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Spok paging FAQs

Our goal is to make your paging experience as simple and enjoyable as possible. This section is the easiest way to find answers to the most common questions you might have about your messaging device or wireless service.

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for here, please feel free to contact us.

Documents and forms

Yes, here are some of our most requested documents. If you still need help, please contact support.

Terms and conditions
Acceptable use policy
Service guide
Return label 
Spok W-9
Equipment returns
Check paging coverage

Paging

Yes, but the character limits may vary depending on the receiving paging device type and display capability, the messaging method used to page the device, and/or customizable settings within paging software/hardware such as an Alphamate.

Each subscriber has a basic call allotment with the option to upgrade to a higher overcall plan. Depending on the service type of the device receiving, characters exceeding a certain number may be counted as multiple messages against your overcall plan. Please contact support for additional information regarding overcalls and associated costs.

What are overcalls on my device and how can I prevent them in the future?
An overcall received on your messaging device is any call that exceeds your current service plan’s allotted call count. You can reduce the number of overcalls you are accumulating on your device by making a few simple changes:

  • Adjust your service plan to better fit your messaging needs
  • Use canned responses to reply to any incoming messages
  • Avoid using the reply function and begin a new email when sending a response. This will prevent the original message from being included in your response, decreasing the character count of your message.

Can I avoid overcall charges by turning off my wireless device?
When someone sends you a message, even if you don’t receive it because your paging device is off, the call will count as a completed message.

No, don’t include the leading zero for sending numeric or word messages.

Most, but not all, subscribers are capable of using all messaging options. If you or your senders are experiencing messaging errors, please contact support.

All two-way devices work on a ReFLEX network that will continue to resend your messages to your device for up to 96 hours. Therefore, by turning on your device, replacing the battery, or returning to your coverage area within 96 hours after the message was sent, you’ll receive the message to your wireless device.

You can continue your service if you move, provided we have coverage in your area. To check our current coverage areas, please visit our coverage locator.

Our messaging network is state-of-the-art and very reliable, but under certain circumstances, your pager may not be able to receive messages. For example, you may be in an area unreachable by radio frequencies, such as in a basement, deep inside certain buildings, or in a tunnel. Atmospheric conditions as well as your surrounding terrain may also impact reception.

Voicemail

Voice Mail is a service that functions similar to voicemail on your phone or an answering machine. Callers can dial your pager or device number and hear a short recorded greeting from you; they can then leave a voice message which you will be able to listen to by dialing your pager or device number and accessing your voicemail.

Voice Mail Plans

  • MP1 15 Messages, 72-Hour Storage, 60-Second Greeting
  • MP2 10 Messages, 24-Hour Storage, 45-Second Greeting
  • MP4 10 Messages, 12-Hour Storage, 30-Second Greeting

Voice mail instructions can be viewed on this PDF.

How to send a page

Most Spok subscribers can receive numeric messages on any Spok messaging device. Depending on local calling area requirements and the subscriber’s messaging preferences, the following dialing methods may apply:

  • Dial 7 or 10-digit pager number and enter the call back number after the prompt
  • Dial overdial #, enter PIN # and enter the call back number after the prompt
  • Voicemail subscribers can receive numeric and/or voice messages

You can send web messages through Spok Send a page.

  • Most numeric, word messaging, and two-way devices can receive web messages
  • Web messages can be sent through the Send A Page web page

Most word messaging and two-way devices are enabled to receive email messages

  • Two-way devices can both send and receive email messages
  • The domain address for receiving email messages is your 10-digit pager number or 7 – 10-digit PIN @usamobility.net (2145551212@usamobility.net)
  • Subscribers with an alias or “vanity” name can be addressed as name@usamobility.net (johnsmith@usamobility.net)

Spok allows text-capable cellular devices to send and receive SMS text messages to or from subscribers with word messaging devices.

  • Most word and two-way devices are enabled to receive text messages
  • Two-way devices can send SMS text messages
  • Send a text message from a text-enabled device to a Spok subscriber by simply addressing with the 10- digit pager number
  • Two-way subscribers can send a message to another Spok word messaging subscriber by addressing with the 10-digit pager number or pin
  • Two-way subscribers can send a message to another text enabled device by addressing the recipient as SMS:2145551212 (no spaces)

Pager troubleshooting

First, check your device.

  • Turn the pager off, then on again
  • Make sure the battery is fresh and inserted correctly
  • Check the battery level (Is it installed properly or too weak to alert the pager?)
  • Ensure the pager is free of physical or water damage
  • Make sure that your two-way unit is in Full Service. If your pager is currently in Receive Only or Storing Mode you won’t be able to receive
  • Send yourself a test page by device type from Send A Page

If your PIN or pager number wasn’t recognized, your device may not be properly registered in our system. If your test page sent, please allow a few minutes for the message to reach your device. If you received your test message, then your device is working properly. If you didn’t receive it, then continue below.

Second, check your coverage. Verify coverage is available in your area. If you use other services, be sure you’ve moved your coverage to your current location. 

Once you have completed the above troubleshooting techniques, send yourself another test message. If you continue to have difficulty with your unit, please contact support.

Payment and billing

You can view your invoice online by logging into My Account or we can mail your invoice. We also offer three invoice format options, including portrait, landscape, and summary invoices. Please contact support to update your invoice format.

You can expect your next payment to be due within 3-5 days of your previous months’ due dates. For example, if your previous payment due date was Feb. 18, then your next payment due date can be between March 12 -18. This applies to customers on quarterly, semi-annual, or annual billing.

You can make payments in a variety of ways. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discover, as well as checks and money orders. Please note the processing time for each payment method.

Payment option 1: By computer
My Account is the fastest, most convenient way to manage your wireless messaging account. Access your account, statements, and make payments. You can also enroll in autopay by credit card or checking account.

Payment option 2: By mail
Send a check or money order with the bottom portion of your bill to the address listed on the bottom, right-hand side of your invoice or provide credit card information and make a one-time credit card payment. Processing time is 3-5 business days after receipt. Please include your account number on your check or money order.

Mail payments to:
Spok, Inc.
PO box 660324
Dallas, TX 75266-0324

Payment option 3: By telephone
To pay by phone using a credit card or check, please call support. A nominal fee will be charged to each payment taken by phone. Processing time is 3-5 business days.

To sign up for autopay, please login into My Account or call the number on your invoice.

The amount of time it will take for a payment to post to your account will vary depending on your method of payment.

Payment method posting time:

  • Mailing a check or money order: 10-14 business days
  • Payment through customer support using a credit card or check: 3-5 business days
  • Payment by phone through automated voice service:
    • Credit card: 24 to 48 hours
    • Check: 3-5 business days
  • Payment through My Account: 3-5 business days

Due to the rapid rise in operator costs and to provide our customers with the best possible service we periodically adjust rates.

If you’re a rental customer, you have the option to purchase your rental unit at a discounted rate to eliminate recurring rental charges. You can also change the frequency of billing to quarterly, semi-annual, or annual at a reduced rate. By changing the billing frequency, you’ll also eliminate the monthly processing charge and reduce the hassle of making payments on your account. You can also sign-up for auto pay, which will automatically debit your credit card for payment of your wireless service.

Unreturned equipment fee:
We charge unreturned equipment fees for each piece of Spok-owned equipment that isn’t returned within 30 days of service termination. The fee for each unit is equivalent to the established replacement value of that unit. If your account has been terminated for non-payment, we’ll charge the unreturned equipment fee to your account at time of cancellation. To reverse this fee, you may return all devices and your account will be automatically credited upon receipt.

Federal Universal Service Charge:
The Federal USF, created by the federal government, helps ensure telecommunication services for rural libraries, hospitals, and schools. This charge may vary and is per pager.

Federal Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS) surcharge:
The TRS Fund was established by the FCC in 1993 to recompense TRS providers for the cost of providing interstate TRS services. TRS services allow persons who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafblind, or have speech disabilities to communicate by telephone in a manner that is functionally equivalent to telephone services used by persons without such disabilities. All telecommunications providers (carriers) must contribute a percentage of their interstate and international end-user telecommunications services revenues to the TRS Fund.

Regulatory administrative costs:
The regulatory administrative cost fee is a nominal fee we assess per unit to recover our costs of complying with various government mandates. The regulatory administrative cost fee is a charge assessed by Spok and isn’t a tax or government-mandated charge.

Administrative fee:
This is a recurring charge to help offset escalating costs associated with invoice production. This fee also allows us the opportunity to continually improve our invoicing system, which includes an array of invoicing methods to meet each customer’s needs. Since the administrative fee is per invoice, customers can realize additional savings by changing to a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual bill plan.

Payphone access surcharge:
Payphone access surcharges are mandated by the FCC. This charge will appear as a separate recurring line item on your invoice (800# payphone access surcharge).

Maintenance policy

We honor existing maintenance policies on any unit that is owned and maintained by the customer (COAM). COAM maintenance entitles you to a “like” for “like” exchange if the device becomes nonfunctional under normal operating conditions. Maintenance can be purchased for a nominal monthly fee and protects against the malfunction of internal electrical and mechanical functioning of the unit due to normal wear and tear and under typical operating conditions. Under the maintenance policy, a customer is entitled to exchange their unit for the same or like unit. Maintenance may be purchased on any COAM at any time, however, if maintenance is not purchased at the same time as the pager, an Administration Fee will apply.

Any pager that is destroyed, crushed, minced, mashed, or water damaged will be considered damaged beyond repair. Spok reserves the right to determine that a repair is outside of normal wear and tear damage as covered by the maintenance policy. Maintenance pricing is based upon the unit in service.

A maintenance device will generally be exchanged with a “like new” device of like vintage and model based on the availability of the equipment by the company at the time. Custom case colors may not be available. Therefore, black is likely the replacement color.

The following are included under the maintenance plan:

  • Dead (not responding when turned on)
  • Falsing (receiving false pages)
  • Intermittence
  • Loose battery connection
  • Weak vibe motor or speaker volume
  • Weak or no light
  • New battery in exchanged pager
  • LCD (Liquid crystal display)

Maintenance doesn’t include replacement or repair for pager loss, theft, destruction, or damage caused by abuse, neglect, or operation in an adverse environment (e.g. wet, paint, plaster, concrete, or extreme heat or cold).

The following items are not considered normal wear and tear and are not included under the maintenance program:

  • Lost or broken battery covers
  • Missing parts
  • Case damage: cracked, dented, melted
  • Case abuse: stickers, permanent-marker, holes, painted or plastered
  • Broken, cracked, or bent belt clips or holsters
  • Animal teeth marks
  • Excessive battery consumption or short battery life
  • Not decoding/not receiving (typically network related)

Protocols

The Wireless Communications Transfer Protocol (WCTP) is the method to pass alphanumeric and binary messages to and from wireline systems and two-way capable wireless devices. The Messaging Standards Committee developed a draft proposal that was submitted to the Radio Paging Community to foster industry input, co-operation, study, promotion, and participation in its further expansion and growth as an open, non-proprietary standard.

The Messaging Standards Committee is a group of paging industry manufacturers and carriers focused on rapidly creating mutually agreeable standards to address emerging applications that can’t be easily realized through existing standards. The Committee accepted the draft proposal and established a WCTP drafting sub-committee to further enhance the protocol and release it in the form of this specification. The sub-committee is continuing its efforts to refine the features and capabilities of the protocol, and further feature richness will be introduced in future revisions. It is the intent of the drafting committee to provide the greatest degree of revision compatibility between releases as possible, so as to easily allow for the incorporation of new features and to provide a means for systems operating at different protocol revisions to communicate.

An example of a simple WCTP submit:

<?xml version=”1.0″?>

<!DOCTYPE wctp-Operation SYSTEM “http://www.msg-stds.org/src-dtd/wctpv1-0.dtd”>

<wctp-Operation wctpVersion=”1.0″>

<wctp-SubmitRequest>

<wctp-SubmitHeader submitTimestamp=”2000-03-13T20:58:38″ >

<wctp-Originator senderID=”user@HOST01″ />

<wctp-MessageControl messageID=”SOMEID” />

<wctp-Recipient

recipientID=”subscriber_id”

/>

</wctp-SubmitHeader>

<wctp-Payload>

<wctp-Alphanumeric>Message text goes here</wctp-Alphanumeric >

</wctp-Payload >

</wctp-SubmitRequest >

</wctp-Operation>

NOTE: WCTP message submissions to one-way devices don’t provide delivery confirmations.

SMTP to PIN or pager number@usamobility.net SMTP = Email

Please note that Spok has several messaging platforms. Only nationwide and universal access subscribers can receive a message using methods described on this page. All other platforms are obsolete or are not being supported with ongoing development. In addition, email to a one-way pager requires subscriber registration. Should you experience problems sending web page messages or SMTP messages to a subscriber PIN or pager number, please contact support.

HTTP/web interface: How to post a message to a pager

For one-way customers:

HTTP POST to http://www.usamobility.net/cgi-bin/wwwpage.exe

VALUES ARE:

PIN: This is either a PIN or 10-digit number.

MSSG: This is the text part of the message.

Q1: Q1=1 will echo the message; Q1=0 will not.

For two-way customers:

HTTP POST to http://www.usamobility.net/cgi-bin/wwwtwoway.exe

REQUIRED VALUES ARE:

GW_PIN: This is either a PIN or 10-digit number or an alias name.

MSSG: This is the text part of the message.

Optional values:

resp_route: This is a value of “pager” or “email” indicating the type of address to route replies or delivery notifications to.

resp_addr: This is the address to send replies and delivery notifications to.

The following optional values require resp_route and resp_addr to be defined for the feature to work:

confirm_receipt_str: This must be set to “confirm_page_delivery” if delivery notification is required.

resp_a_string: This is the first custom response choice.

resp_b_string: This is the second custom response choice.

resp_c_string: This is the third custom response choice.

resp_d_string: This is the fourth custom response choice.

resp_e_string: This is the fifth custom response choice.

resp_f_string: This is the sixth custom response choice.

The HTTP ‘GET’ method:

The HTTP ‘Get’ method is disabled. Disabling the GET METHOD on our servers acts as a spam filter for our customers.

Example:

http://www.usamobility.net/cgibin/usamobilitypage.exe?ACCESS=1234567890&PIN=1234567890&MSSG=blah

This won’t work.

How to customize the HTTP/web interface:  

If you prefer a link for your website or email that points directly to the “Send A Page” and displays your name, use this example:

http://www.usamobility.net/cgi-bin/wwwpreproc.cgi?PIN=PagerID&NAME=Your+Name

(This is the only executable that will accept a GET method)

If you prefer to have a button use the following example: 

Note: The above information is not supported by technical support.

TAP/Dial Up TAP: Telelocator Alphanumeric Protocol

DTMF/telephone: You can use touch tones to input a numeric message that will display on the subscriber’s device.

Operator dispatch:

  • Some subscribers are on the Spok One Number Access platform, which includes an option for operator dispatch. 
  • The number for nationwide is: 1-800-946-4645
  • The number for universal access alpha subscribers is: 1-800-250-6323

Not all nationwide subscribers have operator dispatch enabled with their service.   

Voicemail:

Some subscribers have voicemail attached to their PIN, pager number, or one number access. The subscriber’s pager will beep with the PIN or pager number, indicating that there is a new voicemail

SNPP

SNPP or simple network paging protocol is not supported by Spok for new development.

Multiple recipients

Multiple recipients (up to 10) for a submitted message are available by SMTP and WCTP.