A People's United Bank phone line gave the time and temperature for decades. This weekend it went dark.

Photo of Brian Lockhart

When Gregory Bavedas’ parents taught him to dial a telephone, they used Bridgeport-headquartered People’s United Bank’s time and temperature line.

“You’re talking 40 years ago. I’m 43,” Bavedas, of Fairfield, said Monday.

He and his wife have continued that tradition with their two young daughters — until Sunday night.

“We’re gathered around the phone. ... I’m shushing the kids and dial to get the weather update,” Bavedas recalled. “And it came through as disconnected. My heart sunk.”

Nearly 24 hours later on Monday afternoon nothing had changed. Anyone who phoned 203-366-4242 heard the standard “the number you have dialed is not in service” recording.

But a People’s spokesman Monday assured Hearst Connecticut Media that the service was not discontinued as Bavedas feared.

“A carrier network issue caused the ... time and temperature phone line to temporarily be unavailable and a team is working diligently to restore functionality as soon as possible,” Steven Bodakowski, the bank’s first vice president of corporate communications, wrote in an email. “As a community bank, we established the line more than 40 years ago as one of the many ways we continually aim to be a part of our customers’ lives beyond managing their financial needs.”

Bodakowski continued, “We know that our customers use and rely on the time/weather line due to its familiarity, simplicity and the nostalgia that comes with it.”

Indeed, Bavedas acknowledged he would obviously not be without easy access to another daily weather forecast if the phone line were retired. His Samsung Galaxy phone displays the current conditions in Bridgeport as well as the four-day forecast.

“I can go to that, I guess,” Bavedas said.

But he likes the “hyper-local” feel of what People’s offers and does not believe he is particularly put out by having to mash his finger tip against his screen a few more times to ring the service.

“It’s convenient, reliable and it’s always been there,” Bavedas said.

The bank could not immediately provide data of how many people use the phone line.

“I’ve wondered are there more people like me out there who still call it?” Bavedas said. “To have it not be there, part of me felt gutted. It was like a gutting experience. ... I’m so relieved.”