Editing An Order Changes Product Options Irreversibly

This morning a client placed an order and as he wished to use a different shipping address, I edited his order in order to change the address.

when doing so, 3 products listed with a particular option were changed too, and to my utter chagrin , 3 of those had options that were automatically defaulted back to the very first option.

None of these could be re-selected properly!

Those 3 products are all freebies where the default first option is 'nothing' .

We already had to tell people to actually click on 'recalculate' in order to make a choice, but at the back office that option 'to recalculate' won't work at all.

Does it have to do with the products being freebies?

Tested it again by placing an order and choosing something with options: the product that is NOT free, has no issues, it is only the freebies that get defaulted back to the first option once I open the order and click on 'edit order'.
The 3 freebies are 'package insert' (kinda silly but we have to ask whether people want one or not), a free sample and a free gift when orders are over a certain threshold. They are no longer in a hidden category so that's not the problem either.