How Twilio Screwed Us Over

Update - should mention, I really like twilio. I like their product. But I was foolish to rely on them.

I normally don't write posts like this, but I felt there is an important lesson to be learned for developers of web apps.

Today I received an email from Twilio. Twilio provides the SMS and voice functionality to task.fm. That means, that if you receive an SMS or voice reminder from my app task.fm it goes through twilio.

The email from twilio informed me they had, without warning switched off all international SMS functionality. That's right NO warning.

So with just a quick decision, they were able to massively degrade the functionality of our app - an app which not only do people pay for, they rely on.

I haven't been entirely foolish by using twilio. There is a backup option I can switch to, it is much more expensive but I am willing to pocket the costs until I find someone more reliable then the so far flaky twilio.

My advice to other developers - be prepared. Don't trust companies like twilio. Sure the signup is easy and implementation was fairly good. But when it comes what really matters, being able to offer my customers a reliable service, you need a written agreement. My next SMS provider will need to offer us a solid Service level agreement. The fact that twilio could cut off a service, without warning is not on. Make sure there is an SLA in place to guarantee a certain level of service. I'm not even that fussed about twilio deciding not to offer international SMS anymore. I'm just annoyed no notice was given.

So in conclusion, apart from twilio losing one of there early adopters (task.fm isn't a big customer, but that doesn't mean we can be screwed over) they are also damaging there brand. They used to be all about developers.

Please learn from my mistakes, be very careful what providers you use. I'm about to email sengrid to see what agreement we have with them - I don't want to suddenly lose email reminders as well.

P.s I am very sorry to any of our customers. Who missed a reminder. You should be getting international SMS messages again. If you missed a reminder, and are a pro customer, just email or call me and I'll make sure you get a refund for this month.

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