UPPER EAST SIDE — Verizon phone and Internet outages are frustrating residents and business owners on the Upper East Side.
Several buildings along 72nd Street between Park and Madison Avenues lost phone and Internet service on April 7. Residents said Verizon has notified them that the problem won't be fixed until April 21 at the earliest, leaving residents and businesses, including a few doctors' offices, without reliable service.
According to a Verizon spokesman, the problem stems from a wet underground cable at 76th Street and First Avenue. The company said about 30 customers were affected by the outage, but only 15 of them remain without service at this point.
Dr. Margaret Snow and her husband each run a medical practice out of 55 East 72nd St., one of the buildings experiencing outages. She said that the outage has made it difficult to provide services for patients.
"The computer systems aren't working. No one can access patient records or see when appointments are scheduled," Snow said.
She has resorted to using her cellphone to stay in touch with patients.
Photographer Alan MacWeeney operates his business out of 59 East 72nd St., one of the buildings with outages. He said he can't buzz any clients in because the building's phone system uses Verizon. He noted some doctors with offices on the street have resorted to posting signs with instructions for patients in front of their buildings.
"I use TWC for phone and Internet — thank God — or this would be much worse," MacWeeney said.
A call to the office of psychiatrist Dr. George Igal, who has an office at 59 East 72nd St., was answered by a Verizon error message saying the customer was not available at this time.
A Verizon spokesman said the company has tried to lessen the inconvenience by providing free wireless phone service to customers experiencing the outage.