Bandwidth toll-free verification handbook  

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Alyssia Johnson

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Please note that the Toll-Free Industry verifier is currently experiencing a higher than normal volume of verification requests. As such, you may experience a delay in verification. Bandwidth is working with this industry aggregator to process requests as quickly as possible.

 

This article serves as a guide to ensure Bandwidth has the preliminary information needed to process your toll-free (TF) verification form. The toll-free verification form can be found here. If you're looking for information on how to complete the bulk toll-free verification form, check out our bulk toll-free verification guide.


Effective May 15, 2022, the Toll-Free Messaging Aggregator is requiring all new Toll-Free Numbers (TFNs) to complete the toll-free verification process. Numbers that are in-market today but are not verified will need to complete the verification, which can take up to 3-5 days, prior to September 30, 2022.

What is toll-free verification? 

The toll-free verification process qualifies the messaging traffic to be tagged as verified with our downstream peers (not directly with mobile operators). The approved tag reduces the number of false-positive blocks and helps increase the message deliverability on a single toll-free number (TFN). 

Verification is not whitelisting, so approval doesn’t guarantee that the customer won’t experience any blocking. However, as long as the sent traffic aligns with the verification application, this allows us to work with our peers more swiftly in order to share the campaign details with the mobile operator and ask for the blocking to be removed.

Toll-free verification timelines

Once the Bandwidth Campaign Team receives the form, it will be submitted within 2- 3 business days. Upon submission, it can take up to 3 business days for a single toll-free number request and up to 5 business days for multiple toll-free number requests to receive a response from our peer confirming approval, denial, or asking clarifying questions.

Unlike 10DLC, where most campaigns receive an immediate and automated rating, toll-free verification requests are reviewed manually by our peer. For batch/bulk submissions, turnaround times may vary.

There are several factors that may cause a delay in processing:

  • High volume of incoming requests
  • Incomplete or unclear fields
  • Multiple submissions
  • Multiple toll-free numbers on a request

Please make sure to submit detailed, high-quality forms. It’ll help make the process easier to review and approve!

Submitting a toll-free verification brief

Opt-in

  • Make sure the opt-in flow is thoroughly detailed. 
  • Provide a screenshot and/or URL of the opt-in flow or verbiage. This is required for marketing use cases.
  • Consumer consent should be collected by the direct (first) party sending the messages. 

Note: Consent cannot be acquired from a third party. Third-party opt-in is not supported and is ineligible for verification.

Use one recognizable number

Each message sender (business/entity/organization) should be utilizing only one primary sending number. Using a single number for messaging is not only a best practice but also a better user experience overall for the consumer!

In the case of a business/entity/organization with multiple locations or franchises, each location or franchise should have its own number. There is to be one number per message sender. Shared numbers (numbers used by multiple businesses) are disallowed and ineligible for verification. 

We understand there are use cases that require more than one sending number. For use cases that have multiple sending numbers, you'll be asked to upload an excel file with the business name associated with each TFN. For bulk/batch submissions, turnaround times will vary.

Sharing of end-user information

The sharing and selling of end-user information with third parties for marketing purposes violates both the Bandwidth's policy and our peers’ messaging policies and is therefore ineligible for verification.

Ineligible use cases

High-Risk Financial Services Get Rich Quick Schemes Debt Forgiveness Illegal Substances/ Activities General

Payday loans

Short-term, high-interest loans

Auto loans

Mortgage loans

Student loans

Gambling

Sweepstakes

Stock alerts

Cryptocurrency

Debt consolidation

Debt reduction

Credit repair programs

Deceptive work from home programs

Multi-level marketing

Work from home programs

Risk investment opportunities

Debt collection or consolidation

Cannabis

Alcohol

Tobacco or vape

Phishing

Fraud or scams

Deceptive marketing

Pornography

Profanity or hate speech

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Who does the May 15th verification deadline apply to?

Beginning May 15th, 2022, verification will be required to send from any toll-free number that has not been enabled for messaging prior to that date. This includes numbers that will only receive inbound content, as they will need to support STOP, HELP, and all other carrier/industry keywords. New numbers that are not verified after this date may experience service interruptions – if you encounter any difficulties, please open a support ticket with our Technical Assistance Center (TAC). All toll-free numbers will need to be verified by September 30th, 2022.

What are the minimum requirements to get verified?

  • Toll-free number(s)
    • CSV file with TFNs and business names for batch submissions (up to 1000 TNs per bulk file)
  • Verification brief with the required fields completed
  • The use case is not listed on our Ineligible Use Case list
  • Opt-in process is documented/detailed
    • Screenshots and/or URLs are required for marketing use cases
  • Bandwidth and Carrier Best Practices (CTIA guidelines) are being followed

How do I submit a toll-free verification form? 

Click here to submit a verification form. 

If you would like to submit in bulk, check out our bulk toll-free verification guide.

What is the cost of verification? 

There is no cost for verification. Verification is free.

How long does verification take?

Currently, Bandwidth processing time is 2-3 days and toll-free verification takes between 3-5 business days. This means the total processing time could be between 5-8 business days. Verifications are processed in the order they are received, so no provider is faster than any other provider. For additional information please see our section on toll-free verification timelines above.

How can I see if a toll-free number has been previously verified or is currently verified?

There is currently no ability to see if a toll-free number has been verified through the Bandwidth dashboard, although this feature has been added to our roadmap. If you would like to know which of your numbers are currently verified, please reach out to your Bandwidth account manager.

What are the benefits of going through the verification process?

  • Reduced amount of false-positive blocks
  • Faster resolution for deliverability issues
  • Increased protection for your customer’s brand

Will verification reduce the chance of being blocked by carriers?

Verification means that the filters applied to a number will be refined, so blocks should lessen. However, if content changes/differs from approved campaign purposes or if language is sent over the number that triggers a filter, the number may be blocked. For example, if cannabis traffic is sent on a verified number, it should create a block.

Can I whitelist campaigns? 

Verification is not whitelisting. Verification doesn’t systematically remove or prevent any spam blocking. However, it’ll put the use case on file with our peers so that we can work with them more quickly if the messages are blocked. Verification only impacts active deliverability with our toll-free messaging partner and not mobile carriers.

My verified toll-free number(s) got blocked. Can I unblock it? 

Yes, please open a support ticket with our Technical Assistance Center (TAC). If the number is already verified, please share this information in the ticket for a quicker resolution.

How many numbers can I submit at once?

The verification process is designed to verify a single number with a single-use case. We do, however, understand that there are other use cases that require more than one number.

If you need to submit a large amount of numbers, please use the bulk toll-free verification form. You may submit up to 1000 numbers per form. However, each number will be verified individually for specific compliance requirements.

Can a reseller get all of their numbers verified? 

Verification is meant for the end business actually sending the message traffic and not for the reseller. We're not able to verify numbers at the platform level.

Can I submit verification requests via API?

Unfortunately, we're not able to accept toll-free verification requests via API at this time.

Will ported in unverified numbers previously used on another provider count as new or existing numbers from now through October?

Toll-free numbers that have been enabled for messaging traffic – even when ported – will have until September 30th to verify.

My customer has numbers that were previously verified via their prior provider. What is the process of re-confirming verification through Bandwidth? 

A toll-free number will retain its verified status when ported, but its verification may be retested to ensure that traffic remains compliant. The retesting process may include requests for additional information regarding evidence of consent, privacy policies, and terms and conditions. 

In order to avoid the retesting process, we strongly encourage our customers to reverify their toll-free numbers once they port to our network. Please send a list of all the numbers that will be ported into our network to tfverification@bandwidth.com. If applicable, please attach any previously approved verification forms and/or ticket numbers.

Toll-free campaign brief fields and descriptions

Bandwidth Customer Name: The name of the Bandwidth customer completing the form.

Compliance Point of Contact: Name: The compliance contact should be at the direct Bandwidth customer's company.

Compliance Point of Contact: Phone: The phone number of the point of contact (POC).

Compliance Point of Contact: Email: The email address of the POC.

Compliance Point of Contact: Address: The business address of the POC.

Message Sender: Legal Company Name: The legal company name of the business sending the actual messages to consumers.

Organization Type: Use the drop-down menu to select the type of the message sender company.

Message Sender: State of Incorporation: The state where the message sender company was registered.

Message Sender Primary Company Address or Corporate Headquarters: The primary/corporate address of the message sender.

Campaign Description: Please describe your use case and the purpose of your messages (i.e. appointment reminders, receipts, etc.)

What types of messages are being sent? Use the drop-down menu to select an option that best describes your message type:

  • Conversational: Conversational messaging is a one-to-one message exchange between a business and an end user (recipient). 
    • Please provide supporting information on how opt-in is collected: Please describe how potential subscribers are opted in to receive messages. 
  • Informational: These messages inform your customers of things like service updates, appointments, and scheduling. Informational messages do not sell or promote anything regarding the business. 
    • Please provide supporting information on how opt-in is collected: Use the drop-down menu to select an option that best describes how subscribers opt in to the messaging program:
      • IVR: A potential subscriber provides their consent via an interactive voice response.
      • Keyword: A potential subscriber texts a keyword (i.e JOIN) to opt into a messaging program.
      • POS or other on-site location: A potential subscriber provides their consent at the point of sale or other on-site location.
      • Via paper form: A potential subscriber provides their consent at an in-person location via a paper form. 
      • Weblink/URL: A potential subscriber enters their telephone number through a website to opt into a messaging program.
      • Other: Use this field to detail any other type of opt-in not listed above.
  • Marketing: A text message sent that contains a sales or marketing promotion. 
    • Please provide supporting information on how opt-in is collected: Use the drop-down menu to select an option that best describes how subscribers opt in to the messaging program (see the list above).
    • A screenshot and/or URL will be required to move forward.

Sample Messages: Please include 1-3 variations of the messages you intend to send.

Please choose the category that best represents your use case/content: Use the drop-down menu to select a category that closely resembles your use case. 

Are you using more than one sending number?

  • No: Select this option if you're not using more than one sending number.
    • Phone Number associated with this campaign: Please provide the number associated with the campaign.
  • Yes: Select this option if you're using more than one sending number.
    • Please describe the business use for using more than one sending number: Please describe why the campaign is using more than one toll-free number to send messaging traffic.
    • Toll-Free Number list: Attach an excel file listing the toll-free numbers and the business name associated with each of them.

Estimated Monthly Message Volume: Use the drop-down menu to select a number that best represents the estimated monthly message volume.

Canadian Traffic: Please choose the appropriate drop-down selection if most of the traffic is expected to be delivered to Canadian handsets. 

Supporting Documentation: Please attach any additional information that would be useful.

Questions? Please open a ticket with your Bandwidth Support Team or hit us up at (855) 864-7776!

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