It sounds like you might be having an issue with your SMS messages being filtered from cell phone carriers. Follow these steps below to troubleshoot.

Is the Number a Cell Phone?

What is the error code that has popped up for this customer that isn't getting messages? You can click the 'Failed to Send Alert' red text on your Waitwhile waitlist to see the error code that the customer is experiencing. Simply open the 'action panel' by clicking the customer's name, select 'Chat' and click on the error message. The most common error message we see is 'Invalid Service Type' - If that's what you see, this means the customer didn't give a phone number that can get SMS messages (like a landline).
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Have you Cleaned Up Your SMS Messages?

Can you confirm that you aren't sending out out any SMS Alerts with URLs in them?(other than the Waitwhile waitlist link) If you are, this is likely why your messages are being flagged as SPAM. URLs, bit.ly links (or other link shorteners), excessive amounts of symbols, hashtags, and slang are all things that might make a SMS message get flagged as SPAM by a certain cell carrier. We suggest that you remove these types of links and symbols from your SMS messages to prevent further messages being flagged and blocked as SPAM.

Increased Carrier SPAM Filtering during the Holiday Season

Cell carriers work hard to try and make sure that their customers don't get hit with SPAM text messages, and unfortunately during November and December, cell carriers notice an increase in SMS spam being blasted out to their customers.

This means that sometimes even the Waitwhile Customer Confirmation link (the {link} in your Alert texts) might get blocked as cell carriers may see your SMS message as SPAM. If you have followed all of the steps below and your messages are still being blocked, make sure to remove the {link} from them as well. We recommend that you change the wording of your Alerts to prompt the customer to remove themselves from the waitlist by responding to the SMS message with 'CANCEL' as well.

Are your SMS Alerts over 160 characters?

A standard SMS message should be 160 characters or less - anything over that has the system send the message in two texts to your customers. This not only effects your over all SMS allotment from Waitwhile, but it's very likely that cell carriers will see your message as SMS SPAM message. If you need to give the customer lots of additional information, we suggest that you make your SMS Alerts shorter and turn on the email option to add that additional information there.

Has the recipient requested a block before?

If you haven't added any wording for an 'opt out' option for your customers, Waitwhile adds it for you to your Confirmation Alert. This means the recipient could have previously requested to not receive Waitwhile texts by sending "STOP" back to one of the messages they got from Waitwhile during another visit. Doing this will block all future texts, even if it's for a different business.


You can advise them to try texting "UNSTOP" to your Waitwhile sending number and it should allow new texts to reach them again.

Have you Provisioned a New Phone Number?

After you have removed all symbols, extra SMS characters, & URLs from your SMS messages, Business & Enterprise subscription customers can navigate to Settings/Business Info to 'Provision a Number'.

Provisioning a new phone number (US customers ONLY) will change the phone number in which your sms messages are being sent from. If you notice that all of your SMS messages are being rejected as SPAM by all carriers, provisioning a new phone number might fix the problem for you and your guests immediately. If you have successfully provisioned a new phone number, you can also re-push your 'alerts' to resend them again to your customers as well.

If you have multiple locations, you'll need to do this for each of them. Each provisioned phone number is specific to each location.

Important Note: This is not recommended if using the "Text-to-Join" feature, especially if your current provisioned number is being displayed on any physical signage. Once a new number has been provisioned for a location the previously used number cannot be reacquired.

Reporting SMS Issues to Waitwhile Support

In the event that a large amount of SMS are failing unexpectedly with the same error message, or the error message displayed seems incorrect, please reach out to Waitwhile support and if possible include Message IDs (or screenshots of the Message Details box) for a few of the failed messages so that we can reach out directly to our SMS providers for additional assistance.

Related Articles:

SMS Error Messages

Best Practices: Making Sure Your Messages Don't Get Blocked by Cell Carriers

How to Use SMS Reply Triggers

FAQ: Why is "Reply STOP" being added to confirmation texts?

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