Everything is back up and running for most AT&T customers in North Texas after Monday's nearly all day outage created both an inconvenience and financial loss for many businesses.
Dominick Oliverie, the owner of the Great American Hero Subway Shop in Oaklawn, is still apologizing to patrons for the lunchtime meltdown on Monday.
AT&T says a fire at a data switching station in Richardson knocked out U-verse and internet service at thousands of homes and businesses for nearly 12 hours. Oliverie’s business was one of them.
“It was stressful,” he said.
Oliverie says it was one of the most challenging days in his 42 years in business. With no high-speed internet, he turned to an old landline system with a dial-up connection to process credit cards during the lunch rush hour while customers who were short on time were facing a long wait.
“Especially the drive-through where people were waiting out in the street. That scared us. We were sending employees out there and taking their orders and looking for anybody who may have had cash,” he recalled. “Some people didn’t have cash. If we knew them, we would give them a second copy and say just come back tomorrow or the next day and just take care of it. There was like 20 people we just gave them their meals because it was taking so long.”
Marshal Aarin was one of his customers.
“It was a little bit slower than usual,” he admitted. “And I would say I don’t think we’re ready for a cyber-war.”
Oliverie says neighboring businesses were even worse off.
“We have neighbors that didn’t have a phone line, they had to actually close their doors,” he explained.
Virginia Parma was a customer who experienced the chaos at another restaurant that turned to cash only.
“I feel sorry for the restaurants, though,” she said. “Because a lot of people were leaving, and I know they lost a lot of business.”
Kristen Miller is the owner of All Good Things Paper. She was a business owner who had to close up shop without Wi-Fi on Monday.
"I know, as a customer of other businesses, I don't want to just give them my credit card and hope that they run it later for the correct amount,” she said.
Miller says pretty much everything at her shop requires Internet.
“As a business owner, do I sit here all day hoping that it turns on in five minutes? Or do I call it a day and get stuff done outside of the store?” she said.
In Turtle Creek, people who work from home were turning to one store to get stuff done.
Drip Coffee Barista Taylor Novay says the coffee shop was swamped Monday because they did have Wi-Fi.
"We got more calls than we've ever gotten,” Novay said. “They were always leading off with the same question if we had Internet access because apparently everyone else was out. It was packed all day. So they just kept coming in all day. They'd come in and do their work and leave and someone else would come in and take their spot. All day."
AT&T says business customers with questions about possible credits to their accounts should contact the customer care team. That number is (800) 288-2020.
The facility that caught fire his back online, and AT&T says customers’ equipment should be working.
If you are still having problems, AT&T says you should restart your equipment. If that doesn’t work, you should contact customer care at the same number.