Valentine's Day should be the busiest day of the year for businesses that trade in love.
But one of Cincinnati's oldest tattoo shops saw almost no business this year on the big holiday — no heart tattoos, no initials of their loved one — because their phones have been out for days, and people think they have closed.
Dana Brunson has been painting body art on Cincinnatians for four decades.
But for the first time ever at his Northside shop, Tattoo Designs by Dana, business is way down right now, because their phone lines have been down for nearly a week.
Callers hear only a fast busy signal when they try to make an appointment.
Brunson's wife Dorothy says it couldn't have come at a worse time for the business named best tattoo shop by Cincinnati Magazine several times.
They normally make thousands of dollars on Valentine's week, she explained.
"People usually come in the whole week before Valentine's Day to buy gift certificates for loved ones or to get a heart tattoo," she said. "And that's non existent this week!"
Customers think they closed
These days most people aren't affected that much by a phone line outage because we all use our cell phones.
But if you're a small business that depends on that phone number, an outage can have a huge impact.
"They don't even know if you are open, they are questioning what's going on," she said.
Cincinnati Bell reports 200 customers out throughout the Northside area, and says it hopes to have the outage fixed Friday.
The Brunsons, meantime, are now looking into getting a backup VOIP line from Spectrum cable. But they say nothing will make up for several thousand dollars of lost Valentine's business.
"Lots of broken hearts today on Valentine's Day," she said.
If you run a small business or even sell things from home, this is a reminder to have several ways for customers to reach you, from Facebook to VOIP lines and even a listed cell phone number.
That way you don't waste your money.
Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").
Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)
For more consumer news and money saving advice, go to