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Can I Send an SMS to an International Number?

Sending International SMS Using AT&T Plans

Subscribers can send unlimited international Short Messaging Service (SMS) text messages using the AT&T Unlimited Plan, Mobile Share Value®, and Mobile Share® plans. The texts can originate from the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Users may send text messages to 190 countries and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) (i.e., picture and video messages) to 120 countries. We will explain how to send an SMS to an International Number?

If an AT&T user is not a subscriber to one of the above plans, they can get an international texting package for as little as $10 per month for 100 texts, pictures, and video texts or $15 per month for 1,000 messages. Message overage costs typically come out to $0.20 per message sent.

The pay-per-use rate to send international texts is $0.25 per SMS sent, with standard messaging rates for SMS text messages received. AT&T charges $0.50 per MMS sent and standard messaging rates apply for every MMS received.

To send a message from the U.S. to another country, dial + (or 011) followed by the country code, area code, and local number.

Sending International SMS Using Verizon

Subscribers to Verizon can send international SMS text messages to over 200 countries and MMS messages to over 100 countries. The process of sending an international message with Verizon is the same as with AT&T. Unlimited international SMS and MMS are included at no cost with the new Verizon Plan, The Verizon Plan, or The MORE Everything® Plan.

With the above plans, messages received, whether from domestic or international sources, are included at no additional cost. If your plan has a received message allowance, international messages received are deducted like received domestic messages. If you do not have a received message allowance, the standard incoming text rate applies to messages that you receive. For prepaid monthly talk plans, SMS texts sent to and from the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Puerto Rico cost $0.20 per message, and from other destinations, $0.25 per message.

Sending International SMS Using Sprint

Sprint has an Unlimited International Text service that allows customers to send SMS texts to over 180 countries for $10 per month. Messages must originate in the U.S. or a domestic location, including Canada, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. Subscribers must have a domestic unlimited messaging plan or add-on. Without a plan, users can send or receive international SMS texts for $0.20 per message. However, subscribers cannot send or receive MMS messages.

Sending International SMS Using T-Mobile

T-Mobile ONE plan subscribers and recent Simple Choice Plan members have unlimited calling and SMS messaging from the U.S., Mexico, and Canada as part of their plans. T-Mobile claims that users can send and receive texts to “just about anywhere in the world”.

Sending International SMS Using U.S. Cellular

Many U.S. Cellular plans feature the sending of unlimited international SMS messages at no additional charges. However, before calling or testing international numbers, your account needs an international service feature code and text messaging service. To send an international SMS message, dial the international access code (011). Then dial the country code, the area code, and the local telephone number. U.S. Cellular customers can send SMS text messages to over 100 countries. If your plan charges for text messages, the charges for international and domestic SMS messages are equivalent.

Sending International SMS Using C Spire

To use the C Spire plans, first get the C Spire International Calling App with Global Family for your smart phone. C Spire offers two types of plans: Unlimited Calling with Global Family for $5 per month and the Pay-By-The-Minute plan. Both plans feature free unlimited international SMS to over 140 countries. To send an international SMS message, just dial the recipient’s number, including the country code and send the message.

Sending International SMS Using Ting

Subscribers to Ting have no plans or contracts. Charges depend on the number of lines, nationwide call minutes, the number of global SMS text messages, and nationwide data. Ting bills customers for usage at the end of each billing period. Pictures and video messaging are charged as data and do not count against messages. There are no extra charges for International SMS messages and calls to over 60 countries. Sending an international SMS requires a country code, area code, and a local number.

Sending International SMS from Your Laptop

The subsequent paragraphs give information about sending international SMS messages from your laptop via Wi Fi. This is free of charge; messages are easier and faster to type; and texts are viewable on screens that are larger than smartphone screens.

Text through Email

Sending an SMS using email requires knowledge of the recipient’s 10-digit phone number and domain. Listed below are five common domains:

  • AllTel – @message.alltel.com
  • AT&T – @text.att.net
  • Sprint – @messaging.sprintpcs.com
  • T-Mobile – @tmomail.net
  • Verizon – @vtext.com

Address the email using a combination of the phone number and domain. For example, the address of an email to an AT&T user with a “(123) 456-7890” phone number, would be “1234567890@text.att.net”. A reply to the message goes directly to your email’s inbox.

Text through Wireless Carrier’s Website

You may be able to send SMS texts to other subscribers on your wireless carrier’s website. Specifically, you can do this on Verizon or AT&T by going to your account and following the prompts to send an SMS text.

Text through Google Voice

This is a free service from Google Voice. You can use your existing mobile number or choose a new number, and you do not have to know the recipient’s carrier. However, from the U.S., Canada is the only international destination for SMS messages.

Sending International SMS Using WhatsApp

This free mobile application is the world’s most popular communication app. Facebook purchased this app in 2014, and as of February 2016, its user base was 1 billion. Persons, to whom you send international SMS texts, must have WhatsApp installed on their mobiles, and your contact list must have their phone numbers in full international format. WhatsApp uses your phone’s internet connection to send the SMS messages.

Saving Money When Sending International SMS

Several considerations apply to international SMS. Foremost is whether your plan features unlimited sending and receiving of international SMS messages. If you have limited messaging, compare overage costs from various carriers as they vary. When sending texts internationally, check that the foreign carrier accepts SMS messages from your provider. To avoid roaming charges, ask people to use email when you are traveling to other countries. Finally, ask carriers whether they have international packages, which may save you money, and consider some of the free SMS methods discussed in this article.

How Toll Free Numbers Can Be Used to Build Customer Loyalty

As your business grows, you may notice that your current phone number can’t handle the influx of new customers. Or maybe you’re missing out on customer calls because you’re using a landline and your customers are upset that they have to pay to call your business in order to make customer service calls. Perhaps you don’t want to take business calls on your personal phone line anymore. When these thoughts begin to creep in your mind, it’s time to think about getting a separate business line. Doing so can help increase customer loyalty and business credibility.

Benefits of a Toll Free Number for Customer Loyalty

So what is the best option for a separate business line? A toll free number has several benefits for a small business. The number one benefit of a toll free number is that it is a great way to begin building a loyal customer base.

Toll-free numbers or 1-800 numbers, as you may remember them as, grew in popularity in the 90s, but they are still prevalent today. One of the reasons is that they are a free way that your customers can make customer service calls to your company with. A toll-free number also gives your business the ability to reach a national audience no matter how small your company is.

So how does a toll free number build customer loyalty?

Recognition

Toll free numbers are easily recognizable, and therefore people have an ingrained trust of a business with a toll free number. Toll-free numbers have been around long enough that people know that they won’t get charged for calling one and therefore have no qualms about making a phone call to your business when they need to.

Branding

Toll free numbers were created to serve the people of the business that uses them. It also helps to brand your company as a trustful company because a company that chooses a toll free number is associated with a larger company. You get access to an entire nation of customers, too. You can take the number and advertise it on all of your marketing materials. From business cards to billboards, when people begin to see your number everywhere, they will start to recognize your brand and associate the number with your company.

Customer Service

Toll free numbers up to the ante on your customer service. Most people prefer to interact with a live human on the phone when they have a problem with a product or service. They want to speak with someone right away, and they want their issues handled immediately. When you refer to the web for customer service there can be delayed responses. Choosing to staff a friendly customer service representative will do wonders for your business because it helps to put an angry customer at ease. Since many of the issues in a company can be solved over the phone, your customers will be happy with the swift response time and help. You can also offer support to your customers around the clock. Only with a toll-free number can you provide 24-hour customer service which in turn builds customer loyalty.

Customer Loyalty Toll Free Number Call Center
Source: Stockphoto.com O#23559 – ID#100185868144

Did we mention it’s free for customers?

Again, customers do not want to have to pay to call a business that messed up their order. A customer service line should be free if you want your business to be taken seriously.

Memorable

Choosing a vanity number for your toll free line can also make your company much more memorable. Using a vanity such as 1-800-FLOWERS shows your customer base exactly what you are selling. Even if they forget the name of your company, they’re not likely to forget a vanity number like that.

It’s better than emails

When customers are frustrated with your company, no matter how polite you try to sound in an email, it is not going to come across well with an angry customer. Customer service lines are the best way to handle upset consumers. A brief email is no match for a charming human on the other line.

Trustworthy

If you are running an e-commerce website, people may be wary of your business. Many of these e-commerce sites are untrustworthy and sell damaged products. When your e-commerce company provides a customer service phone line, a person is more inclined to trust your company because you have provided them a way to get in immediate contact with your business in case something goes awry.

What is an ITFS Number and How Does it Work?

ITFS stand for International Toll Free Service. A customer can dial an ITFS number for free, no matter where the toll free subscriber is physically located.  A business will subscribe to an ITFS service and pay all charges for calls to the toll free number. Customers can initiate free calls to an ITFS number from a specific country, and a toll free forwarding service, like Global Call Forwarding will route the calls across the globe in accordance with programmed instructions.

How International Call Forwarding Works

Assume your business is located in Asia-Pacific, and you are targeting customers in the United States. Global Call Forwarding suggests you get a USA ITFS number. When your customers in the United States dial the ITFS number, a toll free forwarding service will route the calls to your landlines, mobiles, or Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) receivers in Asia-Pacific. Prospective customers are likely to appreciate the ease by which they can contact your company toll free, and this will lead to higher sales and increased customer satisfaction.

ITFS Numbers around the World

USA ITFS Numbers

For a foreign company wishing to establish a virtual market presence in the United States, the world’s largest economy, a US ITFS number is essential to your success. An ITFS number gives domestic callers access to your company. It allows customers in the United States to reach your foreign offices and virtual call centers at no cost to the customer. Prospective customers and business contacts are more likely to reach out to your company if the call is free.

UK ITFS Numbers

The United Kingdom is a major participant in global business, and is a politically authoritative and economically dominant country. Therefore, companies would do well to establish a virtual presence there. Businesses in any country can establish a virtual presence in the UK with an ITFS number. The company simply needs to buy a UK ITFS number and forward the calls to the intended destination, anywhere in the world.

Toll free prefixes in the UK are primarily 800 and 0808, but 0500 is still used. Toll free numbers are free to call from within the UK, bust the cost of calls to the toll free subscriber is dependent upon the international destination. For example, the cost of calls to a business located in the USA differs from calls made to a virtual call center in India.

Germany ITFS Numbers

Telephone numbers in Germany are confusing because they vary in length. They contain both geographical and non-geographical codes. Cities with larger populations have shorter numbers. Older telephone numbers are also shorter. Therefore, if your company subscribes to a Germany ITFS number, callers in Germany can reach you with ease. They caller can simply dial a toll free number, and not an international dialing code plus an area code, while also paying for the call. 

China ITFS Numbers

China has a population of more than 1.3 billion people. Even the smallest company can gain access to this enormous consumer market, and project an international image in China with an ITFS number. The company simply needs to sign up for an international call forwarding service from China with an ITFS number. This will help the company grow its virtual business presence in China, and enable the firm to compete with large multinational organizations.

A China ITFS number will forward calls from China to a destination anywhere in the world. Call quality is important, and subscribers should look for a service provider that uses Tier 1 network carriers to forward calls from China. 

UAE ITFS Numbers

The UAE is a rapidly emerging market and business center in Western Asia. GCF provides ITFS numbers for the UAE as either 8000 plus 6-digit toll free numbers or local numbers with a +971 area code. These numbers allow foreign businesses to establish a virtual business presence in the UAE region. Many businesses have both 8000 toll free numbers and local numbers to provide toll free call forwarding to their customers.

If you have these numbers, consider utilizing attendants who are fluent in local dialects and languages. Because of time-zone differences, subscribers should consider setting up a free Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that allows a computer greeting system to receive incoming calls from UAE and route them to the appropriate destination based on voice or keypad commands. By using IVR, your customers will appreciate you having gone out of your way to serve them.

India ITFS Numbers

India is one of the largest countries in the world. Its land area is just under 3 million sq km, and its population is approaching 1.3 billion. The GDP growth rate is 7.6%. Many Indian customers transact with foreign businesses using the internet and emails. However, businesses extend their reach in India by subscribing to an India ITFS number. An India toll free number gives customers in India a free way to call your business, and will encourage prospects and business contacts to reach out. A toll free forwarding service can be used to route calls from India to your business anywhere in the world.