Turmoil at GAW Miners Spreads to Subsidiary Phone Service

By February 4, 2015Bitcoin Business
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GAW

Customers of GAW High Speed Internet, an Internet and phone services provider operated by the parent company of controversial bitcoin startup GAW Miners, are reporting service issues.

The development is notable as GAW's phone customers aren't the only ones experiencing disruptions to their service. The news comes amid reports of SEC investigations into GAW Miners, senior staff exits and the potential resignation of GAW Miners CEO Josh Garza, suggesting the service interruptions may also be indicative of broader operational issues at the parent company.

PayBase customers have been reporting issues on Hash Talk, GAW Miner's community forum, in recent weeks. For example, the company locked users out of PayBase after the launch of a planned gift card service and an internal market crash that followed on 18th January, an incident which sent the price of paycoin plunging. GAW Miners also recently announced the shutdown of its ZenCloud cloud mining platform.

Both GAW High Speed Internet and GAW Miners are subsidiaries of Genius At Work Corp, and the Internet service and phone provider is owned by GAW Miners investor and Cantor Fitzgerald vice chairman Stuart Fraser.

Garza, who serves as chief executive for GAW Miners and cryptocurrency platform PayBase, also acts as CEO of both GAW High Speed Internet, according to the Better Business Bureau, as well as GAW Corp.

Small businesses impacted

Platterpus Records of Easthampton, Massachusetts, has been experiencing phone problems since at least 22nd January, taking to both Twitter and Facebook to report issues it says are shared by other area customers.

Indications that customers of GAW were experiencing phone problems surfaced on 22nd January, when Platterpus took to Twitter to alert its followers about the phone issues.

We (along with a few other businesses on Cottage Street) are having some problems with our phone service. For... http://t.co/XYMqb2xmBX

— Platterpus Records (@PlatterpusToo) January 22, 2015

The company posted a similar update to its Facebook page.

Eight days later, Platterpus posted an update, noting that GAW had not returned its calls. Notably, the small business tagged CEO Garza directly. 

8 days without phone service. NO response from GAW despite numerous calls. I tried to go with the "underdog" but this is crazy. @gawceo

— Platterpus Records (@PlatterpusToo) January 29, 2015

Issues linger

Even after this outreach, however, the small business experienced continued delays.

On 4th February, the record store announced that it was still without phone service and suggested that GAW was unable to perform repair services. 

2 weeks w/o phone service. GAW Internet can't fix it. What kind of company do you run? Anybody else would have it fixed in 24 hrs. @gawceo — Platterpus Records (@PlatterpusToo) February 4, 2015

The store stated that five local businesses were affected by the outage, and also openly questioned whether GAW was still operating.

@gawceo Josh - Is GAW Internet still in business? 5 businesses in Easthampton, MA have hadno phone for 2 weeks. No response from GAW. — Platterpus Records (@PlatterpusToo) February 4, 2015

Rising criticism

GAW has faced a rising tide of public criticism following a string of delays and platform problems, including perhaps most notably, its decision to abandon a plan to stabilize the price of its bitcoin competitor paycoin at $20.

The move was followed by the last-minute postponement of a proposed buyback that would have seen customers be reimbursed for purchases at this value. At press time, the value of 1 paycoin is $1.03.

CEO Josh Garza also recently canceled a much-anticipated speaking appearance at The North American Bitcoin Conference (TNABC) Miami, citing issues with the launch of the company's planned gift card service PayFlash that weekend.

The cancelation sparked confusion and derision from both within the GAW Miners community and the digital currency ecosystem at large as the forum was meant to address longstanding questions about the company's business practices, as well as its future.

CoinDesk has reached out to GAW but did not receive an immediate response.

CoinDesk will continue to provide updates as the story develops.

Image via Shutterstock

The development is notable as GAW’s phone customers aren’t the only ones experiencing disruptions to their service. The news comes amid reports of SEC investigations  into GAW Miners, senior staff exits and the potential resignation of GAW Miners CEO Josh Garza, suggesting the service interruptions may also be indicative […]

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