Delayed Valentine's Day messages were sent on every network overnight

A maintenance update led to 168,149 previously undelivered messages getting sent.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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Corinne Reichert
2 min read

Valentine's Day messages were sent in November, thanks to a messaging glitch.

Angela Lang/CNET

Dozens of people have reported receiving strange, out-of-context messages Wednesday night and Thursday morning on all networks in the US, with many of the messages originally meant for Valentine's Day. Not only were texts delayed from February to November, some of them had first been sent on Valentine's Day two years ago.

"Early this morning my sister and I received text messages that we had sent each other on February 14, 2019. It turns out other people are reporting similar events this morning," someone posted on Reddit on Thursday, as reported earlier by The Verge.

The Redditor rounded up multiple other reports of the occurrence, finding that the issue has affected people across T-Mobile , Sprint , Verizon , AT&T , Bell, Google Fi and Google Hangouts, as well as on both iPhones and Android phones.

"I received texts from my mother last night at 1:14 and 1:39 AM CDT. They were from Valentines Day two years ago," another post said. "Her plan is Verizon (she didn't know her phone model) and mine is Sprint on an iPhone 8+."

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"Received a text my girlfriend sent almost a year ago. She doesn't have a resend. She also received a text from me from a year ago. I don't have a sent message," another Redditor said. 

A Maine radio station reported receiving a response to a message sent on Feb. 14, 2019, in the early hours of Thursday, too.

The glitch was caused by a maintenance update for the messaging platforms used by multiple US carriers, according to a statement from Sprint. This "caused some customers to have older text messages resent to their devices."

"The issue was resolved not long after it occurred. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused," the Sprint spokesperson said.

T-Mobile said the issue was with a third-party vendor that has since been resolved, while Verizon claimed a text message service provider called Syniverse could be responsible for the glitch.

Syniverse confirmed that it was responsible, saying that during internal maintenance last night, 168,149 previously undelivered messages were sent.

"While the issue has been resolved, we are in the process of reviewing our internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again," said William Hurley, Syniverse's chief marketing and product officer. 

AT&T didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. All four carriers are currently working together on the Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative, which promises to use the Rich Communications Service standard to make text messages as smart as iMessage for Android phones. It's set to launch in 2020. 

First published at 11:16 a.m. PT on Nov. 7.
Updated at 2:26 p.m.: Adds statements from Verizon and T-Mobile; Updated at 3:07 p.m.: Adds comment from Syniverse.

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