Understanding Short Code Audits

Carriers in the US or Canada may conduct audits to assess the compliance of short code campaigns. They may raise audits for cases that deviate from registered use cases or involve noncompliant traffic, such as prohibited use cases or messages sent to users who have not opted in to receiving SMS messages. Carriers also prohibit using the same short code for multiple brands, which is treated as a shared short code.

While Plivo endeavors to maintain compliance, audits are beyond our control, and carriers and mobile network operators in the United States and Canada retain the right to suspend short codes and disallow any use cases found noncompliant.

Factors leading to audits

Carriers perform random reviews of traffic through organizations’ short codes and may perform a full-scale audit if they encounter 

  • Deviations from registered use cases
  • Non-functional opt-out mechanisms
  • Unresponsive mandatory keywords
  • Required linked content (such as opt-in language, terms and conditions, and privacy policy pages) missing from the business’s website

What qualifies as a shared short code? 

When a short code, e.g. 12345, is initially registered to Plivo for sending account notification messages, it is designated for that specific purpose. If the same short code is then subsequently employed to transmit messages for another brand, such as Metalify, it becomes classified as a shared short code. This practice is prohibited by carriers. 

To maintain compliance with industry regulations, it's essential to link a single short code with only one brand, even if both brands are using the short code for the same purpose. If your messaging needs encompass multiple brands, we recommend acquiring a dedicated short code or exploring registration options for toll-free or 10 DLC (10-Digit long code) numbers instead.

Mitigating noncompliance risks

If your short code is found to be noncompliant during an audit, Plivo’s team will work with you to address and remedy the situation. Typically, carriers give you 48 to 72 hours to resolve compliance issues. Failure to address the issues within the specified timeframe puts your short code at risk of suspension.


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