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Text Messages when calling 611 or 1-855-478-2542

Mayor / Maire

I am sure some other members have noticed this.

Now, when calling 611 from our Public Mobile devices, or 1-855-478-2542 from another line, a text message is sent to that phone number:


Okay, fine, a little annoying and was hoping there was a feature to turn this setting off, but couldn't find it.

Has anyone else found one?


Then again -

thought about this, and called 1-855-478-2542 from another line, then entered someone else's phone number, and they received that text. I immediately texted them and said I was the reason they received that text, so they wouldn't freak out about hacking or anything. They were not impressed at first...😬

I know you don't need the 4-digit account PIN to hear next payment and balance of account when calling 1-855-478-2542 from another line......but now, if someone perhaps enters my phone number in error through this method, or just wants to freak me out about fraud or hacking, they can enter my number, and I would receive a text. Humm, not sure I like this. 

Sure, they may not be able to do any actions within my account without my PIN. But STILL, I'd receive that text and would wonder 'what the heck ?'.


Yes, I can see reasons why the 4-digit account PIN is helpful not to enter when using 855-number..before anyone posts that.

But now, I'd much prefer it was a requirement to have this mandatory when calling it after entering a customer's 10 digit phone number.


Wondering if any Oracles can perhaps bring this up in discussions with Public Mobile, if they also feel similar concerns?


Mayor / Maire

@esjliv  Yes, I was check 1-855-4PUBLIC for my family the other day, and that freak them out seeing the text.. They call me back immediately and ask me if it was me.  LoL


Mayor / Maire

I guess it is 'security' feature. Same as some banks send you email or SMS every single time you log in. Kind of annoying but at least you can see when you (or somebody else) did log in to your account.

Now, they way you describe - entering somebody else number to generate SMS to THAT number is a little bit disturbing. Opens door for silly and annoying pranks.

SMS should be sent (if really needed) only when you actually log in to that account not just after entering the number.


And I just checked myself - entering somebody's else PM phone number, they received SMS and I was able to hear some details like when is next payment due. I did not try to see what else I can get about that account.

That is really disturbing; not only somebody else will get scary SMS but what else you can 'do' with their account.

For next payment date or any other account related info I would expect to enter PIN, password or whatever.

Mayor / Maire

@Yummy -

I was not impressed a couple years ago when I discovered anyone knowing my phone number could find out the next payment date and balance on my account. But, guess it was never a big concern to Public Mobile or others that had any input for changes to be made.


There was a time when calling 855 number, it didn't ask for the 4 digit PIN until further into the menu quite a bit on the account. But now, it seems to ask for it a bit earlier.


1 - right after you accept to make a payment via registered card on the account it will ask for the PIN.


2 - but when you choose to make a payment via voucher, it does not. It just asked for the 12 digit voucher pin number. Now, I have not tested loading a voucher this maybe it asks for the PIN after the 12 digit voucher is entered, but that would be odd.


In number 2 above, I can actually see how this is helpful if you are assisting others with their account and not needing a PIN.

You call 855..and enter their number, then add a voucher on their behalf, so they have services (like for a child or parent example).


Mayor / Maire

Perhaps the wording in the text message could be changed. 


Could do similar when logging into Craigslist by having a login link sent to “your” email address.  

Mayor / Maire

There used to be no PIN # whatsoever when calling the 611/IVR system. They finally added it in late 2020 I think....they left it open for customers to access basic account info including your deactivation date. Adding a voucher is the easiest way to automatically reactivate your account from anywhere. There have been cases of customers making a payment to reactivate within their self serve account only to lose it a few days later bècause the payment only landed in available funds and the customer either didnt notice or assumed it would be taken at "renewal". But the 611/IVR system also has a flaw with it accepting payment when suspended via lost/stolen but cannot reactivate the account unless lost/stolen is removed from within self serve by resuming service.

@CountyDownIeUk wrote:

Perhaps the wording in the text message could be changed. 

Could do similar when logging into Craigslist by having a login link sent to “your” email address.  

I actually like the wording about "Thank you for calling IVR". At least it tell us someone is calling the IVR system using our phone number @CountyDownIeUk .

But other wording, I agree could be changed. For example, like the 'new and improved My Account'.

Let the member see for themselves if 'improved' 😉

And, maybe have that website address a hyperlink so someone can actually just click and go...I guess the question would be, would that link work ? 😁


As mentioned @darlicious , I do agree and see some benefit to being able to load funds via voucher through IVR (via calling 855).  But I do feel some kind of security question should be answered right after entering our 10 digit phone number. And only after that point, should an IVR text be sent to our phone.


At least if someone was hacking my account and they were able to use my account PIN or answer some type of security question (without my consent), THEN I received that IVR text, it would make sense to be concerned about someone hacking my information.

Mayor / Maire

@esjliv   I rarely use the 611 service and would agree that this change is ripe for abuse or mischief.   OTOH I don't think there would be any issues with loading a prepaid voucher via 611 without the need to for a PIN and would hope PM keeps that option. 

Mayor / Maire

@dabr wrote:

@esjliv   I rarely use the 611 service and would agree that this change is ripe for abuse or mischief.

Same here...

Still I would not be comfortable for somebody to entering my number initiate any kind of SMS or calls to my phone. Accessing service through 611 or 855 number has to be allowed only after entering your number and PIN. Same as logging into any other account.

Imagine idle body knowing you and your number to call 611 100x a day; so you get 100 useless SMS... Just to annoy you.