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General

  • I unrented a Phone number. Why is it not listed in the Unrented Phone numbers section of my Console?

    The Unrented Phone Numbers screen allows customers to view and, if available, reclaim recently unrented phone numbers from the last 5 days. 

    If you wish to reclaim phone numbers that were unrented past the five-day timeframe, please reach out to Plivo Support. As a reminder, the availability of such numbers is not guaranteed.

  • Will I be charged if I reclaim a Phone number from the “Unrented” Phone numbers screen on the Console?

    Phone numbers that are reclaimed using the Unrented Phone Numbers screen are subject to the same charges as a new phone number purchase. More information about the fees associated with phone numbers can be found here.

  • How do I Re-rent a recently unrented Phone number?

    If you have mistakenly unrented or released a phone number in the last 5 days, you can reclaim that phone number by clicking on the Unrented Phone Numbers section in the console, and selecting “Buy Number” for the phone number of choice.

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    Any phone numbers that are reclaimed using the console will be subject to the standard charges and prerequisites that are applied when purchasing a new phone number. More information about the fees associated with phone numbers can be found here.

    Please note that the availability of such phone numbers is on a best-effort basis and is not guaranteed.

  • Best Practices for US SMS Messaging

    High quality, well-formatted content is more likely to be opened and less likely to be mistaken as spam by consumers, operators, or the carrier. Follow these guidelines to make sure your SMS content meets basic standards for great messaging in the US. 

    As a general rule, a carrier does not pre-approve or whitelist messaging content. The carrier may review any message content as part of an account review. Message content flagged by automatic spam detection algorithms will be reviewed by a human operator. If the human operator decides the message is promotional, the sending number may be blocked by the operator platform. To prevent this, use the following guidelines for creating messages. 

    Content creation

    These best practices make messages more valuable to consumers and less likely to trigger real-time content analysis from messages flagged incorrectly as spam.

    If the message is reviewed by a third-party, out of context, it should appear to be a transactional, application-to-person message, originating from a specific request by the end-user. 

    In general, message content should include:

    • Your company name
    • A reference to the reason the message is being sent
    • A STOP message

    While a STOP message does not need to be included in every message sent, consider sending it with every fourth or fifth message. 

    Message content should avoid:

    • Generic URL shortener links 
    • The words “Free”, “Now”, “Offer”, “Winner” or any other promotional-sounding language.
    • Request for action without specifying context.

    Sample messages

    Example: Good Content

    Plivo - your one-time passcode is 12345.

    DeliveryFoodsInc - your food order has been completed and is on its way. Look for it in 15 minutes. Track your order via our app: https://realurl.com/?id=12345 Reply STOP to opt-out of future notifications.

    Hi, {Name}, thank you for requesting more information from {CompanyName}. The content you requested is available at https://realurl.com/?id=12345 Reply STOP to opt-out.

    Example: Bad Content

    Click here to get a FREE quote about your home! Lowest APR! https://urlshortener.com/?id=12345

    Bad credit? Still get approved for a home! Click here for free finance options https://urlshortener.com/?id=12345

    Download our app {appname} now to get $20 in free credits. https://appstoreurl.com/myapp

    Click now to accept your special offer before it expires. https://urlshortener.com/?id=12345

    Use one recognizable number

    Each campaign should use one primary phone number. We recommend using a single number for both text and voice calls.

    Use one recognizable domain name  

    Each campaign should be associated with a single web domain. Although a full domain is preferred, a URL shortener may be used to deliver custom links.

    Use natural language

    You should use natural language in your messages, which means that you should avoid non-standard spellings. For example: “H! h0w ar3__you do1ng?” is a nonstandard spelling.

    Direct consent 

    You should collect the consumer consent yourself. Do not use consent acquired from a third party. The consumer is expecting a relationship with the business with which they interacted.

    Set expectations for message frequency 

    You should set the proper expectation with the consumer for message frequency. If you plan to send five texts a month, then disclosing “5/msg a month” on the first interaction leads to a better user experience.

    Disallowed content

    If a message sender is observed sending any disallowed content listed below, Plivo will perform an account review. This review can result in the suspension of sending rights for a provisioned phone number; restriction of high-throughput access; suspension of provisioning rights for new phone numbers and/or suspension of all network services.

    Message senders are expected to enforce restrictions on their own networks to prevent these types of content at the intake source.

    Promotional messages

    Promotional messaging is not allowed on toll-free numbers and is subject to blocking.

    Phishing

    Phishing is the practice of sending messages that appear to come from reputable companies but in fact trick consumers into revealing personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

    Fraud or scam 

    Any messages that constitute fraud or scam and involve wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain are prohibited. These messages generally involve money and/or some sort of business transaction.

    Deceptive marketing 

    Marketing messages must be truthful, not misleading and when appropriate, backed by scientific evidence in order to meet the standards set by the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Truth In Advertising rules. The FTC prohibits unfair or deceptive advertising in any medium, including text messages.

    Sensitive content

    Messages that contain terms related to the following sensitive topics are inspected closely and are more susceptible to carrier blocking:

    • Debt restructuring/refinancing offers
    • Debt relief offers
    • Payday loan offers
    • Home loan offers
    • Education loan offers
    • Insurance quotes (unsolicited) 
    • “Earn money from home” job offers

    Carrier monitoring

    Our carriers continuously monitor text messages sent over their networks. To ensure uninterrupted service, please avoid the following.

    Consumer complaints 

    Major operators in North America support consumer-driven spam controls. Their mobile subscribers can forward unwanted or unconsented text messages to a dedicated short code, 7726 (it spells “SPAM” on a standard keypad).

    Carriers actively monitor consumer complaints sent to this service. If multiple complaints are received for a sender, then a notification is sent to the message sender that includes the source phone number, destination phone number, timestamp, and original message ID. Upon receipt, the service provider must provide proof of a TCPA-compliant opt-in for those specific messages. They must also provide an overview of the messaging campaign and its opt-in process that the unwanted message was a part of.

    If a large amount of unwanted or unconsented messages are reported on a source phone number, then that number may have its sending rights immediately suspended while opt-in is being confirmed.

    Opt-out rate

    Opt-out rates are tracked. The daily opt-out rate on a phone number is defined as the total number of unique consumer phone numbers divided by the unique opted-out consumers that were sent messages within a 24-hour period.

    If the daily opt-out rate on a sending phone number is 5% or greater, then the account is flagged for monitoring. An opt-out rate of 10% or greater on a sending phone number may result in immediate suspension of services.

  • What documents do I need to activate a number?

    Toll-free, long code, shortcode, mobile, and national numbers each have different activation requirements and restrictions. These restrictions depend on the carrier and the country regulations, Plivo has no control over what you must submit in order to activate a number.

     For your convenience, you can find activation requirements and restrictions for each country here.

     Verification documents are broadly classified into two categories:

    1. Address documents: regulations in some countries require the user to provide a valid address at the time of purchasing a phone number. The address should be the residential or business address of the user. Always keep this address updated as you continue to use the phone number.
    2. Identity Documents: local regulations in some countries require the user to provide a valid proof of identity to purchase a phone number. The ID must be that of the user; keep this form of ID up-to-date throughout the use of the phone number.

    Address documents will either ask for a local address, national address, or international/global address.

    1. A local address requirement will require an address in the same geographic zone where the number is being purchased. For example, if you are purchasing a German local number (Berlin), regulatory authorities will only consider a Berlin address valid.
    2. A national address requirement will ask for an address anywhere in the country of the number procured.
    3. An international or global address requirement is a valid proof of address anywhere in the world.

    What kind of documents are preferred for address/identity verification?

    • Passport
    • Business registration document
    • For corporate user: an extract of the company register.
    • For subscribers: ID & utility bill (phone bill or electricity or gas bill).
  • My account is inactive. Will I still be charged rental fees for my numbers?

    Any account – no matter whether it is active or disabled – that has a rented phone number will incur a monthly fee. This rule applies even if the number is not being used. If the number is not being used, you will not pay usage fees; however, by closing your account, all the numbers associated with that account will be released and the account will be deleted. This action can be taken from the Plivo console.

    Accounts that are inactive due to pending verification, or suspended due to detection of fraudulent activity, will incur phone number rental fees.

    If you wish to close your Plivo account, you can do so from the console. Please refer to this article for details.

  • Number activation and verification

    In some countries, telecommunications regulators or National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) impose restrictions and conditions on the use of telephone numbers. These are legal requirements that should be respected at all times to avoid the risk of having your phone number blocked.

    These regulatory bodies may require you to activate your number depending on the type of number and the country. Check if activation applies to you by clicking here. 

    If a number requires activation, a pop-up will notify you of the activation requirements before you purchase the number.

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    Activate the number by submitting the required documents on the verification tab which can be found in your Plivo console.

    Verification documents can also be uploaded using our Plivo API. Click here to learn more. 

    Refer to our coverage page to find activation requirements for a particular number.

    Valid types of addresses that are accepted by most carriers can be found by clicking here.

  • How do I stop renting a phone number?

    If a number is no longer required, it can be deleted and removed from your Plivo account. Here’s how to end renting a number with Plivo. 

    To un-rent a number, follow the below steps:

    • Navigate to the “Your number” tab on the Plivo dashboard.
    • Select the numbers that you would like to remove.
    • Click on “Choose Action”, select "Unrent Numbers" and confirm.


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    Once a number is canceled or removed, the number is reserved for 10 days. Thereafter, a number will be returned to the carrier and will not be retrievable. 

    If a number was accidentally canceled, please contact us for help. We can check with the number procurement team internally and try to get the number back to your account, subject to availability.

    To delete or remove a rented number using our API, please click here.

  • How do I rent a phone number?

    There are two ways to search and rent or purchase a number. 

    • Through the Plivo dashboard
    • Using Plivo’s number renting API

    To rent a number from the Plivo dashboard, follow these steps:

    1. Navigate to the buy number tab from your Plivo account.
    2. Search for a number by country, prefix, and/or location.
    3. Filter numbers based on functionality like SMS, Voice, and/or MMS.
    4. Numbers can also be searched by filtering by the type of number, e.g. local, mobile, or toll-free.
    5. Click on “buy number” to add the number to your account.


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    Note: The activation requirement for a number, if any, will be populated at the time of purchase. 

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    Please note the following: 

    1. Every number listed will have the functionality (SMS/Voice/MMS) mentioned, along with the pricing, which can be reviewed before renting a number.
    2. Once the number is rented to your Plivo account it can be found under the "Your numbers" tab on the Plivo dashboard. 
    3. To rent numbers through Plivo’s number renting API, please click here.
    4. There is no limit to the number of Plivo phone numbers you can rent, as long as you have sufficient credits in your account. 

    Numbers are subject to availability. If you are unable to find a number from a specific prefix or location, please create a ticket with our Support Team.

    Learn more about how to procure a number through Plivo's API by clicking here.

  • What are the different statuses of a phone number?

    We are constantly working towards expanding our phone number coverage to new countries and phone number types. We have a multi-step phone number onboarding process that includes several rounds of internal and real-world testing to ensure that all Plivo phone numbers meet our high-quality standards. The “status” of a phone number indicates where the phone number is in this onboarding process.

    During the first step of onboarding, a new phone number goes through rigorous internal testing. In this phase, the quality of the number is measured across several different quality metrics. Please note that during this phase, a phone number is not available for customers for purchase. If the phone number meets Plivo’s quality standards, the number is marked as “preview”.

    Each phone number may have one of the following statuses indicated during their current onboarding:

    1. Preview
    2. Beta
    3. General availability

    Preview

    Phone numbers with “preview” status are made available to only a limited number of customers on-demand. We constantly monitor these phone numbers, as they might experience connectivity and quality issues. 

    When these phone numbers have satisfactorily met our quality standards for a limited number of customers, they are moved to “beta” status.

    Beta

    Phone numbers in “beta” status are available to the majority of our customers through the Plivo Console, APIs, or on-demand. These numbers are relatively new on our platform and have passed all internal testing, but are yet to be tested in the real world.

    General availability

    Once we receive a significant amount of traffic to a phone number which is in “beta” status, it is moved to “general availability”. We maintain a stocked inventory of such phone numbers so our customers can buy these numbers at any time via the Plivo Console and APIs.

    You can check the status of a phone number on our coverage page.

  • How and when do I get charged for phone numbers I have purchased?

    Plivo’s billing cycle for phone numbers is monthly and starts on the first of every month. Plivo will charge for the numbers available in your account on the first of every month. When you purchase a number, you will notice there are two charges attached to it:

    1. Monthly rental fees 
    2. Set-up fees

    Monthly rental fees:

    All phone number fees are billed on the first of every month. Please note that monthly rental fees are charged regardless of whether the number was used or not. If the phone number was purchased in the middle of a billing cycle, rental fees are charged on a prorated basis. For example, if a number’s monthly rental fee is $1, you will be charged $1 if you purchase the number on the first of the month. However, if you purchase it on the 18th day of the month, the rental fee will only be charged for the remaining days of that month as per the following calculation.

    Calculation of pro-rated fee: (MRC/30)*number of days remaining in the month.

    MRC stands for monthly recurring charges.

    Set-up fees:

    The set-up fee is a one-time fee charged at the time of purchase. This payment covers setting up, configuring, and provisioning the numbers with our carriers. You will be able to see the set-up fee, if applicable, before procuring the number.


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  • How can I set up an application and assign a number?

    An application is a set of answering, hang up, and messaging URLs that help you manage and control your incoming calls and messages. There are two ways to create an application:

    • From the Plivo dashboard
    • Through the Plivo API

    To create an application from the Plivo console, follow these steps:

    1. Navigate to the application page on the Plivo console and click on “Add application”.
    2. Give a name to the application and fill in the URL according to the action you wish to take. Learn more about our application options in our Application docs.
    3. Click on “Create application”.

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    Assigning a Plivo number to your application

    Follow these steps assign a Plivo number to your application:

    1. Navigate to the Numbers page.
    2. Click on the phone number you want to use for a particular application.
    3. Select the name of your application from the dropdown.
    4. Click on “Update Number” to save.


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    To create the application through a Plivo API, use the following API to create an application:

    https://api.plivo.com/v1/Account/{auth_id}/Application/

    A list of parameters can be selected to add specifications to the application. See the parameters and get more details on the application in the application docs.

  • What is the difference between long code, toll-free, and shortcode?

    Depending on your use-case, Plivo has three types of numbers available for you to choose from. Read more about their features and differences in the table below.

      Long Code Toll Free Short Code
    Profile Type Person-to-Person Application-to-Person Application-to-Person
    Content Type Conversational Informational Informational/ Promotional
    Consent Type Implied

    Express

    (Read more about toll-free numbers here)

    Written
    Dequeue Rate: US/ Canada  1 SMS per 4 seconds US: 40 SMS/sec
    Canada: 1 SMS/sec
    100 SMS/sec
    Procurement Time Subject to availability Subject to availability 8-12 weeks
    Number Type 10-Digit Virtual numbers 10-Digit Number Specifically Provisioned 5-6 digit
    Cost Lowest Low High
    Examples Number masking, conversational SMS 2FA, alerts, reminders Marketing, alerts, and reminders

     

  • What is a DID? How do I set up a DID?

    What is a DID?

    DID stands for Direct Inward Dialing, also known as DDI Direct Dialing Inward in Europe. It is a feature offered by carriers or the telephone companies for usage with their customer’s PBX (Private Branch Exchange) system. Carriers assign a variety of phone numbers related with one or more phone lines. Then, DID allows you to allocate a personal number to each employee without the need for a physical phone line to connect to the PBX. This way, call traffic can be split up and managed more easily. Callers who have a direct number can bypass the auto attendant and directly reach their contact via a direct extension. This also makes telephone service more cost-effective for your business.

    Setting up your DID at Plivo

    To set up your DID with Plivo, create an application by visiting the Application Page and click on “Add New Application”. You can also set up your DID by using Plivo’s Application API.

    Read more about creating an application and DID assignment by clicking here