A Google Fi user in Hawaii received a couple of text messages on Monday night and wished him a happy Easter. The problem is that these messages had been sent on Easter Sunday, but only came through more than a day later.
Google now notifies Fi users who receive text messages via Hangouts that messages sent to them may have been missed between March 31st and April 5th. The company said it was a “disruption” service that affected “a small number of people.” Google says it has now resolved the issue and is sending delayed messages. Missing messages will be shown in Hangouts by the end of today, April 7th.
Fi users have been able to send and receive calls and messages via Hangouts for years, but Google announced plans many years ago to remove these features when it transferred Hangouts to another Google communication app. It appears that the features have been disabled during the last week.
Delayed messages can cause real problems for senders and recipients. In November 2019, more than 168,000 messages were delivered that had originally been sent on Valentine’s Day 2019, nine months earlier. People received confusing, context-free messages – in some cases, messages came from people who had died in the months between. The problem was caused by a server error at Syniverse, a company that routes text messages between operators.
Google has been closing Hangouts for years, so it is possible that not many users were left using the service in connection with Fi. Even the Fi user in Hawaii – who is a friend of mine – said they knew they should have switched a while ago and decided not to.
“I consciously sat in this place,” said Jason Bennett, who received the delayed Easter messages. The Verge. “I wanted to see what happened when it went offline. ”