CenturyLink phone and internet outage deals a blow to Bettendorf businesses

BETTENDORF -

CenturyLink continues around-the-clock repairs after nearly a week-long internet and phone outage that's especially hurting small businesses.

The outage hit Trattoria Tiramisu during lunch hour on Friday, January 19, creating lots of confusion at the cash register.

Since nearly all customers pay by credit card, they weren't able to process bills.  Without warning, it became a cash-only business.

"I thought it would be a simple fix or something, maybe and hour or two," said server Jason Watts, on Thursday, January 25.  "But now, it's close to a week."

Just across the street, work continues where a contractor damaged a cable.  Water also damaged two other lines.

In a statement, CenturyLink expects to have all services restored by late Thursday.

While the longtime restaurant remains open, it can't take reservations or answer the phone to fill to-go orders.

"Losing business, it affects everybody, from the owners to the servers and the bartenders," he said.

It's a similar story for nearby web-based insurance business, QCCoverage.

"Something that would take us two minutes, maybe it might take us 15 minutes now," said owner Barry Waldron.

They're getting by with borrowing Wi-Fi from a neighbor and transferring calls to their cell phones.  Still, the fax machine remains silent, and there are worries about long-term impact.

"Companies work very hard for this," Waldron continued.  "We don't want to lose business due to someone else's fault."

The trattoria is using a phone app to temporarily process credit card transactions, but its phone lines remain down.

"It just rings through, but nobody can pick up," Watts said.

Nearly a week into the outage, it's hurting the bottom line for these small businesses.

"If you don't get the phone picked up immediately, or if it goes to a different line, you have the opportunity to lose business," Waldron concluded.