National News

Months' late mobile texts arrive in US

A mysterious wave of text messages swept America's phones while many slept, delivering largely unintelligible missives from friends, family and the occasional ex.

Friends who hadn't talked to each other in months were jolted into chatting. Others briefly panicked.

The best explanation seems to be that old texts sent in the spring suddenly went through.

Two people said they figured out the original messages were never received. It's not clear why this months-long delay happened.

Phone companies have blamed others and offered no further explanations.

Stephanie Bovee, a 28-year-old from Portland, woke up at 5am to a text from her sister that said just "omg" and 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."

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.

Mobile carriers offered unhelpful explanations for the weird-text phenomenon, which appeared to be widespread, at least according to social media.

A Sprint spokeswoman said it resulted from to a "maintenance update" for messaging platforms at multiple US carriers and would not explain further.

T-Mobile called it a "third party vendor issue" while Verizon and AT&T did not answer questions.

Marissa Figueroa, a 25-year-old from California, got an unwanted message from an ex she had stopped talking to - and then he got one from her as well.

Neither actually sent them last night, both said.

Figueroa couldn't figure it out, even worrying that her ex was messing with her, until she saw reports of this happening to others.

"It didn't feel great," she said.

"It just was not good for me and my mental health to be in contact with him."

In another case, two recently reconnected friends spent half an hour from 5.30am on Thursday working out the confusion about arranging a share ride.

Several back-and-forth texts and help from a screenshot cleared up the situation. Can their relationship recover? One said it was "confusion, then awkward, and then funny." No mixed messages there.

© AP 2019