Copper theft leads to Frontier outage

Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 9:26 PM EDT
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SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A copper theft and a hurricane have left a world of hurt and inconvenience for hundreds of Frontier customers.

According to a post on Facebook by Del. Dana Ferrell, he, along with 200-300 residential and business customers, have been without phone and internet service in Sissonville since Monday.

He spoke to Frontier who says a copper theft is forcing crews to acquire a necessary and unique wire that has to be brought in from Texas, which may be delayed after they just endured a hurricane.

The cable includes 1,800 strands of copper and is as thick as an arm.

Frontier Outage PUBLIC UPDATE: As of early Monday morning until the present, a large area of the Sissonville and White...

Posted by Delegate Dana Ferrell on Tuesday, September 14, 2021

It’s impacting customers like Natalie Edens-Fisher, whose family owns Top Spot Country Cookin.’

They were closed on Monday, but when the restaurant opened Tuesday, she was without phone and internet access.

“WiFi’s in the office, not here, so we’re dial-up network, so it’s crippled us,” she said.

That meant customers couldn’t call in orders and she has to run each and every credit card transaction through her back office, which is on the other side of the building.

She says more and more customers are using plastic as a form of payment. She estimates it accounts for about 50-60% of their business.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” she said. “Because we’re the ones who suffer.”

It’s especially difficult during the lunch rush for Edens-Fisher, trying to take care of service and being without her usual technology assistance. She admits that businesses have come to rely on electronics.

“I had a lady come in a little while ago, and she said can I get some pies, and I said ‘well ma’am, you have to order them ahead of time because,’” said Edens-Fisher. “She said, ‘well I tried but we couldn’t get ahold of you.’ I can get that, trust me I understand.”

The business has been in the family and serving the community for 35 years. What was initially opened as a laundromat has quickly become a community staple and icon.

“I’ve watched my mom, who’s 83, give up a lot of her life for this business so it’s very important,” she said.

We reached out to Frontier to get an update on estimated restoration time, who referred us to the delegate’s post which indicates it could be Thursday or Friday before service is fixed.

In the meantime, Natalie will continue doing her best to serve up service with a smile, while she goes without it.

West Virginia State Police say they are investigating the copper theft.

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