Grey routes – what are they, and why should you avoid them?

When it comes to sending out large numbers of text messages, there are plenty of people trying to get your attention and your business. It can seem tempting to go for the cheapest option to stretch your budget as far as possible, but you run the risk of unreliable and possibly illegal suppliers destroying your communications plans and damaging your reputation.

One method of sending unfeasibly cheap messages is through what’s known as grey routes. At its simplest, a grey route is a route which is legal for one country or involved party, but illegal for the other one.

What does this mean? Well typically a grey route will send your messages via another country, without paying an interconnect fee to one of the networks involved. This is how they can charge their customers such a minimal fee – because they’re not paying the networks. To confuse the networks involved so they can’t tell where the message originates, the message can be bounced around several different networks before reaching its final destination – your customer’s phone. If it reaches it at all.

Not only this, but bulk messaging through a grey route can put unprecedented stress on a particular point on the route, resulting in hold ups and lost messages, both for the users of the grey route and legitimate network users. There’s no way of telling when your messages are going to arrive – not only can you not schedule them, but with the messages taking such a convoluted route with so many obstacles, who’s to say how long they’ll take to reach their destination.

It’s not hard to see then why the networks are working hard to shut down these routes, which are also known as ‘bypass fraud’. This means that anyone using these routes can find their messages suddenly blocked, prices suddenly increasing, and messages arriving hours, days, even weeks late.

The only way to ensure that your messages are delivered, and on time, is to use a legitimate, ‘white’ route. Textlocal have direct links with the major UK networks, ensuring that all of our messages are sent through reliable, tier one connections. Not only that, but we have a huge range of features to offer that simply can’t be beaten, such as SMS attachments and mobile vouchers. Avoid the mess, the instability and the questionable legality of grey routes by using Textlocal for your SMS.