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French texters hit by new year bug

3rd January 2011

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Hundreds of French mobile phone users say they have been overchanged because a bug on their phones made them send dozens of unintended new year messages.

They have no complained to Orange. French mobile operators say that 930 million text messages were sent on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

But some unlucky Orange customers unwittingly sent as many as 130 text or picture messages - potentially at a high extra cost.

The company have blamed a ‘network operator failure’ and have said it only affected a few hundred people.

One user, who identified himself only as Didier, wrote on an Orange user forum that he had been billed for 300 picture messages.

Another complained that his family and friends had received the same MMS text 15 times.

Orange, which is owned by France Telecom, pledged that no-one would be overcharged.

A spokesman for the company said that one "of the network operators had had technical problems during the night" and refused to name the operator in question.

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