Resolve problems with receiving or sending texts or making calls

If you’re having a few problems getting messages or calls or you’re unable to send any text messages, there could be several factors or a simple issue with your phone.

Use the tips below to try and get your phone working again.

First things first – check your coverage:

Does your device show at least two signal bars? Types of coverage can vary as you move around your house, town, city or island. Try moving to a different spot to make or receive the text or call. Your smart phone is pretty smart, and it will automatically select the best network service available, whether that is 3G or 4G. If you continue to experience coverage issues, there could be a network fault in your area. Check for any faults using our 2degrees network status page. This will also show you what type of coverage is available and the expected strength. If there currently are faults or outages in your area, you might be able to use WiFi Calling.

Still no luck? Try these next steps:

  • Restart your device: turn the phone off completely and turn it back on. Most of the time this is all that you need to do to get your phone up and running. If your phone has Flight or Airplane Mode, you can also try turning this on, then off to refresh your connection, but turning your phone off and on is always best.
  • If you can’t receive text messages, check the SMSC Number. Go into the Settings section of your Text Messages to look for Service Centre number or Message Service Centre and make sure this is set to +64 22 022 7672. This is usually under Menu > Messages > Message settings.
  • Turn off WiFi and turn off data to ensure it’s not an internet issue. If you're only having trouble when on WiFi and you’re connecting to a 2degrees broadband connection, see this page about Connecting to WiFi
  • Check the format of the number you're having issues with. Make sure the number is correct. If it is, make sure you're using the correct format (in the international format if it’s an international number, or with the local area code in front if it’s a landline. If it is a landline, it is unable to receive or send text messages).
  • Try another number. If the problem is only happening with one number, you may either have that number incorrect or there may be a problem with that line, not yours. You can also check that the number isn't on your device's spam list or block list.
  • Ensure that your phone is updated to the latest software, check with your phone manufacturer for details.
  • Try the SIM card in another 2dgreees phone and see if the same thing happens. If it does, there's a problem with the SIM card, and we can replace it free of charge.
  • For issues with receiving pictures or MMS, open a few web pages on your device to make sure your Internet works. Remember that it can take longer for an MMS or GIF to get to your mobile device than a text and that sending an MMS is limited to 10 recipients per message.

If the above steps don’t fix the problem, check the following

  • Your balance – make sure you have enough credit or balance to make calls, send text or use data. To check your balance, send BAL to 233. If you receive a recorded error message when trying to call, make sure to listen in full as it will usually advise you of the problem. You may not have enough credit to make your call (Prepay); or may have a Spend Limit or Credit Limit (Pay Monthly).
  • Do Not Disturb is off – make sure that the Do Not Disturb function is turned off since your phone won’t be ringing for incoming calls or texts. If you can't hear your notifications, be sure your phone is not set to silent and that your ring volume is turned up.
  • Your settings are correct – if you’re unable to connect to WiFi, Bluetooth or are unable to receive and make calls, read our checklist for advice on the correct settings. You can also reset your phone’s network settings, however, it's important to note this also resets everything on the device including passwords.
  • Storage space – your device needs at least 15% free storage space to function effectively.
  • Your phone is on and within a coverage area – where a text message has been sent to you, but your phone was unable to receive it, we continue to try to send the text message to your phone for up to 72 hours. If you want to receive text messages but your phone is off, we recommend you switch it back on daily inside a coverage area.
  • Your phone is ‘unlocked’ – if you bought it from another provider, you might need to get your phone unlocked.
  • That diverts aren’t set up and ingoing and outgoing calls aren’t barred. Any kind of barring will affect sending and receiving text messages. Check your device’s Call Settings to see if this is the issue.

Messaging issues on Apple devices

Can I receive a text message when my phone is off or outside of a coverage area?

Your phone needs to be switched on and be within a coverage area to receive text messages. Where a text message has been sent to you, but your phone was unable to receive it, we continue to try to send the text message to your phone for up to 72 hours.

Issues making a phone call from your mobile

If you're experiencing problems with calling on your phone and you’ve used the above steps to try and eliminate the problem, you may need to double-check the format of the number you're calling

  • If you're calling a New Zealand landline from your mobile, you need to use the full number including the area code. For example. for the Auckland region, make sure the number starts with 09, for Christchurch and all of the South Island, the local area code is 03.
  • If you're calling a New Zealand number while roaming overseas or calling an international number, you need to use the international prefix first, then the area code or mobile prefix with the first 0 dropped. If you're calling a number in Auckland, you would dial 0064 9 xxx for a landline, or 0064 2xxx for a mobile. Even better, replace the 00 with a plus (+) symbol like this: +64 9 xxx or +64 2xxx. o
    • Here’s a handy hint: store all the numbers in your contacts using the International method. That way you're prepared no matter where you are.
  • If the problem is only happening with one number, you may either have that number incorrect or there may be a problem with that line, not yours.

Still having problems receiving or making calls and sending texts?

If you're still experiencing the problem, call us on 0800 022 022. It's easier for us to troubleshoot any issues if you can call from a different phone than the one you’re having issues with. 

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