HTC Thunderbolt Problems: SMS Bug Affecting Users?

By Alan Ng - Mar 18, 2011

The HTC Thunderbolt has just got out of Verizon’s front door, but we are already hearing about some problems on the device, with users complaining that there is an SMS bug preventing them from sending messages effectively – does this apply to you?

This hasn’t been confirmed by Verizon yet, but it is bound to be a fresh headache for the carrier who came under criticism for their repeated delays of Verizon’s first 4G LTE capable smartphone.

The apparent problem is an unusual one as welll, as we’re hearing that when some Thunderbolt users send messages, the recipient sees a SIM card number on the calling display, rather than their actual number. This has been clarified on both the XDA Forums, and Android Forums, as reported from Phandroid.

Aside from the fact that some users are having problems sending any messages at all, we’re hearing that some recipients are getting double messages as well. We don’t know how widespread this problem is at the moment, so help us out and tell us if you are experiencing any problems on your Thunderbolt.

We’ll update this as soon as we hear from Verizon.

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Also See: Verizon Unlimited free for 12 months is a scam

  • Nicm_47

    sends messages to wrong people, doesn’t let me send at all, text freezes and takes forever to type 2 words, I receive duplicate messages all the time, and sometimes picture messages won’t send. This is my 5th replacement phone and always something new!! I hate it!!!
    Not to mention problems with my service popping in and out of 3g when I’m sitting in the same spot!

  • Robertanzalone92

    When I am sending a message the screen jumps to another contact and sends it to them…. This would be fine and dandy if I wasn’t just talking about the sex I just had, and the dang phone sent it to my dad….. Anyone know how to fix the problem or should I try and get a new one.

    • Ksallust

      Oh man, just happened to me last night was texting my BF that I was so horny and it went to my boss’s mother….she 70!!! Soooo embarrassing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Steven Romanow

    The problem with the sms error is that the contacts are connected through facebook or some other networking site. unlink your contacts on the phone and messages send perfectly fine without error.

  • Jnelson67

    I’m through with this phone >:o I should’ve waited for my upgrade to kick in. I should’ve known there was a reason why the sales rep was pitching this phone to me like it was the best thing ever. I’ve had countless problems since the first day I got this phone. The front facing camera was the only reason why I got it. After  constant audio problems from Tango and Fring I wanted to give it back and get the Iphone but then I would’ve had to pay full price. Then the phone shuts off when I’m in mid sentence. I’m paying so much for a stupid mistake. I can’t believe Verizon would treat us so dirty. Now when I see that T-Mobile commercial where the guy’s getting robbed by his network provider I know who the “goons” are.Thanks, Verizon. Good luck holding up after the AT&T and T-Mobile merger. Let’s see what you guys do for us now.

  • Matt

    I have been having texting problems since day 1. verizon network people i text seems to not have a problem but other networks are failing or sending much later. an update or patch would be very helpful.

  • Brian

    I have had my Thunderbolt since the afternoon it was released here. I am a machinist and my phone is constantly in conditions not suitable for any phone, let alone a smart phone, and I have had none of these problems. Yet my brother purchased the same phone on the same day at a different location, babies it and has had some of these issues. After having it swapped out, he has had no further problems. Is it possible that the verizon associates that set up these phones at the time of activation are making some common mistake?

  • Jordan

    Only problems I have is bad voice coverage in different areas with trees around, and having to turn Mobile Hot spot on/off once or twice before using. Phone is AWESOME.

  • Erinn

    I got the TB about a week ago to replace my incredible i kept having issues with. From day one i noticed little problems with the phone.
    1. the internet wouldnt connect to the moblie connection ( brought it to verizon they said it was an easy fix and it still does it)
    2. everytime i go to my text messages the screen glitches
    3. when i send a text and try to exit out of the text messaging screen it freezes & then eventually tells me to force close EVERYTIME.
    4. To one person on my text message screen every time i open up their group of text messages, the phone automatically inserts a "y" when i delete it it freezes
    5. the battery SUCKS. With my Droid Incredible with pretty moderate use i could still charge it every night and it'd last through the day. With the Thunderbolt i have to charge it mid day and at night to make it last witht he same if not less usage..

    gonna bring it back today, very dissapointed with this phone..all the other features on the phone are great!!

  • meghan

    i have the same exact problem….my phone works fine for everything else. but with certain people or randomly wont let me send texts. but for some odd reason it still lets me recieve them. very annoying. pleaseee help.

  • jcc

    here's a simple fix as well.. uncheck "send call back number" in settings for the stock messaging application. i never had any issues with not getting replies, however i did get a few "wtf number are you txting me from" messages. this stopped that.

  • dan

    Well my thunderbolt has been wonderful. Fast, smooth, everything works great. The only thing I don't like is the kickstand finish rubbing off where you pick at it. It's only a few weeks old which is unfortunate. Other than that little flaw its been great.

  • Emily

    I just bought my Thunderbolt tonight and had the problem of sending texts under my SIM card number. I turned off the phone, took out the battery and SIM card, put everything back, turned it on, and everything was fine. I was also not able to send a text to anyone. They had to text me first then I could reply. Doing the battery pull fixed that too. Very odd, but a simple fix.

    • marty

      emily. i have the evo and have never had a problem. i was so excited for my girlfriend to get the thunderbolt; i figured it was the same fone only better. she has been having constant trouble with sms texting. constant. first it was the sim card priblem, then it was keyboard freezes during typing of texts, now it just periodically refuses to send texts. each problem comes back quickly even aftet rebooting the fone, removing the battery and sim card. i would be surpised if the textjng problems didnt resurface for you. personally, i think the problem is something to do with the way verizons network interacts with the fone. im no expert but i am really furious with the way verizon has seemingly been ignoring the extremely pervasive issue.

  • rae

    I have had my phone for about a 3 wks and I luv it. Only problem is… It's saying I have txt mess when i dont. Tried restarting. I have notice that sometimes the net does go out but it did the same thing when I had the palm pixi plus.

  • Denmmm

    Wake up VZ customers. I seriously hope that you KNOW that HTC is junk. Gee, did anyone check the Sprint HTC Evo?? The joke is on those who bought the Thunderbolt. Why? Because lookup the HTC Evo. It's the same phone! Same specs, same looks, same good old junk as the HTC Evo and battery…. Doh!!! HTC does one thing right. That's SATURATE the market with Android junk devices ! They are the new Nokia!

  • josh

    My texts were not being delivered so I called Verizon and they said it was a "providioning problem". He changed a 1 to 3 and then my texts started working fine.

  • Matt

    I just got my Thunderbolt last night, and the same thing was happening to me. But then it stopped. Its a great phone otherwise though.

  • bob

    just bought a thunderbolt and having issues myself would not send text messages . took it to Verizon they pulled and reinstalled the battery. that seemed to make it text ok now today it won't get on a network . wifi works but not the verizon network i new i should of got the Iphone

  • Rob

    My wife and I both got the TB the day it hit the stores and have been having issues with the tethering to a computer and the 3G just disappearing. When you connect your TB to your computer with a USB cable and use the internet connection mode, at first it works great and then out of the blue you loose all 3G and data. We would restart the phone and the 3G coverage would normally come back. Then it happened and we had no data at all. Wife talked to Verizon tech and he stated this was a new one to them and all he told her to do was pull the battery to reset. Problem still continued and we were advised by a Verizon tech to return the phones and get new ones. We did, same issues. Was on the phone for a couple of hours with Verizon and still no call back or fix. The WIFI hot spot works awesome, but once in awhile the 3G just disappears and you have no data. Then you have to restart the device. We have had to hard reset everything a couple of times and then you have to download all of the apps you just got done installing. Other than that, this phone is awesome. I was an Iphone user since they came out and this phone is hands down much better.

  • Malisha

    Not having the same sms problem but still a problem. Everytime I open a new text, reply, then try to go back to home screen, it freezes then has to force close. When I'm trying to open new text it opens up a totally other conversation than the one I tried opening. I kinda thought with this being the supposedly best phone, little things like this wouldn't happen.

  • Royce

    Same problem with mine. Drops the 4G hotspot continuously. Very annoying.

  • softeeball

    Got my thunderbolt on 3/17 the day it came out the first problem was the crazy number but piling out the battery helped solve that peoblem. I don't like how horrible the battery is and I am constantly force stopping running apps. There have been a few glitches like not getting email notifications on other emails other than gmail. It froze in me at one point. One day an unknown # called me and even though I did not slide down to answer it automatically answered when I hit end call it would not end the call! I was pushing down so hard on it I tried two more times and it froze third time pressing end call worked without doing anything to fix the problem. My text tragedy is I was in the middle of writing a text and it froze and the wiped out all of my prior texts with about 10 different people after that I was receiving texts but could not view them the number would show up but the text screen was blank restarting the phone solved this problem. Also every app I download is pretty much crap and force closes on its own. Not sure but I might go with iPhone thought the phone would be better and wanted it to be

    • Jared

      I had my TB delete ALL text messages twice on me (first was an incoming call while typing a text, second I'm not sure why). VZW didn't know what to say. Nothing I did brought them back. I started backing them up using the "SMS Backup & Restore" app and moving them to my PC. But after the second incident I'm really thinking I should return it for a different phone. Besides that it's started dropping from 4G to 1X and won't recover to 3G or 4G even after pulling the battery.

  • Jonathan

    My issue is after i send a text my phone freezes and then 20 seconds later a message appears saying this: ACTIVITY MESSAGES (in process com. android.mms) is not responding. It gives me the option of FORCE CLOSE or WAIT. Beside that and the obvious battery problem it works great for me. I actually love the phone. I previously had a blackberry so this is a major upgrade to me…..

  • Tracy Minnich

    Got the Thunderbolt last Thursday and Friday the phone was dead by 1 pm. Let the battery completely drain down during the night, read up on the best settings to use (i.e., display – set it to automatic). Well now the TB battery is at 60% at the end of the day with moderate use. Try letting it drain completely… used to think that was an urban legend but apparently it worked. But – stay cannot get a text sent.

  • Brian

    Bought the new Thunderbolt for My Wife and have had numerous problems but the worst of which is the battery life, it is horrible. You have to jump through hoops with task killer etc… to stretch the battery to any meaningful length. It's constantly showing us in Europe or Medford Oregon etc… Tried to take it back today and got the run around. Spoke to Verizon's tech support and got the run around. I am extremely frustrated and Verizon's lack of ownership has severely shaken My confidence in a company that used to exceed My expectations on a regular basis. Worst of all I bought the phone from what I was a Verizon store in the mall (totally marked as a verizon store) and they are really giving Me a hard time (diamond wireless.) This thing is going back today and I will not take no for an answer. I say do Yourself a favor and do not buy this pile of garbage. Don't let Verizon make You there thunberbolt guinea pig. They advertise the battery as having a standby of 330 minutes (which equals 13.75 hours.) We're lucky to get 3.75 hours. Stay away!

  • Andy

    I had the same issue described here, and the phone reset worked.

    What I can't seem to sort out is how to delete an unsent text. Every time I open the sms conversation, an unsent message is already types into the text field. I've tired deleting the conversation, resetting the phone, and I actually even sent the message. No luck, the message still appears whenever I open a conversation with the same person.

    • tina

      i went into the text screen and just removed all the words and it went away

  • Tom

    I had the sim card number show up sending a picture message to my wife. We didn't know what was happening until I read your post. Thanks!

  • Eve

    I got the Thunderbolt a week ago. I have a major problem with the battery not keeping its charge. Also, dropped calls in areas that I should have coverage. I have a problem with my chin hitting the end button and hanging up on the person I was speaking with (multiple times a day) Also, if using the speaker feature, the person I am speaking to, has a very difficult time hearing me. I plan to take it back for a refund today! You can return the phone up to 15 days of purchase

  • Sadface

    I just got my TB today and so far, I've been able to receive texts, but no one is getting my sent texts!! UGH!! I was so excited for this phone. Now I'm starting to wonder if I made the right decision…

  • swatsn1per

    Upon hearing the voicemail I was intent on returning the phone and going back to my Storm 1. But when it rains, it pours. When I left work that day I went home which is a 3G area and 3G never kicked in. I had to do a battery pull, reatart the phone and then 3G came back on. It is like it wasnt connecting at work so therefore it would not attempt to connect to 3G outside that zone.The next day, Tuesday, cell service worked as it should and same thing for Wednesday(4G was actually working). Then Thursday hit and again no 4G/3G internet acces and it was a brick(except for calls and texts) once again. I took my phone up to Verizon and the rep said "have you downloaded any app killing apps yet?" I told the rep that I downloaded "Advanced App Killer" as it was the highest rated one on the market at the time. She said that was probably my problem. The store rep said that when Advanced App Killer came out it was designed for OS 2.1. Since the Thunderbolt runs on 2.2 it will cause connectivity issues. So far she has been right. 4G works great at the office. This might be an issue for some of you as well.

  • swatsn1per

    I was having a connectivity problem with my Thunderbolt. I knew off the bat that my home was out of the 4G area but according to Verizon's map my work was in the 4G area about 15 miles or so in. First day at work no 4G. In fact, the 4G kept coming in and out and prevented 3G from kicking in, which meant all I could do was use the SMS and make and receive phone calls. I called Verizon technical support. They had me try a few options, all were unsuccessful. So they decided to submit a trouble ticket. I got a voicemail a few hours later that stated "you are what's called a marginal 4G/3G area. This is a known trouble area and a new cell tower is to be put up to increase the 4G range, however a date has not been given."

  • TMAC

    Having all the same issues including the screen locking up, no internet connection, and the 4g drops to 1x without ever connnecting to 3g and I live in a major city with 4g. Don't know if I should take it back or wait for an software update.

  • Jason

    I'm on my second thunderbolt got the first one friday 3/18.
    1. Keyboard stops working had to reboot.
    2. Couldn't open some text(said unable to load message)
    3. Sometimes jumped to old messages.
    4. Sometimes jumped to random contact when starting a text.
    5. Internet browser started crashing a lot.
    Took that one back and exchanged it after trying everything i knew to do, take batt out and restartss etc.

    The new so far doesn't have those problems but rarely has a internet connection. If I restart the phone net comes rt up for about 10th mins then goes out again.

  • Oceanview

    I'm not having the same issue, just random reboots during calls. Really?? Did anyone test this thing before it went out the door? In addition, the screen SUCKS in daylight, you cant see a thing and the battery life is good for 4 hours (maybe) if you are making any calls.

    I just came from a BB Curve and what I see so far is very annoying!

  • phoneguy

    My wife & I have seen these issues, but it is my belief it will be resolved soon. The issues are intermittent, a brand new network is bound to have issues.

  • lc58

    i am having the same issue with sms i can send and most everyone has rec'd but its not registering as my number which is of course annoying am gonna restart my phone right now and see if that helps thanks everyone for the tips. OH i have to go get my charger first tho' because its already dying fml

  • David

    I got the Thunderbolt last Saturday. I had problems with it from the start! It would not let me access the internet at all when in my house. I could get online outside of my house/neighborhood, but not at home. Also, text messages would not get sent and when I did receive a text message it came through about 12 hours later. After calling Verizon tech support where I was advised to pull out the battery and sim card, the problem got WORSE! Now I could not even place or receive a phone call. The tech support person gave up and said I should take the phone back where I bought it. I did take it in and the store manager was very rude to both my wife and I. They tried diagnosing the problem for close to an hour when I decided that the Thunderbolt was riddled with problems and ended up exchanging it for an IPhone…. Guess what?? After 2 1/2 hours in the store, I actually have a phone that works as it should. P.S. They even had issues with returning the Thunderbolt( "a glitch in the system") is what they said. Beware of the Thunderbolt!!!

    • Keith

      I had the same issue including SMS text, dropped calls and delays in dialed calls. The phone worked great for about thre weeks, then the signal sensor failed. No calls in or out. Did a master reboot and lost most apps. Phone still does not work and verizon is sending me a refurbished unit. Only had the phone 20 days and I am getting a used phone as a replacement. Deceptive selling and inferior product.

  • luvmyevo

    Hmmm… My evo is working great , Must be a verizon thing

  • ITGuy

    so disappointed with my new thunderbolt. can not use speaker phone at all. people on other end complain of noise and hearing themselves. verizon put me to htc who put me back to verizon. did that scenario twice this afternoon working with 6 techs. three hours on tech support today. the guy at htc had me do a master reset. now my gps does not work. phone shows me in indiana. i live in florida! going for an iphone i guess . shame the phone seems riddled with bugs. htc support says they are logging issues. are we consumers or their quality control department!! ps…this is my SECOND phone with same problem.

  • disgruntled

    My thunderbolt was displaying the SIM # on texts, but taking the battery out fixed that issue. More importantly, it has froze up three times so far, the last time it wouldn't get past the white htc screen and now fails to even turn on at all (three days old).

  • Lmfao

    LMFAO, your posts here are hilarious. "I can't send texts, or it sends multiple texts, I can't make calls, the light stays on, and the battery life sucks. Other than that, the phone is great! It rocks!" HAHAHAHAHAHA! Geezus people. What the heck would make it a bad phone?! Face it, you have been sold a piece of crap. There are reports every where that the hotspot function doesn't always work, and all sorts of other issues. I'm glad I didn't buy this POS today like I planned. I wanted 4G and unlimited data, but now, I will wait for version 4 or 5.

    • its all good

      Sounds like an iPhone user to me…….. But in any case its been four days. Give them a couple weeks to send out a firmware update……

    • Colleen

      was just jealous he bought his iPhone from VZ and now can't get the deduction to buy an $800 phone for another 2 years. bite me. this phone is a little buggy, but its lightyears ahead of the iPhone in terms of things it can do.

      • Delorious

        iPhones are amazing……. because they did it first……… but any iPhone or any new piece of electronics that set the bar this high need a couple of weeks to reel in loose ends, this thing has a kick stand, adobe surround sound, 40 gig of memory, unlimited customization, it's insurable, tied for the largest touch screen on any phone, FM transmiter, htc sence so when you set it down it goes to speakerphone or rings louder when it's in your pocket, plus it runs on the android market which is ran by google, and oh man………. that should say it alone, but if you want the iPhone over this phone……………… NICE CHOICE!!!! HAHAHAHAHA

  • Ben Lynch

    I had a complete crash of mine 3 times in a row. Started with texts not working at all and telling me I had not viewed them after I had. Then it started to just crash out of the text section back to home page. Then it would freeze in the middle of sending a text. Then crashed 3 times in a row. Got it back up and texts still wouldn't work and then said there was no signal. I took it in and they just replaced the whole phone and sim card. Tried it out in the store worked fine. Got home and now the texts aren't going through and after I unlock it from being sleeping it says "General SMS Error" or something then click on details and says "Cause Code 65535 Error Class 3" I am attempting to to the battery pull and sim pull right now…

  • Jodi

    Does anyone know how to make this phone Capitalize the first letter in a sentence when using Voice to Text?? I use this for emails and text messages and it never capitalizes the first letter so I have to go back and fix it or not use the vtt which is one reason I bought it!!

    • dafdafsd

      speak louder

  • Christine

    had the same problems with texting, both the duplicate messages and the SIM number showing up instead of my number. Went into verizon and they took out and put back in the SIM and it worked to solve the SIM number problem but not the duplicate messages. A few hours later the SIM number problem started again. Went BACK to Verizon and they gave me a completely new phone and SIM, gave it a try….same problem with the new phone. The battery life was so awful but I was willing to look past that. Not being able to send a TEXT on the otherhand, is not something that should be compromised. My Thunderbolt has been returned 🙁

  • Guest

    Rebooting the device has solved the SMS problem as least temporarily for me. I did not remove the battery. The frustrating thing, however, is that there is no indication on my end that the messages are not going through as usual. Then, when I fail to receive a reply, I make a voice call and learn that the recipient received the text with the long number string; they realized it was me (even though the phone number was not transmitted); and they sent a reply which I did not receive. The issue appears to be on a text by text basis rather than depending upon the recipient. Some recipients receive and reply normally, and then the bug appears and stops the conversation. I hope the issue is resolved quickly.

  • Anish

    The pulling out the battery works for the long number problem. But is there a way to fix the duplicate text issue? It's frustrating when everyone you text tells you that you are texting them 3 times with the same text.

    • Colleen

      That happens to me. I pull the battery out and it fixes, but then it gets buggy again two days later. Not…cool.

  • michael

    i have no issues with the sms but i have no notification settings for my other email accounts. only gmail will notify me of a incomming email. anyone know how to set up your other email accounts to notify you. also can u turn off the vibration setting when you are texting, feels like a battery waste.

  • jonathan

    my thunderbolt shuts down when the battery is weak. it reboots for no reason at all. it doesnt connect to the network when the guy sitting next to me with verizon gets on no problem.

    • Doug

      Same thing happens to me…gonna get an iphone…tired of the HTC issues.

  • mar

    exact thing is happening with text msgs. trying the card removal and the battery removal now

  • Dan

    I haven't had any issues with texting, but when I turn on the bluetooth my phone bogs down and I can't use it for anything until I turn the bluetooth off. It's to the point now that it won't even connect to a bluetooth device even when it's on. Has anyone else had this problem?

  • Jon

    My thunderbolt drops calls on a regular basis. The battery goes dead within an hour.

    • ben

      Jon. I would guess that your phone is defective. I have yet to drop a call in 2 weeks and my batt life isnt amazing, but i easily make it a day… And I have gps and WiFi running all the time. I even use Pandora at work for the first couple of hours, daily and still get a full day out of the batt. You paid a ton for this thing… Make them fix/replace!

  • Randy

    I live in Denver and I am having the same problem with people recieving my text messages with my SIM card #. Another problem I am having is that my phone's screen stays lit when it is charging. My husband has the same phone but when he pugs his into the charger his screen stays on for 15 seconds then turns off. I am starting to get worried about this phone and Verizon's service.

    • Paul

      When I first got the thunderbolt, my text wouldn't go out at all, it showed it was sent but nobody had received it, after that was fixed I couldn't make any calls, now I can do all that stuff but my light also stays on when charging and the battery life is very poor, I hope they fix these problems with an update, other then that the phone rocks

    • Jon

      To fix the charging issue, go into Settings, Applications, Development, and uncheck the box that says Stay Awake.

  • Dante

    The issue that I've been having is sometimes my 3g capability goes out. I don't live in a 4g area yet, but at times, it's like it tries to connect, but there's no success. I was hanging out with a friend last night and he was getting 3g coverage, however, I had to connect to his wi-fi just to get online. When I got home, I was still having the issue for a moment, and then it started working. I've taken the battery out, taken out the SIM card, turned off the phone for 10 seconds (as instructed by tech support). UGH! You stalk this phone for weeks, you get it, and it starts having issues on day 2. Other than that issue, the phone is flawless for me.

    • shibbyL

      Im on day two of having this wonderful device and its doing the exact same thing… How did things end up working for you? The salesman told me to expect this to happen and only for the first few hours of activating the discard… Please tell me it works its self out!

  • Andy

    Same problem….

  • Ben

    Had the same problem. Except my Verizon tech said pull then put back the SIM card.

  • Becky

    UPDATE: I called Verizon and spoke with customer service. All I had to do was take out / put back in the battery and it's working great. The number that people were receiving was actually my phone's serial #.

    • Laura

      thats what they always tell you to do and its a quick fix….not long term. Trust me. It will act up again.

  • Becky

    Just got my Thunderbolt last night and it's doing exactly what you explained. I live in a 4G area and when I send texts they are received as my SIM card # rather than my phone #. No one knows who I am and they obviously can't reply. It's extremely aggravating but I must say other than that this phone is great.

    • Ashley

      Same thing happened to me when I got my phone. I did a factory reset of the phone and re-activated the sim and I have had no problems since.