Number of learners not receiving texts is escalating

I understand that Twilio is requiring some sort of verification for all of the groups who use SMS feature in Ethos. Until this is resolved I’m guessing things are going to be painful.

There have been intermittent issues with people not receiving texts - either phone number verification code or messages that get sent after texting in attendance - but this seems to be escalating very quickly. Our help desk is getting bogged down with people indicating they did not receive messages they were expecting. This is starting to affect our enrollments (people erroneously think they can’t register for a course until their mobile number is confirmed) as well as our completions (people not getting messages once they text in attendance).

Are any of you experiencing the same, is it getting worse, and what are you doing to mitigate?



We are seeing issues where users are not receiving texts or not be able to confirm their mobile phone number.

These are very difficult to resolve at the moment.


I was testing an SMS Text code this week I didn’t receive the corresponding text; however it did show me enrolled. We just tested again and had to send the code twice to get it to work.

I have also noticed that while users are not receiving text confirmations, they are still being marked for attendance if their phone number is confirmed on EthosCE. The issue for us is that users that are being on-boarded to the text messaging service for the first time do not receive the 4-digit confirmation text that they need to opt into the service.

We received an email from Ann Ruggiero earlier in the week alerting us of this and asking for more information on our organization that was needed to update our Twillio account. Since we received this notification we notified all our activity coordinators. We recommended all attendees mark their attendance directly on the website by completing the activity requirements or going to the attendance page we set up.

Ann mentioned the following: “As a potential work around, learners can manually enter the code using the following: yourdomain/code This will ensure that they are enrolled and confirmed in the system.”

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@gmartin +1 on this solution. This seems to work for users that are stuck without being able to opt in to the text messaging service.

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I missed this part of the email I received:
Once the request is submitted, Twilio will review and send approval or request more information. At this time, they are overwhelmed with requests, and it is taking longer than expected for approvals to come through.
If you did not receive an email from Ethos on this, I assume it’s possible they already had the information needed to update the Twillio account. That said, it looks like Twillio is having issues managing the load of work coming in due to this, so it may be a matter of just waiting it out. I recommend adding a sitewide notification to your platforms to try and mitigate this as well. Here’s the CSS code we use to add site-wide notifications at the top. If you copy the code below make sure to replace the URL with your site’s link to enter the attendance codes.

#content:before {
	    border:1px solid #cb4d4d!important;
	    content: "Attention: There has been some disruption in SMS/Text services, which may affect users sending attendance codes via text to mark their attendance. We are currently working to fix this, in the mean time, please mark your attendance at yourdomain/code or manually when completing activity requirements";
	    display: block;
        margin: auto;        
	    position: relative;
        text-transform: none!important;
        width: 95%;
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yourdomain/code not a viable option for receiving the phone verification code. This is also not a viable option for anyone who does not have an account and are texting in as their first “touch” to us, as you have to be logged in with an account for the below link to work. So this only works for issue 3 below. This does not fix issues 1 and 2.

  1. Learners creating an account are not getting the phone verification code so they can’t verify their phone therefore they cannot use the text option to verify to attendance or claim credit. They also think that their profile is not complete if they don’t add that code, and therefore they think they cannot register for courses until this is done.
  2. Learners who text in without an account do not receive a message to create an account
  3. Learners who have an account and registered mobile number do not receive the reply with the link to complete the requirements and claim credit.

This issue is also very disruptive for us. We have a high volume of series activities that rely on SMS texting for recording attendance. While we are aware that the SMS code can be input by using the yourdomain/code url, that is not a part of the standard process/messaging for series courses, so temporarily redirecting to that method would be confusing/disruptive for the learners. It also does not remedy the issue for users trying to link their mobile number to their account.

We were told Twilio has been taking a significant time in approving the requests for registration and there is no clear turn-around time from them. Unfortunately, we were not proactively made aware of the issue, or asked for our information to be able to be submitted to Twilio via Ethos until we submitted a support ticket indicating the lapse in text confirmations. We were then made aware of the Twilio issue.


This has already been extremely painful for us, and it’s getting worse each day. I’m sorry everyone else is having these issues too, but I appreciate seeing what you all are doing.

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We are also seeing this issue and hope it will be resolved soon

Susan Benysh
Mayo Clinic

We are sending out weekly updates to our course coordinators. This is the memo that we sent out this afternoon. Feel free to use or modify if it helps your institution.


We continue to work with our vendor for updates on the sms issues first encountered on 7/30. The short update is that the issues are not resolved. We are sorry for the continued inconvenience. The telecommunications provider supporting our service is implementing anti-spam measures on all of its accounts for outbound messages (confirmations of attendance and new accounts). This is a new industry wide standard. Our account is being reviewed to verify authenticity. With our telecommunications provider, it is taking an estimated 3 weeks. If this is accurate, we would be approved and fully operational on 8/22. We were not aware of the new requirements, until we experienced an outage. This is being applied to all 10 digit sms phone services (fully effective 8/31 - more information can be found at

Inbound attendance codes are being recorded (for those with confirmed accounts). Some, but not all, outbound messages are going back to learners. The vendor is throttling the number of allowed messages outbound (the confirmations). However, the learner may not receive a text confirmation. If you have an evaluation on your course and it is set to fire an email, the learner would receive an email notification that could signify attendance was recorded. If the account is unconfirmed, the attendance will not be associated with a learner.

Learner Attendance Recommendations

New learners

Advise any new participant to first make sure that they have an account on our system. New participants can visit and then the register button.

If the learner wants to make sure that her attendance is marked and confirmed, she should visit and then enter the code associated with your live ce sessions.

Existing learners with confirmed phone numbers

If the learner has successfully marked attendance in the past on our system, she can continue to text, but may not receive the attendance confirmation.

Most successful and least risk for attendance

If the learner wants to make sure that her attendance is marked and confirmed, she should visit . She will need to enter login credentials and then will be redirected to enter a session attendance code.

We will provide another update, once we have additional information. Please let me know what questions you have or ways that we can assist.

Has anyone been able to get any information from Ethos besides “there’s nothing we can do”?

The lack of communication has been incredibly frustrating, although expected. Each day we are responding to more and more issues because of this, and I’m not even sure they understand how difficult this is for everyone.

It’s been crickets for us, after multiple follow up.

I wonder if they are going to prorate our invoice.

Very frustrating and unfortunate!

We understand the frustration and inconvenience this is causing for you and your learners. Cadmium and the EthosCE Support team is working directly with Twilio to resolve the issues with SMS. Twilio has reported they are overwhelmed with requests and approvals are taking longer than anticipated but rest assured we are working diligently to escalate EthoseCE customer approvals. We will continue to follow up with them to ensure they understand the urgency of the matter.
Thank you!

Can you provide insight on the following:

  • General turnaround times. Are you seeing ANY progress on applications for EthosCE clients being reviewed, or are we at a total standstill?
  • Twilio says it’s a 2-3 week turnaround time; are you finding this true with EthosCE clients? If not, what does the deviation look like on your end (i.e. looks more like 4-5 weeks)?
  • Do you have suggestions for any problems stated on this thread?
  • Are you considering any additional interim solutions or any other changes to help mitigate this problem? Especially if Twilio continues to move so slowly with applications?

I think some deeper insight would be beneficial here.

Unfortunately, over the years “nothing we can do” has been the reply we get most often to our inquiries and suggestions.


I agree with Genesis. We need more information than Twilio is overwhelmed and working on it. What is taking so long to approved? What is the approval process? What exactly are they doing to get these approved quickly? We provided our information in June and heard others have as early as May. I am disappointed that we did not get any upfront communication about this change and learned of the change when we submitted tickets because customers were having issues. Some of the frustration our customers and learners are expressing could have been lessened if we would have had time to inform them and give them options before the issues started allowing us to me more proactive vs. reactive. Twilio had a timeline, so I would have expected a communication letting us know about the change, what we needed to do, what to expect, timeline and regular updates throughout this change. Maybe Twilio needs to hear directly from your customers to better understand how frustrated we are.

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Thank you for sharing how you are communicating with your users/coordinators. Is there something you are doing to help brand new learners who cannot get the mobile number verification text when using the recommended update/create profile? We have also provided an update for our learners, but when helping a new user add their mobile number, they do not get the message to “verify mobile number” either. Therefore they cannot complete the step. We are manually enrolling them in the sessions they attend or manually enter the code in the https://domainname/code?
Does EthosCE have a recommendation or verbiage to provide to our learners from an update?

We realize this doesn’t help with all instances, but utilizing the confirmation email via a session’s enrollment settings to assist with the SMS text confirmation issue may be a useful mechanism to confirm to learners that their attendance was recorded in the absence of a text. You may already use confirmation emails for RSS’s, but we typically don’t and thought it might work as a temporary replacement for the texts that are being received.