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November 20, 2018

Wildwood whale-watching business sues Verizon over lost phone number

The 1-800-2GO-WHALEWATCHING vanity number belonged to Sightseer Enterprises for 25 years

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Wildwood Crest Beach Wildwood Crest/Facebook

The beach at Wildwood Crest.

The operator of a popular Jersey Shore whale-watching business is suing Verizon over a lost vanity phone number.

Sightseer Enterprises Inc. of Wildwood, New Jersey, had held the phone number 1-800-2GO-WHALEWATCHING for a quarter century, according to the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.

But the number no longer belongs to Sightseer because Verizon accidentally allowed another business to obtain it.

Charles Schumann, who runs Sightseer, is seeking damages for the loss of revenue, as well as the cost of promotional materials which were emblazoned with the phone number. The number was painted on the side of the Big Blue Sightseer, the company’s flagship whale-watching ship, and it appeared on ads, coupons, and fliers around Wildwood.

The Big Blue Sightseer itself is pretty memorable: 

Schumann reportedly filed a suit Nov. 14 against Verizon.

“He lost a significant amount of money because of what Verizon did and he hopes the court will make Verizon pay,” Matthew Litt, a Moorestown attorney representing Schumann, told the Courier-Post. "That number really means something to his business."

According to the suit, Sightseer normally asked Verizon to put the number on hold each year because of the seasonal nature of the whale-watching business. 

But last summer, Verizon disconnected the number instead of putting it on hold. Schumann’s suit alleges Verizon admitted it had made a mistake, but told him nothing could be done to correct the error.

The suit also asserts that Verizon violated federal telecommunications law by giving away the number, according to the Courier-Post.