The woman rang an environmental health helpline to complain about a rotting chorizo sausage she had bought, but was besieged by callers who had been wrongly paged by BT about the complaint, including police forces around the UK.
BT forwarded her message to every pager beginning with the number 01426, with her details, leading to hundreds of callers ringing her in response, with some asking her what they could do to help.
The Aberdeenshire woman said she received calls from across the country, including ones from bemused nurses, doctors and business people.
Hampshire police asked BT to sort out the problem after it mistakenly forwarded the sausage message to local journalists as part of its update service on local crimes.
A BT spokesman said, "The problem was traced to two servers in London on our Voicebank system, which had faulty drives, it is the first time this sort of thing has happened in 15 years of using the system."
This technical hitch closely followed that at BT Cellnet, which saw 50% of wireless application protocol mobile data calls not getting through to servers at the beginning of the month.
The fault, which took two days to rectify, was blamed on routing kit connected to servers.
This was first published in May 2000