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Galaxy S8: Samsung users complain of SMS messages that fail to arrive

Users of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 smartphones across the US, Australasia and Europe are complaining about SMS messages that seemingly fail to arrive.

The issue, which appears to affect users on all four US major mobile phone networks as well as in Canada, Australia, France and the UK, causes intermittent problems with basic text messages. A certain proportion of SMS messages appear not to be received by the Galaxy S8. No warning is sent, leaving users oblivious.

The Guardian can confirm that the issue exists with the Galaxy S8 on at least two mobile networks, missing around one in five SMS messages including two-factor authentication codes. The problem is relieved by inserting the sim card into another brand of smartphone, meaning that the issue appears to be with the Samsung smartphone rather than the mobile operator.

Users have taken to various forums, comment threads and Reddit to complain of the issue.

In a large thread on the Galaxy S8 subreddit, one user called Ep260 said: “Oh wow, I honestly thought it was just my mom’s ancient flip phone not sending messages. Turns out it actually was my newfangled smartphone.”

Another user called Culby said: “Ahhh. I missed some important work texts earlier in the week that resulted in me dragging my ass into the office three hours early, only to find out that I didn’t have to.”

“I know I have missed a couple. Textra on Bell network in Ontario, Canada,” said Londave indicating the issue is not limited to the US.

“S8+ Orange France. I miss also texts, it is random though,” said Masteryoan, while Aquie5t added: “I’m in Australia on Optus and I have had the problem as well. Using both Android Messages and the stock Samsung Messages.”

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The issue also doesn’t appear limited to the Galaxy S8, as at least one user called Turbomuffler said: “I’m missing a few messages too. Galaxy S7 Edge, Android Messages app, AT&T. It caused me to drive an hour out of my way to an event that was cancelled via a text that I didn’t receive :(.“

In the UK alone, 96bn text messages were sent in 2016, according to data from regulator Ofcom. However, SMS usage is in decline, down 5.5% in 2016 year-on-year and down from a peak of 151bn in 2012, thanks to “over-the-top” messaging services such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. But many services, including those such as Facebook and WhatsApp that use SMS for two-factor authentication rely on the decades-old service, meaning Samsung users could get locked out of accounts if the Galaxy S8 and others are missing text messages.

A fix for the problems has yet to be suggested. Samsung did not respond to a request for comment.


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