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Answers to frequently asked questions

Below you will find the answers to the questions most frequently asked

FAQ SMS

What are the new rules on the use of text senders?

From 16/10/2013 Resolution 42/13/CIR of AGCOM [Italian Communications Regulatory Authority] came into force concerning the rules for the trial of the Alias that is the text sender of 11 characters that you normally use as the sender of your SMS messages.

The spirit of the resolution is to allow subscribers of mobile communication services to pinpoint the actual sender of the SMS through a simple call to the customer service of their telephone service provider. Essentially AGCOM has implemented a database dedicated to the collection of personal information relating to Aliases.

Every customer who wants to use a text Alias as the sender of the SMS message must first notify AGCOM, through VOLA, of their details and a point of contact for the Alias used. In case of non-registration of the sender, the sending of the SMS message will happen regularly but the sender will be replaced by the identification number of the service provider used for sending the SMS’s.

The Resolution also states that Aliases can be used only for “non-consumer” parties who possess a VAT number or numeric tax code. A consumer customer who uses the SMS send service will no longer be able to use their own Alias and all their messages are sent with an identification number of the service provider used for sending SMS’s.

VOLA has integrated into the VolaSMS platform available to customers a procedure to register Aliases on the AGCOM database.

What do I need to do in practice?
Nothing yet, you can continue to send SMS’s as before. When AGCOM finalizes the DB, you will be asked to enter the details of the company and a point of contact for complaints regarding the processing of personal data. In your policy you should already have a contact procedure.

I have no VAT number, what will change?
If you are a private individual (without VAT number or numeric tax code), you will not be able to send messages with customized ALIAS senders but you will use the identification number of the service provider used for sending SMS’s.

Can I register my own ALIAS directly with AGCOM?
No, in order to access the DB of AGCOM you have to be authorized operators registered on the Register of Communications Operators.

So I can continue to use the sender as before?
If you have a VAT number, the important thing is that they are not “generic” senders, such as “restaurant”, “municipality”, “secretariat”. They must indicate the actual party responsible for the send and be the Data Controller.

Can the same Alias be assigned to multiple companies?
Yes, for example if BarPippo S.p.A. company exists in Rome and there is a second BarPippo S.r.l. company in Milan, both are entitled to use the sender “BarPippo”. If a final recipient of an SMS asks their service provider for the details of an SMS sender, the service provider will interrogate the AGCOM DB and the result will be two companies.

I am a reseller/agency, what do I have to do?
On the VolaSMS platform in the section dedicated to Resellers, a new section will be available where the reseller can register aliases on behalf of their end user customers. Each alias should show the details of the end user company, not the reseller.

Who can access the AGCOM DB?
All information entered will be used exclusively for recording the same in the AGCOM DB, which will only be viewable by service providers given access (Vodafone, Tim, Wind, H3G …..). These same will interrogate the DB, entering an ALIAS (e.g. BarPippo) and getting as a result the BarPippo company’s data (with no details on the agency/reseller nor on Vola).

When will the new regulations enter into force?
The resolution provides for a trial period up to 31/12/2014. Registering ALIAS’s could begin in the near future, we are waiting for AGCOM to provide us with access data to record information in their DB.

Why does it sometimes happen that SMS’S are not received?

The SMS service on the GSM network is not a connection-oriented service and therefore, given its technical setup, it cannot guarantee the certainty nor the time of delivery.
This is an inherent technological limitation and no one can EVER 100% guarantee certainty of delivery nor at predetermined times, given how the service has been designed.
In fact, SMS messages travel on the signaling channels of the GSM network, and their delivery depends on indeterminate factors such as the intensity of the signaling traffic at that time on the network, congestion in the cells, the load on the network components, etc.
Typically an SMS message is delivered in a few seconds in the great majority of cases.
But there are factors beyond our control and that of GSM service providers which sometimes prevent the message from being delivered (for example, the recipient’s mobile phone SIM card is full, the mobile phone is turned off, the network or the SMSC is overloaded, sudden surges of traffic to be cleared, etc.).
When the SMSC (that is to say, the component of the GSM network that is responsible for delivering the messages and that works in store and forward mode) fails to deliver a message, it tries again at increasing intervals up to a maximum time of 24 or 48 hours, after which interval the message is deleted and will no longer be delivered.
This also happens in sending an SMS from one mobile phone to another directly through your mobile service provider.

How long are purchased messages valid?

The SMS Silver or Gold message packages and the reception keys are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase.
For more information on the service conditions, see the area dedicated to the contractual conditions on the site.

Is it possible to receive SMS’s in addition to sending them?

Yes; via the Vola SMS gateway you can also receive SMS’s on the Vola web platform and with the tools offered by the Vola SDK development kit. In this way you can receive SMS’s on your own website, have information available directly from your customers, receive feedback about new products and services, request support, receive votes, enable registration on your lists and countless other applications.

The SMS reception service is available both on shared numbers and dedicated numbers.
For more information, visit the Interactive VolaSMS area, consult Online Support for the topic “SMS message reception” or ask our technical support dept.

Is it possible to send SMS's with a customized sender?

Yes, if you are using the GOLD profile, you can customize the sender of SMS messages sent in accordance with Resolution 42/13/CIR from AGCOM . You can add a new sender to the list of senders that can be used by clicking on “Add” new sender and following the procedure required.

The sender may be a mobile phone number that needs to be authenticated by sending an SMS containing a PIN code for the mobile number to be authenticated.
Examples of a mobile phone number as the sender: +393281234567, +393331234567
Or the sender may be a sequence of minimum 3 and maximum 11 characters. In this case the characters allowed are:

  • Letters (A-Z) and (a-z)
  • Numbers (0-9)
  • Full stop (.)
  • Space ( )

Example of alphanumeric sender: “Acme Inc.”, “Dr. Rossi”

What is the difference between SMS Gold and Silver?

The Gold price option uses direct connections with national telephone service providers that ensure the delivery of the message within a few seconds.
With SMS Gold you can: customize the sender field of the SMS message in alphanumeric format (in accordance with Resolution 42/13/CIR from AGCOM), know the notification status of each SMS sent and send SMS’s to many countries in the world (SMS Gold World).
The Silver price option does not allow customization of the SMS sender field. All messages will be delivered with a standard numeric sender. The delivery times of SMS messages and the level of service for this option (including the delivery of messages) are deemed “Best Effort”.

You can decide at any time which price option to use for sending SMS messages to suit your needs. You can convert from Silver to the Gold price plan (and vice versa) directly from the Vola web platform. This operation does not involve extra costs and is calculated at the current price of the SMS based on the price scale of the plan used.

Is it possible to enter characters inside SMS's? If so, wich ones?

With high-quality (Gold) SMS’s you can insert special characters into the text of the message. Because of their particular encoding, however, these characters count as 2 standard characters within the 160-character length of an SMS (so when using one of these characters in the text of the message, the maximum length is reduced to 159 characters, using two of them it is reduced to 158 and so on …).
Below are the special characters that count double if inserted into the text of the SMS message:
[ ] ^ { | } ~ €

Is it possible to send SMS's via an API?

Certainly. We provide simple and immediate SMS APIs to developers and webmasters which allow you to make calls on the Vola Gateway from your server, applications or websites. The programming syntax and language have been created so as to make it as simple as possible to make an HTTP or HTTPS call.

FAQ EMAIL

What is the Vola Email platform?

The Vola Email platform is a web platform through which you can send email campaigns to all your contacts. Access the reserved area and create, send and analyze your email marketing campaigns in a few easy steps. The platform is compatible with all major browsers (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) and operating systems (Microsoft, IOS, etc.). Simply connect to the Vola site with a web browser and click on LOGIN (top right).

Do you have a guide to using the service? Can I download it for free?

Yes. The manual for using the email platform is available for free download on our web platform.

What is the difference between purchasing a subscription and purchasing an email package?

By purchasing an email package, you are purchasing a set number of emails which will be deducted from your account according to the number of recipients to which you send your emails (just like the SMS packages).
For the subscription, however, what you buy is the sending speed in terms of the number of emails you can send in one hour. For example, if you have a database of 20,000 contacts and you purchase a subscription for 8,000 emails per hour, you can send your email campaign to all your contacts in just 4 hours.

Is it possible to upgrade a subscription?

Certainly. By purchasing a bandwidth upgrade, i.e. changing to a faster-speed subscription, you can send your emails faster.
Upgrades can happen at any time during the subscription term that you purchased (if you want to switch to a slower-speed subscription – downgrade – you will have to wait for the natural expiration of the current subscription).

What is the Free E-mail plan?

The Free E-mail plan allows you to use the e-mail platform of Vola for free: it includes all the features of paid versions with some limitations:

  • Send up to 3,000 emails a day and 15,000 emails a month
  • 1 list containing up to a maximum of 3,000 contacts
  • 3 custom fields for each contact
  • 1 e-mail sender
  • 10 custom templates
  • Full reporting up to a month from the sending of the campaign
  • Never Expires.

What are lists?

The list is the tool that allows you to manage your email communications. Through the creation of lists you can enter the various contacts to send your campaigns to. Each contact can be inserted into one or more lists. The list also allows you to configure some basic settings, such as the name and email address of the sender that will be displayed in the recipients’ email clients. You can import contacts into a list, adding them individually or in an automated manner by uploading .csv, .txt or .xls files.

Do you make ready-to-use templates available?

Yes, Vola puts at your disposal templates (either basic or more structured) which you can select and use for your email campaigns. All templates are free, ready to use and customizable depending on your needs. In addition, “Advanced” templates are optimized to be viewed on any device.

Is it possible to schedule email campaign sends?

Certainly. In the last step of campaign creation you can set the date and time (as well as the sending speed) so as to schedule the sending of the emails.

What data can I view in the Email statistics?

For each send performed, it will be possible to see the details of the emails sent (delivered and returned), emails opened, those not sent (because duplicate or filtered by a previous send) and those returned (i.e. emails that could not be delivered and the reason why it was not possible to deliver them). It is also possible to know the contacts which have unsubscribed and the links that have been clicked with the relevant map, and finally to know the applications used by the recipients to open the emails received.

GENERAL FAQ

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept payment by direct debit on credit card, credit card by fax and bank transfer.
The amounts are actually charged at different intervals according to the method used, so the activation times for services will vary depending on the chosen method.
The payment decided at the moment of purchase of Vola products cannot usually be changed later for administrative reasons.
If problems occur or if you wish to pay by any other method, we invite our customers to contact our sales support by calling +39 0584 43671 or via email at ordini@vola.it.
Particulars on payment methods can be found under the “Payment data” item of the Resources menu.

How do I change my personal settings?

In order to change your personal settings, including billing information, just logon to our website from the web platform and choose “Accounts and Billing“.
Please note that the only field that you cannot edit is your username.

Where can I get invoices for services purchased?

To request copies of invoices, just logon to our website from the web platform, choose “Accounts and Billing” and then “Invoices“.
For administrative reasons, it is not possible to request a new invoice with different data than that indicated when ordering the service. If by “reissue” you mean a new copy of the same invoice, you can always get it by entering the customer area and choosing the billing item from the menu on the right.
Note that the invoice is required by law and that it is issued only after full payment of the amount charged for each particular order.