One thing I’ve noticed about older people: They don’t like it when things aren’t working properly.
If you don’t believe me, adjust an 82-year-old man’s front seat.
He won’t be amused.
Real world example: the case of Aaron Epstein.
The 90-year-old North Hollywood resident’s been a customer of AT&T for more than 60 years.
But as it turns out, he’s less than pleased with his internet speed.
So recently, Epstein took action.
A call to customer service is okay; a letter’s one way of lettin’ them know you mean it.
Aaron went a different route.
Rather than reaching out privately, the sick-of-it web surfer aired his grievance in public — via The Wall Street Journal.
Paying for a quarter-page ad, he ripped into the company over its turtlelike transfer rate.
Addressed to “Mr. John Stankey,” Aaron’s open letter made things clear: The company’s internet service…stinks.
Mr. Epstein’s Message to the Man:
Dear Mr. Stankey:
AT&T prides itself as a leader in electronic communications.
Unfortunately, for the people who live in N. Hollywood, CA 91607, AT&T is now a major disappoinment.
Many of our neighbors are the creative technical workers in the Universal, Warner Brothers, Disney studios in the adjacent city of Burban and our city.
We need to keep up with current technology and have looked to AT&T to supply us with fast Internet service. Yet, although AT&T is advertising speeds up to 100Mbps for other neighborhoods, the fastest now available to us from AT&T is only 3Mbps.
“Your competitors now have speeds of over 200Mbps,” he pointed out.
— Raju Narisetti (@raju) February 3, 2021
Speaking to Vice, Aaron said enough’s enough — what’s with the inability to offer a faster option?
From the article:
Despite being one of the first in Los Angeles to upgrade to DSL when it became available in the 90s, he’s been waiting ever since for speed improvements that, despite persistent promises, never arrived.
Despite his complaint, the guy’s loyalty’s a real stunner.
Not only has he “used Pacific Bell telephone since [he] got [his] own phone number in 1960″…but:
“My family has had Bell service since I was born in 1930.”
“Why is AT&T, a leading communications company, treating us so shabbily in North Hollywood?”
The internet company spoke to Vice about the issue.
“We continually enhance and invest in our wireless and wireline networks. We have invested more than $3.1 billion in our Los Angeles-area networks from 2017-2019,” the multinational conglomerate explained.
Yet, per the outlet:
[A]ccording to a recent study by the telecom sector’s biggest union, only 14.93 million of the 52.97 million households in AT&T’s 21-state wireline service area have access to fiber service.
AT&T told me it has reached out to Epstein to see what can be done.
Color Aaron unimpressed:
“That’s what they’ve been telling me for the last five years. What gets my goat is, I’ve been getting snail mail advertising the faster speed, but when I call them they say it’s not available.”
More from Vice:
AT&T isn’t alone in refusing to upgrade or consistently repair America’s aging DSL lines. Numerous US phone companies like Frontier, Windstream, and Centurylink (recently renamed Lumen) have largely scaled back residential broadband ambitions, usually to focus on far more profitable efforts like business-class service or wireless video advertising.
Maybe the world needs more Aaron Epsteins to call attention to the problem.
Or, to all problems.
But that’s a mighty tall order.
Vice observed, “Epstein hoped that his $1,100 ad would finally end his wait for better broadband.”
According to Aaron, he “put the ad in the Dallas edition of The Wall Street Journal where the head office of AT&T is, and [he] also put it in the New York City edition because that’s where the investors are.”
I like this guy.
And I hope, for his sake, he only spent $1,100.
It cannot be verified, but Philadelphia’s Fox 29 offers a different number. Courtesy of its coverage, for two ads, the man shelled out $10,000.
Say it ain’t so, Aaron.
And to any North Hollywood valets taking care of Mr. Epstein’s car: For goodness sake, leave the man’s seat alone.
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