Got general questions about SMSs? Take a look at the FAQ at the end of this article.

About your SMS Statement

(sample SMS Statement, showing the university is £373.52 in credit)

  1. The monthly payment plan you are on, to top up your balance automatically.

  2. The £ balance of what is remaining up to midnight last night. (Remember that you never run out of credits.)

  3. The opening and closing £ balance each month.

  4. As the example Statement was generated only partway through the current month (Nov 2021) the numbers are for the month to date (up until midnight last night). At the end of the month, the figure is locked, and a new month starts.

  5. A payment received, in this example the university is on the SMS4 plan which pays £400 on the 1st of each month. Automatic payments are taken through Stripe. (Note: If you don't spend it all, it rolls over into the future.)

  6. Credits used in Jul 2021. "10,000 messages, 20,000 parts, 2 PPM (ave)" explains that the university sent out 10,000 SMSs, each message averaged 2 parts (1 part is 140 characters, so these were bigger than usual). It cost £880 so each message cost 8.8p to send.

To request your SMS Statement, ask Customer Support.

Moving from Credit Packs to Credit £ balances

In July 2021 we introduced bottomless refills for SMS credits, and we moved away from a number of credits that you spend, to a £ balance that you spend. As you can send to international mobiles (and the cost per country varies) this is the fairest way.

That meant that from 29 Jun 2021 your SMS credit balance does not appear when you type shortcut "X", as you see this:

  1. The messages you have sent to date (starting from 29 Jun 2021). You get full years, starting in 2022.

  2. This is where you traditionally saw your balance, ie: "5,250 credits remaining".

What are "bottomless refills for SMS"?

They are a new way of buying SMS credits that ensure that you never run out. If you need more you just use them as much as you need. You settle up at the end of the month if you go over your £ balance goes negative. Much better. :)

How much does it cost?

The new payment plan system is around 15% cheaper than the old credit packs system.

FAQs:

Q. How do I know if I might run out of credits halfway through an SMS campaign?

A. You won't, we have upgraded all clients to bottomless refills.

Q. Can you tell me how many credits I have left?

A. Yes, just send in a support request :)

Q. When will I be able to see my SMS credit balance again?

A. Later in 2022. You can request a Statement for Customer Support any time until they are available online for you to view. We are working on that now.

Q. If I am on bottomless refills now, how does that work financially?

A. Until it is fully launched later in 2022, you will continue to be sent a quotation when your credit balance runs low, and you will approve the quote and send us a PO, the same as always. After launch, you can choose a regular payment plan that tops up your SMS credits with a fixed £ amount each month. Choose the size of plan that suits you. If your regular payment plan is too low for the number of SMSs you send, you can upgrade it later. Similarly, if you are not using all the credits you have accumulated, you can downgrade the plan. Dead easy. The important benefit is that you can't run out of SMS credits ever again.

Q. Do SMS credits ever expire?

A. No. As before, your new SMS credit balance will never expire, it just sits there until you use it.

Q. Do the new SMS payment plans work a bit like my gas supplier at home?

A. Yes they do. You make regular payments and keep a £ balance but never run out of gas. You adjust your payments if and when you need to. That's how the SMS payment plans work too. You see how much you are spending and stay in control. (We will publish some helpful info on this soon.)

Q. Will any unused credits from the previous system be transferred into the new system?

A. Yes they will, you won't lose out. You can see detailed monthly statements of money (£ payment plan) in and messages (£ cost) out, so you can keep an eye on your sending and spending.

Q. Do long SMSs cost more than short SMSs?

A. Yes. The cost of an SMS depends on how long is your message is. If it's longer than 160 characters (and think about when you use merge fields that might merge in a long course name) then it costs another credit for every extra message 'part' to make up the entire message. One long message might use up 2, 3, or more credits. NB: if you are sending emojis they use up lots of characters, as the Party Popper Emoji 🎉 is way more content to process than the letter "a". Read more in our guide to using emoji.

Q. Do overseas SMSs cost more than UK ones?

A. As a general rule of thumb, yes (but not always!). When you include an overseas mobile number in a campaign adhoc or touchpoint, our platform passes that to an overseas mobile carrier for delivery to the student. Some overseas carriers charge more than our UK carriers do, for example, Germany charges twice as much as the UK. (We will publish some helpful info on this soon.)

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