Google has had some problems with its SMS search service recently with January proving to be very problematic for its users, but last night was the icing on the cake.
Starting about 8:30pm EST and lasting for nearly 4 hours, the service inadvertently sent dozens of SMS messages over and over to hundreds, if not thousands of its users. The forums and Google support quickly lit up with unhappy users who couldn’t stop the barrage of messages from Google.
Google responded quickly, but blamed it on the SMS aggregator it uses at first- the aggregator has been the source of all the problems with SMS search since the beginning of the year. Google posted a suggestion for users to contact their mobile carriers and have them reset their SMS settings, and if that didn’t work they suggested users have their carriers block Google’s shortcode for the time being.
Finally, at around 12:40am EST this morning Google fixed the problem and posted this message on its user forum explaining what happened:
After investigating this issue, the cause seems to be related to an error with the mobile aggregator used by many mobile providers. We’ve received confirmation that a fix is going out soon. Please let us know in the forum if you’re still having problems with multiple SMS messages. We appreciate your assistance and patience while we looked into this issue.
Hopefully the problems have ceased, but it’s still a problem for those who have to pay for each and every message and doesn’t have an unlimited data plan. In this case, Google suggests contacting your mobile carrier to explain the situation. It’s a lot of hassel for a screw-up on Google’s part, thats for sure.