A rash of mysterious phone text messages first reported by social media users early Thursday morning was due to a glitch with a third-party vendor that provides services to US mobile phone operators.
“During an internal maintenance cycle last night, 168,149 previously undelivered text messages were inadvertently sent to multiple mobile operators’ subscribers,” Tampa, Florida-based communications company Syniverse said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.
William Hurley, the company’s chief marketing and product officer, said the issue had been resolved and that the company is reviewing its internal procedures to ensure this does not happen again.
Social media users reported getting phone text messages from friends, family and co-workers that their apparent senders said they did not send. Thousands of Reddit users discussed details of the awkward exchanges.
“My boss yelled at me for texting him at 4am but I didn’t,” one user wrote. Another customer quipped that the delayed or unintended texts may even be evidence of a rip in space-time and that “messages from other similar universes in the multiverse are leaking through.”
Many of the messages appear to have been sent originally around Valentine’s Day and affected users on mobile networks that included T-Mobile U.S. Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., which both told its subscribers in Twitter posts that they were looking into the issue.
“This is not a T-Mobile issue, it’s a third party vendor issue that also affected other networks,” T-Mobile said in an emailed response to Bloomberg.
Verizon referred questions to Syniverse, saying it was not among the wireless carriers that receive direct message service platforms from the vendor.