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Amazon Emails Customers With Fake Baby News

September 19, 2017, 9:47 PM UTC

Millions of Amazon customers received a surprise email on Tuesday with the good news that a baby gift was on the way. Alas, it turned out there was no gift—and in most cases no baby either.

In one of the weirder tech glitches in recent memory, Amazon’s automated email servers appears to have gone off the rails and spammed many of the company’s customers with a message titled “A gift from your registry.”

As you can see, the email included an image of a crawling baby, and the message “Someone great recently purchased a gift from your baby registry!”


The reasons for the glitch are unclear. An informal poll in the Fortune office revealed that a good number of people received the email, and the majority of them had signed up for a baby or a wedding registry with Amazon. But not all of them—at least one person had never signed up for a registry of any sort.

Meanwhile, others (including me) who have Amazon accounts did not receive the mysterious baby email. Amazon has since responded:

“We are notifying affected customers. A technical glitch caused us to inadvertently send a gift alert e-mail earlier today. We apologize for any confusion this may have caused,” said a company spokesperson.

Some Amazon users have taken to Twitter to complain that the emails are insensitive:

Others simply expressed shock and bewilderment:

Others saw humor in the situation:

This is not the first fake message about life and death from a tech giant. Last November, Facebook raised eyebrows one afternoon by messaging many users to tell them they were dead. The company subsequently apologized for a “terrible mistake” that occurred in testing a posthumous product feature.

This story was updated at 8:20pm ET with Amazon’s statement.