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3-day Cox email outage leaves customers in Oklahoma and 13 other states frustrated

Cox spokeswoman says company is working to fix root problem of widespread residential email outage in Oklahoma and 13 other states.
by Paula Burkes Published: December 18, 2012
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Cox Communications' residential email outage Friday, Saturday and Sunday — which affected an untold number of Oklahomans and customers in 13 other states across the Midwest and along the East Coast — left numerous Sooner subscribers more than frustrated, if not a little poorer.

Tulsa Realtor Lori Cain said she has “no clue” about business opportunities she may have lost from new clients who could have emailed her about listing their homes.

Cain, who mostly communicates with clients via email, said she called or texted existing customers to make sure they knew she couldn't receive emails.

Meanwhile, Kim Searls, who markets for an Oklahoma City law firm, wasn't affected at work, but learned after 7:30 a.m. Monday — when delayed emails starting rolling in to her private account — that she'd missed the 72-hour sale at Sprouts Farmers Market, whose grocery business undoubtedly was affected.

Cox spokeswoman Kristin Peck said the company “deeply regrets” the outage, which also affected customers in Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Florida, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island and Virginia. Only its residential email customers in California, Nevada and Arizona were unaffected, she said.

Cox has more than 6 million customers and, according to Wikipedia.com, 3.5 million are Internet subscribers, though Peck couldn't confirm that number.

Peck said Cox isolated the weekend failure to its primary and backup email system platforms, which are meant for residential customers. It is replacing the equipment and implementing measures to prevent a reoccurrence of these issues, she said.

Currently, all incoming messages are queued in its system, and Cox expects to deliver them on a rolling basis as it brings the systems back online, she said. Because of the volume of stored messages, it may be Wednesday before residential customers receive all of their queued emails, she said.

“These will arrive gradually and may not be delivered in chronological order,” she said.

Cox on Monday gave some customers a $5 courtesy credit for their troubles, The Oklahoman learned. But Peck said late Monday the company is “looking at doing right by its customers.” A blanket credit, she said, might not make sense, as many customers don't use their Cox email accounts.

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by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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