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Phone outages remain affecting Evansville businesses

Phone outages remain affecting Evansville businesses
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 6:12 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - People and businesses are continuing to report problems with their internet, cable and phone coverage caused by the transition between WOW! and Astound.

[PREVIOUS: Astound issues statement on customers having cable and internet outages]

Last Wednesday, the owners of B&M Electronics noticed something strange.

“Phones stopped ringing, it gets awful quiet,” said B&M Electronics owner Bertel Adams.

The business had lost its phone service. Adams says a lot of their business comes from people having emergencies, like fridges that won’t cool or washing machines overflowing, so losing their phones is a significant problem.

“If the phones are not ringing, by being a call center, we’re not generating revenue,” said Adams.

During the time their phones weren’t working, Adams says they estimate they lost between $1,500 and $2,000 per day. Store management says they got to work trying to contact Astound, but had limited success.

“Pretty much on hold for hours,” said Adams. “The longest I can remember was at least a couple hours on one call, and we never made a connection.”

To get by, they pushed customers to email or text them, and they started using more cell phones.

On Tuesday, their phone service came back, and store management says they are working to make up for the time they lost.

They say the experience is making them question if they want to stay with Astound.

“This is telling me, ‘look, something’s going on that’s not great. Don’t stay on that boat, get off now,’” said Adams. “So this is my opportunity to get off the ship. I won’t let them take me down that path again with all my eggs in one basket. It won’t happen again.”

Some businesses that 14 News has heard from say their coverage has come back, but is spotty.

On Tuesday, we received a statement from Astound Broadband saying as of Tuesday afternoon, their network is stable and working as intended, though they are working with people who still have issues. Astound officials say they’re working on plans to thank customers for their patience during the transition.

We requested an interview with Astound to ask what caused the outage and to find out what their current status is, but they didn’t respond.

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