A handful of businesses on Main Street in Ogunquit said a daylong outage of cable, internet and phone service Thursday cost them thousands of dollars.

The outage of Spectrum’s services hit early Thursday, said Mary Breen, owner of Bread & Roses Bakery. She said a worker who started at 5:30 a.m. noted the outage, called Spectrum to report it a half-hour later and was told a technician would be sent by midmorning.

The services weren’t restored until close to 6 p.m. Thursday, she said.

Breen said the bakery was unable to process credit card transactions while the system wasn’t operating and the outage hampered communication with the business’s commercial bakery in Wells. When she called to check on the service call late Thursday morning, Breen said, she reached a recording saying that the outage was planned and the service would be restored by July 16.

“It’s sort of outrageous,” Breen said Saturday. “If you can imagine what it’s like in Ogunquit in July, you can understand it’s pretty stressful and I was so stressed out.”

The outage was not planned, a Maine spokesman for Charter Communications, the parent company of Spectrum,  said Monday. He said the company suffered “a network issue” and restored service as quickly as possible.

Breen  estimates she lost about $2,500 in business. Service was slowed because orders had to be written out, instead of transmitted from registers to the kitchen, she said, and the staff rounded purchases to the nearest dollar to accommodate an unplanned jump in cash orders..

At one point, Breen said, she even went out and bought a long cable to see if she could connect to the internet in a neighboring business that still had service, but that didn’t work.

“It’s amazing how paralyzed you get when you realize you’re dependent on this technology,” she said. “It’s July in Maine. We’re depending on tourist dollars to make a living.”

Jean Foss, who owns Harbor Candy Shop next door to the bakery, echoed that sentiment.

Foss said the outage meant she lost some business from orders that couldn’t be made on the internet and it also complicated shipping operations. Her staff worked around the outage to the extent possible, she said, and handled transactions on paper or in cash.

“I don’t think our physical losses were great, but our sense that we could rely on this was taken down several pegs,” she said Saturday.

If the outage had lasted through Monday, as Spectrum had at one point indicated, Foss said, she might have had to shut down the store until service was restored.

Another business along the stretch of Main Street was able to work around the problem and didn’t lose phone service.

LaPizzeria sent customers across the street to use a bank’s ATM machine when it came time to pay, said Ben Galeucia, manager of the restaurant.

He also said the restaurant was able to connect to the internet through a neighboring business, mitigating most of the impact of the outage.

“We found a way to work around it,” Galeucia said.


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