Sending Text Messages to Landlines

So my grandmother who is in her 80’s and does not have a mobile phone and orders the odd thing online (their food shopping since corona has been done with ocado).

While I tried to talk her into a cheap phone on pay as you go with giffgaff just to receive the SCA texts she would not budge.

I managed to get them sent to her BT landline but are read out as voice messages by va creepy text to speech voice.

While her handset supports BT text so they show up as text messages and they can also be sent. The local exchange is still using system x as most rural exchanges use so this is unsupported. I sent a text from my own phone to test this.

It works with her HSBC credit card that she has a direct debit on that she uses for her purchases online. (better than using a debit card online as it’s the banks money)

Anyone else had to think up some patchwork solution due to this.

I think there’s a real problem here for people of a specific generation (& likely others too!)

Charlotte’s grandma has a mobile phone, but it’s for emergencies only and she doesn’t really understand how it works! She normally keeps it in her handbag, turned off and without any charge on it. Last time I charged it up for her she had so many texts saved that the last text which had come through was from 2019. I guess that gives you an idea how old the phone is.

She recently wanted to buy a Hoover online, and tried to do so using her iPad. She can just about manage to do that, but at the checkout stage it asked her to 3DS the transaction, but with little information about what she was expected to do other than enter a code. She didn’t know what the code was, where it was supposed to be or who would give it to her.

Her initial thought was it would come through the post like an activation code for online banking.

In the end I bought it for her, she gave me the cash and then I had to pay it into my bank account!

There might have been an alternative way for her to pay, but because she didn’t understand what the problem was she was flummoxed.


I suspect some banks will be doing phone calls and it will read out a code when answered, but they’ll need to get round to it.

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In a few years texting to / from a landline won’t work anymore, it’s being phased out and all landlines will be moved away from System X and will be moving to the new BT Digital Voice offering, which doesn’t support SMS. The text to speech bit will still work though.

There does appear to be a bit of a gap with 2FA and assuming the customer has a mobile

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The move of their few regular landline users to IP based phones is way overdue. (Maybe HD voice on supported handsets so it no longer sounds like calling a potato)

The whole IP phone concept reminds me of the cisco hold music on the IP phones at work.