Messages not being delivered on iPhone SE 2020 ...?

My girlfriend has an iPhone SE 2020, and is routinely missing text messages. The sender can send a screenshot of the sent message, and my girlfriend won’t be able to find it on her side.

What we know so far:

  • She’s set to send/receive at both her iCloud email and phone number
  • Phone number is the primary
  • iCloud Messages is turned on
  • The message loss seems to be indiscriminate and not sender-device-dependent

She works in a building with poor service, and the phone has to be locked away during work in a special locker. But my understanding of text messages is that if a device is unreachable for some reason, the message should just queue and be delivered when the device is available again.

Anything obvious that we should be double-checking, that might cause messages to outright not be delivered?

I live in a cellphone dead zone, and this happens to me as well. And the missed messages never show up. This usually happens when the message is not from an iPhone, or not everyone in the group is using an iPhone.

I also have problems sending images to non-iPhone users. I have no issues when sending to iPhones.

We use WiFi calling at our house.

Not sure that this will be of any relevance to your girlfriend’s situation though.

@MevetS describes my experience and set up as well. I’m usingf an SE 2020, have poor cell access/dropouts frequently, and never receive some Messages from non-iPone senders.

That’s weird. I have an iPhone 11, and I’ve never missed messages - although I suppose my phone spends less time in dead zones than hers does.

I realize this is a really long shot, but any chance you have experience with different carriers? Same question for @MevetS. Wondering if there’s any pattern there?

I’m on AT&T.

I’m on AT&T.

(And that gets me to 20 characters …)

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Messages from an Apple Device towards an Apple Device are send via iMessage, while a Message send to/from an other Device is using SMS/MMS Services.
You can distinct that by the blue (iMessage) or green (SSM/MMS) color of the Textbubble within iMessage.
If a SMS/MMS could not be delivered, it remain for a certain time on the server (SMSC), before it would be deleted. This timeframe could vary between different carrier, and it should be checked with the local carrier, if that might be a problem in the special case. The definition of the Standard allows a timeframe between only 5 Minutes, and up to 63 Weeks.

An observation I made was, that it could help to switch the phone into flight mode, while it is somewhere with a very bad service coverage (e.g. if it is placed inside a locker).
If you turn it in Normal mode again, it will get all undeleted messages that could not be delivered in the meantime.
I have currently no proof for it, and there are high chances, that this matter also vary between the different carrier, but I wouldn`t wonder, if the time a message was saved in the SMSC today also depends on, whether the phone is signed on to the service, or if it is offline, specially if the “normal” time the message is saved on the SMSC is rather short with this carrier.

I too am on AT &T, and am a location where coverage varies from day to day.