A Google Fi user in Hawaii received a few text messages on Monday evening wishing him a Happy Easter. The problem is, those messages were sent on Easter Sunday, but didn’t get through until more than a day later.
Google is now informing Fi users who receive text messages via Hangouts that messages sent to them between March 31 and April 5 may have disappeared. The company said there was a service outage that affected “a small number of people.” Google says it has now fixed the problem and is sending the delayed messages. Missing messages should appear in Hangouts late today, April 7.
Fi users have been able to send and receive calls and messages through Hangouts for years, but Google announced plans to remove those features years ago when Hangouts transitioned to yet another Google communications app. It looks like the features have been turned off in the last week.
But the outage happened before the service was completely shut down, so Google is still working on forwarding the delayed messages to Hangouts. A Google spokesperson confirmed the service interruption The edge and affected users are contacted. Text messages are delivered to Messages from Google or another standard messaging app moving forward
Delayed messages can cause real problems for senders and recipients. In November 2019, more than 168,000 messages originally sent on Valentine’s Day 2019, nine months earlier, were delivered. People received confusing, contextless messages – in some cases, messages came in from people who had died in the meantime. The problem was caused by a server error at Syniverse, a company that routes text messages between carriers.
Google has been shutting down Hangouts for years, so it is possible that not many users were using the service with Fi anymore. Even the Fi user in Hawaii – who, full disclosure, is a friend of mine – said they knew they should have switched some time ago and decided not to.
“I deliberately put myself in this place,” said Jason Bennett, who received the delayed Easter messages The edge I wanted to see what happened when it went offline. “