Cox Communications customers who lost residential email service this weekend can call the company's customer service line for a refund, the service provider said Monday.
Credit requests will be handled individually, a spokeswoman said. Information about how much credit would be offered was not disclosed.
Email service had been restored to all customers by 5:30 a.m. Monday. Cox said undelivered emails had been captured and would be delivered by the end of the day on Wednesday.
The three-day email outage, which started Friday, came at a bad time for Lesley Knox, who operates her portrait photography business out of her Omaha home. She was expecting a dozen holiday card and portrait orders to come through her residential account over the weekend.
She said that she was able to contact her customers on the phone or via Facebook to let them know about the problem, but that she did not like to have to wait to receive the emails she had missed.
“I would really like all my email today,” Knox said Monday.
The widespread problem, affecting 11 states including Nebraska and Kansas, was in the software platform that Cox uses, the company said. The platform and its backup system failed.
Email service for business accounts reportedly was not affected.
“Now that service is restored, we are moving forward with replacing the current email storage platform equipment and implementing measures to prevent a reoccurrence of these issues,” the company said in a statement. “We sincerely apologize for the impact this outage has had on our customers.”
Not all customers were patient, and several shared their frustrations on Twitter and Facebook and talked about switching providers.
“It got me thinking that maybe I need to use a different email system,” Knox said.
The outage came two months after a 10-hour telephone service outage affected Cox's business customers in New England and the Midwest, including Omaha. That outage was attributed to a lost network link.
In February, Cox residential phone customers in California, Arizona and Nevada were without voice mail for more than a week.
Cox customer Kent Pavelka, the radio announcer for Husker basketball and the owner of an Omaha public relations firm, said he was disappointed this weekend that Cox did not do more to alert customers about the problem.
He suggested that the company could have texted customers or issued an alert sooner via social media.
Pavelka had been traveling to Oregon to broadcast a game and thought something was wrong with his iPhone when he couldn't get access to his email.
“I had no idea it was a Cox system issue until I got home on Sunday,” he said. “I had to do a Google search to find out what was going on.”
Cox spokeswoman Gail Graeve said the company took several steps to alert customers, including regularly updating the information on its website and putting a message on each customer's email login page.
Cox also provided three online notifications during the outage that appeared as pop-up notices for Internet customers. In addition, she said, the company posted information on social media channels and provided customer call-in support around the clock.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org