Why South African Uber users may get an SMS from international numbers

MyBroadband recently received feedback from an Uber user who said he was sent an SMS from the company from an international number.

The user received an SMS with a code to reactivate his account, but the message appeared to get stuck in a loop and continued to resend itself to his device.

This brought his attention to the fact that the SMS was from an international number: +1 (516) 246 2282.

A telecoms expert, who asked to remain anonymous, told MyBroadband that using an international network to send an SMS is typically not best practice in South Africa, and is often referred to as a “grey route”.

He added that certain providers are forbidden from doing this, as it violates WASPA’s code of conduct.

A reason for using an international network was cheaper costs, he added.

SMS sent by Uber B.V

A spokesperson for Uber in South Africa told MyBroadband that their technology platform is provided in South Africa, and around the world, by Uber B.V – a company based in the Netherlands.

“Uber B.V. is responsible for providing the transportation network technology platform in South Africa, which connects passengers to transport providers,” said Uber.

“This is what allows the same Uber app to work in any country where Uber is active and that a user travels to.”

The SMSs which are sent to users in South Africa, and globally, come from Uber B.V.

“Uber B.V. is not a telco operator and is not involved in the actual conveyance of any electronic communications like SMSs. As such, the way in which any SMSs sent to South African users are routed is managed by the relevant service providers that Uber B.V. contracts with.”

Uber stated that the SMSs originating from outside of South Africa and being sent from an international number shows there is “no re-origination of the SMS traffic” – or grey routing.

Uber added that is has received reports of certain users receiving repeat SMSs, and is investigating the cause.

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Why South African Uber users may get an SMS from international numbers