Local business switches to Charter, can't receive calls

CHESTERFIELD, Mo. - A Chesterfield wine shop owner thought he was going to save money when he switched his phones to a new company. Instead he says, the phones stopped ringing.

"You have reached a number that has been disconnected or is no longer in service," the message says when you call the St. Louis Wine Market.

But the store is very much open. The Friday night wine tasting was in full swing. The usual traffic it attracts is not.

"On a night like tonight we would have been packed. They'll call us on the phone and say pleas reserve me six bottles. We haven't been able to do that for eight days," said co-owner Jeff Bender.

His customers aren't calling because they can't get through. He said the phone stopped ringing after he switched his phone and internet from AT&T to Charter.

He said the technician came and installed the service. Everything seemed fine for one day. The phone that usually rings off the hook, wasn't ringing at all. A wine rep called Bender to tell him the phone just rang and rang. Bender said a day later, the rings turned into a message that says the phone is disconnected.

Bender and his business partner spent hours on the phone in the last week trying to get answers from Charter.

"We can make outgoing calls. Why can't people call us?" he said.

On Friday night, he could no longer call out either.

"The biggest fear for a small business is to lose their customer base," said Bender. He said Charter sent him an email Friday night saying a technician would come March 17 but he can't wait that long. He'll lose even more business.

5 on Your Side left messages for Charter. We're waiting to hear back.


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