Mystery over wave of delayed text messages in US

Joanna Estrada
November 8, 2019

"Honestly I thought I was dreaming and for a second I thought she was still here", said one person, who goes by KuribHoe on Twitter, who received the message from their best friend who had died. Phone companies have blamed each other and offered no further explanations. She immediately thought something had happened to her newborn nephew at the hospital. She then woke up her mother.

California resident Barbara Coll said she received an old message from her sister saying their mom was doing well, but she has been dead since June. It was three hours before she learned that everything was fine and the text was an odd anomaly.

"Now it's amusing", she told the Associated Press. "But out of context, it was not cool".

As The Verge reports, the nine month wait between these messages being sent and received wasn't limited to one mobile OS or mobile carrier.

Mobile carriers offered unhelpful explanations for the weird-text phenomenon, which appeared to be widespread, at least according to social media. Delayed messages were sent from and received by both iPhones and Android phones, and the messages seem to have been sent and received across all major carriers in the US.

'Last evening, a maintenance update occurred to part of the messaging platforms of multiple carriers in the US, including Sprint, which caused some customers to have older text messages sent to their devices, ' said a Sprint representative. "While the issue has been resolved, we are in the process of reviewing our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again, and actively working with our customers' teams to answer any questions they have".

We have also reached out to T-Mobile and Verizon for comment on the incident. A Sprint spokesperson said a "maintenance update" last night caused the error.

Alana Johnson, a kid's librarian at the LA Public Library, said the glitch resulted in her boss receiving a text from her at 1:15 a.m. saying she would be out sick. "It just was not good for me and my mental health to be in contact with him". In that text, Gomez seemed to assume she was on her way over to his house so they could order a Lyft.

Syniverse helps deliver text messages for major cellphone providers in the USA, and its little server failure has created some confusing situations. Can their relationship recover? Gomez, 22, said it was "confusion, then awkward, and then amusing". No mixed messages there.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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