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Tuesday, December 16, 2003



Verizon continues
work on phone lines


Nearly 3,000 Verizon customers were still awaiting telephone service yesterday as the company continued to repair lines saturated by heavy rains since the beginning of the month.

Affected customers include 2,700 on Oahu, 60 on the Big Island, 140 on Maui and 23 on Kauai. More than 11,000 phone lines have been knocked out since Dec. 1.

Service to Pearlridge Center businesses was restored on Friday, in time for a busy holiday shopping weekend.

Amanda Horst, co-owner of Hawaiian gift store Local to Da Max, said one of her phone lines was restored Friday after it was down for five days, causing a 25 percent drop in sales.

"It was a nightmare," said Horst. "There were long lines. People got frustrated."

Salespeople had to use their cellular phones for credit card and check authorizations, she said.

"Finally we get business and the phones go down. Luckily, it was restored by the weekend, because the weekend was crazy," Horst said.

Still, a few stores reported continuing phone problems.

Customers who had more than 24 hours without phone service will receive an automatic credit to their monthly bill, according to Verizon spokesman Bill Kula.

"Our technicians are continuing to work overtime," said Kula, adding that concentrated areas continue to be in Aiea, Pearl City, Puuloa, Kalihi, Moanalua, Puunui and Alakea. "We had made progress in the last five days."

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