INDIANAPOLIS - Tension spilled over as long lines braved the cold to switch their cellphones due to a sudden business change with their provider.
Revol Wireless sent text messages to its customers saying it was closing, so they had a small window of a few days to switch to new phones.
Panicked customers arrived and formed long lines outside a Revol store in the Southern Plaza shopping center off US 31 and Interstate 465 on the south side Wednesday.
Four-year customer Juanita Johnson told the Call 6 Investigators she waited in the cold for three hours to have her phones switched out to Boost Mobile, which is taking over the accounts. Her monthly plan jumped from $32 to $50.
She said, "Merry Christmas to me, right?"
Another customer who braved the sometimes tense crowd in the cold, William Kessler, said he was a customer for five years when he got the sudden notice that he had to switch his phones out at the store by Christmas Eve.
Customer Judy Ollis said the surprise text message left her feeling uncertain about whether her phones would all go dead if she did not rush in for the switch.
Several shouting matches erupted as people accused other customers of cutting in line. Lines stretched 30 and 40 people deep out the doors from 10 a.m. into the afternoon hours.
Most customers seemed to leave satisfied after store staff individually switched their phones over to Boost Mobile devices, but even those customers expressed frustration over how the switch was handled just before Christmas.
The text message urged customers to log onto Revol's website for details on the switch, but some said that did not alleviate their concerns.
Customers said they rushed in to the store because there were no guarantees that their service would be switched without the surprise trip into the crowded store.