Text problems

May 5th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post reports:

Text messages have been mysteriously altered between sender and recipient in at least 20 cases, prompting a investigation.

Salvation Army church leader Steve Molen discovered the glitch last week when he sent a text to 10 people to remind them of an upcoming dinner.

It ended on a lighthearted note with “bring a date or your muma but would prefer it if you bought [sic] a youth and plenty of food should be a great night so see you there six o’clock”.

However, one recipient – his wife Faye – received a message that read “bring a date or your muma but would prefer it if you bought me she setting a bad example for me”.

Mr Molen, of Newtown, contacted Telecom’s call centre and was told he wasn’t the first to experience the problem. “[The call centre worker] said it was a software fault that adds lines to the last part of people’s texts … and there had even been swear words added on to some messages.

I had my own text problems this week. Had played a round of phone tag with a new client and left a voice mail message for them at around 2 pm.

At around half past midnight my Blackberry beeped. I was in bed but still awake, so leaned over to check it. It was the client asking if it was too late for them to call me now. My initial thoughts were unprintable, and I resisted replying at the time.

I then talked to the client this morning and gently inquired what time did they send a text to me yesterday. As I suspected it was not at half past midnight – it was at 5.30 pm, and it took seven hours to reach me. The client was somewhat mortified (it wasn’t their fault) and was extremely grateful I didn’t phone back at the time I received it :-)

It would be really useful if text messages were like e-mails, and had both a time sent and time received stamp.

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5 Responses to “Text problems”

  1. Brian Smaller (3,984 comments) says:

    I got two texts last night at 02:20 and about 03:30 from friends, both of which were sent about 10pm-11pm. Probably cached somewhere on a server for some reason. Annoying to have sleep interrupted. Texts or calls in the middle of the night are seldom good news.

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  2. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    I’ve had something similar to your experience DPF – sent a txt to my wife one evening when I was out at a meeting and it didn’t arrive until the next day. And we are both with Vodafone, so it’s not just (another) Telecom problem.

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  3. llew (1,533 comments) says:

    Am I the only one who considers the insertion of random phrases into txt messages an appealing feature rather than a bug?

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  4. SteveO (76 comments) says:

    “It would be really useful if text messages were like e-mails, and had both a time sent and time received stamp.”

    I believe they already do. My Sony Ericsson on Vodafone returns both time sent and time received via the More >> Details path; no doubt it varies from phone to phone and network to network.

    Nowadays I assume that my texts will be answered immediately (OK, I know, maybe a bit more humility would be good) and when they come through an hour or two later I usually check the Message Details. It is amazing how many have been delayed in transit.

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  5. MikeNZ (3,234 comments) says:

    having the time and date doesn’t help when its late, this has always happened to me at vodaphone (delays in txts) think it is daft in this day and age that they can’t get them all on time.
    txt is insecure for kids needing lifts and emergencies as happended today again.

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