Frontier theft cost Williamson W.Va. thousands.Business

WILLIAMSON, West Virginia (WSAZ) – Two businesses reported losses as Frontier service was down for days at a time.

Paul Price is CEO of Precision Heating, Cooling, and Electric. One of his locations is on Williamson’s West End. Along with Appalachian Tire Company across the street, the two businesses say they are suffering big losses when they can’t answer calls.

“All three of our phone lines are down, it’s an ongoing issue, we’ve had a full two and a half weeks since November last year, and our customers can’t get in touch with us,” Price said. That’s crucial.”

These lines are how customers connect to precision heating, cooling and electrical equipment. 304-235-2000 is a well-known number to people in southern West Virginia, but employees on Third Avenue cannot answer the call.

This number and other numbers for the company are associated with Frontier services. Price said he lost so much when Internet and phone service began to go offline in November that he decided the company should get Internet service through an alternative to Frontier.

WSAZ contacted Frontier about the outage.

A Frontier spokesman said there had been at least three power outages in the area, all of which were linked to copper theft from power lines.

Frontier said the issue is frustrating for the company because copper theft is increasing significantly in West Virginia. A spokeswoman for Frontier could not say what steps the company is taking to address the issue, but she said Frontier is working hard to find a solution and the topic is a top priority.

Frontier said that every time there has been an incident of copper theft, it has been difficult and repairs have taken longer.

“I don’t really blame the company, it’s definitely going to continue to happen in one way or another,” Price said.

Employees at Appalachian Tire said the company was losing money because they had to turn people away, card machines weren’t working and staff phones weren’t receiving any customer calls.

Frontier has yet to reply to WSAZ on a timetable for the region’s recovery.

Not only is the outage frustrating for Price’s company, which relies on customer calls without the option of other services in the area, it means thousands of dollars in lost service for a small business and employer in Williamson.

For small businesses that employ large numbers of workers in Williamson, maintaining communication is critical, Price said.

Click here for more coverage on Frontier’s service and how copper wire theft affects power outages, and click here for more information on copper wire theft from Frontier.

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