Saturday, 16 October 2010

BlackBerry Torch 9800 SMSs Going Astray

The Short
I could phone my contact but I could not SMS my contact.  The Torch would say SMS sent,  but my contact would NEVER receive the SMS.

It looked like Smart Dialing was prefixing the wrong country code to my contact's number when sending SMS.  Disable that, perform a reset by pulling the battery out and putting back in and it all worked fine.

Alternatively,  entering phone numbers for Smart Dialing and setting up Smart Dialing correctly may also fix this problem.

Strange that Smart Dialing was working on sending SMS but NOT on making phone calls.

The Long
Having completed field testing the 9800,  it is now a fully operational unit.  Everything has been great so far, until I tried to SMS a few contacts.  A lack of reply made me suspicious.  Contacting these contacts through other means revealed that they did not receive any of my SMSs.  They then sent SMSs to me as a test which the 9800 received successfully,  but all replies sent from the 9800 failed to reach their destination.

When I phoned them, the calls connected fine, but further SMSs just failed to reach them.

So, time to search the wonderful Internet for an answer and start messing around with the 1001 settings that the Torch has.  Nothing worked, so I swapped the SIM into my recently decommissioned Pocket PC.  The SMS sent from the Pocket PC all fine and well.  Moved the SIM back to the Blackberry, same problem.  During this testing I was constantly checking my phone credit balance and it was steadily decreasing,  so I knew that the SMSs were being sent,  but still had no idea why they were not reaching their destination.

I decided to check my phone account's detailed transactions and lo and behold!  All the SMS numbers had the wrong country code prefixed to the front of them.  I did not realise this earlier because the Torch never displayed the number of the contact.  It always displayed the contact's name.  When I figured out how to display the actual number of the recipient,  it showed the incorrect phone number.  This incorrect phone number matched the number displayed on my detailed phone account transaction.

It is confirmed.  My Torch 9800 was sending SMSs to someone in another country.  To whoever that received all my weird test messages,  I apologise for the spam.

Why was my Torch 9800 prefixing a strange country code to all SMSs sent out?  I found the Smart Dialing setting for the phone and saw it was set to the country code that was being prefixed to the SMS numbers.  I set the Smart Dialing country to Unknown and tried sending a SMS again.  It was still failing.

When composing a SMS with the 9800,  I noticed that everytime I typed in a phone number,  it would replace the number with the contact name.  I proceeded to delete the number from my contact, but the phone would STILL replace the number with the contact and proceed to put the wrong country code prefix in.  Somewhere in memory the phone kept remembering the number belonged to the contact even though I removed all links between contact and the number.  It also looked like Smart Dialing was continuing prefixing the country code to the contact even though I set it to Unknown.  Time to pull out the battery.

I am glad to say pulling out and putting back the battery fixed the remembering number thing and I could send a SMS successfully by typing the phone number in manually.  Further more,  sending a SMS to a contact in my phone also worked.  It looked like the phone needed a good reboot(battery out and in) before the Smart Dialing would deactivate.