UK - Computer Glitch Blamed for Sausage Saga... : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

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NOTE: This was the first story I found this morning and I am still was a great way to start the day. This is one of those light-hearted comical computer glitch stories. I enjoy finding articles like this for a change of pace...


Title: Dear All, Your Sausages are 'Bleeping' Horrible; Complaint Broadcast to Cops

Source: Scottish Daily Record Publication date: 2000-05-04

A SHOPPER'S complaint about a mouldy sausage was broadcast to dozens of police forces across the UK yesterday.

And her furious telephone call also reached thousands of doctors, nurses and businessmen.

Alison McKenzie was so annoyed about the the Spanish Chorizo sausage she'd bought at a supermarket she dialled an emergency 24- hour environmental health line.

But a BT clanger led to the complaint to the Aberdeenshire hotline about the "absolutely green" product being mistakenly recorded on to voicebanks at police HQs the length of the UK.


It meant that everyone who then dialled into the voice mailing system heard an action replay of Alison's grievance.

And it didn't end there.

Everyone with a BT 01426 pager number picked up the message which carried her address, phone number and complaints about the food she'd bought from Safeway in Peterhead.

Alison only realised something was amiss when she was besieged with calls from bemused doctors, nurses, carers, businessmen and police forces asking how she thought they could help.

And it was only after police in Hampshire tracked the source of the trouble back to BT, that engineers erased the message.

Yesterday, Alison, 40, of Peterhead, said: "Two weeks ago I bought this sausage for pounds 1.75 and when I took it home it was green so I called environmental health to complain.

"I left a message and on the same day they got back to me and Safeway replaced it immediately.

"I had forgotten about it until suddenly today I started getting calls from people all over the country.

"I then discovered BT accidently sent my message to every number beginning with 01426, which meant hundreds of thousands of pagers received it.

"So far today I have had 60 to 70 calls from doctors, nurses, carers, businessman and nearly every police force in the country."

The mum-of-two added: "One man was annoyed that I had got his pager number but he started laughing when I explained what had happened."

Susan Rollings, of Hampshire Police, said: "We were astonished when people began reporting this alien message on our voicebank. We tried to erase it without success.

"We then discovered other forces had also been invaded."

BT blamed a computer glitch for the error.

Publication date: 2000-05-04 ) 2000, YellowBrix, Inc.


-- (, May 04, 2000

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