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.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.