Kentucky Storms, Weather Cause Phone Outages for Thousands of “877” and “866” Phone Numbers
Due to a storm in Kentucky, thousands of “877” and “866” numbers are no longer working. This has not only led to the inability for companies to receive phone calls, it has created an even larger problems with credit card processing companies.
According to Cynergy Data, the storm in Kentucky knocked out fiber optic lines that process the thousands of “877” and “866” phone numbers made every day. Cynergy Data claimed these lines may be down for several days. This may have negative effects on businesses especially small businesses who are already struggling in our lagging economy.
As a small business owner I first noticed my credit card and food stamp machines not working early Wednesday afternoon. Several phone calls to my credit card processing company and to the phone company resulted in both claiming innocence and bewilderment.
Talking to the neighboring business owners I discovered their ability to process credit card transactions had ended as well. The phone company repair man, upon showing up to try to fix the problem, thinking it was isolated to our store, claimed that many businesses across the area were calling and complaining of the inability to process credit cards.
The phone company repair man, despite saying that many stores were having the same issue still said it had to be the credit card processing company. We knew this was impossible because food stamps and credit cards are processed by different processing companies in our store. We also use a different processing company than our neighboring businesses do.
The inability to process credit cards has already cost our small grocery store hundreds of dollars, especially in food stamp purchases. The outage also affected our low income customers who rely on food stamps to put food on the dinner table. It was hard to watch these customers leave their carts of food unpaid for wondering how they were going to pay for the food they needed to feed their families.
As the economy has worsened I have seen more and more customers paying for their food on credit cards or food stamps. This credit and debit card processing outage could mean that the economy as a whole will suffer.
Consumers who are planning on shopping may want to bring back up cash, as your local store may not be able to take credit or debit cards for the next few days.
Numerous phone calls with Cynergy Data and the Embarq phone company.