Delivering every SMS while protecting from spam issues
Our SMS API connects with various software which send requests to deliver messages to millions of devices. Yet as no software is perfect, there have been cases where we have received requests to send an unusual number of messages from one account. Typically, this is a clear signal that a client’s system has a glitch and is sending messages that they did not plan on sending. While our goal is to deliver every SMS, we have a system in place to prevent looped messages from occurring.
Before we get to that, story time. Company X (true story, but the company name is confidential) updated some code in their CRM system, which threw the software into a loop, repeating tasks. Within minutes, the CRM automated the SMS API to send hundreds of thousands of messages to their customers. So, what happens when about 5,000 people suddenly receive 50 messages from the same company in an hour, with the same content? Well, customer complaint calls skyrocket
How does the system delineate between wanted and unwanted SMS requests?
Customer feedback is the most common indicator of something like a CRM system looping. But this means it’s too late –the damage has been done. Although these glitches are rare, a prevention system is valuable. As human error is inevitable and software isn’t perfect, the first logical approach is to come up with a type of filter.
We looked at SMS request patterns, and there is a way to identify a glitch.
- No business intends to spam their customers with
hundreds of messages at once, so a sudden spike in requests is something to
- SMS content
- Time between message requests
Based on these factors, we’ve developed some rules for potential spam or glitch indicators.
- In one hour, only 5 messages can be sent with
the same content to the same number from the same sender ID.
- In one hour, only 20 messages can be sent to the
same number, regardless of content, from the same sender ID.
The hour countdown starts from the first sent message.
Thus, while we’re always working towards delivering every SMS, we’d like to help as a gatekeeper to keep customers out of trouble. Simple, yet valuable, the spam filter has already helped customers avoid unnecessary costs and customer complaints, while notifying system engineers of potential bugs. And everyone gets this service by default.