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Google Hangouts issue sends chat messages to wrong contacts [Update - fixed]

Users of the Hangouts (Talk) chat service report that the service delivers messages to wrong recipients. Google has acknowledged the problem
September 26, 2013
HAngouts updated for phone calls

Update: The issue is now fixed. Google updated its App Status Dashboard with the following message: “Our team is continuing to investigate this issue. We will provide an update by 9/26/13 3:30 PM with more information about this problem. Thank you for your patience. The issue has been resolved and all services are gradually returning to normal. We will update when full service is restored.”

There’s change in the Google universe and not all users are happy about it.

Google had an unusually active afternoon yesterday, when it started rolling out updates to a bevy of applications, including Gmail, Search, Analytics, Voice, and Hangouts.

It’s possible that the updates are affecting some users of the Hangouts chat service, who report that the service delivers messages to wrong recipients.

Chat messages_hangouts being routed to other contacts. - Google Groups 35 000864

On Google’s product forums, dozens of users complain about the issue, some very vocally. A quick search on Twitter reveals more reports from disgruntled users, complaining about the confusion and potential privacy violation.

The issue may be related to the old Google Talk chat application for PC, and seems to occur more frequently when users use Talk to send messages to users on the Hangouts web app.

In a bid to unify its messaging services, Google merged the Talk service into Hangouts for Google Plus back at Google I/O in June.

Google has acknowledged the problem. On its App Status Dashboard, the support team said it’s investigating the reports and that it would provide more info on the service disruption soon.

For now, it may be a good idea to avoid using Hangouts, especially if you have sensitive topics to discuss. If you absolutely must use Hangouts, use the web app instead of the legacy Talk app for PC.

Is Hangouts misbehaving for you?