There are a number of threads about problems with VZW "email-to-text" messaging having suddenly stopped working however there are a myriad of reasons why this might happen, including those that could be out of your control and out of Verizon's control. To be clear, I send these messages to <myphonenumber>@vtext.com but it could also affect those that use <myphonenumber>@vzwpix.com. Having said that, the problem I encountered was specific to a particular mail server trying to send messages to my phone. This might be Gmail or Yahoo or any of the well-known email services but my problem and solution involves a private mail server (at work) that I manage for the purpose of sending server monitoring alerts to my mobile phone. I had no problems sending these messages from major providers like Gmail so this was a single server that VZW didn't like for some reason.
I first want to be clear about my experience with VZW "tech support" though, and how much of a complete nightmare it was to try to get to someone that even understood the problem I was experiencing. Along the way I was "misinformed" by an alarmingly high number of representatives, including some in "Tier 2" support as they just made things up in order to avoid having to actually work such a confusing problem. VERIZON: This was a horrible experience and most of the people that I spoke with not only are grossly incapable of dealing with anything complex but they would actually make things up and tell me that they fixed the problem (presumably so that they could gracefully end the call). YOU HAVE TO DO BETTER IF YOU WANT TO KEEP CUSTOMERS.
So before diving into this, you should make sure that your situation matches my situation in that sometime back in June/2021 VZW instituted a new restriction for being able to send messages through their servers. Nobody told me this, it's a simple conclusion based on the facts of my issue. The result is that they stopped allowing messages from a particular mail server so if you have not done so already, test the service from a different email domain than the one that you are having the problem with. If you are experiencing this problem no matter where you send the message from, then this solution does not apply your situation.
To troubleshoot this I checked my SMTP logs for my mail server and found nothing. I then checked my mail queue and found that these messages were stuck there, but there was no detail that explained why. It appeared that the destination server for these messages was not accepting them for delivery so I ran a simple command line test and instantly found that the VZW messaging server was not accepting the messages> This is the command:
telnet <name of verizon's messaging server> 25
The response was instant:
554 <name of verizon's messaging server> cmsmtp <the public IP of my SMTP server> blocked AUP#DNS
I then started the phone calls to VZW "tech support", which saw me go through 4 separate calls with 7 different representatives, three of them supposedly being Tier 2 support but honestly most of them were no more helpful or knowledgeable than Tier 1. I finally got a manager (and getting that person was not easy, the techs don't seem willing to get you a manager) who found a helpful Tier 2 rep that finally knew what I was describing and collected the necessary info to send a ticket up to the "network group". I simply wanted to know why they were blocking my server so that I could fix the problem.
Two days later I got a response indicating that my registered domain for my mail server, did not have a PTR record. The further explained that in order to allow connections to their server, they had to be able to perform a reverse lookup against the IP address of my mail server. This in fact did turn out to be the problem however it was just the beginning of my journey to resolve it.
Next I had to find out who would have the ability to setup this record and I went through GoDaddy (my domain registrar and holder of DNS), then went to Verizon Business (who provides the IP address in question), then eventually to my organization's networking group. That is where I found the relief/resolution. You have to find out who controls the public IP address and that is usually your ISP but in the case of my organization, the IP address was handed over to us to manage.
I got someone to add the appropriate PTR record to map the public IP to the name of the mail server (mail.mydomain.com) and within 10 minutes the problem was solved. Messages are flowing again.
PLEASE do not waste your time with this solution if your situation does not at least somewhat match mine. There could be so many reason why the "email-to-text" messaging is not working for you, including but not limited to:
- The mail server in question has been blacklisted for Spam
- The mail server in question is sending too many "email-to-text" messages. (this service is not designed for volume)
- The mail server in question has no registered domain and/or valid MX record.
I hope that this someday helps someone like myself that experienced very little helpful assistance from VZW support. This situation ate up around 20 hours of my time over two weeks, and required that I contact tech support with four different vendors to chase it down. I was fortunate enough to be able to take little breadcrumbs from each interaction, to piece together next steps and that eventually led to the solution.
I am having a similar problem in the last 2 weeks using GMAIL's SMTP Server sending out a small number of messages to my iPhone using [email address removed per the Verizon Terms of Service] . On the GMAIL account being used the messages show up as being sent with no errors. I have been using this method for over a year and just within the last 2 weeks the text messages are not being sent to my iphone. Using the same GMAIL SMTP services I can send email messages just fine to my other gmail addresses.
Unfortunately I am hard of hearing and cannot spend productive time on the phone with Verizon technical support to try to get to the bottom of this problem. It would be nice to know if Verizon is blocking these SMTP messages for some reason. My assumption is that the GMAIL SMTP service is fully complying with all internet standards since it is widely used. If there is some sort of CHAT service on Verizon to help me with this problem that would be great.
Hello, towersb9. We are here to help with any services and related inquiries. What happens when you attempt to send the emails to text on the receiving end?*Stanley
Hi Stanley, thanks for your reply. Nothing happens on the receiving end, there is nothing received. When I look at the GMAIL Sent folder the emails were sent successfully with no errors. I have tried this with 3 Verizon customers and the same thing happens. I am now trying to find a friend not using Verizon to check whether the same issue occurs.
Vtext is no longer to be used for sending large volumes of messages. We offer Verizon Messages and Enterprise messaging (for business) if you need to send group messages. Please refer to the links below for our current text messaging options:
http://vz.to/1ihYZ3T (Verizon Messages)
http://vz.to/2mvBk3n (Enterprise Messages)
Please let us know how we can further assist you.
I don't think I have sent a large volume of messages that would require blocking by Verizon. What are the message limit numbers that require an add-on service? I will look at the Verizon Messages option, but would appreciate clarification about my specific case and situation where messages stopped being delivered about 3 weeks ago.
This has been going on 3 weeks too long! To confirm, are you able to send single messages to these addresses through the same email? -Yale
Thank you Yale for your support. Lo and Behold it is working again with no changes on my end! My thanks to the Verizon folks that worked on this issue to a successful resolution. I will still look at the Messages add-on if my volume of SMTP messages increases substantially. Would be nice to know the limits, since when it doesn't work it is hard to identify the source of the issue, but feeling good right now.