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Old 18-07-2017, 15:00   #1
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Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Hi All
I am posting this out of sheer frustration with Iridium and as a warning to other Go owners of a problem that Iridium seems to be trying to keep secret.

Halfway across on our recent passage from Aus to Fiji it became apparent that we were suddenly no longer receiving incoming SMS messages. SMS is our preferred communication with family and friends and we normally send a daily status update, to which we usually receive replies. We became suspicious when we stopped receiving any replies to our messages and email Comms confirmed that messages had been sent to us but not received.

On arrival in Fiji I raised a ticket with Satphone store in the US who are our iridium airtime supplier. This is the response I received:-

As per Iridium...
There currently isn’t a fix to the problem, however, there is a workaround "a permanent fix is still being worked on". The customer will need to remove their SIM card from the GO equipment and place into an Iridium handset and delete the Inbox,Outbox,Draft boxes and then place the SIM back into the GO device. If the customer is not able to do this, then you will need to send them a new SIM card."


My response:-

Obviously that is an entirely unsatisfactory situation, although I appreciate it is an iridium fault not SatPhoneStore. I would expect at the least that your and iridium support frequent questions etc. would highlight the problem rather than let your customers discover it at their peril. Also obviously we and most other iridium go owners would not have a handset. Iridium and you as their agent are effectively in breach of contract as my plan states that there is "unlimited text messages". I would expect some form of compensation.
I need to know:-
Why has this happened? Is it because the message boxes have become too full?
Will it therefore happen again in the future after we have again filled our message boxes?

Iridium response:-
"We have not taken away the customers “unlimited text messages” as sold to him. He can still originate an unlimited # of SMS from his GO device and receive an unlimited number. The problem lies in the receiving end and it is in the works to find a permanent fix to the problem, however, until that time we have provided a work around to be able to continue to receive messages."


My response:-
Again an unsatisfactory response. If the "receiving end" cannot receive unlimited text messages and the airtime contract is for the "receiving end" then Iridium is obviously not supplying the service as per contract. There is no workaround when I am at sea on my yacht as I do not own an iridium handset.
My previous questions remain unanswered. I need information so I can manage the issue. By not supplying that information Iridium is making matters far worse. Please can you answer:-
If I can access a handset and clear the messages, how many messages will it take to cause the problem again?

I await their reply with little hope at the moment, based on their previous. It appears to me that they may have a major issue that they are trying to sweep under the carpet. In the meantime cruisers out there could be hit by this, potentially in emergency situations or at least with more serious consequences than the confusion and frustration we have had.

Although iridium appear to be avoiding publishing the exact nature of the problem my opinion at the moment is as follows:-
The iridium handsets appear to use message boxes stored on the SIM card. I think these message boxes have a maximum of 30 messages in total, then the handset will delete the oldest message to make way for a new one.
The incoming iridium go messages are filling up this 30 message quota on the SIM card but the GO does not delete the oldest, so incoming messages stop working. If this is true then even if you borrow a mates handset to delete the sim messages it will full up again in just 30 messages time?

I would love to hear from other Go users who may have had this problem or who have not and can thus prove or disprove my above theory.
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Old 18-07-2017, 20:15   #2
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

We've been using the GO and its SMS feature for 2 years now without a hitch and we have yet some miles to go....so watching this post.
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Old 18-07-2017, 21:28   #3
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

I am just installing my new GO. I'm planning to call Ocens tomorrow morning to see if they've heard of this issue. Amazing with the number of units that they've sold and this is the first we've heard of it.
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Old 19-07-2017, 11:09   #4
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

I just talked with a technician from Ocens and he hadn't heard of this issue. He said that if there were too many texts in the box, that one could delete them all, one at a time from the Iridium GO app on the mobile device.

Have you tried deleting the SMS messages from the app?
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Old 19-07-2017, 11:44   #5
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

And what a crazy problem to occur at all. It's not as if you're stacking up full-length HD movies. SMS messages are about as lean a data use as you can get. The Inbox should be designed to hold an almost infinite number of them. Unless the problem lies with other apps/media consuming all your storage space.
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Old 19-07-2017, 11:51   #6
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

If moving the SIM card to another device and deleting messages fixes the problem, you're dealing with a space limitation on the SIM card, not a problem in the device.

That's not something the device manufacturer can fix.

Did you ever consider buying a bigger SIM card?
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Old 22-07-2017, 12:20   #7
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emerald Sea View Post
We've been using the GO and its SMS feature for 2 years now without a hitch and we have yet some miles to go....so watching this post.
This is actually our 3rd year with the Go and the first time this has happened to us. It is a new SIM card as we cancel and reactivate seasonally, so maybe that has something to do with it, or maybe it's a new issue.
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Old 22-07-2017, 12:23   #8
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I just talked with a technician from Ocens and he hadn't heard of this issue. He said that if there were too many texts in the box, that one could delete them all, one at a time from the Iridium GO app on the mobile device.

Have you tried deleting the SMS messages from the app?
The problem is not the messages stored on the app device, it is messages stored on the SIM card, which is why iridium say you need to use a handset to delete the SIM card messages.
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Old 22-07-2017, 12:27   #9
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdege View Post
If moving the SIM card to another device and deleting messages fixes the problem, you're dealing with a space limitation on the SIM card, not a problem in the device.

That's not something the device manufacturer can fix.

Did you ever consider buying a bigger SIM card?
The SIM card is supplied by iridium, you can't buy a bigger one.
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Old 22-07-2017, 12:36   #10
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Latest response from Satphone Store, note that there is still no reply to my repeated questions about the exact nature of the problem:-

Bruce,
We understand your frustration. I have notified my management team of the current issue we are facing to have this issue resolved in a timely mater.
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Old 07-08-2017, 10:47   #11
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Update.
After quite a few more unsatisfactory responses to my questions I finally received (via satphone store) a request for information from iridium that I interpret to mean:-

1. This is not a regular fault that occurs. Something unusual has caused the SIM card to exceed the maximum messages of 30.
2. Iridium do not appear to know how this has happened yet.

I am hoping they will let me know when they figure out what has caused this, but my best guess as to what has happened is as follows:-

It seems that the iridium handset messaging uses the SIM card to store messages, maximum of 30, with oldest message deleted automatically once the sim is full.
I think the Go device also stores messages temporarily on the SIM card before they are downloaded onto the smart device using the Iridium Go app.
The Go device or the app must have a way that these messages are also automatically deleted from the SIM card.
Something unusual has happened with our messages that has caused the automatic deletion to fail. One possible cause is that we know that two people were trying to send us very long messages at around the time the issue happened. Iridium breaks such messages up and it's possible this went wrong and over 30 messages were created.
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Old 23-11-2017, 12:43   #12
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Our GO also stopped receiving SMS this past July after 3 months of vigorous texting on the Pacific Puddle Jump. The Sat phone Store have is the same workarounds: find an Iridium handset to delete messages on the simcard, or replace the simcard. As we had spares on hand and Iridium agreed to waive activation fees, we replaced the simcard. Our phone number nessesarily changed also, but most of our contacts were on the smartphone not the GO, so we were able to get our new number to those needing it. That was in August and it has worked fine since.
We usually have only the iPhone logged into the GO, but occasionally I log in with my Android phone. Immediately, all the new text messages download to my phone, up to a max of 50. Thus it seems that sms messages are NOT deleted from the simcard AND the simcard stores more than 30 messages.
I fully expect a repeat of the problem at some point, and using another spare simcard. Well let you know.
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Old 24-11-2017, 06:05   #13
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

Quote:
Originally Posted by DebPerfitt View Post
Our GO also stopped receiving SMS this past July after 3 months of vigorous texting on the Pacific Puddle Jump.
Thanks for that info DebPerfitt, interesting. As stated above its obviously not happening to everyone, there must be an unusual circumstance causing the bug. We borrowed a handset, cleared the messages and it did fix the problem. Maybe Iridium should give out a free handset with every Go?
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Old 06-05-2019, 09:24   #14
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Re: Iridium Go incoming SMS fault

I am facing the same problem and more! I think Iridium is a SCAM! Apart from not being able to receive messages (1 day after initialisation!!!) there are several things which do not operate; Is this happening to any of you, too??;
- If I make a call my Iridium GO number is not shown as the number, so the calling person will never know It is me on the other side calling; the phone numbers are from +61, +37, +39 …
- same if somebody else is calling me I do not get their real phone number (sometimes yes sometimes not) --- how on Earth can I know who is calling me??????
- Just few minutes ago I called myself (My iridium go number from my cell phone) and guess what, somebody answered .?? (WTF?????) … I was so shocked - the call lasted for 27 seconds …. I was so shocked and was not able to ask the person on the other side who he is. As I called again on the same number my iridium go tablet started to ring ….
AM I CRAZY or this Iridium Go device is out of control?

See attached pictures....
This is crazy and can't imagine how this Iridium NoGO would perform in Emmergency situation ….
The idea behind this product is great, but my experience with it so far is so negative that I am not sure I will not want a full refund and file a claim ...
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