Thousands affected by surprise phone/internet service cancellation

5:55 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Service is slowly trickling back to thousands of customers who had lost phone and internet service on Tuesday through USA Telephone.

The company pays to access Fairpoint Communication's network, but Fairpoint officials say they haven't been paid in years, so they sent a notice in April to USAT that they'd be cancelling their service.  

This affects thousands of customers in New England, including 2,400 in Maine.

USAT customers had gotten a letter from the company saying their service would be disconnected on June 14th.

Fairpoint says they haven't been paid by USAT in years and informed them in April that they'd be disconnected on May 9th.

USAT's Interim President, Preston Gilbert, declined to speak on camera, but says they're required to give their customers 30 days notice, which - by the time they got letters together - turned out to be June 14th. He says Fairpoint didn't want to work with that deadline.

In the meantime, businesses like Atlantic Mooring Services, LLC. in Falmouth say they've gone 24 hours without phone service during their busiest time of the year - Memorial Day weekend - and the phone message her customers hear when they call makes it sound like her business is closed. 

Fairpoint says because of the confusion, and all of the businesses affected by this disruption, on Wednesday they decided to reinstate service to USAT customers until the June 14th deadline.


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