BT/EE sender restrictions

BT/EE have introduced  a series of new controls and restrictions aimed at protecting businesses and customers by reducing the likelihood of messaging scams and fraud.

These rules apply, whether you are sending SMS by using Email to SMS, our portal, our API or via an automation.

BT/EE changes relate to sender IDs, URLs, the use of special characters and short codes. 

The following are examples of what will be blocked:

Sender IDs – alpha numeric

Your message may be blocked if you use any of the generic words listed below in your sender ID, or a variation of them. 

1TimePin Bank Discount NoReply Repayment SMSVerfiy
2FA Banking Energy Notify Reply Support
Accept Bill Fraud OneTimePin Respond System
Access Billing Help Order Save Text
Account Call Info OTP Saving Trace
Active Card InfoSMS OTPSMS Scam Track
Admin Caution ISA Package Savings Tracking
Advise Certify Key Parcel Schedule Trust
Alert Check Loan Pay Secure TXT
Allow CloudOTP Login Payment Security Update
Allowance Code Logistics Pin Service Updates
App Collect LogMeIn PinCode Shipping Validate
Appointment Collection Logon Post Sign Verify
Approve Confirm Malware Protocol Signin VerifySMS
Approved Contact Message Purchase Signon VerifyMe
Auth Control Mobile Ratify SMS Virus
AuthMsg Courier Mortgage Rebate SMSAuth Warn
Authorise Delay MSG Receipt SMSCode Warning
AuthSMS Deliver MsgAuth Refund SMSInfo Winner
Aware Delivery Network Reminder SMSOTP

Variations of the above words are also not permitted. For example – VERIFY. Using a variation such as those shown in the table below, may cause your message to be blocked.

VERIFY Verify V E R I F Y V ERIFY VE RIFY VER IFY .Verify. -Verify-
_verify_ VERIF1Y v.e.r.i.f.y V_ERIFY VERIF Y VER IFY Uerify V3RIFY

BT/EE supported special characters

The majority of special characters are not permitted by BT/EE and, if used, your message may be blocked. This only applies to special characters used in your sender ID. It does not apply to any used in the body of your message.

This is a current list of special characters that are permitted:

A to Z (Upper case). (Period)
A to Z (Lower case)– (Dash)
0 to 9 (Numeric)_ (Underscore)
(Space)& (Ampersand)

Sender IDs – specific brands/organisations

There are a number of specific brand names and organisations, whose name you cannot use as part of your sender ID. If used, your message may be blocked. 

Examples include, but are not limited to, those listed in the table below.

If your name does appear in the list below, we will work with you and BTEE, to ensure you can continue to send messages, using the name of your brand/organisation. The same also applies if you are a reseller and send on behalf of one of the organisations below.

Finance, Banking and  FintechGovernment and HealthcareLogistics and Parcel  DeliveryMobile Network  Operators/ Misc
Lloyds Banking Group GDS Royal Mail BT
Santander HMRC DPD EE
TSB DWP Yodel Plusnet
Metro Bank DVLA TNT VirginMedia O2
Monzo Local Councils Evri Vodafone
Revolut NHS Trusts DX Delivery Three
Tide DEFRA FedEx Sky
Bank of Ireland OFGEM UPS Lyca Mobile
Barclays TV Licensing DHL Apple
Capital One Ministry of Justice Parcelforce Google
Coventry Building  SocietyCabinet Office CitySprint Android
Dankse Bank Department of Health  and Social CareInPost Meta (Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram)
Hoares Bank Student Loans  CompanyParcel2Go iD Mobile
HSBC National Highways UKMail GiffGaff
JP Morgan ONS ArrowXL Lebara
Nationwide Ministry of Defense Panther Logistics SMARTY
NatWest NCA Post Office Tesco Mobile
Sainsburys Bank Department of  TransportVOXI
Starling Bank Driver and Vehicle  Standards AgencyTikTok
Tesco Bank Department for  Business EnergyAmazon (Not  AWS)
Clydesdale Bank Education and Skills  Funding AgencySnapchat
Curve Financial Conduct  Authority X, Formally  known as Twitter
CAF Bank TFL Bolt
Klarna Prisons and Probation  ServicesUber
ClearPay CCS
Vanquis Bank Police Force
Citi Bank

Sender IDs – numeric

Your message may be blocked if you are sending within, or to, the UK and use a numeric sender ID that does not begin with a UK dialling code. 

If you are sending to the UK from another country, you will need to purchase a UK virtual mobile number (VMN) to do so.

The permitted UK dialling code formats are:

For mobile numbers:

For landline numbers:

The numeric sender ID does not need to include + prefix. If you wish to include it, its use will still be permitted.

If any of the following number formats are used, they will automatically be converted for you to the permitted format (447) listed above:

If any of the following number formats are used, they will NOT be converted to any of the permitted formats listed above and will be blocked:

Short codes

Short codes that don’t follow the UK short code format (five digits starting with a 6, 7 or 8) will be blocked. Upon request, BT/EE approval can be given for 3 & 4 digit short codes and for short codes not starting with 6, 7 or 8 (e.g. for Irish companies that use start codes beginning with 5). 

If an exception is needed, please contact your account manager in the first instance.


BT/EE will block suspected spam or fraudulent URLs that are included in the body of your message, so please ensure that you format your URLs correctly. Occasionally, very new URLs may be blocked. 

What do I need to do next?

Even if you are happy that your current sender ID meets these rules, we’d ask you to take the time to double-check your sender ID, URLs if you use them, and short code format, to ensure service continuity. 

It is important that you take the time to complete these checks and make any necessary adjustments, as you will still be liable for SMS charges if your messages are blocked for non-conformance to these new guidelines.

How will I know if my message has not been sent?

Messages that have been blocked by BT/EE, will be flagged by a failure error code in your  reports.

Need more help?

We’re here to help, so please reach out to your account manager or to the support team.