SMS Text to BT landline

  • 11 November 2018
  • 59 replies

Userlevel 2
I can text from mobile to mobile ok and from BT landline to mobile. But if I text my landline from my mobile it is always being delivered via voicemail not text.
Has anyone else had the same problem?

Or is anyone out there using BT text and it works fine for them?

Best answer by Mohammed 21 March 2019, 13:38

Hello @steveTu,

Thank you for your patience in this matter.

Three UK have now concluded their investigation on the matter.

The updated response we received on their findings were:

"The SMS Delivery service which we offer supports delivery to landlines via our Text-to-Speech platform. The only exception is P2A SMS which terminates on AQL-enabled SMS landline numbers. Message termination (in SMS form) to landlines is not supported for any other destinations."

To summarise, Three UK have confirmed they cannot support the delivery of a text to text on landlines and it is currently being delivered as text-to-speech. This is a limitation with their current systems. We've requested Three UK to test multiple ways to see if they can enable this service in the future, however, as of now, they have advised us they are unable to fix the issue with their current systems.

Now that we have raised the issue to Three UK, we hope that they can fix/enable this in the future, however, as of right now they are unable to offer this service.

We don't have any further information we can provide on this and if you do have any further technical queries, we'd recommend contacting Three UK directly for this as they have confirmed it is from their end and not iD Mobile's fault.

Whilst I can understand that this may not resolve the actual issue you're facing (by enabling the text-text you require), we do feel this does answer the original post you raised.

We are therefore marking this topic as resolved.

View original

59 replies

Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Yes that's normal for BT Landlines... here is a copy paste article from the BT website.
If BT have re arranged your account it would be best to re-register in case it has been deleted from your account.

Set up and use BT Text

Registering for BT Text

Before you can use BT Text, you'll need to register. Just send a text message from your home line and this automatically registers you. You can either send a text to a friend or type register and send to 00000. You can also text this number to test the line at any time.

Sending texts

Sending a BT Text message from a mobile to a landline is just like sending it between mobiles.
To send a text from a landline you'll need a text compatible phone.
To send a message
  1. Use your text enabled phone to write your text message. You can use up to 160 characters for each message
  2. Enter the number you want to send your text to, including the area code. This can be any landline or mobile number in the UK. (There are a small number of exceptions, explained in the small print section)
  3. Press send
What happens at the other end?
If the person you've sent the text to has a text enabled phone and BT's Caller Display service, then your message gets displayed as a written message, like it would on a mobile phone.
Otherwise, they'll get your text as a voice message.
However, if you want someone with a text enabled home phone to get your text as a voice message, then just put *tts# at the start of your message.

hope some of this helps
Userlevel 2
Thanks for the reply. I should have said that I have followed all the online BT help. I have re-registered, reset, used umpteem *# codes and all I get is a text acknowledgement (that comes through fine) saying my text service is working, but then texts from my mobile still come through as voice. BT send me texts fine, I can send from the landline to the landline fine - I just can't get text from my mobile to work. And obviously I don't know what other 'source' doesn't work unitil I get their text delivered as a voicemail.
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Have you been able to test it on another BT landline to narrow the fault down to ID Mobile?

If you still have the same issue then it's a ID Mobile network issue...

Worth a live chat call to get support involved!
Userlevel 2
No - I don't know anyone who has BT text on their landline!

I'm not sure how to prove this one way or another. I can't (as yet) get BT to tell me what criteria the text interface uses to decide whether it delivers as text or speech. But obviously I know BT are receiving the message, as they do deliver it (all be it as voice). I asked my daughter to text my landline from her mobile, but she is now Sky mobile and it doesn't even get past 'send' with her - she is getting an error on her mobile to the effect that a message can't be sent to my number. But that sounds more like a Sky (or whatever network they use) issue.

I had hoped that resolving this would be simple - as if it's a set up thing (and the land line has minimal config at the phone end) then there must be something that differentiates between mobile/landline, and if it's a BT thing with the 3 Network, then that must be known within BT. All I really 'know' at the moment is that either there's an issue with the BT interface that makes the text/voice decision OR the data sent by three is incorrect and triggers the wrong decision.
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
I am sure its an ID Mobile (3 network) issue, you have done all the right steps so far.

Won't harm getting in touch with livechat least they can log the issue.
Userlevel 2
OK - I'll give them a go.
Userlevel 2
OK - I'll give them a go.

Ok - there isn't a queuing system and apparently their agents are all busy (I see someone else has had a similar issue with chat being busy)...and they've been busy since my last reply....
Userlevel 6
Badge +6

Call ID Mobile

Alternatively, you can call them for free on 7777 using your iD phone.
Or you can call 03330037777 from a landline or other mobile phone (charges may vary).
Userlevel 2
Cheers Terry, but chat or Email is best for me (I've got through to them today and have an incident no) as I want something as pseudo proof to show what the network have said. So far BT have blamed my handset and the mobile network. It may be the mobile network or the interface between the mobile and landline networks. I know three are delivering the text to 'somewhere' and that then is being interpreted to be only deliverable via voice. So it seems to be one or the other - some odd piece of data being transmitted is causing the decision to be made.
Userlevel 6
Badge +6
Hey @steveTu,

Have you tried other networks besides SKY?

It seems odd that the messages aren't being sent as a text as opposed to a voicemail message.

Let us know how you get on.

Userlevel 2
I'm getting there I think. After Three denying it's them and BT doing the same, I have managed to have a sensible chat with the support team at AQL.
From what I can gether, companies can subscribe to AQL telephony services and they do routing and the like. The 03333440000 number is theirs - so it seems that the 'voice' message is coming from them.
Their initial take was that the interface first checks with the destination number provider to see if the number can handle text and if it can't delivers it as voice. The only snag there is that that can only be true if the check for Three sourced texts is getting a difference response from BT than other networks - as the other networks that I have tried (EE, Vodaphone) come through as text perfectly ok. So the support team up there are still looking into it.
To be honest I'm just amazed that it has taken a lay person like me to do this. Surely either BT/Three or ID could have identified how the messages get delivered and worked out who is at fault between them - rather than all denying it's them.

I still don't know who is contracting AQL services though - whether that is BT or Three. Obviously the smart guess would be that it's Three. Also, AQL haven't said as yet as whether the message enters their system with 03333440000 as the delivery mechanism (ie that is decided before it reaches them) or whether they are deciding that. Should be easy to spot though as they could see my landline number in their system with the text messages I sent from my ID phone yesterday. So hopefully it shouldn't take too long to identify who is the culprit. Either that, or suddenly it will all start working correctly miraculously and no one will still admit to the fault! Cynic? Moi?
Userlevel 2
Taking a bit longer than I thought. AQL are saying that they are just being used for delivery and that the decision to use voice has already been made. I am just getting their confirmation of that. They have provided me with the very simple attached flow chart. Still, the snag is what does 'originator' in this case mean? Again, the smart bet would be Three, but it is still possible that Three delivered to BT and BT decided to deliver via voice and use AQL for that service. So from AQL's perspective the originator is BT... Pain in the bum. I can't as yet get a definitive 'we are providing the delivery contract for blah and they have passed us your data...' from AQL

Userlevel 2
Given that I still don't know which of the two (BT or Three) is passing my text to AQL, and given I had a fault number with ID, I tackled them first and had this discussion. Please note, that no one from ID had ever come back to me about the initial issue anyway. The text below is the chat transcript:

12:03, Nov 16
Info: We've received your chat request. An agent will be with you shortly.
12:03, Nov 16
Info: You're chatting with Wayne .
12:04, Nov 16
Wayne : Hi Stephen, how can I help you today?
12:04, Nov 16
Stephen: Good morning - I chatted with someone earlier in the weeke with
regards to text messages from my mobile being delivered as voice. They
logged the problem and gave me 100150553 as the log number. I have
further info - is it best to come through here or to call?
12:06, Nov 16
Wayne : Thanks for bringing this to my attention Stephen, I'd be happy to
check the fault for you on our system.
12:06, Nov 16
Wayne : Before we get started, I need to ask you a couple of security
questions. Could you please provide your first name and the first line of your
Userlevel 2
Wayne : Perfect! That matches our records. Thanks for taking the time to do
12:13, Nov 16
Stephen: Hello?
12:16, Nov 16
Wayne : Thanks for your patience Stephen, I've noted that it has come back
as successful and our technical team has confirmed that our text are
delivered as a normal text and it would be a problem with BT services.

12:19, Nov 16
Stephen: No - I don't think that is the case. The text gets delivered as voice -
so true the text is being delivered, but I have a text enabled phoine and the
text should be being delivered as text . The company delivering the voice text
is AQL and they tell me that the message is being flagged as voice delivery
before they receive it.
12:20, Nov 16
Stephen: They won't tell me who they are contracted to though. So I don't
know if you're passing the message to them or BT are. Can your technical
team track one of my messages and tell me who they are delivering it to? If
they are delivering it to the BT network, then it's BT's problem, but if they
are passing it to AQL, then Three is doing something wrong.
12:24, Nov 16
Wayne : I'll be right with you.
12:24, Nov 16
Stephen: OK.
12:26, Nov 16
Wayne : I do apologise for the wait Stephen, I understand that you're saying
that the text are coming out as voice, however our technical team has
checked the service and it is said everything is correct on our end and it and
we would have spot if anything is not working properly on our end.
12:26, Nov 16
Stephen: OK - can your technical people tell me who they passed the
message to - was it passed to AQL or BT?
12:27, Nov 16
Stephen: As I think they are teing the fact that they've past it on down the
chain that it is reaching the destination as text. But that isn't the case.
12:28, Nov 16
Wayne : It was passed to the number which was given, ************.
12:28, Nov 16
Stephen: OK - so you are categorically confirming that it was passed to the
BT network and NOT to AQL?
12:29, Nov 16
Wayne : Yes, that is correct.
12:30, Nov 16
Stephen: So you don't check to see if the destination number is text enabled
on your system?
12:30, Nov 16
Stephen: ...soryy on Three's system...
12:33, Nov 16
Wayne : Thanks for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.
12:33, Nov 16
Stephen: OK
12:35, Nov 16
Wayne : Our technical team took your iD number and took your BT landline
number and was sent as a normal text, I cannot confirm if BT system is text

12:37, Nov 16
Stephen: OK - but systems have to check if the destination is text enabled, as
you can't deliver text to a phone that isn't enabled. So either you are
perfoming that test or you're passing the text to BT expecting them to do it.
So can you confirm that you categorically aren't checking the destination for
being text enabled?
12:39, Nov 16
Wayne : I would have loved to help you further, however this would have to
be taken up with our tech team and I'll relate this to them and we'll have
feedback in 48 working hours.
12:39, Nov 16
Stephen: OK - wil this be under the same issue log number or will you give
me a new number?
12:41, Nov 16
Stephen: Can you also ask your tech team to give me the data from the
comms log that shows my message being passed to BT? Is that possible?
12:45, Nov 16
Wayne : Yes, that is correct Stephen. I will have this raised for you now,I can
definitely mention that too.
12:46, Nov 16
Stephen: Which is correct,? That it will be under the same number - ie
12:46, Nov 16
Wayne : I am logging it under the same ticket.
12:46, Nov 16
Stephen: Grand. Thank you. I'll wait to hear from you.
12:47, Nov 16
Info: The chat transcript will be sent to: ****** at the end of your chat.
3 of 3
16/11/2018, 12:48
Userlevel 2
OK - got a text from ID last night about 8pm saying they had info for me and to call them, so I called them this morning.
The opening gambit of the call centre operator was to precis my problem as ' you can't send texts from your mobile?...'. When I explained (again) that I could text ok (and receive), but that texts to my landline were coming through as voice I got '..Landline?!...'. So after the obligatory two or three '...I'll just put you on hold...' sessions they finally came back with '.... the tech team have checked this and it's working fine. They sent a text to your landline and got a delivery message back saying it had been delivered by voice...'. When I explained that that was the problem - ie that it had been delivered as voice - and so it obviously wasn't working fine, they asked me how I expected it to be delivered. Aaaaarrrrghhhh.
I am beginning to think I'm in some Two Ronnie's sketch.
The operator then said they'd re-open the issue. I did query them to make sure they really understood what the problem was (as I wasn't allowed to talk to tech direct) so they could pass on the issue correctly. I'm not sure anyone is quite understanding the issue. I do wonder if this is going to turn into Ground Hog Day.
Userlevel 2
... oh, and I did ask again if they could provide me with a log showing where/to which network etc the message was delivered... You can always hope can't you?
Userlevel 4
Badge +6
Hi SteveTu, in this circumstance, it appears that we're not aware that the number you are sending to is capable of receiving text messages but the other networks are.
We'll need to raise this with the Tech Team that this issue is not resolved.
Userlevel 2
The tech team were passed the transcript above apparently - or a precis of. Which is why this all gets a bit frustrating. The AQL people could track my texts straight away, so I would guess that Three/BT can do the same.

But it may or not be you.
The flow may be over a couple or more routes. You could pass the text to BT and BT are performing checks (as I assume more checks are performed than just 'is the destination text enabled') or you (Three) are performing the checks. In either case, failing the checks is resulting in the text being delivered as voice. Hence why I have been asking for logs to show where the message went. All that is certain so far is that messages from Three end up with AQL delivering them via voice. I
Userlevel 2
How did I know this was going to happen? From today's chase up chat:

Info: You're chatting with Nicole .
You: Can you tell me if you have an update for issue 100150553? Thanks.
Nicole : Hi Stephen, how can I help you today?
Nicole : Is this issue related to a complaint or a order or an investigation?
You: To an issue with texts being delivered as voice to a landline.
Nicole : Thank you for confirming that. I can certainly check the investigation for you.
***** SECURITY *****
Nicole : Please wait for a moment while I get that information for you.
You: OK
Nicole : Thanks for being so patient. I'll be with you shortly.
Nicole : Thanks for waiting Stephen. I've got some information for you.
Nicole : I can confirm that our tech team can send a text to your BT landline. It shows it goes through - 'Text to Speech message to **my landline excluding leading 0*** has been delievered'
You: This is becoming silly. That is what you tole me two days ago. The problem is that text should be delivered as text. So your tech team is seeing the problem but treating it as normal. Normally you don't get responses from texts deliveries - so the reply your tech team got highlights the problem. The person I spoke to 2 days ago said they understood and would re-open the issue.
You: What I need to know is where you are delivering the message to and why. Can your tech team trace the message and see why it is being delivered as voice?
Nicole : Thanks for being so patient. I'll be with you shortly.
You: PS I never had a message from your tech team delieverd here to my landline either - so I'm not sure what number they're using
Nicole : The tech team has advised they sent the text from from your iD mobile number to the BT landline as a normal text. It shows it goes through as a normal text.
Nicole : I, however can relate your feedback once again as it shows the issue is not with us.
Nicole : Please wait for a moment while I get that information for you.
You: That isn't what you just said - you ininitially said that the text had been delivered as voice. I have had neither a voice or text from your tech team on my landline (which is ***My landline no****in the UK)
Nicole : Thank you for your patience Stephen. I was advising that tech team sent a text message to the BT landline number using your iD mobile number and it went through.
Nicole : However are you saying it is not showing on your Bt landline?
You: I have had no texts from yourselves. Nothing has come through as voice or text. I have personally texted my landline from my mobile each day this week and they all come through as voice. The last test I did was a few minutes before this chat.
You: Can your tech team trace the messages? Surely they can trace a text and see where it is going?
Nicole : I can certainly put your request through Stephen to our tech team. As I am unable to speak for them about tracing the messages.
You: I requested that days back in another chat - can you please pass the transcript of this chat to your tech team? Obviously they're misunderstanding the issue. Texts do get delievered to my landline from my mobile, but they get delivered via voice. They should be delivered as text.
Nicole :
Yes I already did now Stephen. My apologies again for the wait. This is a new reference number- *********

You: OK - I'll wait to hear.
Info: The chat transcript will be sent to: ******* at the end of your chat.
Nicole : My apologies once again that I couldn't help more Stephen.
Nicole : Is there anything else I can help you with?

You: No that's it thanks.
Userlevel 2
Not entirely unexpected. Just round in circles again. @Phil - is there a way to get the texts traced? AQL could track the messageds through their system - so can ID/Three trace the message to they deliver it to? All that seems to happen is that I re-repeat the issue, tech say the text is being delivered as voice - so I repeat that that is the issue and there we go again. Two weeks of Ground Hog day. Frustrating.

Latest transcript from this morning:

Kay Sue : Hi Stephen, how can I help you today?

You: Good morning - can you give me an update for issue 101652914? Thanks
Kay Sue : Certainly, I'd be happy to check the account for you.

Kay Sue : Please wait for a moment while I get that information for you.

You: OK
Kay Sue : Thank you, I will be with you shortly.

Kay Sue : Thank you for waiting Stephen. The below is the feedback from our Technical Department:

'This is not our issue. I send the test Text to the above number ******** and which in result we receive Text from same number mentioning 'Your Text-to-Speech message has been delivered to ********* has beeb

This is how an SMS is delivered to a BT landline.

If the customer has a landline phone that can receive SMS then they would need to review this with BT.'

Kay Sue : I haven't heard from you for a while. Do you wish to continue our chat?

You: You have just repeated what was said last week. The issue is that the text is being delivered via voice. So you are seeing the same issue. The landline phone I have is text enabled and I have a text landline service from BT. I can receive texts from other mobile networks. I can rfeceive texts from other landlines. I can send text from my landline to mobiles and landlines. The only thing that is not working is receiving texts from ID (Three network). So can I repeat and ask for 'prrof' of who you are deliveriung the text to? Can you provide logs/evidence that you are passing the message to BT? As at the moment the texts from ID are being delivered via a company call;ed AQL - and NOT BT.
You: Cna you escalate this to a manager - so someone can give me proof of who you are delivering the message to?
Kay Sue : Thanks for being so patient. I'll be with you shortly.

You: OK - all this has been said before. Please look at the earlier chat transcripts that should hev been passed tpo your tech team.
Kay Sue : Thanks for being so patient. I'll be with you shortly.

You: OK
Kay Sue : Thank you.

Kay Sue : Thank you for your patience Stephen. I would need to log a complaint for you for the proof to be sent and also for further investigate to be done. The complaint will take 3-5 working days for you to receive an update.

You: Can you get proof of where you're deliverng the texts to? I have aslked for that a couple of times but I still get nothing.
Kay Sue : I will request for that information in the complaint for you, if that is okay with you?

You: Given that that has already been requested - can you make sure someone actually understands the issue? It seems that Tech are happy that the message is getting delivered. The problem that it is being delivered as voice via a company called AQL. So someone is passing the text to AQL - is that ID (Three) passing the message to AQL?
Info: The chat transcript will be sent to: ************ at the end of your chat.
Kay Sue : Certainly, I will add all the information to the complaint and I will provide you with the complaints reference number shortly.

You: Why use a new number - the issue hasn't been fixed.
Kay Sue : The reference number you have is for the technical department, I will be opening a complaint for you for them to have the issue investigated.

You: OK
Kay Sue :
Thank you for your patience. I have logged the complaint for you with the following reference number: ********.

You: OK
You: Thnaks for your time
Userlevel 2
@Phil - any ideas or thoughts on this? Can a text be traced to see who is passing it to AQL for delivery via voice?
Userlevel 2
@Phil OK I've just had another hour plus long chat to get an update on the above. Apparently the tech team can assure me that they DON'T use any third party companies - BUT they can't provide any trace of the text message through the Three network. So, still stuck the middle between ID and BT.

Can ANYONE there arrange for a text message to be traced through the ID/Three network to see who you deliver it to? I can create the texts at will (there should be texts each day for a week from my mobile to my landline already) - so it should be easy to prove.
Userlevel 2
@Phil - a thought - what do your ID tech team do? What I mean by that, is are they predominantly used to dealing with issues regarding phones etc and NOT dealing with comms networks? Is it possible that this issue isn't being dealt with by the correct team? Is ID capable of dealing with issues within the Three network? This problem would (IMHO) appear to be a problem with how a text message is navigated across networks - so has the problem been escalated to Three or can ID handle it?
I've just been assuming that ID can trace a text from point of source to whichever network they deliver it to - but maybe only Three can do that - so if this issue hasn't already been raised with Three, how can I escalate it to get someone there to look at it?
Userlevel 2
@Phil - had a voicemail from ID saying you (ID) had an update - tried to phone but got put in a stack so 'chatted' and got:

You: Jessica, I had a voice mail message saying you had an update on the recent issue.
Jessica: Thank you very much for contacting iD Mobile today Stephen, regarding the message you've received. I can certainly have a look onto your account.


Jessica: Please wait for a moment while I get that information for you.
You: OK
Jessica: I'll be right with you.
You: OK
Jessica: Thanks for being so patient. I'll be with you shortly.
Jessica: Thank you very much for your patience Stephen. I've checked your account and currently the technical team are still working on trying to trace the text messages that you've requested, as they currently do not have any information to provide. I apologise for the delay.
You: OK - can I ask if this has been passed to Three? As it seems that the issue is with ANY Three network text. IE it is not specifically an ID problem.
Jessica: At the moment, nothing had been advised as yet, as the technical team are still investigating the matter. I've responded to the trouble ticket logged and referred it back to the technical team for you, which this will take another 24-48 hours.
You: OK - can you then ask the tech team to potentially escalate it to Three? As this has now been going on for weeks.
Jessica: Our technical team will know what to do Stephen as the relevant information had been provided.
Jessica: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
You: ...but they haven't for weeks Jessica - I've asked for a trace of the text on multiple occasions - and you tell me that you can't provide it - but Three will be able to.
Jessica: I understand what you are saying Stephen, however, I am unable to confirm at this point in time if Three will be able to do it, hence why only our internal technical team will be able to find out by them, if this is possible.
You: OK - then is there a way that I can contact Three directly?
Jessica: You will be able to phone them by dialling 0333 338 1001.
You: Can I do that if I don't have a direct account with them?
Jessica: You will still be able to find out by them, if they do trace text messages as a general question.
You: OK - I'll wait to hear from your tech team and I'll try to contact Three

....I tried to contact Three direct via 0333 338 1001 , but that's not pssoble via that number as my ID mobile number is not recognised on their telephony system.

Any feedback from yourself? I have the transcript of the chat from the 5th Dec if you want to see it... I didn't post it as it's over two A4 pages. But it all just goes round in circles.
Userlevel 2
@Phil - just had this from BT - I quote:
'.....Until April/May 2009, text messages to BT land lines sent from Three mobiles were routed to the BT Text gateway and delivered to the landline by BT. Since April/May 2009, Three have been routing text messages to BT fixed-line numbers via a third-party company called AQL Ltd. This means that the BT Fixed-Line Text Gateway capability is not involved in handling text messages originating from the Three network destined for BT fixed-line numbers. Consequently, delivery of text messages as text and as text-to-speech by Three and/or AQL is therefore outside of BT’s responsibility.

Please contact 3/AQL for how to configure a BT text phone to receive messages from AQL....'

But Three's guide to SMS Text here,Kb=Mobile,Ts=Mobile,T=Article,varset_cat=callsemails,varset_subcat=3788,Case=obj(3173) says:
'.....A text message is also known as an SMS (short messaging service). You can send a written message up to 160 characters from your own phone to another mobile or landline.
Your phone is automatically set up for sending and receiving text messages.
You can send text messages to other mobile phones or landlines. Some landline phones display text messages as they would on a mobile phone, but for those that don't we convert your text message into a voice message so that it can be listened to.
In some situations your device may convert a text message into an MMS (multimedia messaging service). These are charged outside of any text allowance you might have. Find out more about text message charges.
To find out how to send a text message, go to our device support and select your phone.....'

So, as my landline is configured for receiving texts via the BT messaging centre, why are the texts from ID (Three) being delivered as voice?