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Text messages are delayed for several hours

Recently text messages that I have sent or have been sent to me don't arrive at the recipient until many hours after the message was sent. This has happened when the device at the other end (sending or receiving) has been a Garmin GPS device, a Motorola Droid, and an iPhone. It has happened with both sender and recipient as Verizon wireless customers (i.e., in-network) and also when the other party is not a Verizon Wireless customer (i.e., out-of-network). Thus it would appear to be a Verizon issue. It is problematic when the text message has time value, such as trying to emergency locate the other party in real time and the message appears on the sender's phone as sent, but is not received. Then hours later the message just shows up. What can be done to ensure that Verizon Wireless transmits text messages properly?