iPhone Alarm Bug Makes Couple Miss Fertility Treatment

On Jan 1 and 2 of 2011, tons of people overslept, not due to hangovers, but because of an iPhone glitch that made their alarms go off. For most people this was just an inconvenience, but for one couple it was disastrous. They missed a fertility treatment deadline.

Jodi writes:

My husband and I set the alarms on both of our iPhones to go off at 6:45am on January 1. We had a very important deadline to make that morning in regards to our scheduled fertility treatment. But we missed it. The alarms didn’t go off. Apparently (according to Google) they don’t work on January 1 or 2 of 2011. Wish we would’ve known this ahead of time. Thousands of dollars and a month of injections wasted. And no one to turn to for recourse.


Sent from my iPhone

My heart goes out to you and your husband, Jodi. That is devastating. I only hope that you have the resources and fortitude to be able to pick up the pieces and try again.

You might say that they should have set multiple, non-iPhone alarms, but hindsight is 20/20 and that doesn’t remove the pain of their loss.

For those who aren’t familiar, fertility treatment is a multi-step process, requiring different drugs to be injected for several weeks at prescribed days and usually at the same time. Missing an injection time can complicate the pregnancy. Getting an injection a few hours later runs the risk of overstimulating the patient as the interval between that injection and the next one is shorter. If you miss an injection, you need to call your clinic’s emergency line as soon as possible and tell them what’s going on.

An Apple spokesperson told NYT that they were “aware of an issue related to non-repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2.” They promised alarms will start working right today. Mine worked fine today but judging by some angry Tweets, the fix hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet. Until then, here’s some free iPhone alarm apps that will work.


Edit Your Comment

  1. eturowski says:

    See, when I have something REALLY important to wake up for, I use this thing… it’s called an “alarm clock”. You can even set an alarm clock AND set the alarm on your phone for the SAME TIME!

    • eturowski says:

      I’m sorry, I know that was a pretty insensitive thing to say, but it’s Monday, and I’m still caffeine-deficient.

      • Admiral_John says:

        I dunno, that was the first thing I thought… the only time I’ve ever used the alarm on my cellphone is as a backup to my regular alarm clock when I’ve had reason to believe I may not have power in the morning (storms, etc…)

        Otherwise, it’s the regular alarm clock.

    • Whtthfgg says:

      alot of younger people no longer use alarm clocks…they live and die by the cell phone

      • dolemite says:

        Oh well….to base your entire life around your phone is pretty foolish. Nothing is foolproof.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        And this time, they died. Maybe they’ll learned something for next time.

    • Larraque eats babies says:

      The iPhone alarm is easier to set; I can set multiples, with different ringtones, and set it up on a schedule. I don’t have to sit there holding down the alarm + minute button, waiting for it to set to the proper minute I want, not overshooting it, not accidentally changing the time on the clock, and not having to worry about what if my power goes out or if I messed up the volume or whatever.

      I like it way more than my alarm clock. Except this morning, when it didn’t go off.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        Setting a traditional clock is *that* hard for you, really? You must be the person they use on infomercials to show how difficult it is to use everyday products.

        • Larraque eats babies says:

          It is. I typically go to bed later than my wife, so I also have to fumble with the controls in the dark! Also, an alarm clock once ate all my leftover pizza, drank all my beer and stayed up til 3am partying with my cat.

        • SonarTech52 says:

          HAHA.. those people in the commercials are really funny. They cant do sh*t..

      • 12345678nine says:

        I use mine too for convenience. When it goes off and I want to snooze for 10 mins longer I hit “snooze” and set it to vibrate and hold it in my hand so i won’t disturb my SO.
        It has not gone off for me too. not sure what the reason is. I’m not the type of person to sleep hours past when I should be up though, my mental clock is pretty prepared, so I just factor that into my decision to stick with using my cell alarm.
        If it was something mega important though, I would set multiple alarms.

    • El_Red says:

      I used to work in an electronics store. Intermittently, people would complain that their cellphone alarm clock does or did not work. I’ve seen it with different brands. So it is always better to use a regular alarm clock.

      • tsukiotoshi says:

        There are pros and cons to everything. As I posted above, I’ve also overslept because my alarm clock reset itself in the night when the electricity went out. If I’d also had a cellphone alarm at the time I wouldn’t have. So, bad luck can happen with either.

        • Platypi {Redacted} says:

          Quite a few alarm clocks have 9V battery backups. Mine hasn’t lost its settings in 6 years. I prefer to leave my phone in the kitchen, so people won’t bug me when I am trying to sleep, but many friends prefer to use the phone as the alarm.

          • bostonguy says:

            I’ve had a couple of alarm clocks that had a battery backup, but the battery just stored the time/settings while the power was out, and allowed it to work again once the AC power was restored. At least in my experience, the 9v battery didn’t allow the alarm clock to actually run while AC power was lost.

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      I know I personally don’t even own an alarm clock. I had one burst into flames when I was in college and after that I just relied on my cell phone. By and large as long as I have charged my phone I expect the alarm to go off at the time I’ve set it for, and it does rather reliably. Of course, this sort of thing does happen.

      On the other hand, when I had an alarm clock I overslept more times than I could count because the electricity went out during the night and reset all the clocks.

      • Disoriented says:

        But fire is the best kind of alarm clock; it wakes you up instantly! It’s a shame that it only works once. :(

        • tsukiotoshi says:

          I was awake when it happened but I am reasonably certain that the fire would have woken me up fairly quickly, so you raise an excellent point!

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        A) Citation a wall alarm clock has EVER burst into flames on its own.
        B) Battery backup.

      • 12345678nine says:

        You overslept that many times and didn’t just get an alarm clock with a battery backup? I learned my lesson after the first time and I was late wakig up for middle school.

    • dolemite says:

      That’s what I say…use 2-3 alarms if you have something that important.

    • backinpgh says:

      The thing about alarm clocks is that they don’t have a DATE function on them. When something is important not just because of the TIME but because of the DATE the regular old alarm clock isn’t always going to work.

      • 12345678nine says:

        Sure, I also use a cell phone because of the convenience of setting sate alarms.
        BUT, at least once my alarm clock seemed to have just for some reason not gone off. I woke up late for work. I got to work late, and apologized. I explained my situation, but it really was not a good excuse. It obviously was not as big of a deal, but because it’s not a huge deal for me to every once and a while experience a glitch in my alarm, my cellphone is all I use unless it is something important.
        What if I knocked it over in the night and it shut off? It’s much more fragile than my big ol’ cheap plastic alarm.

      • Nisun says:

        Why not set an alarm that reminds you to set your alarm on the date that you should set your alarm…. PROBLEM SOLVED!

        (PS – This is what makes alarm clocks reliable… how many times a year do you set your phone alarm to go off in 14 days??)

    • Megalomania says:

      What is the difference between a digital alarm clock and the cell phone? The cell phone IS an alarm clock; it has all the functionality of one – assuming it is plugged into an external power source. And if the power goes out, you’re better off with the phone because it won’t immediately stop working. Saying this is their fault for not setting a good old fashioned alarm clock is just being a luddite.

      You need to go crawl back under whatever rock you came from and stop trying to use someone’s misery to inflate your pathetic little ego.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        My alarm clock has no idea what date or even what year is it. It cost $8. It would never have possibly had the same issue as their iPhones – namely, it would never had been confused on New Year’s Day what time its alarm should go off.

      • jason in boston says:

        Mine is not connected to an external power supply. Just a AAA battery that is changed every 6 months.


        When you must absolutely have to wake up…make sure that you have the right tools. When traveling / back in the military days, this clock worked well.

        What happens if the power goes out, and the towers are out as well (draining the battery while in “search mode”? I have had a cell phone battery die on me from that exact use case.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Digital alarm clocks could also be glitchy, and you wouldn’t know it until 2011 – however, it’s less likely that multiple systems would fail and that is the gist of eturowski’s post. It’s terrible for them, but this is why backups are important. It’s why we keep battery-operated flashlights and hand-cranked ones.

      • The Marionette says:

        Or maybe you should remember that cellphones (primarily smartphones) have glitches in them. My alarm on my android didn’t go off one time because the phone glitched up, but since i also have a regular alarm clock I use that as a “backup” in case the phone alarm doesn’t go off. I thought it was pretty much common sense to do that, but I guess not. Regardless he is right about saying they should have a regular alarm clock as well

      • Sneeje says:

        As Ben said, we should focus on empathy, not criticism. But I’m having trouble with your response.

        If something is really that important to you, then you take action rather than be a victim. This is how one takes responsibility for their life. Multiple redundancies are the key. You can’t just use one thing and blame it when it fails: cell phone, alarm clock, battery-powered, phone calls, etc. Seriously, do you really want to base the chance of the loss of a pregnancy chance and the sunk $ on one single (two phones = same tech) piece of technology?

      • meg99 says:

        Alarm clocks have had battery backups for at least twenty years to deal with the power outage possibility. Two adults who cannot set a real alarm clock will hopefully learn from their mistake and set a real alarm clock next tine.

      • TheCorporateGeek Says Common Sense Is The Key says:

        Actually you need to crawl back under that rock. An Alarm Clock does a specific thing, it doesn’t make phone calls, doesn’t send texts, doesn’t let you watch porn, it wakes your ass up. That’s why you buy one. You don’t buy a damn iPhone based on the sole purpose of it being an alarm clock. If you do……….well there’s places with straightjackets for you.

        Personally, I’m against fertility treatments anyway. If you can’t get pregnant from sex then so be it.

        • sea0tter12 says:

          And my alarm clock has failed me several times.

          And I hope you never have problems getting something that you want, because that’s the most ridiculous attitude I’ve ever heard.

      • BluePlastic says:

        You can use a battery-powered alarm clock AND a plug-in alarm clock. That’s what I do when it is of the utmost importance. That way, I have a backup for if I accidentally set one of the clocks wrong or if the power goes out or whatever. I wouldn’t rely on a cell phone, no matter how fancy and how many fabulous functions it has. Too many variables that could go wrong and make it not work. I guess I’m too much of an old fogy, but I’ve never had a problem with this double-alarm system.

      • Fjord says:

        I did program an alarm clock for my microprocessor programming class and let me tell you, the alarm clock executes VHDL commands on hardware level….the iPhone’s alarm is running on higher level software and could be b0rk3d easily by many things. Both are very different.
        The instruction set of an alarm clock contains less than a dozen commands while the iPhone has much more.

    • phillip says:

      I suck at waking up, so I have an alarm clock (battery powered), 3 alarms on my phone, one alarm on my old stereo, and two alarms on my computer D:

    • xjeyne says:

      Win. I couldn’t have said it better.

      Also why is this a consumer issue?

      • DarthCoven says:

        A CONSUMER product, the iPhone, didn’t operate as specified and a CONSUMER suffered because of it.

        How is it not a consumer issue?

        • xjeyne says:

          It just seems useless to share this with The Consumerist blog. Like, “okay, I feel sorry for you,” but what possible outcome could there be? They won’t get their thousands of dollars back from Apple.

          I dunno, I just feel like the stories here should have some kind of resolution, like, “if this happens to you, this is what you should do.”

        • foofad says:

          They might. A previously reliable product directly caused the failing of their medical treatment, causing them to lose thousands of dollars AND putting them at a health risk. If it were me, I would go after Apple relentlessly.

      • teke367 says:

        I don’t know if the OP was thinking this, but if Apple has any fault (I’m not saying they do), its they ideally they could have sent out a warning. I follow some tech blogs, and read some articles warning this might happen, so it isn’t entirely surprising. While I wouldn’t necessarily say Apple has a responsibility to alert the customers, it certainly would have been nice, and possibly would have saved this customer a lot of heartache.

      • Anonymously says:

        Apple, which is widely known for products that “just work” has failed to provide even the simplest functionality that “just works”.

    • ConsumerPop says:

      I’ve done this before for things I REALLY couldn’t miss.

    • Mamudoon says:

      Seriously. I didn’t want to be “that asshole,” but if these people were too stupid to have a simple backup plan (a moth fart will wake me up, and even I set two alarms on a morning when I have something really important planned) to make sure that their thousands of dollars and month of injections didn’t go to waste, maybe they shouldn’t be having kids.

    • Julia789 says:

      I’m just shocked their doctor was open on a weekend, and New Years Day holiday at that. Around here only emergency rooms were open.

      I use a backup alarm clock for important dates (interview, flight, etc.).

      For something really important, I’ll even arrange for Mom to call as a backup. Nothing shocks me awake like her voice on the answering machine “Honey you’re going to be LATE!”

  2. jaroth says:

    “And no one to turn to for recourse”

    Well if I can’t have a baby, the least apple could do is give me a free iPod.

    • Jubes says:

      Sure sounds like that doesn’t it? I’d take the iPod over a baby in a heartbeat :P

    • MadameX says:

      Agreed. This was my major issue with this article. Why does this couple believe their should be any recourse? I once missed an important job interview because my alarm clock failed to go off. Never once did it occur to me that the alarm clock company should compensate me.

      Personal responsibility has gone completely out the window.

      • NerdJodi says:

        I’m the “Jodi.” I didn’t mean we should have recourse, I just meant it hurts sometimes when there’s not any. Lesson learned – don’t rely purely on software OR electricity!

    • narcs says:

      do they really need a baby? i predict they’d put the child on the floor with an iphone in front of it and load Babysitter App then go out for the night.

  3. Larraque eats babies says:

    My iPhone alarm didn’t go off this morning at 5:30. Late for work!!!

    • theotherwhitemeet says:

      Mine didn’t go off on the 1st or today (didn’t use it on the 2nd). I think tomorrow I’ll be breaking out the old school alarm clock.

  4. anime_runs_my_life says:

    You know, some of the comments may seem insensitive, but look over at the article on Yahoo. They’re a lot nastier there.

    • FatLynn says:

      I think the picture running alongside this article is insensitive.

      • anime_runs_my_life says:

        Ugh..yeah..I’m not quite awake yet and now just realized what it was. That is sad. I can’t have kids (and sometimes wonder why I would since this world is insane anyway), and that’s just a smack in the face.

        Seriously Ben, what were you thinking?

  5. chemmy says:

    Happy to report that my Blackberry alarm is working perfectly. Thanks Apple.

  6. FatLynn says:

    I actually envy people who are able to sleep the night before something important like that. Huh.

    • jayro23 says:

      Agreed. I rarely need an alarm for important things as the nervousness of over-sleeping makes me wake up every hour. For heavy sleepers redundancy is necessary, multiple alarm clocks at multiple times…

      /blames victim

    • Etoiles says:

      Mmm, me too. Last time I had an ultra-important early-A.M. event (a 5:30 a.m. flight), I woke up every 25 minutes all night long convinced I’d slept through my 3:15 alarm.

      • Elphaba says:

        I did this as well. I woke up constantly even though we had both cells set, the alarm clock set, a wake up call from the hotel, and a call planned from a friend who works graveyards.

    • KyBash says:

      If it’s really important, I can’t sleep until about half an hour before I need to be up, and then I zonk so deep I’ll sleep through anything.

      The only thing I’ve ever found that works 100% of the time is a three-step system — teach the cat that she’ll be fed every time the alarm goes off, set the alarm, and let the cat wake me.

    • TriplerSDMB says:

      Yes, clearly they don’t deserve to be parents. *rolls eyes*

  7. punkrawka says:

    I’m sure that Apple will fix this with the iPhone 5, available for $600 later this year with no discount for purchasers of the iPhone 4.

    …and I’m sure that almost everyone whining about this issue will buy one.

  8. lotussix says:

    so, what happens if the power went out in the middle of the night and reset a normal plug in alarm clock?

    what kind of recourse does the customer get there for missing their appointment.


    • FatLynn says:

      My alarm clock has a back-up battery. In fact, every alarm clock I’ve ever owned has had a back-up battery.

    • Rocket says:

      My alarm clock has a backup battery :-P

    • obits3 says:

      My clock has an auto reset to the time. If the power goes out, it resets as soon as the power is back. My phone is a backup incase the power is out when I want to wake up.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      My alarm clock has a battery. Period.

      The only time I ever use a phone alarm is when I’m not at home.

    • jason in boston says:

      Battery backup? What year are you living in?

    • MeOhMy says:

      You all missed the point which is: If your Timex alarm clock takes a dump and you miss your fertility appointment you have no where to turn for recourse either.

  9. Dollie says:

    Sorry, but if I were in the position of affording the same treatment there is no frikkin way that I’d ever depend on a mobile device to wake me up for possibly the most important day of my life.

  10. Corinthos says:

    Reason I set multiple alarms. Who knows when I might get a jvm software error on my blackberry.
    I still use my BB for 99% of my alarms but if I have a flight I set another alarm on either my tv. If the tv or BB didn’t go off then I’m just not meant to go.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Exactly. There’s ntohing wrong with setting multiple alarms, which they did, but they chose to set the same alarm (2 iPhones) instead of multiple types of alarms (iPhone + wal clock). That was their mistake, thinking an identical device wouldn’t have the same issue over multiple devices.

      • Necoras says:

        There was no reason to expect that the device would have any issues. At worst you should expect the typical issues: setting the alarm for PM instead of AM, or the battery dies, or even the phone rebooting. But to have a software glitch that causes ONLY the alarms not to work? Why would anyone plan for that?

        • Portlandia says:

          I agree, there was just a glitch a couple months ago and you would think that apple would have tested the phone for additional glitches.

  11. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    I can’t believe all the blame the OP comments! If your device has an alarm function, you expect it to work! It is a simple function on a complex device, and this isn’t the first time Apple has had trouble with it. But they set both devices, that covers them from battery and random failures, just not software on both!

    Generally I would expect a portable battery operated device to be more reliable than a plug in alarm clock.

    • somedaysomehow says:

      THIS, exactly.

    • Aesteval says:

      Yes, but then those dratted portable electronic devices also may have firmware upgrades which could then break everything that previously worked. Or there’s times when the central time server is somehow set to some sort of absurd date and time of many years past (seen it happen before, disabled the auto time update on the phone after that.)

      Not that I disagree with you at all. I’m just venting some of my random frustrations with new technology. Nothing ever is perfect but I would also expect for an alarm to go off when it’s been set to go off.

    • spittingangels says:

      The fact that the phone (any cell phone, mind you) IS a complex device is exactly what keeps me from using it as a regular alarm clock. Especially when it’s basically a small computer like an iPhone. I’ll take my trusty single purpose alarm clock on the nightstand any day, thank you. It has a battery backup and if the power happened to go out during the night anyway, the sudden, eerie silence of having no gadgets running would wake me up anyway.

      My iPhone’s timer works great for micronaps but the only time I’ve used the alarm for wakeup calls was when traveling and solely as a backup to the occasional weird hotel alarm clock that I’m not too familiar with.

      I’ve often thought about getting rid of the nightstand alarm clock but I don’t think could never trust such a mission critical task to a multifunction-computer device.

    • allstar3970 says:

      Doesn’t matter. In fact whether I’m your boss, or doctor or what have you I don’t care about your alarm clock breaking, going off or what have you. I care about you being there. An alarm clock is a tool to help get you up, but the onus for getting up is on you still either way

    • 12345678nine says:

      I’m certainly not “blaming” them. I have in the past used 2 cellphones as my “backup” alarm system. Obviously, this would have failed me. Then again, my SO and I would never wake up so late as to miss an appointment. I might not get a shower in but it won’t be hours later. SO I don’t need as reliable a device.
      It sucks that the alarm did not go off but it’s just “one of those things”. There could have been an accident or a stopped train or all sorts of things that could have made them late for their appointment.
      It’s an unfortunate incident, BUT it is important to not rely soley on your phone for an alarm.

    • Mom says:

      Yeah, I can’t believe there are so many people out there who have never made a mistake in their lives. It gives me something to aspire to.

      Personally, I feel bad for the couple.

  12. rpm773 says:

    Never a more poignant picture…

  13. halo969 says:

    I feel bad for them. I personally only use my iPhone alarm when I’m staying with family who don’t have an alarm clock available because I usually put my phone on vibrate when I sleep, but it seems a lot of people use their phones exclusively.

    I think for all the “perfection” Apple is known for it’s rather ridiculous that a simple alarm can’t function properly. I wouldn’t have expected these people to think of that, so it does suck for them.

    On the other hand, things do go wrong and I don’t think they have the right to sue or get anything from Apple because of it.

    • NerdJodi says:

      I’m the “Jodi” of this story, and I agree – we really have no grounds to sue. Nor would I ever think to do so. Lesson learned – don’t rely on electricity or software!

  14. FoxCMK says:

    Many of us still use conventional alarm clocks, but lots of folks have eschewed them for smartphone docks at their bedside and special apps that allow them to function in much the same way. Kind of like ditching your mp3 player for your smartphone’s built-in music app to avoid having two separate devices, this allows individuals to have a bedside phone that also functions as an alarm clock – a completely customizable alarm clock, using user-defined mp3 files, or even having the phone’s LCD slowly light up to wake up the owner more gradually, a feature usually only seen on expensive ($40+) alarm clocks.

    I won’t fault these people for going this route at all, but in my own mind, a subconscious bias towards using conventional alarm clocks for “reliability reasons” trumps my own desire to go “clock-less.”

  15. Cosmo_Kramer says:

    “Mine worked fine today but judging by some angry Tweets, the fix hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet.”

    Presumably it would only work if you’ve updated the app.

  16. JulesNoctambule says:

    While I’m sorry they’re out the money and hope, I also have to question why they relied on a single device, with no backup, to rouse them for such an important appointment.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      They did have a backup, they used another phone.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        The same phone with the same inherent problem. Not smart.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          Only if you know it’s they’d have the same inherent problem.

          Hindsight: It’s more like 20/10

          • jason in boston says:

            It is like building RAID based servers. Never use 2 of the same harddrives from the same manufacturer from the same lot. Make sure you have 1 of the drive from a different manufacturer.

            On mission critical things, assume you will have 1 failure. How would you recover from 1 failure? In this case, 2 different types of alarm. systems.

            • jason in boston says:

              Sorry for the terrible grammar.

            • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

              Of course. Everyone lives like an engineer.

              I’m a scientist, so I at least try to do everything in triplicate.


              • jason in boston says:

                You sound like my girlfriend.

                “Not everyone in the world is an engineer.” My retort: “I know…what is why we have actors and politicians. Not smart enough”. Dumb saying, but it makes me smile.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        ‘Single device’ refers to the type, not the amount.

  17. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    This is a true testament to the addage that technology is not reliable when needed most. Or at least shouldn’t be relied upon when needed most.

    My high school English teacher, when referring to finishing papers at the last minute, always said the closer to the deadline the more likely something would go wrong. And you know, he was right. Printer issues, Microsoft Word issues, whatever. It always happened.

    Not blaming the OP here, but it’s a good Aesop fable as to why not to trust important things to technology, because technology is a fickle beast. Use tried and true low-tech options that have served humanity for many decades.

    • outlulz says:

      Exactly why airplanes and ATMs use 30 year old computer technology. It works, all the bugs are fixed, and there’s no point in switching to something that likely wont work.

    • Cantras says:

      Yep. One of my professors, the same thing. You have 8 weeks to write this paper. I want to hear no complaints that your computer broke or your hands fell off or you had a family emergency at the end of week seven, unless it’s accompanied by a rough draft that you could have finished in the next week.

  18. savvy9999 says:

    Well, I guess if things ever work out, “Steve” is off the baby-names list…

    Sorry to hear about missing that alarm, but really, if it’s that important you gotta use backup. To not miss a very important international flight, I’ve set a digital clock alarm, an mechanical windup clock, my cell phone, AND the alarm on the stove, 2 minutes apart.

    And of course, I hardly slept a wink that night anyways, but it was a joy turning all them off @ 3:45, 3:47, 3:49, watching my plan hatch beautifully.

  19. MexiFinn says:

    When I have somewhere I need to go, I go old skool:


    I have to sleep in the guest room to use that bad-boy because it scares the crap out of all of the pets in the house :)

  20. Mhc says:

    Have we really gotten so complacent and forgiving about technology that we don’t even demand that simple functions like a clock and alarm work reliably?

    I know we’re talking about cell phones, which are already notoriously forgiven for their flaws, but since when is this acceptable? And what makes it so this couple has no recourse, a EULA nobody reads? That’s nonsense.

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      Who says it’s acceptable? Looks to me like Apple is getting plenty of criticism for this.

      They have no recourse because they’d never win a lawsuit over this.

  21. Skellbasher says:

    I feel bad for them, and hope that they can realize their goal of having a child soon.

    That being said, if this alarm bug wasn’t on an iPhone, it wouldn’t even be a story. It’s a fairly minor software bug. I’ve had it happen to me on non-smart phones from time to time for years.

    • Itsatrap says:

      Yeah, agreed. I’ve had alarm bugs on other phones (feature phones and other smart phones) too and it wasn’t really news.

  22. Hoss says:

    Why not interview this person, get her full name, etc? This is one of those stories that is plausible (although I wouldn’t have guessed that a clinic would by staffed at the early hours of New Years day), but may be phony baloney.

  23. CalicoGal says:

    Why don’t they adopt?
    Fertility treatments are like buying a dog from a breeder while the shelters are full.

    • mobiuschic42 says:

      Agreed! There are enough kids out there that need homes that spend this much money and time to get a genetic offspring seems foolish to me. I understand the urge, but I can’t imagine I’d take the same path.

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        I hear what you’re saying, but keep in mind that many of those adoptable kids are in sibling groups of 3+, many of them have been in and out of foster homes and have been subjected to varying types of abuse, and many of them have serious physical, mental or emotional disabilities. Not everyone’s up for that kind of challenge.

        I got lucky and was able to adopt the baby we were fostering, but it was a very very very long, difficult and uncertain road. Friends of mine currently are adopting a sibling group of four (three different dads), two of whom have physical disabilities and all of whom have severe emotional problems. These, in addition to international adoption, are the typical adoption scenario these days, not a rosy picture of a birth mom giving up a healthy baby into the grateful arms of the adoptive parents.

        • LanMan04 says:

          So it’s impossible to adopt a newborn that’s essentially straight out of the hospital? Why the hell aren’t mothers who want to give up their children matched with adopters BEFORE the child is born?

          • 12345678nine says:

            You absolutely can adopt and infant, but you DO realize that there is a very high demand for infants and a very limited supply, right?

          • delicatedisarray says:

            This does happen. I have friends going through this process right now, the problem is when the mother changes her mind and decides to keep the kid- then changes it again when she finds out the child has developmental issues. Then they have to attempt to track down the father, now that the mother has finally decided she doesn’t want the baby, but he is a dead beat and no one knows where he even is. Next step is grandparents, do they want the baby? Then the sister gets asked, next the brother, and so on. Through all that they are still waiting on the father to say yes or no. He gets a year to speak up. So my friends are raising this child, who could be taken from them at any time. The mother and extended family have now fallen out of their time frame of being able to decide they want the kid. All that’s left is the father. It isn’t a simple process and is very difficult for the family going through it.

    • Supes says:

      Adoption is amazingly difficult nowadays. Far more unwanted pregnancies end in abortion rather than adoption. The waiting lists are extremely long for adoption, especially if you want a newborn as opposed to a slightly older child.

      One reason adopting foreign-born children has become more common. It’s expensive, but much more timely because there’s more availability and less red tape (well, depending on the country).

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      It’s much more difficult than people think. There’s no baby (kid, whatever) store on the corner.

    • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

      Spoken like someone who has no idea how complicated and truly messed-up the adoption process really is. I’ve considered, and am still considering, adoption/fosterage with my fiancee and it’s not anywhere near as easy as adopting a dog, which is how you’re making it sound. It’s also very expensive. Especially if you want a baby, even more if you want a white baby.

      • stoneburner says:

        Yes because only white babies deserve loving families, right?

        • Parsnip says:

          There are a lot of things it’s ok to cast judgement upon others over. The racial makeup of their family just isn’t one of them.

        • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

          Apparently. Only one of the many creepy things about how adoption works. My fiancee and I are doing the miscegenation thing anyway, so we don’t care what color these kids come in.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      I know it’s callous, but I really agree. I just don’t sympathize with people who undergo these crazy processes to create more children in a world that does not need more children. I mean, I don’t like kids, so I have no concept of how devastating it may feel to want to have children and find out your body isn’t playing along, but… I just can’t get behind it.

      • ParingKnife ("That's a kniwfe.") says:

        “I don’t like kids”

        Then shut. Up.

        I don’t understand it when people who admit they’re ignorant feel impelled to pontificate on a subject. You contribute nothing with your remark and the world is dumber for having a record of it.

        • Rebecca K-S says:

          The fact that I don’t like kids and cannot personally understand that couple’s feelings doesn’t negate the fact that people spending many thousands of dollars (presumably their own money, but it’s even shittier, imo, if insurance is contributing) to bring another baby (or four) into a world whose population is growing by almost a billion every decade is Part Of The Problem.

          • CaptCynic says:

            The popluation of the globe has no relevance to an individual couple’s choice to have children, whether through fertility treatments, or the more conventional means.

            • Rebecca K-S says:

              It doesn’t? Man, I wish I could live in that awesome isolated bubble.

              Obviously one is Missing The Point if they look at the population problem without acknowledging the population is made up of individuals with individual needs and hopes and desires, but “This global problem has no bearing on my personal decision” seems a touch shortsighted to me.

              • CaptCynic says:

                So, everyone who really desires to have children (from their own genetic line) should set aside those desires simply because there are too many other people out there having kids? So, by my count, this makes about 5.5 billion people selfish assholes. That about right?

                I’d rather be a selfish asshole with children that I love than someone who tries to lay a guilt trip on someone going through one of the toughest experiences that a person can go through.

                So when someone goes through cancer treatment to extend their life, do you think that’s dumb too? After all, them giving up and going quietly would certainly help the poplulation problem.

                • CaptCynic says:

                  Sorry, I didn’t mean to resort to a near ad-hominem attack there. I just think she’s overstepping her moral authority on this issue. Such personal, difficult decisions are the couple’s to make and comments from outsiders should not be considered.

                  • Verdant Pine Trees says:

                    And they are not considered seriously. People who suggest that my husband and I should just adopt because we’ve had trouble so far are arrogant and presumptuous.

                    We have always planned to do BOTH – because we have beloved family members (including one parent) who were adopted or fostered — but it would be easier on the children, we think, if we waited to adopt after we had biological children.

                    • jayde_drag0n says:

                      Its not “easier” on anyone other than you. Sorry kids are blank slates.. THEY DON’T CARE, you tell them that’s their brother.. then that’s their brother.. end of story to them. I am an adopted child, I have no brothers and sisters.. but it would not have been more than a blink to hear that my mom was going to have a baby or adopt a baby. Love is love is love, kids do not care if it was brought in or produced. they know only one thing.. “That’s my sibling i LOOOVE THEM” you are the only one feeling that way.. its called “Projecting”

                      projection is a psychological defense mechanism whereby one “projects” one’s own undesirable thoughts, motivations, desires, and feelings onto someone else.

                    • kung fu lola says:

                      Kids are not blank slates once they have moved beyond infancy. If a toddler is sexually abused, neglected, tortured, starved or otherwise messed with, they WILL have personality problems later on. All development builds on what came before, and if there is only stunting, ignorance and pain, a child cannot progress past that until they receive intense remedial stimulation. It is up to every individual whether they are prepared to provide that. I wish all children really were as innocent as you believe them to be; I have had a lot of contact with foster kids via my in-laws, and know first-hand that kindergartners deliberately start fires and prepubescents will have sex with their siblings.

              • jason in boston says:

                I was backing you up with the supply / demand of children waiting to get adopted. I believe your argument falls apart with “too many people” on earth.

                If there were too many people, then food would be in short supply. On a macro scale, the food supply is doing just fine. The world is not overpopulated.

                • Rebecca K-S says:

                  Well, there’s more to it than the food supply, but yes, it’s not so much an overall population problem as a population distribution and lifestyle problem, and you’re right, I shouldn’t have invoked that, because that’s not really my problem with fertility treatment at all.

                  • 12345678nine says:

                    Yep. If I didn’t have a baby there would not be more food for a child in another part of the world. Just like if I don’t finish all the food on my plate that means I wasted food that an African child could have been eating.

              • pecan 3.14159265 says:

                I don’t disagree, however I think there’s a lot more to it than just birth rate. The theme of the newest National Geographic is about population boom and control, and it’s a fascinating read. The first world is actually already seeing a much, much lower birth rate and I think we’re seeing the population boom mostly because people are living longer and more importantly, people in the third world are living longer. It’s not just that we (as a world) are still having children, it’s that the people who, 10 years ago, wouldn’t live past 55 are living 10 years longer. It’s not one thing that’s causing strain on the planet, it’s a lot of things contributing.

                So in that vein I don’t think that people having children is necessarily the biggest contributor to global population boom. It just happens to be one of the only areas in which we can make personal decisions to control without crossing ethical or moral boundaries (meaning it’s okay to make the personal decision to not have children, but it would be wrong to choose to control the boom by advocating eugenics or denying medical care to third world countries).

                • Rebecca K-S says:

                  Oh, obviously it’s a lot more complicated than that, and yes, it was a fantastic and fascinating article.

                  It’s just frustrating to see people work SO HARD to make more people, something we are decidedly not lacking.

          • GeekChicCanuck says:

            Too bad your parents didn’t think of that….

        • jason in boston says:

          She made a valid point though. Who are you to judge her because she doesn’t want kids? How is her point an ignorant statement?

    • kickabout says:

      It would have sucked if their iphone alarm failure had led to them sleeping through their first meeting with parents considering them as prospective adoptive parents for their child as well.

    • CaptCynic says:

      Wow, that’s a pretty stupid comment. My wife and I had twin boys through In-vitro fertilization, so I’m speaking as someone who has experienced this first hand. I appreciate that so many people feel led to pursue adoption, it is a very noble thing to bring someone into your family who has none. I don’t want my comment to be taken to disparage adoption. We would have considered adoption if the proceedure hadn’t worked out. But comparing breeding of dogs to having children is absurd. Most people want children of their own. Infertility is an extremely emotionally trying life-event and saying that to someone’s face would likely get you slapped.

      I apologize for not being particularly articulate in my comments, but it’s near impossible to put into words the desire to have children.

      • jayde_drag0n says:

        Well then here, I will rephrase for the original poster. With so many unwanted babies, some of them dropped off like the trash (literally like night drop boxes) and of all colors .. not to mention I am an adopted child myself.. the fact that you pursue something excruciatingly expensive, when there are alternatives just WAITING and CRAVING to be loved, well it makes me very sad.

        Then when i hear the reasons of “well I just want it to be mine” and “i couldn’t love a child I didn’t produce” pretty much makes me sick to my stomach.. that child would be yours!, you WILL produce that child (it is a blank slate waiting to be filled) Do you love your husband? do you love your pet? you didn’t produce them and you love them…

        sorry I’m an adopted child, those sentiments literally hurt my feelings. Imagine these kids growing up, they already weren’t wanted by their birth parents, some thrown away.. and now the rest of the world tells them they don’t want them either

        • 12345678nine says:

          You know, some people would not want to adopt a child because in a way, they are already “damaged goods”. Not trying to be harsh here.
          I would not adopt an adult dog unless I had known it from when it was a puppy, because I do not know what it has gone through and I would not be able to trust it around children. If I knew I would never have kids or have kids around, ok then.
          Same goes for adopted children. Most likely, unless you are rich, and ever then, you will probably not be able to get an infant child. When they are ages 6,7,8 and up, they have already experienced things that you may never know about, and effected them in ways you may never understand. They can act out in many ways, and can be dangerous for you or other children.
          I would be cool with adopting or being a foster parent but ONLY if I could have no children of my own, because while I may be willing to try to handle raising an infant child, the whole “nature vs nurture” thing comes in to play and the nature part can sometimes be much stronger than expected.

          • jayde_drag0n says:

            you do know people adopt BABIES right? I never said you had to adopt an older child.. just ADOPT. I entirely get the “special needs” part.. but you only get that in the older children who have already learned that no one loves them, wants them, and that they are trash. A baby will not have this problem, unless you specifically adopted a special needs child.. which in that case STILL exempts your statements as a special needs baby is referring to downs, spinal bifida and the like

            • kung fu lola says:

              In North America, there are very, very few children available for adoption who are healthy infants of any race. Most children in the adoption system are not like you were; they are beyond babyhood and are FAR from being “blank slates waiting to be filled”. You were one in a million. There are also a huge amount of children who are available for fostering and not adoption because their biological parents’ rights have not been relinquished and cannot be terminated under the law. It’s understandable that people would be leery of taking in and emotionally investing in a child who could be restored to their kin at a moment’s notice. Many of the children who are wards of the state/court are special needs because of being exposed to substance abuse and neglect of all kinds before they were removed or relinqiushed; and not just disabled, but emotionally stunted and psychologically scarred. A baby who isn’t held and rocked and talked to will not develop normally; a toddler who isn’t disciplined can have their personality permanently warped. The government does not have an adequate system in place to care for children with no parents, and during the children’s time between being removed and getting adopted, just THAT alone can cause deep psychological wounds.

              Adoption is a great solution for many people who have noble spirits and saintly patience, but it is most definitely not for your average joe on the street. Furthermore, there are serious issues emerging in regards to whether some mothers relinquish their children of their own free will, or are coerced by “charities” which are nothing more than brokerage firms for infants (especially white ones). I, personally, would have a huge ethical problem with obtaining a child through government-sanctioned kidnapping.

              Full disclosure: I am going to be a foster mother someday (probably in the next five or six years), and my wife counts some of the over 100 foster children her mother cared for, as her sisters. It will bring me great joy to open my home to a ward of the court.

            • 12345678nine says:

              Right! And I know a LOT of people who would love to have a baby, but there are not enough available for adoption. My very very well off aunt is the only person I know who has been able to adopt a baby, and it took her many years.
              So when you want a baby, and you can’t adopt one, you try another option.
              But that option to you sounds sumb because you think “well wtf why don’t they just ADOPT A BABY, DUH”.

        • Verdant Pine Trees says:

          Yes, those people who say things about not loving children that don’t share their genes are thoughtless, and cruel — and they would be terrible adoptive parents. Gads, that must hurt whenever you hear it.

          I understand wanting to have a child that looks like the person you love best in the world, too… I think some people who feel that way may come around to remembering that their husband or wife, too, is not blood, and that if they can love that person so much, maybe they’re underestimating the love they’ll have for a non-biological child. For me and my husband, it’s not so hard. We have a passel of pets and are closer to some of our friends than to our biological families.

          The thing that really heats me up though, are whites who would spend thousands and thousands to adopt overseas from Eastern Europe or Asia, than adopt American children who are a different race. Or people who only want babies, not older children.

          Some of these potential parents would need to be educated in order to provide better parenting to a kid from a different background (e.g. things like hair care for black children). But having a parent who is a different race from you beats having no parent at all.

          • 12345678nine says:

            I think you are taking a very simplistic view on this. I have no problem loving a child of a different race, the problem comes with taking in a potential special needs child. No child you have yourself that you raise from birth in a a loving household is going to burn your mattress while you sleep. I know this is an extreme case but there are a lot of people whoadopt and then realize they can not handle a child because they are dangerous or being horrible to their other children.
            Do you know how many people are actual sociopaths? There is much documentation to show a correlation with parental connection with a child and a lack of it contributing to basically children with no consciences.

            There are many many many high functioning sociopaths. You know some for SURE. There is a good chance you will get one when you adopt, unfortunately. :(

        • shepd says:

          I’m also adopted, and the truth is that there aren’t very many babies to adopt. It took my parents almost a year. It takes much longer now due to the popularity of abortion. Honestly, if you can conceive with some help, it’s the best method. Adoption, with how few children are available, should be reserved for those parents that have no possible method of conceiving even with modern medicine involved.

          Also, depending on where you are, adoption has serious health drawbacks. You can receive a child with inherited problems and no possible way of knowing. I know 10 years ago where I live, there was a case of the government allowing an adopted infant (who, at the time, had grown to be an adult) to die of a likely curable ailment had the family’s medical records been released (illegal at the time). It caused changes that permitted them to be released in cases of possible death, but still–that can be distressing to everyone. It’s understandable in places like that parents just don’t want to take that kind of risk. I know what it can be like–it took me years to get access to that sort of information.

    • Sanveann says:

      Not everybody feels like adoption is right for their family. Or sometimes one partner does but the other doesn’t.

      Granted, it’s easy for me to talk … because we have two kids and are pregnant with our third … but I agree that in those circumstances, I would adopt as well. (And we do hope to adopt down the road, too.) But if someone doesn’t feel like they can love an adopted child like they could a biological child … well, I think it’s best for everyone that they DON’T adopt.

    • check this out says:

      How to say this in a nice way? I don’t think you understand, based on your comment, how hard it is to go through either process.

  24. D0rk says:

    I sympathize with the OP that they got screwed out of lots of money due to a bug in a phone OS. But, as others have said, I can’t even trust myself to wake up after turning off an alarm, so I set 2-4 alarms when I have no option in being late for something super important.

  25. semanticantics says:

    Fertility clinics are open New Years Day and Sundays?

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      If the scheduling of it is really that time sensitive, perhaps they are. I don’t know.

    • Rebecca K-S says:

      On rereading: It doesn’t actually say they had an appointment to go to, just that they had a deadline to make. It could have been something that they are able to do at home, themselves, just at a very specified time. I don’t know anything about the process, so I couldn’t say for sure.

      • DcChick says:

        As someone that knows about the process, I call BS. I never took any injection that if given an hour later would cause failure.

        • Rebecca K-S says:

          Ah, okay. I was just speculating a possibility.

        • Ilovegnomes says:

          When I went to orientation, they suggested 3 courses of injectibles (different types in different combinations). Just because you weren’t on the same course doesn’t mean that their claims are not true. Based on their situation, their circumstances could have been different.

        • pot_roast says:

          My wife who has been in ob/gyn for 12 years also notes that they failed to mention what time they *did* wake up, and that their claims are a little fishy.

          Also, they mention recourse. All too common.. “I think I was wronged, who can I sue?”

    • Ilovegnomes says:

      There are some clinics that do limited amounts of procedures on Sundays and some holidays.

  26. Blueskylaw says:

    I don’t think I have had a cellphone last for more than 2 years (coincidence with 2 year plans?)
    My alarm clock on the other hand is over 10 years old. I trust my alarm clock before my cell phone.

  27. Liam Kinkaid says:

    Ugh. I don’t want my first post of the year to sound prickish, but maybe it was God’s will that they don’t have a baby? If they had gotten pregnant or if they do get pregnant (still possible, but more complicated/much less likely, based on what Ben wrote), someone would claim that the baby was a blessing from God. Maybe God stopped their alarm from working for a reason.

    • Parsnip says:

      Or, you know. Maybe it was the well publicized iPhone bug.

      • semanticantics says:

        If it was God’s will, can’t they just sue God directly?

      • Liam Kinkaid says:

        God works in mysterious ways, so I’ve heard.

      • JR-13 says:

        But, this is the Jesus phone, right?

      • Collateral Damage says:

        Something something Adam and Eve and the Apple.

        Look, if we’re going to drag god into this, maybe he deliberately fixed it so they didn’t hear about the well publicized problem. Maybe while he was at it, he put a sleep whammy on them so they never woke up because of anxiety or excitement about this important thing they HAD to do to have a real live baby.

        I wouldn’t put it past him.

        (I would not be saying this if I believed for a moment that this story was true. This story stinks to high heaven and I don’t get why it was published here unless it was to hit some hot-buttons about invitro, entitlement, and Apple.)

  28. Necoras says:

    People keep saying that they should have set 2 alarms… they did. They set it on 2 different phones. Yes, they were both the same class of device, but that’s beside the point. I’d seriously look into suing Apple.

    You should be able to expect a device to function as designed, and this software failure caused a significant loss of time and money. You’d sue a car company if a software glitch caused you monetary/physical harm; I don’t see any difference in this situation.

    • Jubes says:

      The point of the iPhone is not an alarm clock though. You’re comparing two totally different things. Where a ecu in a car is an important component of how the car functions, the alarm clock on the iPhone is not.

    • semanticantics says:

      If this is the threshold of a lawsuit, no company would ever make anything ever again. The liability is too high. Apple has millions of users, should they be sued millions of times due to this glitch?

      Had it been an alarm clock plugged into an electrical outlet and the power went out, could they sue their power company? What if someone ran into a transformer with their car, could they sue the driver?

    • Daggertrout says:

      If they had set a plug in alarm clock, and the power went out, should they sue the power company?

      If they had set a battery alarm clock, and the batteries died, should they sue Duracell?

    • BBP says:

      Gd lrd, y’r n sshl. S ppl? Fr wht? Bcs thr ws prblm wth dvc? S, nytm hv n lctrnc dvc FL n m, shld S th cmpn tht mks t? Wht knd f stpd dvc s ths? Hnstl, y’r wht’s wrng wth ths cntr, dnglbrr. Fr tht mttr, ‘m nt sr b nt th fct tht t’s nt SR rrr n ths n. Tw dvc tht fld t th sm tm? Snds t m lk smn ddn’t st thm prprl. S shld th s ch thr, b yr lgc, nmbnts?

      • BBP says:

        I take back the user error theory. I forgot about the glitch.

        Either way, no grounds to sue.

      • Necoras says:

        Apple’s lack of testing caused this family thousands of dollars in damages. It has probably caused numerous other people lost time at work/school/whatever. It’s a proven widespread product defect. No one was surprised when people started suing Toyota over acceleration problems. Why is a class action suit unreasonable here? The product does not work as advertised/expected, and it has caused monetary/potentially physical harm. Isn’t that the basis for a lawsuit?

        If any device doesn’t function as intended and it causes significant monetary loss, then yes, that’s what a lawsuit is for. This wasn’t user error as the software glitch has been reported far and wide across the internet, and Apple has admitted that it’s a problem, claimed they fixed it, and then didn’t.

        Also, how does my calm, reasonable suggestion of it make me an asshole?

        • Jubes says:

          It’s still the same thing, an iPhone’s primary function is not an alarm clock. Again, you are still comparing two completely different products/uses. Would you sue Sony if you set an alarm on your PS3 to wake you up for an important appointment? No, because the primary function is a gaming console. The Toyota sticky accelerators is completely different, and shouldn’t even be mentioned as comparable. In this situation, it is not a basis for a lawsuit, and if a lawyer thinks that it is, it is frivolous at best.

        • BBP says:

          First off, let me apologize for the asshole comment. Not my finest hour, I assure you.

          Addressing the comment again, let me clarify a few things:

          1. Device failure is commonplace. Both by user error, as well as by design flaw.

          • BBP says:

            Ok, I accidentally submitted for some stupid reason…

            Going back to my post…

            1. Device failure happens. My DVR is supposed to record the Office every week, but, even though I’ve returned three units, doesn’t always. Not user error, clearly a fault in this unit (that they keep sending me). I can’t sue them for anything, can I? Granted, clearly an insignificant loss versus a missed appointment or a death (in the case of Toyota), but still an inconvenience for a service I pay for. Should I sue because the device failed to work as advertised?

            2. Why does everyone get sue happy the minute something goes wrong? Yes, this was a widespread problem, but so was the issue with the Playstation 3 (when consoles around the world were jacked for the better part of a day).

            3. The primary function of an iPhone, ironically, is not an alarm clock, as Jubes pointed out.

            I believe that a lawsuit is pointless and unnecessary, as the nature of a digital device or service can be sketchy – especially when we’re talking about a function that is not what the device is primarily designed for. Sure, it’s a simple alarm clock -but given the “jack of all trades” capabilities of the unit, I’m not shocked there is a problem – but a lawsuit over it? No, that’s pointless.

  29. mrmcd says:

    “And no one to turn to for recourse.”

    Well, maybe not, but now they won’t be able to produce another screaming consumer who will spent decades purchasing overpriced Apple products from which to write angry entitled emails. Think of all the tens of thousands of dollars of revenue Apple will never receive. The least they could’ve done is offered to send them a refurb foxconn baby.

    So it all works out in the end.

  30. MrMan09 says:

    This is not the first time the iPhone alarm has failed to work.
    The well publicized Daylight Savings Bug had people mocking the iPhone and complaints of I missed important stuff because Apple failed were everywhere.

    I can’t put myself into your shoes and feel empathy, your spending thousands of dollars on treatment with a very specific time schedule and a $5 backup alarm clock never occurred to you?

    And there is someone you can turn to for recourse, look in a mirror.
    That person trusted a piece of technology with something so vitally important and had no concept that sometimes technology fails.
    How many people are pulled from rivers, ditches, mountain passes because they blindly trust the technology to do the right thing and ignore their own eyes.

  31. Adam9932 says:

    ProTip: Don’t put all your “eggs” in one basket.

  32. deadandy says:

    This reminds me of when I traveled to Chicago from Phoenix and set my BB alarm to get up in the morning. Sometime in the middle of the night, my BB randomly decided I was back in Phoenix and reset my time zone, causing the alarm to go off an hour late.

    Fortunately, I also set the hotel alarm clock, the TV alarm, and ordered a wakeup call. Bazing!

  33. Rebecca K-S says:

    First: It’s ridiculous that the iPhone has had multiple alarm glitches like this. It’s really unacceptable, and it sucks, and I’m glad I’ve been totally unemployed for both of them.

    Second: But. Seriously? If it’s that important, I’ve got seventy five different alarms set, and there’s no way I’m going to miss it.

  34. Ouze says:

    It works fine 362 days a year. No big deal.

    Sent from my ipad

  35. Buckus says:

    Two things:

    1. To OP: If something is really important, set a regular alarm clock. The only concept most alarm clocks have is AM/PM.

    2. To Apple. Seriously? How long has it been since computers have been used for keeping time, and the best thing you can tell us about this rather significant bug is “It should work on Jan 3rd?” Android doesn’t have this problem. Windows Phone 7 doesn’t have this problem. They have seemingly mastered the art of figuring out what day it is and if an alarm should go off on that day. This is just piss-poor programming and QA, and there is no excuse for it.

  36. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    I have to wonder now is anything ever not going to be the OP’s fault. According to the commentariat, the OP is wrong for ever expecting anything to go right. They’re wrong for using a cell phone alarm, they’re wrong for setting two alarms on the same kind of advice (because clearly they should have forseen that there would be a software error instead of just protecting against a battery dying), they’re wrong for wanting the fertility treatments, and they’re wrong for not being able to get pregnant without help.

    But that’s every article nowadays. The OP was wrong for going to that business or buying that service. The OP was wrong for expecting the company to do what they said they would. The OP should have expected delays, should have expected undisclosed fees, should have gone with Competitor B. The OP in the next story who used Competitor B is wrong for doing so.

    The OP is wrong even if they don’t trust the company. Order item 2 weeks early? OP’s fault for not ordering 2 months early. OP had more than enough money in their account? OP should have had 3 times as much for when the company overcharged twice.

    The only time anyone seems to have sympathy with the OP is if the issue is one that affects them personally.

    It’s then that people cry, “Be a fucking person!” Well why should they when their customers aren’t? If people believe that the only legitimate problems are the ones that they personally care about then why should we be surprised when companies act the same way?

    It’s hypocritical and it’s pathetic.

    • Dollie says:

      As someone who more than sympathizes with OP, I still think that if the timing were that critical more alarms could and should have been set instead of depending on mobile devices. I would have had everyone’s alarm clock set including my mother’s 5 states away. No way I would have let sleeping in keep me from this critical process either. The doctor would have been dealing with something comparable to Godzilla had I been denied the treatment.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:

        I would have had everyone’s alarm clock set including my mother’s 5 states away.

        And if the OP had done that and it didn’t work it’d still be their fault for not breaking into strangers houses and setting their alarm clocks too. If they set 2 alarms they should have set 20 and if they set 20 they should have set 200.

        The OP is always wrong because the commentors can always claim they would have taken more precautions.

        • allstar3970 says:

          The OP is wrong b/c they think its the alarm’s responsibility to get them up, not their own.

        • GeekChicCanuck says:

          THIS. You’re one of the few people still worth reading on here….

        • Straspey says:

          “The OP is always wrong because the commentors can always claim they would have taken more precautions.”

          No matter what, there is always the “Shit Happens” escape clause.

          However, it’s the individual’s job and responsibility to take every reasonable precaution to prevent the “shit” from happening.

          In this case, many people feel that, considering the weight and importance of their appointment, the OP’s did not act wisely by relying on the alarm clock function on their cell phone to ensure they would be on time for their appointment.

          Sure – there are some people who would find fault with the OP even if they had slept on the doorstep of the clinic the night before – but that’s not the issue.

        • Dollie says:

          I still haven’t said the OP was wrong and I’m not here to place blame or deflect blame to something or someone else. However, OP should take some *responsibility* for the problem instead of trying to blame a mobile device manufacturer. This whole thread wouldn’t even exist if OP realized that it was their *personal responsibility* to make sure they were awake instead of blaming a device for not waking them up.

          Only way OP would be “wrong” in this case is if the whole story is shenanigans.

  37. DcChick says:

    Why didn’t their dickhead M.D. wait on them?
    As someone who’s witnessed fertility treatment firsthand I’m sitting here trying to come up with some procedure that couldn’t have waited an hour or so. I’m sure the OP didn’t sleep in until noon on such an important day. If she’s having injections they’re either going to harvest or implant and neither of those would require such precise timing. If she had arrived an hour late, those procedures still would have worked (if they were even going to work in the first place).

    In fact, I kinda call BS on the whole story.

    • Ilovegnomes says:

      That depends on the procedure and the facility’s policies. You may have had a clinic that had flexibility but for some of the the larger clinics with large amounts of patients, limited space, and overbooked schedules, that may not have been the case.

      • DcChick says:

        Eh. I still call BS.
        How much ya wanna bet the hormonal OP rolled outta bed at 7:50 or so and decided she still needed an hour long shower OR decided that since she was late it was all ruined and didn’t even call the clinic/MD to see if she could come in an hour later. This story hardly has ANY detail and what details there are…well they’re quite fishy. For someone who’s just lost thousands and possibly their only chance to have a child she seems pretty ok with it.

        • Ilovegnomes says:

          I think that you are reading into it. Doesn’t the consumerist tell you not to write up a bunch of emotional junk when describing a situation and stick to the facts? It seems like the OP did just that.

        • 12345678nine says:

          I’m thinking this same thing! If I am supposed to be awake at 7am I am probably not going to wake up in the afternoon. And if for some reason I did, I doubt my SO would also. We would just have no time for a shower and head out.
          Like I said, what about getting a flat tire, or a delay in traffic, or ANY OTHER SORT OF INCIDENT?

  38. cmdr.sass says:

    Leave it to Apple to screw up something as simple as a feature found in $9 clock radio.

    • outlulz says:

      A $9 clock radio is designed to do one thing. iPhones are designed to do a million. There’s many more points of failure.

      Try programming a clock radio and then try programming an operating system and see which comes up with more bugs.

  39. The_IT_Crone says:

    I have a “critical day” alarm clock that is both plug-in and battery-powered.

    It was like, $10. I’d never depend solely on a mobile device for something so important.

  40. PadThai says:

    So we should all own 3 slightly different versions of everything that performs an important task in our lives? I don’t think the OP did anything wrong in assuming that two iphones with alarms would do the job. This was a truly tragic freak occurrence.

  41. BBP says:

    What clinic would have been open on either of those days? New Years Day and Sunday?!

    I’m sorry, but I don’t buy this. First of all, the days don’t make sense. What clinics would actual maintain hours on those days? Secondly, if it was that important, why not set a REAL clock? Third, the doctor couldn’t see them? What kind of heartless bastard would do such a thing?

    This just doesn’t add up.

    • Ilovegnomes says:

      Stanford. Look it up. They are open weekends and holidays by appointment.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It doesn’t seem like they had to be somewhere for treatment, but there was something they had to do at a certain time. The Consumerist post made mention of injections. It’s possible that you could do them yourself at home if you were good enough at it.

  42. Portlandia says:

    BULLSHIT…both my F***ING alarms failed to go off this morning.


  43. danic512 says:

    Well I’m glad that everyone here could give their advice about what they would do and how fool proof the plan is. I’m sure you’ve never been late to anything due to a failure of some kind, and I’m sure you never will.

    • allstar3970 says:

      I have been late plenty of times. And in the end it was MY FAULT. If your alarm doesn’t go off it’s still you’re fault that you are late, the alarm is a tool to help you, still your responsibility.

      • Rectilinear Propagation says:


        • 12345678nine says:

          There was no “whoosh” there

          • Rectilinear Propagation says:

            There most definitely was a whoosh. At best allstar3970’s reply that the OP is responsible has nothing to do with danic512’s complaint that everyone is insisting that it wouldn’t have happened to them in the first place.

  44. Shadowfire says:

    People need to stop shitting up this thread. You people are all disgraceful.

  45. krom says:

    This is why I stay away from Apple products! They are a classic case of form over function. PS There are lots of lonely kids out there looking for someone as dedicated as you to adopt them into their homes.

  46. jedifarfy says:

    First off, for about two whole days BEFORE January 1, also known as December 30 and 31, I saw posts everywhere about the alarms not working. Did they just not read anything at all ever those two days?

    Second, using your phone as an alarm clock is just asking for disaster. Your battery could drain, your phone might not sync, or in this case, it might simply not work. For something this important, you had better just get a REAL alarm clock.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Did they just not read anything at all ever those two days?

      G-d forbid people spend TWO WHOLE DAYS away from the Internet.

  47. Cicadymn says:

    Haven’t iphone alarms had a lot of trouble lately? Kinda stupid to rely on them.

  48. Nic715 says:

    Not to blame the OP…but I don’t even OWN an iPhone and I’ve known about this glitch for awhile now…heard it on the news, heard it on the radio, read about it online, read it in the paper, heard people talking about it……….seems to me if I had something THAT important, I’d do what other commenters have said…….set more than one alarm on different types of devices. Feel bad they missed their treatments, but it was a situation that could have been avoided. What would they have done if their power had gone out? Sued the electric company?? Unfortunately life doesn’t work that way.

  49. Extended-Warranty says:

    Apple: it just works

  50. thekevinmonster says:

    I missed a job interview because I turned off my alarm clock in the middle of the night, after half-waking and checking it all paranoid.

    It’s unfortunate that a software bug caused this situation but I’m not really sure what the point of this article is. Do we yell at Apple for having software bugs? Do we blame the OP for not setting multiple alarms using different methods? Do we blame the clinic for not offering a wake-up call service?

  51. theduckay says:

    Not blaming the OP here (the alarms should have worked…although I personally would never trust a phone alarm), but it doesn’t say when they actually woke up? I’m assuming they left around an hour or so to get ready in the morning before they left, so if they woke up at 7:45 then they could have just jumped in the car and made the appointment. Or even a couple hours late would make them maybe an hour late for the appointment? (which should be okay?)

    I just don’t understand how people can be in such a deep, almost blackout-like sleep to oversleep for hours and hours or why some people need to set 80 blaring alarms in the morning to get my out of bed…it kind of disturbs me a bit, what if a fire alarm goes off or something and they don’t hear? Of course, this is coming from a light sleeper who wakes up naturally before the alarm even goes off everyday…so I don’t really understand too much. I’ve never actually overslept anything before.

    • There's room to move as a fry cook says:

      January 1st. Maybe they stayed up too late on New Years Eve. But they cut it real close if waking an hour later made them miss a crucial time-sensitive appointment.

  52. ElBobulo says:

    I think the real question is “How many software engineers does it take to implement a clock?” We keep seeing missed leap years, incorrect DST support, etc. Talk about reinventing the wheel, over and over again….

  53. Khayembii Communique says:

    This actually happened to me this morning (January 3rd). Missed the gym but luckily woke up in time for work.

    Waited for an alarm that I set last night (1/2/11) to go off this morning (1/3/11) and it didn’t work. Deleted all the alarms on my phone and set a new one and it worked fine.

    This is disturbing as I rely on my iPhone for my alarm clock (actually got rid of my alarm clock when I got the phone). Hopefully this won’t happen again as I don’t think work would take “My iPhone alarm didn’t go off” as a valid excuse. :-/

  54. shufflemoomin says:

    How can Apple have so many stupid little Glitches like this? It’s not like their products are cheap and it’s not like this is a difficult thing to test and catch.

  55. chocolate1234 says:

    I feel so bad for them!

  56. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Did Ben email/call back to verify this story?

  57. al says:

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  58. LanMan04 says:

    Adopt. Problem solved.

    • Raanne says:

      Yes. because adopting is so easy, fast, and inexpensive in this day and age. I’m sure the thought never occurred to them. Its a good thing you are able to let them know about this possibility.

  59. Verdant Pine Trees says:

    Paul Ehrlich has a lot to answer for. His book, which started the neo-Malthusian, doomsday talk about overpopulation, had many scary, influential predictions which did not come true. We are not all eating Soylent Green.

    Third World countries cannot sustain their populations – those are the real crisis points. Not so in Europe, the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, etc. where there is a looming labor and health care crisis. But many of us living in North America or Australia – think of the Irish, Italians and many other immigrant groups – need only look back a hundred years to see a great-grandmother or grandmother who came from a family of 6 or 10 children.

    The key is not forced sterilization (which Ehrlich suggested at one point; stuff in the drinking water). It’s better education in these Third World countries. Women who continue their education further into their teenage years and adulthood, are more likely to use birth control, and more likely to wait to marry and have children. They are more likely to be established in careers or businesses (even microbusinesses) and able to increase their standard of living. They have fewer children, and those children have better lives. There is a ripple effect, too, of improving the lives of the general community.

    The doom n’ gloom persistently pushed about overpopulation is not helpful, and frankly, it’s not *rational*. Many people who hear these sorts of lectures will continue to have babies, however many they want. Some others think they are morally superior because they will only adopt children, or have no children.

    But what we do in North America, reproduction-wise has little to no impact on the real crisis points in the Third World, which is why the doom n’ glooming is irrational.

    Support women’s rights, women’s education, and women’s microbusinesses in these developing countries. That makes more of a difference.

    • al says:

      In a lot of these third world countries, where they are suffering and are disease ridden, rape is rampant. Sure education is a good tool but who do you think is going over there to educate?


      And guess what their main message is?


      Not birth control. Not something that will actually prevent pregnancy when rape happens. These people are told that prayer and abstaining will solve all their problems. Meanwhile other countries dump tons of money to provide sacks of grain and water to these people who will continue to multiply at a rapid rate.

      Why cant they tell these people god handed the anti rape condom down from the heavens and they need to use it. Not only will that stop unwanted pregnancy but it will give that country a chance to persecute the animals that are raping women.

      There are great ways to control this problem but religion, political correctness and culture profiling all gets in the way so others can feel better about themselves. God forbid another, better off, country comes in and teaches these people how to live and work and survive. Oh no, cant do that. Cant destroy the peoples way of life and culture. Doesn’t matter their way of life, their culture and what they believe is flushing them down the toilet and creating a huge crisis.

      Seems like people feel better putting band aids around these problems so they feel so much better about their own stupid values.

      Someone comes along with different radical suggestions and people swarm them with the same ideas that havent worked for decades!

      Every Christmas I have to hear about how Ethiopia is in trouble by that moron Bono and a bunch of other idiots who sang that song in 1984. Its 2011 and THERE IS STILL A PROBLEM!!!! Millions are still suffering. Despite the tons of money that is raised to help them.

      So if thats still the case shouldn’t we be considering many different options instead of rehashing the same ones that never work?

  60. Kibit says:

    I understand what other posters are saying, but if the OP and her husband have never had issues with the alarm on their iphone then why would they have set an alarm clock?

  61. doomsdayZen says:

    like antennae-gate and the “you’re holding it wrong!” response, only apple could get away with “it will fix itself in a couple of days, so in the meantime, enjoy sleeping in!”

    kind of outrageous for such a simple thing as an alarm clock app to not work properly TWICE in only a couple of months, and more outrageous that apple hasn’t even bothered to fix it.

  62. LBD "Nytetrayn" says:

    Mine didn’t go off today, either. So, where do I get this fix?

  63. chefguru says:

    if you have something THAT important to get to, and you’re too stupid to use an actual alarm clock, and decide to rely on ONLY your phone, then you deserve to miss it.

    People need to stop revolving their life completely around their smartphones

  64. ckspores says:

    If I were up against a deadline that was expensive and emotionally/physically draining you can be your booty there is more than just a phone to wake me up. I’d be setting multiple types of alarms including a regular, old-fashioned plug in, my phone, probably my oven or microwave timer, and maybe even a friend or family member to give me a call.

    I think it is silly that they relied on one single device (just doubled) to wake them up for a huge event.

  65. coren says:

    And what if they had their power go out too, or their battery in the alarm clock died overnight. Still their fault?

    Plus, it isn’t as if it’s just this couple that was impacted by this error. It’s just their story is one of the most heartbreaking. I’m sure lots of people were late to work or the doctor or whatever too.

  66. Intheknow says:

    I don’t want to blame the couple, but holy smoke, if I had such an important deadline, I’d sure opt for more than a telephone alarm. I think I’d go with a clock as well. I mean, computers sometimes have issues the first of the year.

  67. cara says:

    I think a lot of people are missing the point here… they both set the alarms on their phones, and yet a failure on Apple’s part has cost them the chance of having a child. You guys just sound nasty at this point.

    Consumers like the idea that they can trust their products, and this just shows that the alarms obviously can’t be trusted.

    I’m so sorry for your lost chance Jodi.

  68. NerdJodi says:

    I am the “Jodi” of this story. Just to clarify, it was an IUI (Intrauterine insemination) that we missed that morning and not medication. And to update, we were able to do an IUI the next day, so hopefully all is not lost! The timing wasn’t perfect, but we’re told there could still be a chance. This was a really bad start to what we hoped would be a really great year, but we’ve learned our lesson – don’t rely on only software or electricity – use both! And we think 2011 will still be good. :)

    • sea0tter12 says:

      I hope everything goes well and you get your wish! We have been trying for four years, and it broke my heart when I read this article. Ignore all the people who have no clue what we go through and know that that someone out there is crossing fingers and everything else that it works out for you!

  69. Carlee says:

    My boss just told me today that the alarm on his iPhone didn’t go off this morning… I immediately thought of the New Year’s Day (and the day after) alarm problems. I don’t know for sure that it’s the same issue – I don’t think anyone is still complaining about this? – but his iPhone is OS 4 and it is probably a recurring alarm.

    For me, I tend to set multiple alarms because I’m afraid I’ll oversleep. I used to have two analog clocks plus a digital clock (all battery operated) and I’d set alarms on all of them – even for just everyday “waking up”! Of course, once one alarm went off and I got all ready to leave for work and then realized the clock was wrong (battery was dying) – it was only like 2am in the morning. Now, I use the digital clock (which is actually a super cheap electronic planner gadget, with a calculator, address book, clock, alarm – and has lasted for over 10 years on the same battery) and my cellphone (a slider, non-smart-phone).

    If I have an important event, I’d definitely set more than one alarm. I guess the OP doesn’t own alarm clocks? (Or ever see that episode of Seinfeld?)

  70. TheGreySpectre says:

    I nearly missed a plane flight because of this.
    Now I am all for the “set two alarms and use a normal alarm clock for something important” but I don’t travel with an alarm clock as my phone (and all my phones for the past several years) have an alarm clock on them.
    It all worked out fine as my mom who was driving me to the airport woke me up, but still.

  71. odarkshineo says:

    …technological natural selection?..

  72. wellfleet says:

    I don’t know who will read this so far down-thread but… BlaBlaBla shoulda set 18 different alarms, shoulda had someone call, I would never rely on a cell phone BlaBlaBla… There is a completely natural way to wake up that requires zero electronics. It sounds insane, but try it, it really works. Say you have to wake up at 7. Before going to bed, visualize the time 7:00, visualize seeing it on a clock, visualize an alarm going up, and say to yourself a few times that you must wake up at 7. You will wake up within a few minutes of this time. I’ve done this several times and it works.
    I am the farthest thing from New Age, I own two Blackberries and several alarm clocks… But, this is a good backup method. I’ve never tried when falling asleep intoxicated, so no guarantees about that.

  73. wellfleet says:

    Also, while I realize that not all iPhones are on AT&T (although, would this even affect jailbroken phones?) it sure would have been nice for AT&T to send out a text message to all iPhone users letting them know about this glitch and its effects.

  74. kennedar says:

    OMG this poor couple. We are just starting fertility treatments, I can not imagine losing an entire month of money and hopes and pain over an alarm clock not going off. That is horrible.

  75. narcs says:

    there maybe an app for everything but seriously – use an alarm clock. You most likely have at least one. Maybe you should have also programmed your car to honk repeatedly at 6:45 am too.

    Not front page news.

  76. Razor512 says:

    I use a dedicated alarm clock, low tech but it is a dedicated devices and has never failed me. sometimes single function can be helpful.

  77. Smultronstallet says:

    Actually, Apple could be saving them tons of money!