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Teleflip goes out of business

[ad#inpost300]I hate texting.  I mean I love the convenience of being able to send a message saying “I’ll be right there” or “running late” or “sorry about laughing at your Crocs, they look good, really.”  I just hate typing on my Motorola Razor phone.  Sure I could upgrade to one of those nicer phones with the well laid out keyboard, but I like to let me phones completely die before I buy a new one.. I do the same with cars and shoes.

Teleflip made life easy for me the past couple years.  I’m chained to my laptop the way most people are chained to their cell phones now, so the fact that Teleflip allowed me to text people just by emailing their phone number @teleflip.com (310.555.1234@teleflip.com) made me a less frustrated member of the texting world.  Sure there would be people that would see the email came from my email address and opt to text me back via my phone (why would you do that) but I would ignore those texts and instead try to classically condition all of my friends to “hit me up on my email.”

The the day came, Teleflip began letting me down.  Starting last week, all of my email texts came back as undeliverable.  I soldiered on, continuing to email my texts to everyone, only to find more bounced emails, usually several hours or even days later.  Today I decided I’d have to check in with Teleflip to see what the deal is.  I found this on SoCalTech.com


Report: Teleflip Goes Under
According to a report, Los Angeles-based Teleflip, which operates a service which connects your email to any SMS phone, has shut down its services. According to technology blog GigaOm, Teleflip sent an email to subscribers this week saying that the firm will close down services Friday. Teleflip was venture backed by GRP Partners, and had also received debt financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. Tony Davis, the firm’s CEO, did not respond to emails requesting comment, nor did the firm’s investors at GRP Partners. Teleflip was founded in 2004, but only received funding in September of 2006.

You will be missed Teleflip, if there’s some sort of ceremony with free drinks I will be there.  Now, I must move on.   Here are other ways to email a text message to someone:

At&T/Cingular number@cingularme.comnumber@mycingular.com

number@mycingular.net

number@mobile.mycingular.com

number@pate.cingular.com

number@txt.att.net

number@mobile.att.net

Bell Atlantic number@message.bam.com
Bell South number@sms.bellsouth.comnumber@wireless.bellsouth.com
Boost number@myboostmobile.com
Cellular One number@phone.cellone.netnumber@swmsg.com

number@paging.cellone-sf.com

number@mobile.celloneusa.com

number@cellularone.txtmsg.com

number@cellularone.textmsg.com

number@cell1.textmsg.com

number@message.cellone-sf.com

number@sbcemail.com

Comcast number@comcastpcs.textmsg.com
Midwest Wireless number@clearlydigital.com
Nextel number@messaging.nextel.comnumber@page.nextel.com
Qwest number@qwestmp.com
Sprint number@messaging.sprintpcs.comnumber@sprintpaging.com
T-Mobile number@tmomail.netnumber@voicestream.net
US Cellular number@email.uscc.netnumber@uscc.textmsg.com
Verizon number@vtext.com
Virgin number@vmobl.comnumber@vxtras.com

Comments

26 Comments

  1. At our company we have text messaging block for all phones because it was costing us too much per month. At one time we were paying up to $4,000 in text messaging for Nextel alone! And we have 3,200 phones on Nextel. To work around that, we were having our 1,070 Blackberry users, on all our cell phone vendors, use Teleflip to text their customers. Now that Teleflip is down we have been researching to find something, anything similar to Teleflip that does not require us to download any type of software or register for any service, even if it is free. Has anyone found a service similar to Teleflip that would meet our needs?

  2. You may or may not find a company that can do that. The main reason is because they use the free email gateway (SMTP). These are getting shut down and you can also experience delayed messaging. There is a company called http://www.2sms.com. You have to pay for the messages but they send all their messages through a fully provisioned gateway. They work with companies that do daily messaging.

  3. hi guys well since teleflip is down, I built a similar service that does exactly what teleflip was doing. And i can customise it for any company according to their need.. Rite now its being used bt this social network to send sms to USA,CANADA and lots of other countries worldwide. You don’t need to know the gateway through which the email2sms msg will be sent, the sys will automatically derive this from the mobile number provided.. If anyone is interested in this contact me.

  4. Ah….. YES – interested… I really miss Teleflip.. Kats Lilly – do let me know how I can find more details please. If you can post them for “all”, that’d be awesome. I’m glad to hear of your creativity!

  5. Just tried to text a t-mobile phone and got this error message:

    SMS NOT SENT: Your sms message: test
    Failed to be delivered to:XX due to the following reason:
    Phonenumber XX unknown to Beltic SMS system

  6. hope you were not trying to send an sms to t-mobile uk coz it doesn’t currently support uk networks..

    if you know the email2sms gateway of that t-mobile network and you are sure it works, please provide it here so i can add it to the list of supported networks by this gateway.

  7. hi kats,
    cool you wrote your own “teleflip” style app.
    just curious, when someone enters the recipients phone number, how to you “auto-magically” determine which carrier it belongs to?

  8. I just tried beltic.com to a US T-Mobile number and it was returned, just like Jack Stands wrote on 1/8/09. Sure will be nice when beltic does for us what teleflip had been doing…thanks for your efforts, kats lilly.

  9. Hey All, I was one of the founders of Teleflip and built the service. The experience taught me one thing for sure – think very carefully before accepting Venture Capital. I had high hopes and a solid direction I wanted to take things, but the new “C”s thought differently and I watched sadly as they drove it into the ground. Someone made a lot of money off of what I built, but it certainly wasn’t me. I wish I could look back fondly at the experience. What the heck did I know – I was just a techie.

    I’ve got the knowledge to easily do it all over again. Feel free to reach out to me.

  10. well beltic is not yet as good as teleflip coz I don’t have enough time to push it too far. Am in university doing my finals this yr, but the error jack and hpu1966 only indicate that the T-mobile phone-index number you tried is not in the database so the sys can’t kno to which mobile to rechannel the msg to.. But as time goes on, the international phone prefix db will get bigger and you will be seeing less of those errors. many pple in USA are using this sys right now.. I have just implimented “YahooNewMail-Alert” sys too and its live just like what teleflip was doing just b4 they went burst.

  11. Great steps in the right direction! (having trouble posting here – hope this does not duplicate!)

    I’ve noticed that many cell providers now charge for incoming messages. A pity because this further reduces the usefulness of Text, and is really just double dipping. Bell Mobility (Canada) now does this. So if something like Teleflip/beltic is used, the reciepient pays. We are already paying through the nose for Text anyways!

    Also some (like Rogers in Canada) – if a Text is sent to @pcs.rogers.com, they first send a message to the recpient saying “do you want to accept this message”. The response “Yes” counts as a chargeable message (and is one extra step that discourages its use).

    I’ve taken to using ebuddy.com to use IM (MSN/Yahoo) from my mobile without this hassle – but that still only lets me reach out to specific people – so not as useful as text could be.

  12. (continued)

    I wrote an Excel VBA script that lets you send text messages to contacts from inside Excel. I did this just to play with excel for fun. I don’t really use this for anything because of the above mentioned charges – but interesting anyways (see website link)

    wwwrapidsharecom/files/206460006/TextMessageList_v3.xls.html

  13. Scott, a Teleflip founder,

    If you are looking to do some good with your teleflip experience but not specifically looking to make lots and lots of money off of it, an idea.

    Many Red Cross chapters seek an easy way to sent alerts to their volunteers so many people do not have to spend hours going through call down lists when a local disaster strikes.

    I am just a chapter level volunteer, so I just know how useful a teleflip service would be to “gather the troops” at the push of a button. However, if you are interested, I can bring the idea to the umbrella national Red Cross technology department so you can converse with them about implimentation details.

  14. Scott, a Teleflip founder,

    If you are looking to do some good with your teleflip experience but not specifically looking to make lots and lots of money off of it, an idea.

    Many Red Cross chapters seek an easy way to sent alerts to their volunteers so many people do not have to spend hours going through call down lists when a local disaster strikes.

    I am just a chapter level volunteer, so I just know how useful a teleflip service would be to “gather the troops” at the push of a button. However, if you are interested, I can bring the idea to the umbrella national Red Cross technology department so you can converse with them about implimentation details.

  15. Kats Lilly — So glad to find your service. Please contact me at melhi@a5.com My company will likely be using your service — I tested it this morning and will be contacting my CTO & CDO about checking further whether it’s going to work for us (we were set up to use Teleflip on launch, but they didn’t last as long as our Dev) and I’d like to have a means by which to contact you if we have questions or information for you to add to your database, etc. I also have an initial question I’d like to ask you, but for confidentiality reasons, I cannot ask it on a public forum.

    Scott — I was actually looking for you when I found Kats Lilly — you’d be easier to reach out to if I could find current contact info for you. :)

    Thanks and best to both of you!
    Mel.

  16. Hey Scott, is it possible to work with you on somethings related to this subject.
    YahooMail-Alert sys has stoped working at beltic due to the yahoo guys changing the old yahoo classic to use Pure Ajax.. Seems like they too have been finally infected with the ajax virus. Am still looking for a work around scraping Ajax pages.. Any Idears?

  17. To enhance your beltic system (or any “teleflip” type service), I would suggest utilizing a database that provides carrier information for a given telephone number, such as the following for North America numbers:

    http://www.quentinsagerconsulting.com/utilities/nalennd_online.php

    As you can see, the query provides NPA NXX, Central Office, Service Area, LATA and Carrier data… combine this with a CNAM provider, such as http://my.metrostat.net/ (to display the subscribers caller-id name), all in real-time, and you’ll have one awesome service (such as http://tirs.us/), although not necessary for this service.

    …You could also allow the end-use to register there phone via a SMS verification phrase and select their own carrier if the query fails or isn’t correct (due to a recent port for example);

    …assuming your proficient in regex, it shouldn’t be too difficult to match the automated query carrier result to the corresponding mobile e-mail address.

    The North American Local Exchange NPA NXX database (NALENND) is $2,899.95 for an annual license w/ quarterly updates. I would be willing to go in on this 10% if we can combine efforts for a group purchase.


    NALENND™ is a field proven telecommunications database of all active area code and telephone exchange assignments within the North American Numbering Plan (NANP) and the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

    Compiled directly from definitive industry and regulatory sources, NALENND™ delivers accurate and reliable telecom data suitable for use in a variety of mission critical applications. Identify the Rate Center, Wire Center, switch CLLI, LATA, MTA, BTA, or NECA OCN for all active NPA NXX combinations.

    V&H coordinates for access and rating mileage calculations. NPA NXX, OCN, LATA, MTA, BTA, and Rate Center data for originating and terminating point identification during CDR reconciliation, traffic and call analysis, rating, and billing or similar tasks.

    Identify time zone by telephone number and wireless number assignments at the 1,000 block level to aid with TCPA compliance for call center and tele-marketing type applications.

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