50° F
Light Drizzle
Light Drizzle

Business says Internet outage has cost thousands

Published On: Feb 06 2013 06:48:28 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 06 2013 09:32:55 PM CST

A mistake by a construction company in downtown Madison cut off phone and Internet service to many, and at least one business owner said it's costing him thousands of dollars.

A construction crew on Friday severed an AT&T service line on Regent Street near West Washington Avenue. Primarily state office buildings were affected, including the Capitol, but while the state has been able to reroute phone lines to minimize the impact, some businesses haven't been so lucky.

For some customers, the outage could last as long as Friday, and Jeff Maurer, the owner of Fresh Madison Market near campus, said that's just unacceptable.

Maurer said his phone has been dead since Monday afternoon and Internet service has been barely usable.

"Internet is much more important because all of our credit cards go through the Internet," Maurer said. "Right now, we can accept debit cards, but it gets rerouted as a credit card, so it's doubling my cost. And it takes more time. It's slowing down my front end very much so."

Maurer said it has caused long lines and he has lost some customers.

"I actually had people putting down their groceries and walking out, saying they couldn't wait in line any longer. That's never happened in this store before," Maurer said.

Maurer also has an event center upstairs, and he said a $2,000 event set for Wednesday was canceled because he didn't have Internet service to offer and the client required it.

In a statement, the AT&T state president said the company is working as fast as it can to fix the line and said that most customers have had their service restored.

But Maurer said there are many customers like him still without service and that he's been told it could be Friday night before his service is fully restored.

"There doesn't seem to be a real sense of urgency," Maurer said. "It's beyond frustration. It's more anger at this point."

Maurer said a big part of his business is online grocery sales and delivery. He said customers are able to place orders, but the store isn't getting the orders because of the outage.

Maurer said that as of Wednesday night, his business has two working phone lines but still no Internet service.

AT&T couldn't tell WISC-TV exactly how many customers have been affected by the outage. It said it's working around the clock to get everything back up.

  • Isreali President Shimon Peres

    Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

    Notable deaths of 2016

    Here's a look at some of the celebrities we've lost so far in 2016.

  • PHOTOS: Madison store helps collect hundreds of Teddy bears for police

    MADISON, Wis.--A west Madison store is part of an effort to collect hundreds of stuffed animals to donate to six police departments in Southern Wisconsin.

    Todd Merryfield, owner of The Learning Shop at 714 S. Gammon Road, said the store is collecting the bears for officers who use them to help comfort children with whom police come in contact.

    "This is a great way to support what (police) do," Merryfield said. "Those are the kids that need something like this to reassure them, calm them down, and let them know that things are all right."

    Nearly 500 plush animals were donated Tuesday, a Learning Shop spokeswoman said. The Madison store's effort is part of a larger initiative through the Bears for Humanity organization. 

    Photos by Doug Wahl

  • Passport


    Mistakes people make when moving abroad

    Moving abroad? has put together a list of six mistakes people make when they're moving abroad. Click through, so you don't make the same mistakes during your move.