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Text messaging clients

Text messaging clients

My dentist has just sent me a nice text message to remind me of an appointment. This looks like a very effective way to get urgent messages to clients, especially sole traders who are always out of the office. Does anyone use texts to communicate with their clients?

I assume I will need to use a web-based text/SMS system to manage this rather than keying messages into a mobile phone? Can anyone recommend one?
Nigel Harris

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23rd Feb 2009 10:05

Soon..........
...........lotsa people will receive A/R dues SMS.

A very simple answer would be for the SMS receiver to reply by saying "I will pay you during lunch time or....night time" so that your stomach feel good before payments is passed.

To have more free lunches or meals, please breakdown the debts into smaller amounts and be sure that you don't bring along your credit cards or money so that you need not hafta pay at all a single penny.

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16th May 2008 15:18

mobile broadband does it too
My laptop with Vodafone Broadband wil send texts. I imagine if I set up my desktop with the Vodafone plug-in module, it would send texts too.

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By David2e
24th Apr 2008 09:36

Skype
We use Skype for texting.

Easy to do as the Skype software can pick up contacts from Outlook and it is just a matter of simply typing the message and clicking send (can do in bulk for reminders).

Cost is not bad at 5.6p a text.

David Toohey
The Accountants Circle

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23rd Apr 2008 09:41

Nokia PC for me - many thanks to Simon Lever
Our company has a contract with Orange that comes with Nokia handsets. I liked the conceptual simplicity of the Orange SMS API approach, but was concerned about whether I would qualify for the programme, and what it might entail at a later date. Instead, I downloaded the Nokia PC software (30MB) and gave it a try out.

There were a couple of minor installation hiccups, but within 15mins I had sent my first poetic and perfectly punctuated text with the system. Even better, it synched up with my Outlook contacts and appointments. Recently I have been worried about how to back up all the mobile contacts on my SIM card, and this application worked so well that I spent another hour and a half tidying up my contacts database - regularly synching Outlook and my mobile phone will provide good back-ups, and I can even install it on my laptop as a secondary back-up, so that I could switch to an up-to-date installation should my day-to-day PC ever crash.

Even better, I frequently travel by train through areas with weak mobile signals - by attaching the phone to Nokia PC, I can blast out texts to my heart's content while on the move. However, it may not last for long. I'm told that my next mobile upgrade will be to a Blackberry... but if it's compatible, I may well continue with the Nokia software for synching data and to use better PC keyboards.

Thanks for all the advice - especially Simon. I have benefited a lot from this thread, and have just published an article summarising the advice and findings called Any Answers Answered: Ways to send SMS text messages from your PC

John Stokdyk
Technology editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk

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By spayne
18th Apr 2008 18:45

Text Crazy
why bother with texting

Just lift the phone

Actually speak to the client and have a conversation

You never know you might find out something useful and provide on the spot advice - worth a few brownie points to store away

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By Anonymous
18th Apr 2008 10:44

Kevin Ringer
P T also said already - legally bound or not messaging SMS?

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17th Apr 2008 13:06

Texting clients
I've got some clients who only respond to texts: they haven't activated voicemail and are usually out of signal. For them texts are ideal as they're generally collected when the phone next picks up a signal.

I've been texting these clients for at least 5 years. I generally use 02.co.uk (even though I'm an Orange customer) as it is easier to use a full keyboard compared to the phone. But not all texts are delivered and I have no way of knowing if delivery has occurred. In contrast, if you have a Nokia phone you can activate delivery status reports which means you will receive a "delivered" text confirming delivery - but this means you have to text from a Nokia phone. It used to be possible to receive a sort of delivery confirmation using Orange from any phone by starting your message "RCT" - the recipient doesn’t see the “RCT”, Orange removes it. You could also do the same thing with T-Mobile by starting your message “*MD#”. But I don’t know if either of these tricks still work.

Do any of the texting services listed below supply confirmation of delivery?

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By Anonymous
16th Apr 2008 16:44

Great point Simon...
Thinking about this...As Simon says you can do this from the PC.

It's almost worth buying a new phone on a contract just for sending and receiving texts.

I don't presently give my mobile number to clients but you could have a dedicated mobile in the office.

I notice that "3" have an offer at the moment for 1100 mins or texts for £25.00 per month! About 2p per text.

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By Anonymous
16th Apr 2008 16:39

Padstow
Have you EVER received a text with any of that crap on it? From PLC's? Can't say I have at all.

Simon, interesting point (I'm in the same situation as you), is it the software that comes with it? Must admit I've never used it.

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By Anonymous
16th Apr 2008 15:50

Companies Act 2006
Sorry about raising a really dull point (I am an accountant so it's par for the course!)

If your practice is a limited company and you use texts as a method of communication then do you have to put all the company identification 'blurb' (full company name, registered address, company number, etc.) that is now part of CA06?

We have to ensure that it is on all our emails, etc as well as our letterheads and so on. Are texts any different?

If so....what a pain that would be (and not just from the inevitable RSI you'll develop!!)

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16th Apr 2008 15:37

Nokia
As I have a Nokia phone I have also got the Nokia PC suite. This connects my phone to my computer which then enables me to send text messages which I have typed on the keyboard. Much easier than using the fiddly little number buttons and pressing them 3 or 4 times.

An advantage is that the numbers are already on my phone and I do not have to look them up and as I get a number of texts free with my phone package there is no cost.

Much simpler than any other method!

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16th Apr 2008 14:03

I think you'll need to look at Tobit David-MX

Have you asked your dentist what they're using ?

The only product that I know of that will do it directly is Tobit's David-mx, linked to a suitable mobile phone.

Have a look at the following :
http://www.tobit.com/login/showTopicPerson.asp?NewsID={27C8CFC2-F4B8-46A3-9713-F288B95AE293}

I haven't done anything with Tobit for a couple of years but it is a very good product and is not prone to viruses.

I don't think Exchange server 2007 can yet send SMS messages but I'm still looking at that one.

Please feel free to contact me.

Roger Neale
Business Systems Consultant
Diamond Discovery Software Ltd

Contact me directly on 07791 983 567 or contact one of my colleagues on 0845 223 2170


Visit our web site at http://www.diamond-discovery.com

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By Anonymous
16th Apr 2008 11:52

Feeling old...
Response to Steven Holloway:

It's all in the mind. The oldest of my clients has got bored of his blackberry and has just started texting me. I quite appreciate it, as it goes and it works rather well as it gets my attention quicker than any email.

I dutifully respond - using txt shthnd; "Hi M8, cu Tues..." etc
Given that I cannot spell at the best of times, this modern method of communication is ideal!

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By Anonymous
16th Apr 2008 08:03

Essendex
I use essendex.com. It works a bit like Outlook in that you have an inbox and sent items. Texts can be scheduled to be sent to multiple recipients at set times and you can change the 'from' field to anything. Our office phone lines dial out as a 'withheld number' and many clients refuse to answer calls when they don't know who it is so a quick text asking them to call can usually work.

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16th Apr 2008 05:06

SMS.AC
How about trying http://www.sms.ac?

I wonder if correspondence by SMS are legally bound?

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By Anonymous
15th Apr 2008 09:21

For those on Orange ...
For any with Orange - look at

http://www.orangepartner.com/site/enuk/develop/devplayzone/smsapi/p_sms_api_alpha.jsp

The actual method outlined in the help is as follows

Copy and paste the following URL into your web browser:
api access key&to=[mobile number]&content=[your text message]

Before hitting the enter key, replace the following components of the URL with your own values:
[api access key] - replace this with your actual API access key
[mobile number] - replace this with the destination mobile number in international format. e.g 3312345678 (France) or 441234567890 (UK)
[your message] - replace this with the message you want to send using "+" as a space. e.g Hello+World

Your URL should now look like the following:

http://sms.alpha.orange-api.net/sms/sendSMS.xml?id=xyz123&to=441234567890&content=Hello+World


And that's it. The text message will be sent to the destination number.

I am sure that some of the Excel experts on Aweb could wrap this into a spreadsheet to invoke multiple sends

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14th Apr 2008 20:05

Reliable Service
I've found 18185.co.uk to be completely reliable and secure. Costs a flat rate of 1p to text any mobile worldwide, UK included. You can also send the same message to up to 250 numbers in 1 go. Only drawback is you need to type in or copy and paste the numbers every time. Billing is by monthly invoice and can be paid by direct debit. You can also register several numbers to one account so you can have partners / staff use the same account and by choosing their number as the sender there is no confusion as to which person the message is from. Their phone services are very good also.

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14th Apr 2008 13:21

Interested too
This kind of facility has long interested me too, Nigel, mainly because I'm so rubbish at texting!

I've checked around on my BT/Yahoo! service, and while it says you can get a premium service that will tell others to text you rather than send email when you are out of the office, I couldn't find any facility to send the texts to roving friends and contacts.

Room101.co.uk offers such a service and its promotional page gives a few interesting "push" applications for the service.

I also found a free TextEmail service on the TextAnywhere.co.uk site. Apparently, once you've registered, you can send text messages simply by sending an email to TextAnywhere, and the service will forward it on as an SMS message to the recipient's mobile.

Googling "free sms web send" produced several interesting results and some fishy search aggregators. At FreebieSMS.co.uk for example, you can just type the recipient's phone number and your own into the site and send the message. I thought this was great - but then wondered what would happen to all these mobile phone contacts once I'd given them to FreebieSMS.

I may have to do some further experimenting. I look forward to finding out if you can put any of the suggestions put forward to practical use.

John Stokdyk
Technology editor
AccountingWEB.co.uk

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14th Apr 2008 13:58

I feel old!
I don't do text and get really annoyed when businesses text me unsolicited. I am probably in the minority though!


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14th Apr 2008 13:22

text clients
I text clients with ttax payment reminders etc. I use www.textanywhere.net its a great service and low cost too.

http://www.tax-sorted.biz/

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14th Apr 2008 13:05

IntelliSMS
Have a look at www.intellisms.co.uk

It integrates very nicely with exchange, so you can use your existing contact list, and store the correspondence along with emails. I wouldn't necessarily use it for anything confidential, as the message passes through a number of hands, but its a good way of contacting customers & road warriors without mobile email.

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By Anonymous
14th Apr 2008 11:23

Fax.co.uk
I use Fax.co.uk to send faxes from my PC. They also offer text messaging.

You simply enter the [email protected] into an email and they do the rest.

Fees aren't bad - around 8p each I think.

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By ianhunt
14th Apr 2008 10:54

An integrated approach?
One option would be "Drive from Relate Software" . Drive is a fully featured practice management solution, that uniquely offers the ability to send & record sms messages.

Feel free to contact me for further information.

[email protected]
0845 456 3103

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13th Apr 2008 21:56

www.txtlocal.com
I do text some of my clients, but not as a matter of course.

My PC chap recommends www.txtlocal.com - I've not checked it out but might be worth a look.

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23rd May 2011 12:55

TextMagic, which is mainly used by individuals or small businesses (dentists), offers to send sms from pc, as well as online or from your smartphone. The prices are very affordable and discounts are available for larger orders. You can take a free trial and test all the services before making a purchase.

 

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