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Mobile phone users across the country received text messages overnight that were originally sent on Valentine’s Day.
The messages, which never reached their recipients on Feb. 14 but instead appeared overnight, seem to have targeted users of all major carriers.
Reports indicate that both iPhone and Android users who rely on T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, and Verizon for their cell service received the delayed messages. Even carriers in Canada and Google Voice users were caught up in the mix as well.
In statements Thursday, Sprint blamed a “maintenance update” while T-Mobile blamed a “third party vendor,” according to the Verge.
“The issue was resolved not long after it occurred,” a Sprint spokesperson said. “We apologize for any confusion this may have caused.”
None of the service carriers thus far have explained why the texts from Valentine’s Day didn’t go through or revealed the identity of the alleged third party vendor.
AT&T, Google, and Verizon have yet to comment on the incident.
Numerous Twitter users discussed how the texting debacle caused either confusion or embarrassment, with one user reporting to have received a Valentine’s Day text from an ex-boyfriend.
While some may have experienced a bizarre if not minor inconvenience from the issue, other incidents were more troubling.
Multiple individuals reported receiving texts from dead friends and relatives, causing emotional wounds to be re-opened.
California resident Barbara Coll described to the Verge receiving a message from her sister about her mother doing well even though her mother died in June. Coll’s sister, in turn, reported receiving a message from Barbara about their mother also.
“I haven’t stopped thinking about that message since I got it,” Coll told the outlet. “I’m out looking at the ocean right now because I needed a break.”
Update 10:24am CT, Nov. 11: It was confirmed that a small telecoms company called Syniverse was responsible for the “ghost” text messages. An error caused the messages, which were being stored on a Syniverse server for unknown reasons, to resurface.
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H/T the Verge
Mikael Thalen is a tech and security reporter based in Seattle, covering social media, data breaches, hackers, and more.