May 4, 2022
The SOBS application does use SMS messaging as part of our application, this varies between the different applications, however when it does happen we do under certain circumstances invoice the school for these SMS messages.
When your school has generated SMS messages these will be charged at 10 cents + GST for each block of 160 characters in an SMS message. This charge is similar to the charge we receive when we send these messages to the SMS gateway to be delivered to a mobile phone. If your message is short (up to 160 characters including spaces) then it will be charged at 10 cents + GST. A message that is between 161 and 320 characters will incur a charge of 20 cents + GST. As the message becomes longer it will cost more.
The charge applies to each message sent to each phone number, and if the message is sent twice it will be charged twice. So sending a longer message to every parent at your school can incur a sizeable invoice. We encourage you to be careful about sending longer messages using this medium.
Your school is not charged for any SMS replies.
Please remember that SMS messages will incur a charge, where as any email sent via SOBS is sent freely.
Invoicing for SMS messages
If your school only uses a few SMS messages each year, then you will not be invoiced.
However, if your school’s SMS messages exceeds $20 in the past 12 months, then you will be invoiced for the number of messages sent.
Which applications send SMS messages
The detail on your invoice for SMS messages may show a code – these are described below:
- PT – Parent Booking application. This is most often where a parent has requested a verification code as the means of security for protecting their data on the Parent Booking application.
- SAR – Student Attendance application. This is most often where the school is sending an SMS message to the parent because the student is absent without explanation. In this application we also have the ability to send a broadcast SMS or email to the entire school and staff – perhaps used during an emergency situation.
- DS – Detention System application. More often this application will send emails to parents, staff and students, however it does have the ability to send an SMS if there is no email available.
- EN – Enrolment application. Parents can register via their mobile phones – this sends an SMS message containing their secure URL to enter their data. Each parent registering by mobile phone should only need one SMS message as the URL won’t change. However, if the parent loses the first link, they can register again with the same mobile number and we will send them another copy of their URL via an SMS message. As the student application progresses through the enrolment process there are a number of additional messages sent to the parent, those registering via a mobile phone will receive those messages as an SMS.
- PS – Permission Slips application. This application supports the use of email or SMS messaging. When configuring the permission slip the staff member will be asked how the slip should be sent to the parent, this can be via Email, SMS, Email/SMS or SMS/Email. The SMS message will contain either a question the school wants answered, or a link to a web form of questions for the parent to respond to.
- PWDREC – Password Recovery. If a staff member or a parent has forgotten their password, they can use a password recovery option. This resets their password to a temporary value and either emails or sends via SMS the temporary password they can use to sign on. At this login they will then be prompted to enter a new password.
Using an alternative supplier
In Australia SOBS will use Infoways Pty Ltd as the SMS gateway for delivery of all SMS messages.
If your school has an alternative supplier, we do support some other options. You can then configure your school to use one of these supported SMS gateway suppliers. This means your school will be invoiced directly by your SMS gateway supplier and not by SOBS.
Disable all SMS messaging
If your school does not want to be invoiced for any SMS messages, you can disable SOBS SMS messaging in the “School configuration” area. This option will disable all SMS capability within SOBS for your school. If your school is using SAR then this option will impact the ability for SOBS to send SMS messages when a student is unexplained absent.