Automated SMS Reminder via a cron job.


FCC Ruling: June 18, 2015

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a proposal to strengthen consumer protection against unwanted calls and texts and to provide clarification on compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

This new ruling maintains existing protections under the TCPA, while affirming the following updates:

  • Consumer consent needs to be obtained before sending voice or text messages.
  • Consumers have the right to revoke their consent to receive calls and texts in a reasonable way at any time.
  • If a phone number has been reassigned, companies must stop calling the number after one call.
  • Consumers are entitled to the same consent-based protections for texts as they are for voice calls to wireless numbers.



Joomla 3.x     
Joomla 3.5+ - ABPro 4.0.1+ beta 6 May 19/17
Joomla 3.5+ - ABPro 4.0.1 beta 5 Sep 9/16
Joomla 3.5+ - ABPro 4.0.1
changes for J!3.5.1 beta 4 Apr 27/16 
Joomla 3.x - ABPro 3.0.2
(beta 4 or higher)
Renamed sendSMS
mod_sv_reminders_sms3J30b3 beta 3 May 15/14 
Joomla 3.x - ABPro 3.0
Twilio support added
mod_sv_reminders_sms3J30b2 beta 2 Jul 29/13
Joomla 3.0 - ABPro 3.0 mod_sv_reminders_sms3J30b1  beta 1 Oct 29/12


Joomla 2.5    
Joomla 2.5 - ABPro 2.0.7
(beta 4 or higher)
Added support
mod_sv_reminders_sms2J25b5 beta 5 Aug 22/15
Joomla 2.5 - ABPro 2.0.7
(beta 4 or higher)
Renamed sendSMS
mod_sv_reminders_sms2J25b4 beta 4 Feb 14/14
Joomla 2.5 - ABPro 2.0 (php 5.3)  mod_sv_reminders_sms2J25b3  beta 3 Oct 18/12
Joomla 2.5 - ABPro 2.0 mod_sv_reminders_sms2J17 beta 2 Nov 8/11


Joomla 1.5    
Joomla 1.5 - ABPro 2.0 (php 5.3)  mod_sv_reminders_sms2J15b2 beta 2 Oct 18/12
Joomla 1.5 - ABPro 2.0 mod_sv_reminders_sms2J15  



Web applications are passive and can only respond to requests for pages. A web application cannot 'wake up' and take action on its own. To do that you need a scheduled task or cron task running on your web server. This module provides a mechanism to have your server send reminders automatically by setting up a cron job to call the module at hourly intervals.

The module mod_sv_reminders_sms, an add-on to ABPro, does not do automated SMS reminders by itself.

It installs a file, reminders_cron_sms.php, that can be called by your server's cron facility and when it is, it will look at the module parameters and send SMS reminders to accepted bookings. The module needs to be 'Published' but need not appear on any site page. It is really just a way to let you set parameters for the reminders_cron_sms.php to read at runtime.


Installation and Setup

Step 1 Download and install the module
  Download from link above then install as with any other module - nothing special here.

Step 2 Modue Setup

Set StatusPublished
and Show Title = No

You can set the Menus to None as it does not need to appear on any page.



Hours Before Booking:
This field tells the module how many hours in advance of the booking to send an SMS reminder. You can set multiple values here. The screen above shows you want reminders sent 14, 4 and 2 hours before the booking.

Why 14? You do not want to send SMS in the middle of the night so setting something like 14 means the person will get a reminder the evening before an early appointment. When the 6:00PM cron job runs it will see appointments coming due 14 hours out (8:00AM-9:00AM) so an 8:15AM appointment will get a reminder at 6:00PM the day before. The 2 and 4 hour reminders will be prevented from going out during the night by the Do Not Call settings.

Do Not Call Before / Do Not Call After: You will set your cron job to run every hour, 24/7. It is not a good idea to ring someones cell phone in the middle of the night to remind them of an early morning appointment. These settings let you tell the module what hours are not allowed. In the above example, calls are only made between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM.

Currently only ABPro is supported.

For future use, currently only supports version 2.0 of this component.

Email Results To:
You can enter an email address that will receive a status report after each cron run.
If left blank the report will be sent to the email address in the component's (ABPro) Configure / MailTO setting.

Test Mode:
For testing, see below.


Step 3 Cron Setup

After you have the module installed and configured, your next step is to setup or schedule the cron job at your webserver.  Each hosting provider will have their own unique process for exactly how to do this.  But in each case, you need to create and name a new Cron job, define how often the Cron job should run (this should be once per hour), and point the Cron job to the correct path to the reminders_cron_sms.php file.  Below are 2 video tutorials that will demonstrate the setup procedures for common hosts.

You need to know the physical path, on the server, to the file reminders_cron.php
There is a file included in the module to do this for you. From your browser issue the request:

You will get back a screen like this..


Cron setup tutorials


Step 4 Testing

The file reminders_cron_sms.php has some code at the beginning to prevent it from being called interactivity by a malicious user.

For testing you can set 'Test Mode' (above) to Yes and call reminders_cron.php from your browser like:


Ensure you set the module's Menu Assignment to 'On all pages' or the parameters are not accessible.