A reader asks:
“What happens when you send a text message to a landline telephone? Does their phone ring, does it show up on caller ID, or do they pick up and hear something like a dial-up modem?”
Most of the time, your message will just disappear into the ether—it won’t be delivered or received. However,some wireless and landline carriers support text-to-landline messaging. If this applies, your message will result in the recipient’s phone ringing and your message will be “read” aloud. Another reader writes:
“I got a call recently, and when I said ‘hello,’ an obviously digitized voice informed me I was getting a text message from a Virgin Mobile number (that I recognized as a friend’s), then read it aloud in a Siri-like voice. It was a little strange. I don’t know if other carriers do it or not, but it is a neat idea.”
A Lifewire article confirms this:
“At Sprint, for example, just type a text message like normal on your cell phone and enter the 10-digit landline telephone number. If texting is included in your Sprint plan, the text-to-landline service is already available to you. Prior to delivering your first text-to-landline message with Sprint, you’ll get an opt-in text message informing you that your note will be converted into voice for a landline phone. After the text is sent and converted, the landline recipient’s phone will ring. When answered, your text message will be automatically read to the recipient by a computer’s voice.”
For more on text messaging:
This tip was originally published on IDG Answers, a reader-powered help desk for answering tech questions.