Slow outage repair upsets CenturyLink customers around Council Bluffs

The company says it’s providing credits to impacted customers.
Some retirees near Council Bluffs are outraged over an outage.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 3:07 PM CST
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COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (WOWT) - Some retirees near Council Bluffs are outraged over an outage.

Their landline phone service had been out for up to two weeks.

During almost a century of country living, a landline has been a lifeline for Carol Walter.

“Probably doctors, I have appointments and stuff like that, and they always call you ahead of time,” Carol said.

For two weeks nobody called Carol because her CenturyLink landline was offline, forcing her to spend $113 a month for cell phone service she never needed before.

“I can’t get rid of my landline until people know that I have a cell phone and my cell phone number.”

About a mile away, Dale Sharp and his wife tested their landline for 10 days.

“Sara missed a call from her cardiologist because we had no phone service, and that’s the phone they use,” Dale said. “We finally called back on the cell phone and found out they had in fact tried to call but couldn’t get us. “

CenturyLink crews working in the area gave the two customers dial tones late Monday and Tuesday morning.

The customers say they’ve learned not to solely rely on a landline and get a cell phone as a backup and give anyone who needs to get ahold of them that cell phone number.

The Sharps want a credit on their CenturyLink bill for the landline outage.

“Ten days seems ridiculous to me,” Dale said.

After a long wait, Carol is relieved her landline works again.

“A few people called already and said wow it’s about time you answer your phone,” Carol said. “They were worried.”

Despite the almost two-week outage, the 86-year-old plans to keep the CenturyLink landline hooked up for a year. Time enough to let friends family and doctors know that she’s gone mobile.

CenturyLink tells 6 News that crews found two outages in the same area affecting 16 customers. The company apologizes to those customers and is proactively providing credits to their accounts.

“We know any outage is frustrating, for our customers and for us as well, and this one is no exception.,” CenturyLink said. “We looked into the impacted addresses and found two outages – not one in the same area. We apologize to our customers and are proactively providing credits to the 16 impacted customers. The best way to reach us is to call the 1-800 number on customer bills.”