Almost 200,000 Americans woke up on Thursday to Valentine’s Day text messages that had been delayed by months because of a network glitch.
Phone companies blamed each other as people complained of confusing fragments of conversation or unwelcome contact from ex-lovers or deceased relatives.
Marissa Figueroa, 25, said she was shocked to receive a message from a former boyfriend until she realised the extent of the network misfire.
"It just was not good for me and my mental health to be in contact with him,” she said.
A telecom vendor called Syniverse said a server failed on February 14, and nearly 170,000 messages from multiple carriers didn't go through. When that server was reactivated Thursday, those messages got sent.
In a statement sent to The Associated Press by Verizon, Syniverse said it is reviewing internal procedures so this doesn't happen again. Syniverse typically deletes messages that don't go through. Syniverse didn't immediately respond to a request for more details.
The sudden release of messages sometimes had a dramatic effect.
Stephanie Bovee, a 28-year-old from Portland, Oregon, woke up at 5am to a text from her sister that said just "omg." She immediately thought something had happened to her newborn nephew at the hospital.
She started calling everyone. Her sister and her sister's husband didn't answer. She woke up her mom, freaking her out. It was three hours before she learned that everything was fine and the text was an odd anomaly.
"Now it's funny," she said. "But out of context, it was not cool."
Ms Bovee figured out that people were getting some of her old texts that failed to go through when her sister and a co-worker both got texts that she had sent in February. The text her sister received wished her a happy Valentine's Day.