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PTel Now Supports All Non-Premium SMS Short Codes

T-Mobile MVNO PTel Mobile announced on Facebook that they are now support sending and receiving messages from all SMS short codes.

Short codes are the three to six digit numbers that business use to send texts alerts. For example, many banks let you sign up for text alerts when your checking account balance gets low or there's unusual activity on your account. ESPN can text scores for your favorite teams and weather.com can send you the daily forecast or severe weather alerts. You can vote for contestants on American Idol by texting a short code number.

Short codes should "just work" on any carrier but they often don't with prepaid operators, particularly T-Mobile MVNOs. Until this change PTel only allowed short code texts from Google, Facebook, and Twitter, but now they work "from everywhere" according to the PTel's Facebook post.

This change only applies to regular short codes that are free on unlimited plans and charged at the normal 2¢ per messaging rate or PTel Real PayGo. "Premium" short codes that charge the user extra are still blocked. So you still can't donate money to a charity, buy ringtones or sign up for overpriced joke or the day services with PTel. That's OK with me, other than charity giving, premium short codes have a terrible reputation, with many users complaining of their account balances being drained by services that never signed up for, cost much more than advertised or were impossible to cancel.

Strangely, PTel's own short code service that lets check you account balance by texting BAL to 7835 doesn't seem to work anymore. It stopped working around the time of PTel's 3 day Website and call center outage last week but didn't come back up when the site and call center did. I'm sure many Ptel users find checking their balance with a text more convenient than calling or using the Website and hope PTel will bring the service back soon.

Update: A helpful reader left a comment with three ways to get your balance texted to you. You can  dial #BAL# (#225#)  or text BAL to 7801 or 9080. All three work for me.

Source: Facebook

Related: Prepaid Operator Profile: PTel Mobile

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16 comments:

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  1. You can dial #BAL# ie #225# and your balance will be texted to you from 7801.

    Also texting BAL to 7801 or 9080.

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    1. Thanks, all three work although they don't seem to be documented on the PTEL site which says

      "You can also check your balance by sending a text message to PTEL (7835) with the word "BAL" in the body of the message. This is a free service."

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    2. Look under FAQ, Account Status and Information, first item. 9080 is an older code, I think.

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    3. Also look under Ptel FAQ, Free Services, then Short Codes.

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    4. The non-working 7835 is the only short code balance checking option under "Support > Howto > How to Check Balance or Add Airtime".

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    5. The Short Code section has some useful items you could add to your Ptel Operator Profile.

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  2. Which MVNOs don't support short codes?

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    Replies
    1. Almost all Tmobile MVNOs....Ultra, Spot, Solevei...

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  3. now, it is worth moving my main iphone from at&t gophone to ptel if can do shortcodes for just about anything. shortcodes has been one of the primary reasons for staying with at&t gophone for me.

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  4. I never was able to receive any from T Mobile BYOD for straight talk service. Verizon BYOD on straight talk I can with no issues.

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  5. Is it only T Mobile MVNOs that don't support short codes

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  6. Which operators don't allow short codes would be a nice addition to the operator profiles

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  7. Is it also true that all Tmobile MVNOs DO NOT support MMS (Picture messageing) such as sending pictures with a text message?

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    Replies
    1. No, it is not true.

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    2. Except for travel SIM operators like Lycamobile and Truphone, which aren't true MVNOs, all T-Mobile MVNOs support MMS.

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