A Google Fi user in Hawaii received several text messages on Monday night congratulating him on Easter. The problem is that those messages were sent on Easter Sunday, but came in more than a day later.
Google now notifies Fi users who receive text messages via Hangouts that messages sent to them may have disappeared between March 31 and April 5. The company said that there was an “interruption” of the service, which affected “a small number of people”. Google says it has now fixed the issue and is sending delayed messages. Missing messages should appear 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 years ago to remove those features as it switched Hangouts to another Google communication app. Features seem to have been disabled in the last week.
But the interruption occurred before the service was completely shut down, so Google is still working on patching delayed messages in Hangouts. A Google spokesperson has confirmed service termination for The Verge and said to contact affected users. In the future, text messages will be delivered to Google by Messages or another default messaging application.
Delayed messages can create real problems for senders and recipients. In November 2019, more than 168,000 messages were delivered, which were originally sent on Valentine’s Day 2019, nine months earlier. People were getting confusing messages without context – in some cases the messages were coming from people who had died in the months between. The problem is caused by a server failure at Syniverse, which routes text messages between mobile operators.
Google has been in the process of shutting down Hangouts for years, so there may not be many users left who use the service in conjunction with Fi. Even a user of Fi in Hawaii – who, fully revealed to me, is a friend of mine – said they knew they needed to be replaced some time ago and decided not to do so.
“I put myself in this place on purpose,” said Jason Bennett, who received the delayed Easter messages. The Verge. “I wanted to see what happened when it went offline. ”