Oklahoma res­i­dents re­spond to Ver­i­zon out­age

The Oklahoman - - BUSINESS - BY HAN­NAH PIKE Busi­ness Writer hpike@ok­la­homan.com

Ver­i­zon Wire­less cus­tomers in Oklahoma woke up Wed­nes­day morn­ing and re­al­ized some­thing was miss­ing — their ser­vice.

The statewide out­age was caused by two sep­a­rate fiber cuts, a Ver­i­zon spokesper­son said, and lasted about six hours, but many cus­tomers re­mained an­gry on so­cial me­dia af­ter.

“Ver­i­zon Wire­less ex­pe­ri­enced an in­ter­rup­tion in ser­vice for cus­tomers in Oklahoma to­day,” said Jean­nine Brew, Ver­i­zon’s pub­lic re­la­tions man­ager. “It was caused by the rare oc­cur­rence of two sep­a­rate fiber cuts on dif­fer­ent lines, im­pact­ing the re­dun­dancy built into our net­work.”

In re­gard to com­pen­sat­ing cus­tomers who were with­out ser­vice, Brew said “we are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the out­age.” As of late Wed­nes­day, Brew had not up­dated this state­ment.

Oklahoma res­i­dents and busi­nesses took to so­cial me­dia to voice their frus­tra­tions with the statewide out­age. Ver­i­zon was a trend­ing topic on Twit­ter, where more than 10,000 Ver­i­zon-re­lated tweets had been posted by the time ser­vice was re­stored, though not all of these tweets per­tained to the out­age.

Lawton res­i­dent Jason Austin, who has been a Ver­i­zon cus­tomer for eight years, tweeted that he could not make or re­ceive calls, text or use data ser­vices. He said that in ad­di­tion to be­ing an in­con­ve­nience, not hav­ing a phone in case of emer­gency is a “bit scary.”

Amanda Burn­side, a Blanchard res­i­dent trav­el­ing for work Wed­nes­day morn­ing, said that a Ver­i­zon em­ployee at the Tulsa Southroads store yelled at her for

tak­ing a photo of a sign posted out­side the store ex­plain­ing the out­age and apol­o­giz­ing for the in­con­ve­nience.

“I un­der­stand that things like this hap­pen, but the fact that the lady was so rude about it and also the fact that if the signs are posted on the side­walk, there’s re­ally noth­ing that she can do to tell us we can’t take pic­tures of it,” she said. “I didn’t even bother go­ing in the store to ask any fur­ther ques­tions.”

Burn­side said that she was one of the lucky ones, though, be­cause she has a work phone with a dif­fer­ent car­rier.

Ty­rone Ivey, on the other hand, a Tulsa res­i­dent and owner of Amhara Elec­tric, said he had to run back and forth to his house to use his lan­d­line and Wi-Fi.

“I may have to get an­other car­rier and phone as backup af­ter this,” Ivey said.

The out­age be­gan around 8 a.m., and en­gi­neers re­solved the is­sue by 2 p.m.

Ver­i­zon re­sponded to many users on Twit­ter, ask­ing them to direct mes­sage its ac­count for as­sis­tance. Some users thanked the ac­count for its help, while some com­plained that it did not make a state­ment or pro­vide enough de­tails.

Oth­ers were more light­hearted in response to the out­age, with one user tweet­ing an im­age sug­gest­ing that Ver­i­zon had to use a car­rier pi­geon to con­tact its cus­tomers.

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