Pearl City businesses suffer after three-week phone outage

Local News

Some businesses in Pearl City are losing money and they’re blaming it on phone lines that haven’t worked in three weeks.

“When we had that big rain, it all started from there,” said Goodyear Pearl City manager James Higaki.

Higaki says they experienced problems with static and then no phone service. “(I’m) very mad because our business is going down. There’s no calls,” he said.

Higaki has calls forwarded to one cell phone. Usually, workers can help customers from any of the five phones the company has.

Next door at Aloha Signs and Graphics, it’s a similar story.

“We’re frustrated,” said Patrick Field. “We got to deal with all the traffic and then now, our phone lines are out.”

Businesses KHON2 talked to say ever since rail construction began in front of their stores, sales have dropped. But this new problem has made things worse.

“Sales have dropped. People don’t really like to come here to pick things up,” Field said.

“We’re losing maybe about a couple thousand a week or so right now,” Higaki said.

Both businesses have tried to get answers from Hawaiian Telcom with no luck.

“I called how many times to see what’s causing the problems and they could not give me an answer,” Higaki said.

“We’ve been on hold for hours and got nowhere,” Field said.

So we reached out to the company ourselves.

The company said heavy rain soaked cables in two locations, affecting four companies in the area. Service was restored to one company Monday. The others, including Goodyear and Aloha Signs and Graphics, are expected to get their phone service back on Tuesday.

Repairs can take awhile if the weather is bad and the cables don’t have a chance to dry out.

Hawaiian Telcom has spent nearly half a billion dollars to expand its fiber network and systems.

The company says that will give customers new services and make the network less susceptible to wet weather.

Hawaiian Telcom apologizes to the businesses for the inconvenience. They will be credited for loss of service, but the company said it’s not liable for damages or for loss of business.

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