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El Paso Internet provider abruptly shuts down, leaving angry customers required to pay a year up front

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EL PASO, Texas -- TEK 1 Wired, an Internet provider in the Borderland, posted on its Facebook page back in July that it had ceased all operations and was working with attorneys to come up with a settlement to give current customers a partial refund.

That settlement was scheduled to be finalized on Aug. 24.  

On that date, a new message was posted to the company’s Facebook page and Website that read TEK 1 Wired had run into financial hardships and is no longer operational. The new statement added that no refunds would be issued.

To get Internet from TEK 1 Wired, customers said you had to pay for a full year of service up front. The receipt says there are no refunds and service can be terminated at any time.

For customers like Mario Tapia, this was a tough blow.

"We did sign up in late April and of course, I paid for a year of service,” he said. “Of course, I only had two weeks of service. It was good then. After that, we didn't have any type of service."

Tapia said other people lost more money than he did.

"Other people had posted that not only did they get Internet service for one year for themselves but also for like their mother,” he said. “So there are people out there that paid a lot more than the $340 I paid."

Other people who lost their money were surprised that TEK 1 Wired went out of business after years of service.

A county tax office search revealed that TEK 1 Wired was a sole proprietorship in Carlos Salazar's name.

ABC-7 reached out to Salazar and his attorney for a comment, but the requests have gone unanswered.

Ninette Sierra had service with TEK 1 Wired for over three years.  She too paid in advance and lost hundreds of dollars.

"I would just like my money back," Sierra said.

Assistant El Paso County Attorney Evi Licona wants El Pasoans to know that if you feel like a  crime has been committed to file a report with your local police station.

The punishment for deceptive business practices in El Paso County is a fine up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.

Licona added that a civil suit could also be filed.

"I think it's often under-reported,” she said.

If you were a TEK 1 Wired customer and feel like they committed a crime Assistant County Attorney Evi Licona suggest you speak with your local law enforcement and file a report.

Wil Herren

Wil Herren is an ABC-7 reporter who covers both news and sports.

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