Shares in T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) remained nearly unchanged Thursday, showing a less than 1 percent rise when markets opened in New York after service issues across the United States left customers without cellphone service. The outage, which T-Mobile announced had been restored shortly before 7 a.m. EDT, left many customers unsettled and some threatening to jump ship to another company.
Stock price for T-Mobile’s biggest competitors including AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) didn’t move much either, both staying within 1 percent of where they closed Wednesday.
T-Mobile worked damage control through the night to restore LTE data services to their customers after reports of service outages began trickling in Thursday at around 1:30 a.m. EDT. Customers took to social media to demand explanations for the disruption, saying that they weren’t able to make phone calls and that it was disrupting their routines. It wasn’t until two hours after the complaints began to surface on social media that T-Mobile recognized via Twitter it had a problem.
“We’re aware of reported instances of LTE outages. So sorry for any inconvenience. Our engineers are on it right now working hard to resolve,” the company tweeted at 3:31 a.m. EDT.
For the next four-or-so hours, T-Mobile used Twitter to try and placate customers with humor, telling them that aliens had come to Earth and that their “men in magenta” — referring to the color their employees wear in the stores —were working on determining whether the newcomers had come in peace or not. Other tweets referenced the cult 1984 film "Gremlins," saying that someone had messed up and fed the “#MagentaGremlins” after dark.
There were a couple of hiccups along the way. Just before 6 a.m. EDT, the company announced it was back up and operating. But, an hour later, customers were still reporting that they didn’t have service on their phones.