Phone Company Shuts Down Service Without Warning

A frustrated customer reads the note on CLC's front door.
A frustrated customer reads the note on CLC's front door.

We take it for granted: pick up the phone, and just make a call.

But some people can't do that right now, after Columbus Local Communications, the company that provides their phone service, pulled the plug.

"Gone," said Dianne Edwards-Andrews, one of many frustrated customers. "And all it's saying is the line is being checked for trouble."

When they went to the office to complain Tuesday, all customers found was an empty locked building with a note on the door.

"They up and closed in a day," said Sherita Hale, pointing at the note. "It's like they ran."

Edwards-Andrews read the not aloud: "'There will be another bill if you have not paid your phone service yet. Sorry for the inconvenience.' But it's not inconvenient for them, it is for us. And then they're talking about giving us another bill if we haven't got one? How you going to give us a bill and you closed down on us?"

The Better Business Bureau doesn't know how many people the closing is effecting, but says CLC had been in business for years, and never had too many complaints.

"If it's a company that's been operating business as usual and suddenly they go out of business and they've been in business this long, it could be a large number of people," said Ross Howard, President and CEO of the BBB. "We just don't know yet."

Hale said she's just frustrated they weren't given any notice: "I'm actually trying to get some last minute Christmas shopping for my kids, but now I'm going to have to go and find a phone service for my mom right now. So someone is going to suffer. I wish it was them, but it's going to be me."

The Better Business Bureau's trying to get answers. If your phone's cut off, you should file a complaint with the Public Service Commission. You can find that form online by clicking here or by calling 1-800-282-5813.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite,