Iphone5 MMS: older phones not receiving group messages

crystalized17
Member

This discussion was started here: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/5178260

Iphone5, iOS6.1.4, Verizon. Brand-new phone I bought a couple weeks ago. So its brand-new, mint condition, untouched.

My phone number was ported from AT&T to Verizon. No problems as far as I can tell.

I've been sending group messages, not realizing more than half of my friends/family were not receiving them.

1.My aunt lives on the other side of the country and has some kind of smartphone(not iphone) and she's been receiving them just fine.

2.My mother has a normal cellphone that is several years old AT&T, but she has only being receiving the subject line of the message. When she tries to "retrieve" the message, it always says "failed to retrieve". She has no problem getting text messages from everyone except me.

3.My brother has a different model of a normal phone and he is on the same AT&T plan with my mother and he is able to receive my group messages.

4.Some other friends with older phones and AT&T are not receiving the messages at all.

So it's been very hit 'n miss on who can receive these group messages.

I turned off iMessages first, then I finally turned off MMS Messages, and my mother was finally able to receive a group message from me.

She has always been able to receive an individual message from me with MMS and iMessages turned on. This is strictly a group message problem of some kind.

I was only sending her messages with text content, but the group messages always say MMS at the top regardless of what you send. I'm assuming turning off MMS forces group messages to use SMS.

Why is iphone not able to degrade gracefully with a group message? Why can't it detect older phones in a group message and say "hmm...maybe I should use SMS, especially since the iphone is sending a message with text-only content anyway."

It's really irritating that I have to either, remember to send INDIVIDUAL messages to every single person, OR keep MMS turned off just so older phones can receive a group message.

Has anyone else had these kinds of problems, and if so, what did you do?

I feel like the problem is on my end(Verizon) rather than my friends' end since so many of them are not receiving MY messages. They are receiving everyone else's messages.

Facts:

1. INDIVIDUAL messages work. (MMS is turned on.)

2. SMS-ONLY GROUP messages work. (MMS is turned off so SMS is forced.)

3. MMS group messages, even with text-only content, are not being received by some people, others are receiving them just fine.

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Re: Iphone5 MMS: older phones not receiving group messages

Community Manager
Community Manager

crystalized17, I'm here to ease your frustrations and I apologize for this inconvenience. Our friends at Apple designed the iPhone to send group messaging. However, Android and Apple are two different platforms. When iMessaging is on, you're using data and Apple's network. Once you disable iMessaging, you're on our Verizon Wireless network and you will be able to send a group message via standard text message. Based on the size of the group text message file, it can only be sent via text message. I hope this explaination is helpful to you.

Lasina_VZW
Please follow us on twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: Iphone5 MMS: older phones not receiving group messages

crystalized17
Member

iMessages is not the problem. None of my friends have an iphone so I haven't been using iMessages at all.

The problem is SMS vs MMS on group messages. For some reason, the default for group messages is MMS, even though the contents I send are only text. My mother and some of my other friends cannot receive MMS messages, but they can receive SMS messages. (I don't know if its because their phones are too old or because of their specific txtmsg plan with their provider.)

So she automatically doesn't receive messages when I send them as a group instead of individually because they always send as MMS simply because they are GROUP and not because of the contents of the message.

Why do group messages always send as MMS instead of SMS?

I turned MMS OFF, in order to force group messages to always use SMS, but then the MMS setting turns itself back ON the instant I send an individual MMS to a friend who can receive those types of messages. Once MMS setting is back on, I don't realize it and send out a GROUP message, which doesn't reach everyone because once again MMS is being used instead of SMS.

If group messages would send as SMS when I am only sending text, then there would be NO problem. It shouldn't use MMS unless I'm sending a picture or something.

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Re: Iphone5 MMS: older phones not receiving group messages

Community Manager
Community Manager

I know this is frustrating crystalized17 because I use group messaging to keep in contact with all my friends and family. If you're sending out messages and they show as sent, the issue is not with Verizon or your phone. It could definitely be an issue with their network or their device. When you check you sent files, are all the messages showing as sent or are you receiving any errors for any of the numbers? Additionally, if you are sending a large text or file via SMS, the message will convert to an MMS because it wont send as a text. Some phones and networks are not capable of receiving that message via MMS. Keep us posted and ensure your phone has the most updated software.

Kinquana_VZW
Please follow us on twitter @VZWSupport

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Re: Iphone5 MMS: older phones not receiving group messages

crystalized17
Member

Sorry I didn't respond right away, the message ended up in my spam box and I just saw it today.

No, I never receive any errors. Which is why its so easy to not know the message doesn't make it to them.

I've sent some pretty long individual messages to my mother's phone, but I don't know if I've bypassed the character limit for SMS or not since the messages don't tell you what type it is.

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Re: Iphone5 MMS: older phones not receiving group messages

crystalized17
Member

It's living up to Apple's motto of "if you must fail, then fail silently so the customer hopefully won't notice it broke".

This is a double-edge sword.

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Re: Iphone5 MMS: older phones not receiving group messages

Community Manager
Community Manager

I appreciate you taking the time to work with us. It appears that the users with a specific carrier are not receiving these messages. Have they reached out to their carrier to discuss? As you have checked all available settings and tested them each way there may be a corruption in the software as well. If all these settings are correct and it still fails the best option is factory reset as follows and retest to verify the device works properly. Do you have the device synced with iTunes? If so please try, Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings
Once the phone restarts the customer will pick English > United States > Enable Location Services (ON) > Enter WiFi Info > Wait for Activation >
for Setup iPhone must choose "Set Up as New iPhone" > Apple ID "Skip this step" (Bottom Right Corner) > Use Siri > Enable Find my iPhone > Start Using iPhone. You can then restore with iTunes or through iCloud, if applicable. Please keep me updated as I would be happy to offer additional assistance.

Thank you,

YaleK_VZW
Follow us on Twitter @VZWsupport

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