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People walk by a Rogers store at Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. in Toronto on August 27, 2013. (Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail)
People walk by a Rogers store at Yonge St. and Eglinton Ave. in Toronto on August 27, 2013. (Gloria Nieto/The Globe and Mail)

Five tales of panic from the Rogers outage Add to ...

Remember the days of no cellphones?

For most of Rogers’ 9.42 million wireless subscribers, it was a blast from the past when an outage shut down their voice and text services on Wednesday for several hours, starting around 6 p.m. (ET).

Customers took to Twitter and Facebook to broadcast their anger with the company, threatening to not pay their phone bills and potentially switch to rival Bell. (Caught in the crossfire was an innocent Twitter user from Brooklyn, N.Y., named Glenn Rogers, who’s the owner of the Twitter handle @rogers.)

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But with an outage comes a little bit of light-heartedness – after the matter, of course. Here are a few tales The Globe has compiled from the night that was.

Kylee Winn, 23, Toronto:

“I never really answer my phone to begin with, so when I came home yesterday I had a voice mail from the UPS saying I needed to call them to go get my package. I tried and my phone wouldn’t work, I thought I didn’t pay my bill. So I called and live chatted with Fido. I needed my package, which was a signed Backstreet Boys CD, which I waited two months for, and UPS said if I didn’t call today, they would send it back.”

Will Adams, 18, Burlington:

“I was texting this girl that I really like. I’ve liked her for a while and I think she finally liked me back. We were texting all day in class and right around 6 p.m., I jokingly made fun of her for something she said, but I got no reply. We had been texting all day with no time between replies, and all of the sudden I heard nothing for 10 minutes. I thought I made the biggest mistake of my life. I thought maybe she’s just busy. But then I thought maybe she hates me because we aren’t on a make-fun-of-each-other basis. Turns out Rogers was down and we just Facebook messaged for a while.”

Michelle Homsy, 17, Markham:

“It was hell. I was on my way to meet my mom at the doctor’s, and we couldn’t get in touch. I was trying to call her, and she tried to call me, and we tried so hard to get in touch. Then I started panicking because I thought my phone was broken, so I started getting really mad at it. But honestly it was the worst when I couldn’t text, because it was like, I need someone right now!”

Naomi Leanage, 21, Toronto:

“It came at such a horrible time for me. I needed to pick up my younger sister, and when I went to go get her I didn’t know when to go. So I called and texted and it didn’t work, so I left early and I had to waste an extra 20 minutes to get her home. She was freaking out because she couldn’t contact me, call or text. She was blaming her phone and she was scared, worried and upset. Then when I told her it was the system, she kind of calmed down.”

Glenn Rogers, 34, Brooklyn, N.Y.:

“I receive around 30 to 50 tweets a day from angry customers who think they’re venting at Rogers Wireless. They also had an outage around five months ago which caused a similar, but not quite as large, surge in angry Canadians. From around 7 p.m. it [his phone] didn’t stop vibrating until it eventually died around 9 p.m. It’s nice to see most of them [the tweets] now are kind apologies! I eventually couldn’t keep up. There’s often some witty replies, people with a good sense of humour, and I like to respond to them when I can. But when it got into the thousands of tweets, all I could do was sit back and watch.”

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