FOX 8 Defenders get results for elderly woman with phone service outage

The phone lines and internet are currently down at the St. Charles Parish CourthouseSource:...
The phone lines and internet are currently down at the St. Charles Parish CourthouseSource: Flickr Commons
Published: Aug. 17, 2017 at 7:10 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 23, 2017 at 5:23 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - For many of us, living without phone service for even a day would be a big inconvenience. Imagine 14 days or longer. Hoping to get his elderly mother back online, a New Orleans man turned to the FOX 8 Defenders for action.

"Oh I think she was very anxious because that really is her lifeline," John Herbert said.  His 96-year-old mother had no landline phone service through AT&T at her Uptown home for more than two weeks. "If I picked it up over there, all I could get was a buzzing. I couldn't get a dial tone," he said.

What concerned him even more was if she had any type of emergency, she couldn't use her medical alert system, which normally allows her to simply press a button to call for help.

With no phone service, his elderly mother was isolated with no way to communicate with anyone. Herbert called AT&T daily, but felt no one was sensitive to the issue.  "Every morning at 7 o'clock I'd call them. 'Oh yeah, we got ya on the list, we can see it here on the screen,' and every day it was kind of a different story," he said.

Frustrated at the lack of progress, he called the FOX 8 Defenders. "I was getting desperate. I don't know what made me think about it when I did, but I said I'm gonna give it a shot. I went online and saw FOX 8 Defenders and filled it out as best I could," Herbert said.

He filled out the Defenders online complaint form, which went straight to our NCJW volunteers and FOX 8 Defenders office, which jumped on the case. We made one call to AT&T, and Herbert's mother's phone line was back in service the next day.

"She was quite happy. She was relieved no doubt about it," Herbert said. His mother got her lifeline back, and Herbert has some peace of mind.

"We apologize for any inconvenience the customer experienced during this complicated repair," AT&T spokesperson Tarvis Thompson said.

She released the following statement from AT&T:

"Wireline service was fully restored after the repair of a cable eight feet underground.  We remain committed to responding to outages and restoring service to customers as quickly as possible when issues occur."

The FOX 8 Defenders staffed with volunteers from the National Council of Jewish Women also field consumer complaints at 1-877-670-6397 or you can fill out an online complaint form

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