Frequently Asked Questions

I accidentally unsubscribed, help!

If you text stop or cancel, then the bot can no longer reply to you. Text start at the bot to re-join the resistance.

I typed my name or address wrong, help!

Text changeaddress, changename, or changezip to fix those, or reset to reset everything—like unplugging your cable modem.

Resistbot is texting me late at night!

Resistbot keys its reminders based on your signup time, to change when you get reminders use changetimeofday.

How do I write a new letter?

Text resist anytime!

How much does this cost?

Resistbot is free! You’ll only need to pay whatever your mobile carrier charges you for text messages. Most now offer unlimited texting. No data is required. However if you’d like to help us pay for texting, faxes, and postage for your letters, donations keep the bot online! (Not tax-deductible at this time.)

Help, my messages to my officials are coming back as gibberish!

Each carrier seems to handle message encoding a little differently. As we work through all of these specific cases, you can fix this problem by removing all ‘special’ characters from your message: return breaks, directional quotes / apostrophes, symbols like %, $, etc. This should make your message go through.

I’m getting a ‘Service Access Denied’ message when I try to use Resistbot.

Some carriers on certain mobile plans, especially prepaid plans, will block shortcodes. Please call your carrier and ask them to unblock shortcodes on your account! You can also try texting resist to our full number 202-335-4008 or use the Facebook Messenger version.

I can’t get this working, how do I use Resistbot?

You don’t need a smartphone, just a text-capable mobile phone. Open the app you use to text. On many phones it’s called messages. In the phone number, or ‘To:’ field, type 50409, and in the message body, resist. Send that message and you’re in.

How can I message my representative? Can I message my officials separately?

Resistbot starts simple, with just your two Senators. Over time, it will ask you for more information to match you with your representative in the U.S. House, and experienced users will get the junior and senior commands to message each Senator, and the house command for their representative.

What commands does Resistbot know?

As you use the bot more, you’ll discover more and more of what it can do. You can say more or less if you want it to contact you more or less frequently, feedback to let us know what you like and don’t like or if you have an issue, or commands is the cheat code to show you everything it can do.

What are you doing with my data?

We use your information to match you with your officials in Congress and to sign your messages. Without including this information, your message won’t matter. We will not sell your information to anyone, ever. We’ll shut down the service rather than sell data. Here’s our full terms and privacy policy.

How does it work?

Resistbot turns your text messages into daily letters to Congress— in the simplest and easiest way possible. We are working hard behind the scenes to make sure they are delivered and that your representatives take them seriously.

Will my message really count?

Yes! There’s a lot of information floating around saying that only certain ways of speaking up really count. We’ve confirmed that Resistbot messages are received and read by actual Congressional staffers. Here’s a few testimonials.

What does this cost? How do you make money?

We’re a team of volunteers working around the clock to make this free for you, we’re supported by user donations.

Why don’t you tell me what to say?

Unlike a lot of other tools, Resistbot doesn't tell you what to say. Our research shows that form letters are totally ignored by Congress. Only original, unique messages count. But they don’t have to be complicated or fancy. Just a few sentences from a real-life voter gets their attention. Don’t worry about typos or mistakes, that just further shows you’re a real person.

Can I send more than one message?

You sure can. Just text resist to the bot at any time. For more answers, visit our frequently asked questions page.

I’m an American living abroad, will Resistbot work for me?

To cut down on costs/fraud, currently we only respond to U.S. numbers beginning in +1. However if you have a U.S. number, simply provide the zip code, and later address, when prompted by the bot for the last place you lived or where you’re registered to vote / get your absentee ballot from. Then we can direct your messages to the right members of Congress.

Who’s behind this?

We’re a group of volunteers deeply opposed to the direction of the country. We built this to faithfully deliver your voice to Congress. Resistbot was founded by Eric Ries and Jason Putorti.

Are you going to spam me?

Resistbot is an experiment in daily civic engagement. It will text you once in a while to see if you’d like to pressure your officials or keep you posted on what we think you’d be interested in. You can text stop anytime to leave the resistance.

I’m having a problem with the bot! Help!

If your answer isn’t here, you can email us. Please include your name, phone number, cell carrier, and phone model to help us fix the bug. Screenshots help too!

How can I help?

Donate to help keep our texting going. Every $6 pays for 800 messages and we can’t continue withour your support. You can also volunteer as a programmer (our tech stack contains Python, Flask, RapidPro, AWS), help us QA, or submit our user’s letters to the editor. If you have a resistance group that wants to use this, or have any other questions we didn’t answer here, please email us. You can join the conversation over at Product Hunt or Twitter.