Chances are, that if you called the nursery last week between Thursday and Saturday, you got the following message: “ The number you are calling has been disconnected and is no longer in service...” That is a rather curious message considering it is spring and we are in the nursery business; not exactly the optimal time to have phone service interruptions. We have faithfully paid our bill, in timely fashion, for more than 60 years. So, how could this happen?
In October of last year our PBX phone system got hacked. The hacker used our system to generate phone line service, to Mali, Africa. This was done without our knowledge overnight. We were contacted by the International Fraud Department, and made aware. In November, we received a phone bill for $44,000. That’s a little high.
My bookkeeper, Sherry Gray, diligently called each month to inquire if there was any action we needed to take. Last month she was assured all was well and that the ‘situation’ would soon be resolved. Having our phone service turned off was not the resolution we were expecting.
After 6 hours on the cell phone our lines were finally restored. Over that time period, we talked to 13 different agents where I had to recount the entire story each time. The only problem was that the lines were not restored to their default designations, and our primary phone number was still non-functional.
Friday morning I emailed a letter to all of the agents we spoke with the day prior. Fortunately, one of them ‘escalated’ our situation to her superior. We had techs on-site within 15 minutes. Service restored by end of Friday. On Saturday morning someone at the ‘home office’ realized the initial re-connect was done improperly and re-set the lines to their default designations, thus negating the work done the day prior. Two more hours on the phone and another technician later, phones were finally restored Saturday evening.