Text messages are delayed sending and receiving

  • 3 January 2018
  • 62 replies

Userlevel 2

When I receive a text message, I often get it and it shows 5+ minutes old. Its even been in excess of a day - this when I have plenty of signal and can make voice calls and use data without issue. I use the standard stock Messaging app. I also have delays sending messages. It spins and spins and a reboot rarely helps.

I'm using a S5. I deleted all the messages, no change. It has been factory reset with no change. I used to have a Note 4 with the same issue.

My zip is 30005. I have been having this problem for over a year. I've ignored it mostly because I got told about service improvements in my area and promised a booster that never arrived.

But now the delays are causing me great pains because more and more websites are using SMS for 2-factor and a message that takes over 4 minutes to arrive DOES NOT WORK for 2-factor as the code expires before I receive the message. So I now need this figured out.


Best answer by kyferez 10 February 2018, 05:16

It is pointless to talk to support - they have no clue and is a complete waste of time. I have a coworker that has been dealing with support for a year on this and gone through 4 Tmobile provided phones (S5, an LG, something else, and an S7 which is the latest) in that year because of this. I have also been discussing with others who have Tmobile, and everyone I talk to has this issue with delayed text messages. So obviously this is not a device issue but a network issue.

My coworker has also decided to drop Tmobile due to it.

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62 replies

Same happens to me with voice and messages, even in “good” coverage areas! Cell data is fine, though.  Calls to a person who also has TMo, standing next to me, go straight  to voicemail and their phone never rings. Random messages take several minutes before the phone shows “sent.”  Even if the are “sent,” random messages can take forever to get to recipient, even when they are on Tmo, too. If calls get through they are dropped a few seconds into the call…  repeatedly… sometimes with strange alien sounding static.  When receiving calls, the call will get dropped a few seconds into the call. IF the caller is nice enough to call me back, usually the call is dropped again, and again!!!  If I change sim cards (to an ATT sim, for example) there are zero issues so it doesn’t appear to be my phone. Also, I can avoid dropped calls by switching to 2g service, but then I don’t have decent data speeds.  Finally, if I use any kind of VOIP app (like Google Hangouts/Skype/Duo/any, not only are those calls connected every time, but everyone tells me the call quality is way better than when I can reach then with a TMo voice call. I can watch the phone struggle to choose between lte/4g/3g/etc even while standing within site of TMobile cell tower in a solid 4g service area.Clearly there is something going on with the voice/mms side of things at TMo.  Calling TMo gets me a “tech expert” who assures me the problem will be resolved in three days and they will reach out.  But the problem is NOT solved in three days and no one reaches back to check.  Unreliable service is the same as no service, no matter the price. Time to switch?

Switching carriers may not help. From what I've read, this happens with all carriers, T Mobile, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and etc and with both Android and IPhones. In some cases, it depends on where you are and whether or not you're in a dead spot and have low or no signal strength, a low battery, or the phone turned off. In other cases, it could be your message queue or message log are full and in other cases, it was due to network traffic overloading the network providers system. In some cases, apparently there is a message queue timer (typically 10 minutes) and once the timer goes to zero, the message is deleted. There was even one case where Valentine's Day messages for nearly 170,000 people were not delivered until several months later in November due to a problem in the system of a company that apparently nearly all network providers use for text messaging. 

It is difficult to understand how this issue has been going on for years to a significant number of people and on different phones and yet it still has not been resolved and people are still told to file a ticket with Tech Support describing their issue in detail.

I had this same issue of delays with both Sending and Receiving simple text messages (no photos or group text) with my Samsung Galaxy On5 and I'm having it with my Samsung Galaxy A10e. Like the other people, it is intermittent. Sometimes I get the messages instantly and other times I do not get them for hours or even the next day. It does not seem to matter if I am on the T Mobile 4G LTE network or on my 300 Mbps AT&T WiFi at home. It also does not seem to matter if the other person is on T Mobile, AT&T, or some other Network Provider. Either it is something inherent to Samsung phones and their firmware/software or it is in the T Mobile network and/or software. Either way, people should not have to clear the cache and reboot their phone just to send or receive a simple text message and, in the end, have file a ticket with Tech Support.

Does your network get intermittently overloaded and bog down or lose data transmission in various cell towers?

I know there are some places that are dead spots where signals are not received, but in those areas, you generally cannot make or receive phone calls or text messages, but that does not seem to be the case here because it has been going on for way too long and happening to way too many people.



I also have had this problem for a while. Finally decided to start looking into it only to find its been an issue for 2+ years and still persisting..
I think I need to check Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and see if any of them have WiFi calling and if so I might just switch. Between being made to do 2FA via SMS to my phone, which is delayed, every time I want to log in to pay my bill, to Tmobile charging me for "visual voicemail" that I never opted into and can't seem to cancel, to this text delay. It has gotten to be pretty dang annoying.

2 years and this is still an issue.... come on..... is there a fix or is it getting ignored?

I'm on the new one plus 7 pro and not even 2 feet from my wifi router using TMobile data and wifi 5g active and still have the sending messages issue explain that bs

Yes we also get this problem but most of the time we dont get decent service  coverage. Beware if you file FCC Tmobile supervisor will refuse to engage further and indicate you can only communicate with their legal department at physical address. Really? retaliation if you dare to contact the FCC regarding an issue they refuse to address. I have the communication saved and clearly this is way out of line. Wonder what the FCC position is on Tmobile refusing any contact other than through legal? Well I guess I will supply them my chat history and they will see how Tmobile respond to complaints. They cut off all communication. 

So, wanted to provide an update but I really don't have much in the way of good news. I did open a trouble ticket and it really went nowhere. T-Mobile support sent a text, I got it. They then asked me to text myself. I did so and that worked. Then they said they would call me back in a few days to see if I had noticed any further issues. When they called I told them I didn't notice any issues but I am not going to start physically typing in time stamps and comparing send and receive times on my family and friends' phones.

SMS shortcode, 2FA, and numerous time sensitive texts have failed to deliver or be received in a timely manner, if at all. Calls are going straight to voicemail without the phone ringing. I actually had to explain to my boss that I was not ignoring him but that I did not get his text until 5 hours later. In short, this is getting out of hand and I'm really not sure that I can justify keeping T-Mobile. Not trying to be dramatic or anything but I am the emergency contact for my family and I need to know that when I have good cellular service in a major metro area that I can be reached. Right now, I do not believe that to be the case.

T-Mobile, if you're listening, I've been with you for a long time but if you don't meaningfully address this issue we are going to have to go our separate ways. Contact me if you're serious about addressing this.

Having the same issue with not receiving SMS message or receiving duplicate messages and getting the spinning wheel when sending SMS. I'm using a S9+. This year the issue has been worse than ever. T-Mobile, you need to fix these issues. Paying for this 'service' is ridiculous.

I've been struggling with this issue for almost a year now.  Yeah; I've talked to customer service many times over the phone and in the store.  I've even went through T-Force and they worked with higher tech support to look into the network logs, do traces, etc etc.  They always come back with the same answer... it's my phone... oh and my wife's phone...  and you all having problems; yeah it's your phone too!  If we're to belive T-mobile there's A LOT of really bad phones out there that we all must upgrade now!

I love how they are always like "just swap your SIM to another phone man!"  Yeah, sorry... I don't have a pile of T-mobile phones laying around to use for troubleshooting.  So you want me to go buy another one... just to test?  Get it all setup with the apps and settings I need?  Neat... thanks...  Oh I did all the other suggestions... change APN settings, re boot, hard reset.  That hard reset and getting everything installed and configured again was sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo worth it!  Oh wait; nope... still missing calls while never getting a notification of a missed call and delayed SMS msgs. 

Well I'm finally caving in and replacing my phone that's only a year and a half old.  Love the phone; great horse power for a fair price, nice camera, plenty of ROM capacity, etc etc... better in every way than the phones I can afford from T-mobile directly... but what else can I do?  They keep telling me my phone isn't an official T-mobile phone so they constantly deflect back to that point and they keep telling me to swap my SIM into a T-mobile phone... 

So here goes my $150-$200 test experiment! 

Another point that isn't talked about... lets say I agree with T-mobile:  I need all new T-mobile phones!  Well there's 5 phones on my plan and none of them came directly from a T-mobile store (Amazon T-mobile unlocked phones).  This is going to end up costing me over $500 to replace phones that are otherwise fine.  I didn't budget $500+ for a smartphone refresh at any point this year... for some dumb reason I thought I'd get at least 2 years out of a phone. 

I have issue of text will simply not send, not matter how many bars of service. Just this morning, I received two texts, then tried to send one and it fails! Restart phone and it will send. I may send messages half of day, then suddenly won't send anymore. Using a S9 from Tmobile. Highly frustrated as this is my work device. Very random, no pattern that I can find. Will not keep service if problem can't get resolved..

I would contact T-Force via twitter or use the chat after you log into your T-Mo account and just say you're getting SMS messages from regular people, but not from financial institutions and other 2FA type messages. I did get the occasional 2FA type message from one bank (I think it was Chase), but others went into the void. They changed something and did a remote refresh (so they said) and after that I was good. Hopefully they'll know what to look for if you put it in those terms. I saw other places online IIRC that mentioned they changed something with short codes recently to combat spam or something. Good luck!

Thank you for this message, amc2002.

I'm glad you got your problem resolved. Interesting that it was the shorter SMS messages that were the problem. I think I'm getting messages from people fine, so maybe I should contact T-mo. Perhaps they'd be better at solving this problem than the other problems I'm having.

Still waiting on a 2FA message from LinkedIn that I requested almost an hour ago.

Oop - I actually JUST got it. But my session had timed out in the interim. Marvelous.

Just an update - in my case, it did appear to be short codes were not activated for some reason. I was getting SMS from people, but not from banks and such.

The issues started recently, so it seems there must have been an account change at some point. Since contacting T-Mo and getting a rep who knew what they were doing, SMS seems fine.

For a long time (well over a year) I've had delays in SMS messages that make it almost impossible to use my phone for many 2FA purposes.Galaxy S8.I called T-Mobile support over a year ago because I have an even more serious problem: my phone sometimes doesn't ring when I get a call. It's not a device problem as far as I can tell. It's not just happening on WiFi. None of the suggestions I've found online or been given by support has changed anything.t should

I am wondering whether I just ought to look for another service for my whole family the next time I upgrade my phone.

I'd contact support, but they couldn't help with the phone ringing situation, and I can see here they're not solving the SMS delay problems some people are seeing. I think it's just T-mobile.

This is really too bad, because before this I was enthusiastic telling people T-mobile is great.

This used to happen once in a great while for me, but since the new year it's been happening pretty regularly. Makes my phone just about impossible to use for some banking and financial products that require SMS and don't yet allow 2FA. Wish T-Mo would fix it.

Same problem here as well. Nothing to add to the conversation other than another upset customer. I thought it was just me though since my wife's older phone doesn't seem to have any issues.

I've been having the same issue for MONTHS, well, since I joined T-Mobile. I have called NUMEROUS times and filed numerous tickets but NOTHING has been fixed. I plan on switching companies next month because I'm tired of paying for a service that I don't receive. I can easily say that T-Mobile is THE WORST cell company I have dealt with. At least with StraightTalk you have great service, it just sucks that their customer support is stationed out of the country. Good luck to the rest of you that decide to stay with a sub par company. You deserve better. After all, you are paying for it!

Same problem here.  Thank god for WhatsApp which we can use for personal messages.  But this problem with SMS is a becoming critical because now so many online accounts require 2 factor authentication via SMS.

I really do not like the attitude of T-Mobile that it MUST be a problem with the device.  I use multiple phones with multiple providers/networks both inside and outside the US, and have changed phones and SIM cards, etc, and ONLY have the problem with the T-Mobile network across all my devices.  Getting messages on the mobile networks in the third world countries which I visit is more reliable than T-Mobile.

T-Mobile:  YOU HAVE A PROBLEM.  It's not us, it's you.  Fix it.

I am having very similar issues.  It takes forever to send and receive group (more than one!).  In the text app I see a message saying "tap to download".  When I tap it goes round and round forever.  Sometimes the messages download after 24 hours!  I just spoke to customer service who could not do anything.  They have sent the issue to "tech experts".  I hope this gets fixed!

I'm having both issues referred to in this string (delayed texts and calls  going directly to voicemail). Been happening for more a yearyear with multiple devices. Made multiple changes to settings. No difference. Must be a network issue. Zip code is 98122 but happens wherever I travel across the country.

Chiming in...I am having the exact same problem. I miss texts all the time. They all come in at the same time and randomly. I just switched to a brand new OnePlus 6 t. thought maybe I was having software issues with my old phone. I have had this phone for a couple of days and just realized I was getting delayed text again. I also am having phone calls not come through when I know that I have service. The calls go directly to voicemail. So I'm not getting most of my text and some of my  phone calls. I have been a loyal T-Mobile customer for over 10 years and really want this to work. Has anyone found a fix for this.

I've submitted at least 3 trouble tickets and followed up several times on each since August. Very frustrating.

Hmm.  I've got this problem too.  I've just been living with it.  Too busy to complain about it and it isn't critical but it is annoying.  So there's that.

Got to jump all over this bandwagon and state that both my wife and I are having the same issues and have been for quite a while. I can open a T-Force ticket but the problem we really have here is that the only way to tell if the problem isn't fixed is to wait until someone angrily asks you why you haven't responded. Then what, open another ticket? Been with T-Mobile since 2004. Pull it together T-MOBILE...  pull it together.