Mom and pop business on the brink of closure after nearly month-long phone frustrations

UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (WABC) -- A small shoe shop has healed the "soles" of some famous Upper East Siders as it has been a neighborhood fixture for three decades. But after going nearly a month with no phones - the beloved mom and pop's shoe business was nearly bust, until 7 On Your Side stepped in.

Throughout all the dust on 2nd Avenue, Peter's Shoe Repair kept a shine on their customers' shoes. They kept banging away at their business which through the last 6 1/2 years of subway construction took a beating.

"We had to deal with a lot of problems there was a lot of dust noise a lot of blasting," said Diane Psirakis, co-owner.

In business 36 years, they survived being buried under scaffolding and were even sent packing. But when the subway finally opened, steps from their shop, Peter and Diane Psirakis thought their long nightmare was finally finished. But, their phone line mysteriously went dead for nearly one month, starting in mid-December.

Peter says his provider, Wholesale Carrier Services Inc. and Verizon, the company that services the phone lines, showed up several times blaming an old broken cable.

No phones mean no swipes either, since their credit card machine works off the land line.

Loyal customer, Yvonne Durant, went on a rant calling the phone company herself. When nothing happened for weeks, Yvonne put her boot down and called 7 On Your Side.

As soon as 7 On Your Side sounded the alarm Verizon techs were on it and dispatched workers within the hour. Turns out the cable was being constantly gnawed through by rats and a protective sleeve solved Peter's problem.

After nearly a month, the phone and the credit card machine are back in business.

Peter's phone carrier, WCS and Verizon, both apologized profusely to the store owners, saying their customer service in this issue fell way short.

Both told 7 On Your Side they will be conducting retraining to get improve customer service in the future. WCS also said it will be giving the store owner at least three months of free service as a courtesy.
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