1. angrienne's Avatar
    I have an unlocked Verizon phone that I am using in France with a French SIM card. I have been using it with the French SIM card for about a month now and have encountered three problems related to my SMS texting which I will detail below.

    1. Characters being replaced with other characters or series of characters on the recipients' phones
    - At first I thought this was only happening with accented characters, but nope, it's all of them. For example, I texted my address to someone and "Alle C, 2me tage" came out as "Allie C 2hme iuage". Even if no accents are used at all my texts still come out weird.
    - I don't think there is any consistency to the replacement. For example, I've seen "" replaced with "i" and "?" on different people's phones. One night, my father (who is in the States) claimed that all of my texts came through as just a series of little boxes.
    - The problem has gotten worse over time, with more and more recipients complaining of this issue. About a month ago, the phone would only mess up about 10% of my text messages, but now almost 90% of my texts are illegible to the person on the other end.
    - This happens when sending texts to both French and North American numbers.
    - This is obviously really frustrating because in the process of trying to meet new people and communicate in a language that is not my native tongue, people either think I'm drunk-texting them or am making some really creative spelling errors.

    2. Arbitrary character limits imposed.
    - Most important to note, this only started happening since I upgraded to software version 6.0 several days ago.
    - Before whenever I went on typing past 160 characters, the counter on the top would switch to, say, "129 / 2 of 7", indicating that it would send as two different text messages, I had 129 more characters before it split into three text messages, and that I could type until it split it up into seven text messages maximum. Now whenever I'm typing and go past 160 characters, it switches automatically into "60 / 3 of 7".
    - If I backspace after it says "60 / 3 of 7", it counts back all that I've already typed as though I had a character limit of ~65 characters per text. For example, if I input 161 characters and then delete one, it says not 0 / 1 of 7 but "63 / 3 of 7".

    3. Limit of 140 characters to start with instead of 160.
    - I can't find any examples of this now, but I swear it was there before the update!
    - The different character limits imposed would be dependent upon the recipient.

    I thank you guys so much in advance for your help on these really unusual problems - they are so bizarre that I am inclined to wonder if phones get viruses or other software bugs. Let me know if you need any additional information.
    02-12-12 09:32 AM
  2. jeffh's Avatar
    1. Are you sure your recipients have the correct language modules installed on their device? I'm not sure what happens if you sent a character in a language to a person who does not have that language installed on their device. Admittedly, that seems like an unlikely explanation, since you are in France attempting to text in French to French-speaking recipients.

    2. crunchSMS will solve this problem.

    3. Text messages are limited to 140 chars if you are using an 8-bit character set. French-accented letters may be the culprit in your case.
    02-12-12 01:05 PM
  3. angrienne's Avatar
    Thank you so much for your response, Jeff!

    1. Good guess, but as you yourself said I really don't think that's the issue, especially since the problem still presents when I use only standard, unaccented English characters.

    2. Thanks! I will be sure to check that out. Out of curiosity, is this a common problem with the 6.0 operating system? If so, does RIM intend to release a patch or something of the like to fix this... ?

    3. I don't know how my phone knows whether or not I'm intending to use a French character set for particular contacts, but that's probably the issue. Thanks, yet again.

    Any other ideas, anyone? Especially for the first problem with the character substitution.
    02-12-12 05:45 PM
  4. jeffh's Avatar
    1. What happens if you delete the French language from your device? See if that solves the problem for English-language texts.

    2. The SMS length restriction isn't a problem with the OS. 160 char 7-bit text or 140 char 8-bit text is the SMS standard. Anything longer is an extension to the standard. As far as I know, RIM has never supported extensions on their CDMA devices. I've used crunchSMS to get around the limitation for years, so I don't know what is current, but I'm certain it isn't an OS 6 bug.

    3. See if my suggestion in #1 helps this as well.
    02-12-12 06:43 PM
  5. angrienne's Avatar
    Thanks again, Jeff.

    1. Are you proposing that I delete the option to change my input language to French as a permanent solution, or just as a diagnostic test? I don't think that I'd want to remove it permanently as I am still very dependent on its spelling correction.

    2. I wasn't asking so much if the 140 vs. 160 character limit was a problem with OS 6.0, but rather if the way that my character count jumps from "0 / 1 of 7" to "63 / 3 of 7" and then, upon backspacing, counts down as though my character limit was only 65 per text was a problem with OS 6.0 (see item number 2 in my OP). I just now downloaded crunchSMS, but cannot tell you if it has resolved the issue with this bizarre character limit countdown as I do not see where on the screen said limit is displayed within crunchSMS.

    ** Using crunchSMS, I just tried sending a message to my Father who is with Verizon. The first one, written in all unaccented characters, went through fine. Then I sent him one with a couple of accented characters thrown in at the end (just to test) and apparently the entire message came through as completely blank. Experiment two involved sending a text in French with French characters to my partner, who is also in the US but with an AT&T phone. Everything came out just as I had intended, but again, the problem seems to surface arbitrarily so I don't know if this is indicative of anything.

    Any other guesses? As always, I thank you in advance.
    02-13-12 06:13 AM
  6. jeffh's Avatar
    Yes, #1 was intended as a temporary diagnostic test, not a permanent solution.
    #2 is baffling. I've not seen that, nor read it anywhere else.

    I'm out of guesses. I'm going to flag this thread to our Canadian team, since they have more experience with the French character set and might have seen the problem before. I hope you find a solution. Unless there is something amiss with your specific device, other people should be seeing the same problem.
    02-13-12 08:42 AM
  7. angrienne's Avatar
    Thank you, Jeff! Asking your Canadian team is a great idea; I do have some contacts in Quebec (with phones that have their native software in French) that I can also try sending some experimental texts to.

    I will try wiping my French language pack from my phone tomorrow as, at this very moment, I unfortunately need to remain available and cannot wait 5-10 minutes for it to pass through its lengthy update and reboot sequence.

    I will provide updates on both of these experiments tomorrow. In the mean time, let me know if you have any further insight.
    02-13-12 03:41 PM
  8. angrienne's Avatar

    - My qubcois friends report no problems in receiving perfectly accented French texts.

    - To once again highlight the inconsistency of this problem, remember how I told you as an example that my address had formerly been received as garbled (2hme iuage) ? Without making any changes, I tried texting my address to the same contact again and it went through perfectly.

    - Deleted the French language packs, and (for now) English texts are being received correctly by my American contacts. However, I will reiterate once again, the problem is very inconsistent and there were times that even with the French language packs installed that English language texts were going through correctly.

    - As a bonus experiment, with the French language packs deleted, I tried sending a random series of French words to my father who has an American phone. "bientt jusqu' tage ret l'tais" became "bienttu jusqu'_!iuage reg_u l'iuais" Although it was nice to see the consistency of tage coming through as "iuage" on the phones of both my father and my previously referenced contact, this problem just seems to keep on getting more and more bizarre. From what I've been shown, sometimes the received product is almost as garbled for my French contacts. As I initially said, it's so erratic that my first thoughts go to a virus or something of the like.

    So my problems still are as follows :

    1. Inexplicable replacement of characters with other, arbitrary symbols or combinations of symbols to recipients here and abroad.

    2. And although significantly less pressing, the bizarre character count malfunction ("0 / 1 of 7" jumps to "60 / 3 of 7" when composing an SMS) that surfaced only after upgrading to Blackberry OS Software 6.0

    Thanks, as always...
    Last edited by angrienne; 02-15-12 at 12:13 PM.
    02-15-12 12:09 PM
  9. jeffh's Avatar
    I think we can rule out a virus. There just aren't any for BlackBerry devices, and the likelihood that you have found the first one is low. The most likely explanation is that you have a buggy install of something. I rarely recommend reinstalling the OS as a curative measure, since OS installs can cause their own problems, but in your case, a reinstall may be necessary.
    02-15-12 12:27 PM
  10. angrienne's Avatar
    How would I go about doing an OS reinstall? And what all would I be losing in the process... messages, contacts, synched email accounts ?

    Secondly, did we ever hear anything back from your Canadian contacts?
    02-15-12 12:35 PM
  11. jeffh's Avatar
    Here is one procedure you can use: http://forums.crackberry.com/tips-ho...-bbsak-570663/

    If you follow the instructions correctly, you shouldn't lose anything. The most important step is to make a backup of your personal data before starting. That's absolutely essential. Occasionally an OS load will fail through no fault of the user. This usually results in an unbootable device. There are procedures to recover from that failure mode.

    I have not heard from my Canadian colleagues. That probably means they looked at the thread and didn't know any simple answers.
    02-15-12 12:46 PM
  12. angrienne's Avatar
    Oh goodness the consequences of something going wrong seem so grave... I say that considering I had to spend a week on this forum, other forums, and in my French service provider's store even trying to get the SIM card to work in the first place; it involved manually toggling a lot of the options, PIN number resets, requesting service books, and registration issues... in short, is there any chance that all of this hard work will be jeopardized by an OS reboot? And what about 3rd party applications for which I've purchased an unlock key but by default come in trial mode?

    In short, it seems intimidating. To your knowledge, Jeff, would I get any success from just deleting and reinstalling the SMS client or individual applications on my phone to minimize the chance of a total meltdown?
    02-15-12 01:05 PM
  13. jeffh's Avatar
    Reloading your OS will not affect your unlock status. Once unlocked, a BlackBerry cannot be relocked by reloading the OS (or by anything else a normal user can do).

    You will likely have to reload some of your 3rd party apps and reenter the license codes. Be sure you have those codes stored somewhere other than on your BlackBerry so you can recover them.

    Moderately experienced users will tell you that an OS install is no big deal. Really experienced users will be a little less optimistic and a little more cautious. Every once in a while the process blows up, no matter how careful and experienced you are.

    You can certainly uninstall CrunchSMS since you just installed it. I don't think you can uninstall the native SMS client without getting more into the process than you likely want to go.

    I'm sorry that I can't point you to a simple push-button fool-proof solution. I don't think there is one.
    02-15-12 01:27 PM
  14. angrienne's Avatar
    After doing some cursory googling of my own and based on your earlier comment about the __ bit coding, it would seem as though not all accented characters typically used in French are included in 7 bit coding. I have the option to switch the coding to UCS2, although it will limit my texts to 70 characters max.

    Despite the fact that (as you will remember) the problem presented itself with normal, unaccented characters, too, do you think that the problem might have something to do with me and some of my recipients using different coding?
    02-15-12 06:54 PM
  15. jeffh's Avatar
    I think you're probably onto the solution. I also think CrunchSMS will let you work around the 70 char limit the same as it does the 140 and 160 limit. Can you inquire of your French-texting correspondents and learn what character set/coding they are using? If you switch to the same coding, and the problem goes away, then you've identified the problem and the solution.
    02-15-12 08:01 PM