How To Get Around Facebook Mobile Verification Issues to Secure Your Fan Page Vanity URL

By Selene M. Bowlby in Social Media on July 2nd, 2009

Facebook Fan Page / Vanity URL

If you are one of the over 200 million people with a Facebook account, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard all of the hype over Facebook usernames and vanity URL’s.

These initially became available for both personal profiles and fan pages at 12:01am EST on June 13, 2009. I for one was among those who stayed up late on a Saturday night to get a vanity URL for my own personal profile.

Like many others, however, my fan page was fairly new, and did not meet the initial requirement of having 1,000 fans in order to get a fan page username. That would come later…

The Second Wave = Mass Confusion?

This past weekend, on June 29th, Facebook opened up the second wave of fan page username registration. However, it didn’t come without a bit of controversy and confusion…

First, there was no time listed, just a date. I’m sure I’m not the only one who assumed the second wave would start at 12:01am, just like the initial landrush. Well, you know what happens when you assume something, right? ;) It turns out, the second wave wouldn’t start until 11:59pm that night.

Reports also started floating around in regards to the fan page requirements. Initially, fan pages needed a minimum of 25 fans in order to be eligible for a username. No biggie – I had about 120 at this point, so I was not concerned.

Late Sunday afternoon, however, Facebook changed their tune… the minimum requirement was raised to 100 fans. I’m sure this made for a LOT of unhappy campers – although I realize it is all in the name of preventing cyber squatting.

In addition to this, the Facebook help pages made mention of possibly verifying your account with a mobile phone.

Users will be required to have a verified Facebook account, which may require mobile phone authentication. This decision was made to prevent people from creating new accounts just to take advantage of reserving a username.

Not As Easy As It Sounds

I thought I took care of that earlier in the day by activating Facebook mobile through the Account | Mobile link. It was as simple as sending a text message with the letter “f” to FBOOK, receiving a confirmation code, and entering it into the account settings. I tested this and all was well. Ready to get my username!

Think again! 11:59pm rolled around – I went to the username page, entered my cell phone number to be faced with this:

Sorry, that phone was recently used to verify another Facebook user and is not currently eligible for mobile verification.

WHAT?!?!?! You can imagine my distress! What do they mean my cell phone was used to verify another Facebook user? Yes the number was used – but it was used to verify MY account – an account that I’ve had for well over a year, so why is there question of my identity now?

I tried repeatedly to enter my cell phone number… I even tried in vain to use my Skype and Gizmo numbers in order to get a new confirmation code sent. Heck, I even tried my main phone number forwarded to my cell phone, LOL. Apparently Skype and Gizmo can only send SMS messages – not receive them.

Facebook Bugs and Known Problems

This is apparently either a “Bug” or “Known Problem” – see the screenshot below…

Facebook Bugs and Known Problems

Crazy Hair-Brained Scheme #1

At this point I was desperate to secure my username and was willing to try just about anything to get it. So crazy idea #1 hit – if they won’t verify my real cell phone number, I’ll run to the store in the morning, get a cheapie $19 prepaid phone, activate it, then verify my facebook account with the new number.

Cake, right? NOPE!

Apparently Facebook has a limit – you can only request 5 confirmation codes before it cuts you off. It would have been nice if they notified you of this somewhere on the page, so I wouldn’t have wasted codes on numbers that likely weren’t going to work!

So $19 later, I’m faced with this:

Sorry, we have already tried texting 5 codes and they all seem to have failed. Please click here to get help.

Absolutely nothing that I tried at this point worked, and the help files didn’t do much other than tell you to “click here” again to fill out various support forms and bug reports. And trust me, I filled out as many forms as I could!

To make things worse, in searching for help on the issue, I came across many posts on the Facebook forums with complaints of people waiting months without any response from Facebook support.

NOT the reassurance I was hoping for!

Crazy Hair-Brained Scheme #1 = Success! (sort-of)

While this tactic didn’t work for me, because I had already hit the 5 code limit, I am happy to report that it does work for other people!

A good friend of mine experienced the exact same problem that I did – but lucky for her, she hadn’t reached the 5 code limit on the account she was trying to verify.

She unfortunately had to spend $35 on her cheapie pre-paid phone and plan, but it worked! She was successfully able to secure her Facebook fan page username!

Crazy Hair-Brained Scheme #2

My friend was now set, but it seemed that I was completely out of luck. Then it hit me… I remembered that you could add other people as administrators for your fan page.

I had recently setup a Facebook account for my husband – of course, he’s not a techie like me and could care less about the whole vanity URL thing. And as the universe works, since the usernames were not a big deal for him, he was able to verify his account and secure his username without ANY issues whatsoever!

Well, it’s my husband… his account is verified… I trust him completely… so…

What if I named my husband as an admin, and let him pick the fan page username?

Not the perfect situation, but it would certainly secure the name that I so desperately wanted to have.

So, I logged into my account, assigned him as an admin… logged in as him (with his permission, of course)… proceeded to the username page… held my breath and…

Crazy Hair-Brained Scheme #2 = Success!

Yes, this is a crazy work-around – something only a crazy obsessive compulsive personality could come up with, LOL. And of course you would only want to do this with someone that you completely trust your fan page account with.

But it worked! I was able to register my fan page username while logged into his verified account.

I was also a bit worried what would happen if I removed him as an admin, but I’ve since done so, and the username remains in tact.

Phew!

Few And Far Between?

While it seemed that everyone and their mother were posting their shiny new fan page vanity URL’s, it felt as though I was the only one having problems.

I did see a few tweets of people not being able to verify their account, but I don’t think they went to the lengths that my friend and I did to secure our pages. But, if it happened to at least the two of us – and the mobile number error I received was a “known problem” then I’m sure we were not the only ones.

So, yes, it’s a crazy work-around, but if you run into issues verifying your account and are willing to do whatever it takes to get a username for your fan page – one of these solutions might be right for you!

Smooth Sailing or a Nightmare?

So… did you secure your fan page username? Was it smooth sailing for you, or was it a similar nightmare? I’d love to hear your story, especially if it was a not so fun one like mine!

Fan Me, Please!

Of course, I can’t end this post without linking out to my page!

http://www.facebook.com/idesignstudios

I am not 100% sure what I’ll be using it for, but at the very least, I’ll be streaming blog posts, as well as providing helpful links that I find for designers, developers, freelancers and business owners – with tips on productivity, time management, work-life balance – you name it!

Basically a place to share the type of things I can’t really make a full blog post out of, but are more than worthy of sharing!

So, please join the community – I hope to see you there!


About the Author

About the AuthorSelene M. Bowlby is a web designer and front-end web developer with over 15 years of professional experience in the design industry. As the owner of iDesign Studios she specializes in creating custom WordPress driven web sites for other small businesses. Follow Selene on . more »

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  • http://www.picknicksbrain.com Nicole

    Great, entertaining, and useful article! I can’t imagine others didn’t have the same problem! I’ll be watching comments to see. In the future, when the fan pages are even bigger than they are now, $19 will seem like just a drop in the bucket. Glad you got your URL and you have me as a fan! Love your posts, Selene! You obviously put a lot of work in them. I look forward to more.

  • http://www.ikywim.com Luiz Lopes

    I say that was indeed a circus act you pulled off there Selene.

  • Janet Bocciardi

    Finally reading a clear post of someone experiencing the same problem! So… I guess I’ll try the cheap phone, because my dh hasn’t gotten on fb yet and doesn’t want to. I’ll hopefully succeed!

  • http://yellowmagpie.com Joseph Condron

    I didn’t realise that you needed a certain amount of fans. I was one of the lucky ones who grabbed my domain name when it became available.

    Good post.

  • Natalie

    Thanks so much for posting this. Your crazy hair-brained scheme #2 worked great!

  • Copyista

    Thank you so much for this helpful tip. I was about to toss my keyboard out the window I was so annoyed. But Scheme #2 worked ;-)

  • adam

    i used ur “add another admin” technique. brilliant. thanks so much.

  • http://www.ahintoffig.com Scarlett

    THANK YOU so much for this entry! Over one year later after your original post and yes, this is STILL a bug. I spent a couple of hours this afternoon pulling my hair out and finally googled the error message – and here you are – and your workaround still works! Thank you again.

  • http://www.idesignstudios.com/selene-m-bowlby/ Selene M. Bowlby

    Wow – I’m actually surprised to see that this is still an ongoing issue! Hairbrained or not, I’m glad to be able to help some of you with my own crazy experience. Better than nothing until Facebook actually fixes the problem!

  • http://andrewfreels.co/ Andrew

    The problem for me is most people in Germany never receive the text, although my carrier is supposedly supported. They really need a better way of doing this, email verification should be enough.

  • Rayne

    Same problems as Andrew. I was asked to feed in my mobile number to verify my account (I don’t know if I provided wrong e-mail address at first place or if my account was hacked). Well I fed in my current mobile number, but I did never received the verification code and now I’m stuck. All that FB is asking is the SMS verification code or signing in again. Well I can’t sign in prior I receive the text with code. Very frustrating.

  • nicollette

    i have entered a wrong phone number on my profile by mistake and so i never got any text that said the confirmation code.
    and now when i am trying to log in my account. it is asking me complete those three steps to confirm my a/c and is asking me to enter that confirmation code which was sent to me through a text on my phone..
    but as i said the number i put when they asked me fr it.. was wrong.. it is not valid/ wrong.
    so if you could please send me the code via email… that would be really great of U.
    because i dont want to make another account. i want to use this very same account.
    please help me with this.. and allow me start using my account as usual.
    and now.. it doesnt even let me login if i wanna make any changes in the profile. (no.)

  • Vicki

    I find FB so frustrating. A code has been sent to my phone but when I entered it it says it is incorrect. I can’t find where to request another one so now I’m stuck I can’t seem to find any help with it anywhere. Maybe your hair brained scheme #2 will work for me. Fingers crossed.

  • annie

    Your hairbrained scheme #2 worked for me! What a lifesaver. My business maintains several facebook pages, and changing all the usernames at once was a huge challenge. Thanks!

  • http://facebook Lotem Porat

    I have the same issue as nicollette. I put in my phone number, which is a spanish number since I am in spain right now and I never received a code. Now I can´t access my facebook because it is asking a code and I don´t know it. How can I fix this issue?

  • Emiliano

    I’m with Nicollette, I’ve inverted a couple of numbers of my phone and know I’m stuck. It can’t be that hard to try to number again!

  • heather

    I had the same problem now for a couple days and now it says you can recieve a automated call. I have a ipod touch so i downloaded line2 which gives you a number and you can have face book call this number and they tell you the code. That way you dont have to use your real number. hope that help!

  • http://www.iqcomputerservices.com Sarah

    I had the problem too. My fan page was blocked while my account was disabled due to verification. It wouldn’t show up for anyone except the other admin. I hope it comes back up in a day. I just verified my facebook account with a friend’s phone who has no plans on ever getting a facebook.

  • Jonathan Melton

    Thanks for that, got me out of jam!

  • Nancy

    I don’t have a fan page.. Why do they suddenly want my phone number?? I am linked in already on my cell. I tried to put in my cell but didn’t realize I had to dial a 1 first. After 5 tries it shut me out! Not sure what to do..

  • http://www.thesecretlake.com Karen Inglis

    Hi there
    At last I’ve found a post that mirrors the hell I’ve been going though in the last week! I know you’ve been long sorted out for quite a long time now, but in the absence of any replies from FB Help Centre itself, I’d appreciate any ideas you might be able to give me….

    I have 2 FB pages – one for each of my children’s books that I’m about to self-publish. I did a small amount of advertising a few months ago (£10 for each) and they now have 65 and 88 fans – just really some early market research for me to test the waters. As I shall shortly be uploading my books to Amazon I now wanting to get ready to market properly and clearly these need a friendly FB url. I’ve followed the instructions they give out, but they don’t work!

    When I go to the username page to try to get one, they say I must first verify my account by text. As a result I’ve sent them (reluctantly) my mobile no. but when they send the text and I input it, I keep being told the code I have entered is invalid. I don[‘t suppose you have any ideas why? The code start with the + sign followed by 11 digits.

    I’ve tried entering the code with and without the + sign, and also have tried replacing the + sign with a zero – all to no avail. After 5 goes last week hey wouldn’t let me try again; they told me to ‘come back later’. It’s finally letting me try again today, but the problem is still the same. Any idea what I’m doing wrong? If my fan page nos are the issue then surely it would say so. (I see you mention 100 fans but I thought it was 25?)

    I email FB Help days ago about this and of course have had no reply. It is truly appalling! I can’t even understand how to post a discussion question on it! Any help you can give would be hugely appreciated! (Even if it’s to tell me how to post a discussion – I cannot see any link that says ‘post a question’!)

    Sorry for such a long post – I’m exasperated!

    Karen (London UK)
    FB pages in case of relevance – and also so you know I’m genuine! http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Secret-Lake/120383541372392 and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Eeek/180996308612179

  • http://PureRover.com Mark

    I found your post while searching for a fix for what seems to be data-mining by FB. I have a real problem with ‘everything’ I do, including any fan-page i set up being tied back to my main account. Google+ may be on to something by allowing you to separate your friends and relatives into smaller, more manageable groups. I refuse to give facebook my phone number, let alone my cellphone, my lifeline that i rely on daily. my account is locked because i will not give them my SMS number for verification. By the way, facebook does not have ANY customer support in which to deal with this.

    Sorry to vent here but I am so pi$$ed off right now. Why should I have to go out any purchase another phone just to use facebook???

  • Max

    Mark, have you found the solution of this problem? I can’t receive SMS from FB too. My account is blocked.

  • Areeba

    hi, i need quick help. i can’t access my face-book account because i can’t get my security log in approval code (my phone is stolen) and i have no recognized devices to log in from… please tell me how can i get my account back?

  • http://www.blackbiter.com Holliday Vann

    Personally, I don’t think there is anything that special about Facebook. That’s why I have waited this long to register. But requiring verification via a cell phone seems ridiculous and limiting (given the trouble people are having). This aspect of Facebook is a complete turnoff.

  • Cal

    I have a similar problem. My fb account needs mobile verification to be reactivated (they blocked me for some reason… It’s just an account I use for games, but still)
    But being the careful person that I am, I don’t trust facebook enough to give them something like my phone number.
    Especially because they’re known to sell peoples personal info to 3rd parties.
    So I’m scowering the web for a work-around -.-

  • bay wanderer

    Just an FYI. I was in the same predicament and ended up getting a Google Voice account. It’s free and receives text messages.

  • Fed Up

    Bay Wanderer – was there a trick to it? I tried to use my GV number and I never got a text. Then I got the “you tried too many times to request a code”: message so I gave up. Just wondering if since Sprint “integrated” GV they’ve somehow messed this up too! Sprint – FB kinda the same nightmare – FB just has prettier pictures :)

  • http://www.facebook.com Bobby F

    ya what if u dont have ur cell phone anymore because i dont my phone was deactivated about 2 months ago and i cant get the code from the phone for ovieous reasons my phone dosent work so how in the he– am i supposed to get into my account

  • Abhay

    hi,

    I m trying to logging in my face book account but it asking for verification code to verify my account (I don’t know if I provided wrong e-mail address at first place or if my account was hacked). Well I fed in my current mobile number, but I did never received the verification code and now I’m stuck. All that FB is asking is the SMS verification code or signing in again. Well I can’t sign in prior I receive the text with code. Very frustrating.

  • AM

    You’re a smart cookie! Thanks for the tip – worked like a charm!

  • http://www.zafada.us Zafada

    Google Voice doesn’t handle shortcode SMS messages. Any other ideas? I opened up a few new accounts and they were all locked and I need a phone number to do it.

  • http://www.magicofmakingupt.com Kaitlyn

    Facebook verification is a pain! Does Google Voice still work now? A friend told me it doesn’t. I will try adding a 2nd admin to my page, thanks for the tip!

  • Victoria

    So rubbish,… I HATE FB!!! I ONLY GOT MY FLIPPING ACCOUNT TODAY AND THEY WONT LeT ME ON…
    I DONT EVEN HAVE A PHONE…

  • http://arcguiding.com Malc

    I cannot verify my personal account via mobile number; each time I get the message ‘this number has been used recently to verify another account’ (I set it up wrong at first!). And I would quite like to be able to use FB mobile as I administer a Business page from that personal profile. If I used your #2 scheme and signed my wife into my business page as an admin (and verified through her number), would I EVER be able to have just my own mobile number for both my personal profile and business page?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dillingerforce DillingerForce

    Worked a treat (The husband … well … wife thing).

    Fantastic idea.

  • stanley

    some one has added my mobile number in their facebook profile, i got FACEBOOK MOBILE CONFIRMATION CODE to my mobile, now what i have to do ????

  • http://none Shani

    So, if I can’t afford a mobile phone and they keep telling me to verify my account when I log in, will they make me verify or shut me out if I don’t?

  • http://choppergirl.air-war.org CG

    Ok, you could of deleted your FaceBook page like all the rest of us. No way in hell I’m giving FaceBook my cell number. I did that a long time ago when I first signed up, and ever after that I kept getting SMS spam… how they got my number… there is only one single way, and that was because I gave it to Facebook. I hate phones and don’t even use my cell phone for anything but an emergency back up device. I didn’t get them before, and afterwards, I got them. So that is why FB wants your mobile number. It has nothing to do with identity verification, and everything to do with selling your number to slimball bottom of the barrel marketers in big lists.

    I deleted my FB account and that was the end of that.

  • http://facebook.com erika

    i got my phone turned off and now i cant recieve my security codes.what can i do

  • shan

    i am getting problem in verification of my account of facebook
    its asking which friend tagged which photo which is enough tough for me
    why the other option like verification by mobile not coming ???
    please help me to open my account

  • Simon

    After 2-3 years, Facebook wants me to give them a mobile phone number to verify my account.
    (As if the email address is not enough)
    I am deaf and dont use a phone at all.
    They are discriminating against the deaf.
    Email is now the new link to the world for the deaf.
    A lot of sellers on ebay and etsy are deaf, and you never know it. We have entered the productive marketplace and can sell our stuff and crafts without discrimination and now along comes Facebook with wanting a phone number.
    And they do not ask if you are disabled or deaf or anything. There are some disabled in wheelchairs that use a ponter or stick to operate email.
    And Facebook insists they get a phone number.

  • Kaitlyn

    “Almost” worked for me. Same scenario as yours (husband verified, but not my biz page), ***except*** mine said I need 25 more “likes” before he (ahem “I”) can create a custom username, which was the whole crazy mobile-verification ordeal!

  • http://www.expressnewmedia.com Sebastien B.

    Boy! Am I glad I found your post, trying to get a fan page all setup and “Crazy Hair-Brained Scheme #2 = Success!” was just crafty and beautiful! (took me a whole 2 minutes as an Admin on the page to setup and then removed myself right away since it wasn’t ‘my’ page…plus free of charge)
    A big thank you! Cheers!
    Sébas

  • raz

    i joined facebook a couple days ago. all of a sudden they accuse me of not being real person. same thing , verify by mobile phone , text code does’nt work , can’t get anymore texts sent after 5 tries. can’t login even to delete or deactivate my account . facebook is either a datamining scam or a joke. or both.

  • govinda kumar

    this good very good and thank uuuu

  • Eddie

    My code generator is on and my phone is shut off how do I log in from my new number

  • Laughin Man

    There is another solution. It is CIA