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Wannabe Geek


Topic # 58062 5-Mar-2010 19:31
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Hi,

Does anyone know if 2degrees are likely to implement an opt-in email to sms gateway?  This is now the only must-have feature keeping me on Vodafone.

thanks,

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  Reply # 304964 6-Mar-2010 09:14
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Well, you could always request it from me, er, us ;-)




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  Reply # 304966 6-Mar-2010 09:29
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Actually, I'll tell you what: why don't you sit down and decide exactly how you would like such a service to work? We'll stipulate now that "it won't cost me anything to use" is not a feature I am prepared to deliver, but, basically, tell me exactly what you want.

We had not considered one because there's not a huge market for it, although those who want it typically rely on it. But if there are people who genuinely want it, then I will do thinking about how I might be able to deliver it with a minimum of cost - having some real requirements to work with would be helpful.


Reply here or PM me if you prefer, once you've got it worked out.




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  Reply # 305007 6-Mar-2010 13:53
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The Vodafone SMS gateway is not free is it? You pay 17c + GST per message received.

At times over the years this service has been zero rated for some users but it's my understanding this is not the case now.

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  Reply # 305014 6-Mar-2010 14:13
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sbiddle: The Vodafone SMS gateway is not free is it?


No; that was what we call a "joke". :-)




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  Reply # 305121 6-Mar-2010 23:23
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SaltyNZ: Actually, I'll tell you what: why don't you sit down and decide exactly how you would like such a service to work?


Send an email to an address and it gets delivered to your mobile? 




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  Reply # 306502 12-Mar-2010 09:52
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hads:
Send an email to an address and it gets delivered to your mobile? 


Hmmm, thought I had replied to this but it seems to have clogged a tube somewhere and gotten stuck.

Anyhow, hopefully you were being flippant (in which case, haha yes, thanks for the laugh ;-). If you weren't, here are the things to consider that I can think of just off the top of my head:

1. Should it just work, or should you have to register/opt-in for it?
2. One way only, or two way?
3. If it just works and it's two way, what's your plan for us to deal with the inevitable spam complaints?
4. Corollary, what about the inevitable complaints about being charged for messages that weren't strictly speaking spam but that you didn't really want to receive as an SMS?
5. If it's two way, should you be able to email to SMS at any time, or only in one-time response to an SMS to email?
6. Do you expect us to try to do something intelligent with fancy formatting or just dump the raw ASCII straight into an SMS?
7. Do you want black/whitelists?
8. Would the lists be for MSISDNs, for email addresses, or both?

I'm sure that once I start drawing it on paper a lot more will come out of the woodwork.

You must understand that the more bells & whistles you ask for, the more complicated it is for us to build. And the more complicated it is for us to build, the more expensive it is... And the more expensive it is, the more expected users we need to justify the money.

I've seen my fair share of one liner design briefs. They only ever end in tears. :-)

Cheers
S




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These comments are my own and do not represent the opinions of 2degrees.




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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 306924 13-Mar-2010 17:27
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Hi, and thank you for putting some thought into this.

The way I imagine this working would, in the simplest sense, be as Hads described it above, but to be a bit more specific I'll start by addressing your questions in turn.

1. Opt-in would be preferrable, as this will limit spam. (Vodafones is opt-in - one texts a number to a service number to "register" for the cost of an sms)
2. One way only should be fine for most purposes.
3. Not applicable, since it's opt-in, but providing an opt-out option should be sufficient to mitigate spam.
4. This is a very legitimate concern, addressed at the end of this message. 
5. Definitely email to SMS any time
6. Raw 7-bit ASCII should be fine.
7. Black/whitelists would be a useful feature, though not essential.
8.  I imagine email addresses would be sufficient.

The way the Vodafone one works is that, once you've opted in, sending a text to for example  642138649477@smsserver.vodafone.net.nz results in the message body being sent as an SMS to 021-386-49477 (That number and the server name are ficticious but the principle applies).  The subject and other header lines are discarded.  I can also confirm that for me at least no cost is incurred at any point except the cost of a single SMS to opt-in initially.  I have been happily using it for nearly three years now, and have never had any unsolicited messages come through.

To further reduce the chance of spam, the email address could have say three random digits or letters appended to the number, given to the customer at opt-in time, so simply knowing a phone number wouldn't be sufficient information for a spammer. 

I would of course prefer for 2degrees to provide this as free service (not entirely a waste of money on your part as it will make 2degrees more attractive to a lot of computer geeks such as myself), but understand if some costs need to be recovered somewhere along the way.  However I don't believe charging for each message received is the best model for this, and gets dangerously close to the dark path of charging customers to receive messages, which I hope we can agree nobody in this country wants to go.  If the system is to be charged for, I would suggest charging an appropriate fee for sending an SMS to the opt-in number, perhaps requiring the customer 'renew' this subscription every year or two (with adequate reminders of course).  I believe infrastructure is already in place for this ('TXT' donations for charities, etc).

thanks for your time,
Greg



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Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 306925 13-Mar-2010 17:30
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sbiddle: The Vodafone SMS gateway is not free is it? You pay 17c + GST per message received.

At times over the years this service has been zero rated for some users but it's my understanding this is not the case now.


I pay 0.0c inc GST per email-to-SMS message received, and have been using it since 2007.  It is possible they set up more recent registrations differently, or just charge those not on Prepay plans.


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  Reply # 306928 13-Mar-2010 17:43
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I used to have a Vodafone account and paid $0.00 for messages sent through the email-to-SMS service. Mind you it was setup years and years ago... I know later registrations were charged at the normal SMS rates.




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  Reply # 307416 15-Mar-2010 15:40
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So what you are saying you really want is a loophole so you can send free SMS from email to mobiles?

while you are at it i would like (in no perticular order)
1. to win lotto
2. go to the moon
3. invent cold fusion

I from the sounds of it Vodafone didn't plan on offering a free email to SMS service and then found out but couldn't block the original users from doing so as they had an existing service. anyone who signed up since then gets charged, so the loophole is closed.

EDIT: ok so i read my post and thought i was probably a bit to negative there Laughing

I too think that an email to SMS service would be good, but maybe it is best to go back to a high level idea of what you want.
do you want to be able to get an email notification as such, and the first X chars of any emails to your address are sent to your mobile? or just the fact you have a new email?
or do you want to be able to SMS your friend(s) in bulk by using email e.g. to: all mates, "do you want to meet at the pub tonight for a drink?"

once you work out the actual driver for the service it is alot easier to create the function for you.







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  Reply # 307421 15-Mar-2010 15:46
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SaltyNZ: 
Anyhow, hopefully you were being flippant (in which case, haha yes, thanks for the laugh ;-). If you weren't, here are the things to consider that I can think of just off the top of my head:


Well yeah, there was a bit of both in there :) I think natols summed it up quite well though.

hads 




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