Internet outage hurts Springfield businesses over holiday weekend

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Albert Shelton was one of several business owners in Springfield reminded of how important technology is to sales this weekend as an internet outage crippled his restaurant's ability to process credit and debit cards until service was restored Monday morning.

Source: MGN

"I've seen customers come in, and for a while we had a sign posted that said, 'we can't take credit cards, we apologize,' and customers just turned around at the door and went to a place where they could pay with a card," Shelton says.

He owns the Schlotzsky's on North Glentsone, and says that his AT&T internet service went out on Thursday night, and several nearby businesses were affected as well.

By Saturday, Shelton had a back-up system up and running that would store the purchase information for processing when service came back up. But between the outage and that back-up plan, Shelton estimates he lost more than $3,000.

"Considering that probably 70 percent of our sales are credit card sales - either debit or credit - it hurts," He says. "When I first started doing this it was 30 percent, and now it's 70 percent."

He says that switch has occurred gradually in the 18 years he's owned the restaurant.

AT&T's media department couldn't provide an answer for the outage because of the holiday Monday, but a technical support representative Shelton spoke with said it's possible that Hurricane Harvey was at least partly to blame. The company still has major outages in Houston, and some Harvey damage is causing outages in states other than Texas.