific list to block certain types of messages, Usually, the numbers in this list will not receive SMS messages sent from an A2P(Application to Person) connection.

phone number is on the Do Not Disturb DND list 1

It’s a good solution to some extent but the problem arises when the contact number may not receive messages for delivery, orders, or any legit business messages.

Possible Solutions 

  • Respect the recipient’s preference for privacy or uninterrupted time and avoid sending them messages while they have DND activated.
  • Reach out to the recipient through alternative channels such as email or phone calls if your message is time-sensitive and cannot wait until DND is disabled.
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9. Phone carrier is having technical issues

There are times when the issue is neither on your end nor the recipient’s end. The mobile phone carrier itself is facing technical issues which are affecting the delivery of text messages.

Many things could trouble the phone carriers like server issues, infrastructure issues, network errors, etc. If something goes wrong with phone carriers, they will notify you about the situation.

Possible Solutions

  • Sometimes, restarting your phone can help resolve connectivity issues caused by carrier technical problems. Turn off your device, wait a few seconds, and then turn it back on.
  • If the issue still persists, reach out to your carrier’s customer support hotline to report the issue and inquire about any ongoing technical difficulties.

10. Text message sent to a wrong phone number

It’s a good idea to check the number once before pressing the send button to send an SMS. There are chances that you are sending the SMS text to the wrong number. That means your message will never get delivered to the right recipient.

People like you and me can make such a common mistake. We may enter the wrong number. Misplacing digits, accidentally pressing the wrong number, or having invalid numbers could lead to trouble.

It often happens while dialing an international number consisting of country codes, exit codes, area codes, and an unfamiliar phone number.

Possible Solutions

  • Double-check the phone number you intended to send the message to and confirm if you made a mistake. Ensure accuracy to avoid similar errors in the future.
  • Regularly review and update your contacts list to ensure accuracy and avoid sending messages to outdated or incorrect numbers.

 11. Text message sent to a landline number

Like sending a text to a wrong number, texting to a landline number doesn’t seem right. A landline number cannot receive a text message.

Text message sent to a landline number

It is only capable of making outgoing calls and receiving incoming calls. Your SMS message delivery will immediately fail. Make sure the number is assigned to a mobile phone rather than a landline.

Possible Solutions

  • Reach out to your mobile service provider to inquire if they offer any options for retrieving or cancelling text messages sent to landline numbers. 
  • Use the incident as a learning opportunity to be more cautious when sending text messages and to double-check recipient details before sending.

👉 Read Also: How to Respond to a Missed Call by Text Professionally

12. Recipient’s phone number is roaming

There are times when your recipient is out of the country. During such a situation the contact number is roaming and there are chances your text message delivery will fail.

Also, texting someone abroad can be expensive. Check if you have sufficient balance to send international text messages.

Another thing that could lead to failed SMS delivery is entering the wrong country code. Additionally, you should confirm if your phone carrier allows users to send international SMS otherwise there is no chance of sending it.

Possible Solutions

  • Adjust your message timing to match the recipient’s roaming schedule for convenient communication.
  • Consider getting international messaging plans from your mobile provider if you talk to roaming individuals often to save money.

13. Wrong type of phone number

You need to be careful before sending text messages. If you have a business and trying to send hundreds of messages to customers at once then you need A2P (Application-to-person) messaging.

But if you are sending a personal message then P2P (Person to Person) messaging is more than enough for you.

You cannot send a high volume of messages from a regular contact number with only  P2P messaging capability. Even if you try, the local phone carriers will likely block the messages and won’t get delivered at all.

To send SMS messages in high numbers, you need to get the right type of numbers. Toll-free numbers, vanity numbers, local phone numbers with large-volume messaging, and shortcodes are the ones you should choose for your business.

Possible Solutions

  • When unsure about a phone number type, ask the recipient to confirm before sending messages.
  • Choose a messaging platform that supports the type of messaging you need, whether it’s P2P (Person-to-Person) for personal messages or A2P (Application-to-Person) for business messages.

14. Sending too many messages

We mentioned in the previous point that P2P (Person-to-person) messaging doesn’t allow users to send high-volume messaging at once.

It is restricted to sending only one text message every second. If you try to send more then your message is likely going to be blocked and the message won’t get delivered.

Sending too many messages

There are chances that your messages to go into the spam filter if you do SMS blasts or frequently send SMS.

You must contact your mobile carrier to know how many messages you can send at an instant to avoid failed SMS delivery.

Possible Solutions

  • If you need to send messages to a large group, consider using a bulk messaging service or platform designed for mass communication.
  • Ask recipients for feedback on your messaging practices and adjust accordingly. Respect their preferences and make changes to improve their experience.
Also Read: SMS Notification: A Comprehensive Guide

15. Recipient opted out of your text messages

Some platforms enable recipients to opt out of text messages from users. This is a built-in system that prioritizes the recipient’s comfort and privacy. 

The platform provides keywords that the recipients can use to indicate they want to stop getting messages from the number.

If the recipient uses the keyword then the platform’s users won’t be able to send SMS messages to him/her and the message won’t get delivered.

Possible Solutions

  • Seek feedback from recipients who have opted out to understand their reasons for doing so and identify areas for improvement in your messaging strategy.
  • If the recipient has confirmed their opt-out request, acknowledge their decision and thank them for their previous engagement. This helps maintain a positive relationship despite the opt-out.
👉 You May Also Like: What does “your call has been forwarded to an automatic voice message system” mean?

Conclusion

There can be a number of reasons why your text message didn’t get delivered. From recipients blocking your mobile number to technical issues, there is not much in your hand as a sender.

You can solve the issues on your end but your text message delivery should be successful until you can communicate with the recipient’s contact number or mobile carrier’s issues.

In some cases, you will never send your text messages to the recipient, especially for businesses. Your undelivered messages may be marked as spam or your messaging system doesn’t have the capacity for mass texting. You can avoid these issues with the right mobile number providers.

KrispCall is a virtual phone number provider that can ease the difficulties of text messages not getting delivered. It provides genuine virtual numbers from more than 100+ countries. You can get mobile numbers, toll-free numbers, and vanity numbers that can help you to send mass text messages

So why wait? Get a free demo from KrispCall and improve your chances of successfully sending messages to customers.

FAQ

Why aren’t my texts delivering to a certain person on iPhone/Android?

If your texts aren’t delivering to a certain person on iPhone/Android this may be because your contact number is blocked or in the DND list, the receptionist is experiencing network/signal issues, or your text message is flagged or reported or contains illegal content.

Other possible reasons your text message delivery is unsuccessful to one person may be, that the receiver’s mobile number is switched off, the recipient has a billing issue, the phone carrier is having technical issues, your SMS text message was sent to the wrong contact number or landline number, the Recipient’s mobile number is in roaming or maybe you are sending too many messages

Do blocked messages get delivered when unblocked?

No. If a recipient has blocked your contact number and you sent a text message then the message will not go through. Later even if they unblock you, the messages sent when you were blocked are gone. They can only view the messages that you send when you are not blocked.

How to know if your phone number is blocked?

If a person blocks your phone number then your text messages delivery is unsuccessful. To further confirm, call that person’s phone number. If the call reaches directly to their voicemail without any ring or after one ring then it may mean your contact number is blocked.

What does ‘sent as text message’ mean?

Sent as text message’ means that your text message has been sent through SMS instead of iMessage. Usually, when your Apple phone doesn’t have an internet connection or you are texting to an Android phone, the text messages are sent as a text message.

Arun Chaudhary

Arun is SEO Analyst at KrispCall. He has written in extensively in the field of cloud telephony and call center solutions.

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