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T-Mobile, AT&T Update Code Of Conduct – Here’s how Carrier Filters affect you

AT&T disallows ‘public’ shortened URL for SMS 

In its recent policy update on Carrier filters, AT & T will now increase its restrictions to include any messages that include the following public URL shorteners


in addition to any other public URL shorteners that use spam filter evasion techniques like fast-changing URLs or unnecessarily large pools of sending numbers.

To be fair, this is less harsh than the Codes released in September, which was met with quite a bit of Concern from brands and marketers.

The September-version mandated businesses to ‘Re-Opt In’ all their customers each time they switched phone number codes (or “Application Address”). This would mean losing a lot of customers from a database each time numbers get ported. It would also have been unfair to businesses that are in the process of transitioning from shared shortcodes (which are on their way out) to dedicated shortcodes.

T-Mobile Bars SMS Content
for High-Risk Loans & ‘Snowshoe*’ Messaging 

Prohibitions Widened to include content that promotes

Predatory & High-risk Loans

Under a revision to Section 5.2 (‘Disallowed Content’) of its Code OF Conduct, any Content marketing & promoting High-Risk Financials, such as 

  • Short Term High-Interest Loans, 
  • Auto Loans by 3rd party, 
  • Mortgage Loans by 3rd party, and 
  • Student Loans

is now streamlined under a ‘Non-Direct Lenders’ category, which T-Mobile prohibits on its network. Now, this might be triggered due to the ongoing pandemic to safeguard those in the public with less financial awareness, or it might have just been long overdue with the increased focus in the media that’s brought high-risk financial products under the lens.

Besides this, under Section 5.1 (‘Unlawful, Unapproved, or Illicit Content’) content and promotions that aren’t considered legal in all 50 states will also not be carried by T-Mobile.

Monitoring & Suspension for Messaging Campaigns

originating from ‘Snow-shoe’ senders

Jargon Alert:

*Snowshoe Messaging:

In texting and SMS Provider parlance, ‘snow-shoeing’ refers to the practice of spreading outgoing messages across multiple ‘source’ phone numbers to dilute reputation metrics for those numbers and evade Carrier filters put in place by telecommunication service providers for blocking message delivery of specific business numbers.

In strong words, under new rules introduced in Section 4.3, T-Mobile now “actively monitors for snowshoe sending” reserves the right to “disable the messaging campaign at the risk of the message sender” if snow-shoeing is discovered. Further messaging campaigns, it says, “may result in immediate suspension.” 

How this Affects your Business

Some questions you might have as a marketing executive or a business owner might be:

“How will this affect my Campaigns?”
If you’re an American business with any active campaigns going out that carry prohibited public URLs or content categories, or just originate from multiple numbers, expect your campaigns to be stopped and even possible suspension of all your codes if similar campaigns continue.
Any important text campaigns or messages broadcasts you have planned could be affected.

“How does my business get around this?”
If you use any of the public URL shorteners prohibited under the new code in your text campaigns, you’ll need to redo them to feature a clear recognition of your brand. You could then test your campaigns across each of the 3 American service providers like AT & T, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

“Can’t we see how messages are filtered?”
Filtering techniques and criteria change with carrier and country. They tend to use advanced proprietary algorithms to adapt to workarounds and reverse-engineering. While some carriers do tell you if a message was blocked, others don’t and report messages as  ‘undelivered’ to prevent any analysis of their filtering algorithms. Of course, the algorithms are kept hush-hush to prevent businesses from circumventing them.

Have more questions about the new Code Of Conduct?
Have questions about carrier-specific restrictions? We know you do!

Here’s a dedicated line from 360 SMS to call and ask away any questions you have about Code of Conduct rules and SMS.

How can 360SMS help?

Over Salesforce, 360SMS makes subscribers successful by unlocking the highest message delivery-rates with its multi-gateway architecture and compliant systems.

360SMS is tailormade to streamline communication compliance and rules over Salesforce for every variation of messaging campaigns.
It accounts for all aspects of the messaging journey, right from the opt-in, as well as message content and structure, frequency management, selection of ‘Application numbers,’ verification of recipient numbers, real-time analytics, alerts on delivery rates, automated opt-out management, and message content restriction. 360SMS ensures that messages are healthy and compliant to attain the highest deliverability.

For more questions about carrier-specific restrictions or to know if your current SMS-app is compliant, dial us up or book a meeting with our compliance-expert to know if your SMS campaigns can do more to stay complaint.

In the meanwhile, checkout out our guide on Compliance and Best Practices