Messages to Customers in the U.S. being blocked?

By:  Brenton Milne - Retired Operations Manager

As the U.S. continues to update regulations for A2P (application to person) SMS sends, other countries are experiencing the ripple effect. 

Are your messages getting blocked? Here’s why.

Yes, companies in the U.S. sending A2P SMS messages have to register their numbers and campaigns with the U.S. cellular carriers through The Campaign Registry (TCR). Also, if you send messages to customers in the U.S. but your company is located outside of the U.S., you ALSO need to register. (Learn more about the regulations in another post.)

Exactly…how were you supposed to know? But regardless, if you’re not registered, you are eligible to experience blocked messages and possible fines. The U.S. carriers are equal opportunity message blockers. If you send messages into or out of the U.S. your messages will be scrutinized. 

While the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is cracking down on telcos to identify, trace and block SMS scams. The U.S. is placing the responsibility on the sender of proving they are legit companies sending legit messages by requiring them to register. Granted the purpose is to reduce bad players on the networks, it’s still a bit of a hassle.

If you are using an A2P method of sending SMS and sending into the U.S. you’ll need to register with The Campaign Registry. If you are a Red Oxygen customer, we’ll help get you registered and pass the fees along on your invoices, see our post about the registration process. Some providers might have you go directly to TCR and pay them directly.

Overview of associated fees 

(These are the same for all countries sending messages to the U.S….including the U.S.)

  • One-time fee:
    • Brand registration fee—$4 USD
  • Monthly fees:
    • Monthly campaign fees—avg. $2-10 USD (depending on use case it could be more)
    • Monthly U.S. Carrier surcharges—ranging from $0.002-.004 per message

No matter what type or how many messages you’re sending—e.g., marketing, appointment reminders or 2-factor authentication (2FA)—you still need to register for any and all messages being sent into the U.S.

What are the consequences of not registering?

Likely the only thing you’ll notice are messages being blocked…all or some, depending on the situation. But there is also the threat of fines up to $10,000 per message.

There aren’t any countries with special privileges within these regulations, we’re looking at you Canada and Mexico, if you send messages over the border, you must be registered. 

Even if the messages are being sent by a machine with no human interaction or if you’re a nonprofit/charity, you still need to register. Sorry, no exceptions. Companies listed on the Russell 3000 list must also register, though they have a few steps less for their verification.

We have the knowledge and expertise.

Red Oxygen supports over 300,000 users in 50+ countries, with more than 400 million messages delivered and counting. We have the knowledge and customer support required to help make sure you’re compliant and so you can reach your recipients wherever they might be.


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