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1256 posts

Uber Geek

# 39850 20-Aug-2009 15:08
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The Telecom forum is probably not quite the right one to ask this question, but I couldn't see another subject that would cover it...

I get a txt message two days before my haircut is due. It has my appointment details (salon, date, time, stylist), and asking me to "text back to confirm". The number the txt comes from is 3032. I know other companies that use these 3XXX numbers - I receive train delay information from KiwiRail on 3696. 

Yesterday, my wife received a txt about an appointment she has - completely different company/type of service/location to my hairdresser, but the number was 3032. When I noticed I assumed it to be some kind of SMS messaging service that businesses subscribe to - they send messages to clients on behalf of those businesses, and identify replies from clients and pass back to the subscribing business.

So let's say I have two appointments booked with two different businesses but for some reason I'm not going to keep one. Being rude (I'm not really) I wait until I get the confirmation txts - both of which arrive on the same morning, both from 3032. I send one txt back saying "Yes", and another saying "No" - or perhaps I just send one txt back saying "Yes". How does 3032 know which appointment I'm confirming?

Really random question, I know, but anyone know how this works?

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426 posts

Ultimate Geek

Spark NZ
Lifetime subscriber

  # 249073 20-Aug-2009 15:24
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Looks to me like you have found a flaw in the service your heairdresser is being provided. I suggest you approach your hairdresser about this.

The comments I write on this forum do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer and as such cannot be taken as official statements of my employer.

6434 posts

Uber Geek

  # 249086 20-Aug-2009 15:56
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Maybe you should be required to give a PIN number for each SMS messaging service like an ATM machine requires.
Maybe they should just switch back to using the PSTN network,  or sending an email via your ADSL line.

Oh well, I had better get back to watching the AFL league on my LCD display.
I wouldn't want to get RAS syndrome after all.  Wink


1256 posts

Uber Geek

# 249098 20-Aug-2009 16:29
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Yeah. But no.

I know SMS stands for Short Message Service, as in the communication service using standard protocols to exchange short text messages between mobile telephone devices.

When I wrote SMS messaging services (note: messaging with lower case "m" and added "-ing", services with lower case "s" and plural) I was referring to messaging provided as a service by a company, using SMS as the medium for that service. Like there are "answering services" where you leave a message with a real person instead of going through to electronic voicemail.

So, the question is: Is there someone out there making money by sending messages, using the SMS protocol, on behalf of subscribing business? If so, how does the messaging service match up replies if they use the same outgoing number for different subscribers?

5498 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 249100 20-Aug-2009 16:36
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Lets all start booking multi appointments with these companies and confuse their systems hehe :)

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28121 posts

Uber Geek

Biddle Corp
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  # 249133 20-Aug-2009 17:42
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3032 is owned by Magic Pulse

If you look at their website you'll see they have plenty of Day Spa's and Hair Salsons using the service.

Maybe you could contact them and ask them the same question!

1256 posts

Uber Geek

  # 249168 20-Aug-2009 19:42
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Ah, interesting. If you don't mind my asking, how did you make the link between 3023 and Kitomba?

3095 posts

Uber Geek


  # 249291 21-Aug-2009 08:26
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Hi Andrew,

You can usually work it out using lists like these:

2Degrees Premium Shortcode List
Vodafone Premium Shortcode List

I cannot find an equivalent list for Telecom, but I'm sure Neal or someone else from Telecom can provide one if they don't mind the public seeing it.

I finally have fibre!  Had to leave the country to get it though.


2260 posts

Uber Geek


  # 249311 21-Aug-2009 09:19
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Hi Andrew,

I think it works like this:
Hairdresser sends out the number to say 1234
The other place, say a day spa, sends the number to your wife at 1235

You reply to 3032 and it scans a SQL database with for 1234 and if an appointment was sent that day, if it was, it updates that companies database.

Your wife replies to 3032 with a no and that scans the database for 1235 as the number and if an appointment was sent and that one updates that companies database.

The only time where an error would occur was if both companies sent out the same text in the same hour. Then you replied and confused the system....So if you were on both the hairdresser and day spa and somehow your appointments were for exactly the same time?

I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

2260 posts

Uber Geek


  # 249312 21-Aug-2009 09:20
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I hope that made sense, it seems really simple to me, but the way I've explained it.....i'm not good at explaining things :)

I've also had a bit of experience with PHP/MySQL SMS databases in the past and am currently working on a SQL database in my current project Foot in mouth, so I could possibly draw up a diagram of how the system works if anyone needed a full explanation

I have moved across the ditch.  Now residing in Melbourne as a VOIP/Video Technical Trainer/Engineer. 

1256 posts

Uber Geek

  # 249461 21-Aug-2009 15:45
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Thanks, everyone, for the replies. It was just one of those things that got in my brain, and I hate it when I find a question and can't work out/find an answer.

I couldn't get past: Say my wife had one appointment for a haircut and another for a massage, both on Saturday. She gets two txts on Thursday, both from 3032, but she's in a meeting with her phone turned off. When the meeting is over she checks the txts and replies "Yes" to one message and "No" to the other - both replies sent to 3032 from the same cell phone number. How do they know?!

Not that it would ever happen - I mean, she'd never miss a haircut, facial, massage or shoe sale...

I have a haircut booked tomorrow morning. I'm going to ask whether they get anything back at all when those txts go out. Maybe it's just a reminder for my benefit?

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