1. What is a Common Short Code?

Common Short Codes are used for text messaging and are either 5- or 6-digits long. These numbers can be used for mobile marketing, appointment or payment reminders, 2-factor authentication, mobile coupons, travel alerts, information services, and more.

2. How do I opt-in to a Common Short Code program?

Common Short Code are permission based. As the user, you must confirm or consent to be contacted by text message. This can be done by sending a designated keyword to the Common Short Code, or by providing your mobile number online, over the phone, or on a paper form, acknowledging you wish to receive alerts via text message. Depending on the type of program, you may be required to take additional steps to confirm your participation, such as replying YES to confirm you wish to subscribe to receive recurring alerts.

3. How do I opt-out of a Common Short Code program?

If you no longer want to receive messages, text the word STOP to the originating Common Short Code You will receive one message confirming you have opted-out and will receive no further messages from the Common Short Code. If you are subscribed to multiple Common Short Codes, you must text STOP to each one. Please note that the keyword STOP is not case sensitive.

4. How do I get more information about the Common Short Code program?

To receive more information, text HELP or INFO to the Common Short Code. This will result in a return message outlining: the program name or brand/company name, customer service contact information such as a website, support email, or toll-free phone number, cost and message frequency, and information about how to cancel the service by texting STOP. You can find a complete list of current Common Short Code programs and customer service information at: https://www.txt.ca/current-short-code-programs/.

5. What should I do if I feel that I’ve been charged for services that I didn’t sign up for?

Either contact your carrier, or contact the Canadian Telecommunications Association, who will help to investigate the issue on your behalf. If you have already contacted your service provider and your concerns have not been adequately addressed, you can contact the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS), an independent third-party complaints resolution service. Information about the CCTS is available at: https://www.ccts-cprst.ca or 1-888-221-1687.

6. I didn’t subscribe to this service, why am I receiving text messages?

Common Short Codes are all permission based, therefore, messages cannot be sent to a mobile number if the user has not agreed to receive the messages. If you are receiving unwanted messages, text STOP to the Common Short Code.

In rare instances, if a new mobile phone number is obtained, there is a chance that the former user may have subscribed to various text messaging services. Typically, carriers do not recycle numbers for a period of at least 30-60 days. Subscription services are required to remove unavailable clients from their contact lists.

7. What if someone signs my phone up?

Subscription based Common Short Code programs where opt-in takes place online, verbally, or in writing, have a handset verification stage to prevent this from happening. Premium text messaging services, such as text-to-donate programs, must double check to make sure their services and costs are wanted. These safeguards are put in place to prevent a person from signing up someone else for alerts or content.

8. How private is my information?

How information is used should be mentioned in the terms and conditions of the Common Short Code program. All users should read all associated terms and conditions before agreeing to opt-in to any Common Short Code program.

9. Isn’t this SPAM?

All Common Short Code programs are permission based. In order to opt-in or subscribe to a Common Short Code program, you must initiate the action either by sending a designated keyword to the Common Short Code, or by providing your mobile number online, over the phone, or on a paper form, acknowledging you wish to receive alerts via text message. If you have received an unwanted message from a 5- or a 6-digit Common Short Code number, reply with the word STOP and you should receive a message back confirming you have been opted-out. For additional information regarding SPAM, and Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation, please visit: www.fightspam.gc.ca.

10. What can I do if my service provider can’t resolve my complaint?

The Commissioner for Complaints for Telecommunications Services (CCTS) is an independent organization dedicated to working with you and your service provider to resolve complaints relating to your telecommunications services.

11. My question is not listed in the FAQs.

Email [email protected] for more information.