Not Receiving Short Code Messages

Need to figure out why your mobile phone isn’t able to send or receive short code messages? Derek Johnson, CEO of Tatango gives his four steps to diagnose and fix this issue, so that you are able to receive these types of SMS messages.


Video Transcription

Hi, everyone. My name is Derek Johnson with, and we’re going to be talking about what happens when you don’t receive text messages via short code. First thing is what is a short code? A short code is a five to six digit phone number that is exclusively used for marketing purposes. You’ll see them sometimes on “American Idol,” on billboards. Again, five to six digit phone numbers. Not like the seven digit phone numbers that you dial and call your friends on.

So the first thing you want to do if you’re not receiving messages via short code is you want to make sure your carrier, which is like AT&T, Verizon, is supported by Tatango. You can find all the carriers that we support at Tatango on

The next thing, number two, is you want to text the word “Help” to 33733. This is our short code here at Tatango. What this allows us to do is, first, it allows us to see if we’re receiving short code messages from your phone, and we’ll get it on our system. Then we’ll push back an automated message to your phone, and that will tell you if you’re receiving the messages on your phone via the short code.

Number three is, let’s say you don’t get anything back here. If you do get something, it means it’s working. So then you don’t have a problem. If you don’t get anything back, you want to go to number three and you want to text the word “Help” to 40404. This is another short code. This is actually a Twitter short code. They have a short code just like us. Just to make sure that it’s not our short code that you’re having problems with, you text “Help” to 40404, and that will tell us if maybe it’s our short code. But if it isn’t working for you on 40404, that means all short codes aren’t working on your mobile phone.

Number four, unfortunately, you’ve got to enable short code messaging, and that means you’ve got to get on the phone and talk to your carrier. It’s a real quick call though. You pick up the phone. You tell them your phone number and you say, “Look, I need short code messaging enabled.”

Hopefully, that answers your question about what happens when you aren’t receiving messages via an SMS provider that is using a short code.

Video transcription by