West Ashley families without landline for month demand better from phone carrier
Customers say service restored one day after Live 5 News reached out to carrier
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A woman and her son say more should have been done after she was without a landline for over one month.
Queen Little has lived in the North Forest Acres neighborhood in West Ashley for over 40 years.
Her phone line has been out since June 5. Queen suspects it was cut during construction work on Playground Road.
For the last six weeks, Queen’s son, Darrin Little, has been persistently calling their phone carrier, AT&T.
“They gave me a date for when it would be on, that day came and went and it wasn’t on,” Darrin said. “Called again, called again, called again, kept getting dates and dates and dates.”
Queen has underlying health issues, and Darrin said not having a working landline in her house is dangerous.
“She needs a means of communicating with me, with my brothers, in an emergency she needs that phone,” Darrin said.
Queen said she keeps minutes on her cell phone but rarely uses it. She said she feels more comfortable with a permanent, dependable option, like her landline.
“I’m a senior citizen, I’m 78 next month. I need things like that,” Queen said. “And especially having COPD, I could have a flare-up any time.”
One day after Live 5 News reached out to AT&T, phone access was restored to Queen’s household.
The phone rang for the first time in Queen’s household in over a month during a Live 5 News interview with Darrin and Queen. It was AT&T calling to let them know phone access was restored.
“We’ve been calling for weeks, and nothing has happened until Live 5 reached out to them, and now ironically, the phone’s on,” Darrin said. “Our conversation didn’t matter, but when you guys reached out to them, it mattered.”
Queen said she has had a lonely month without a phone, describing her home as a “ghost house.”
“They fixed it today because y’all came here and I appreciate y’all doing it, but it should never have been that way because I’m a paying customer,” Queen said.
It wasn’t only Queen that went without a landline.
Betty Poaches lives a couple of streets over from Queen, and also went without landline access for six weeks.
Poaches has lived in the North Forest Acres neighborhood since 1959. She is not able to use a cell phone because of her hearing aids.
Her daughter said over the last six weeks she’s worried about her mother’s safety.
“Without her having a phone I came here every day, because she had no protection,” her daughter, Regina Gamble, said.
A spokesperson from AT&T provided the following statement:
We’ve restored home phone service to this customer following repairs to a section of our cable that experienced water damage during recent heavy rains. We apologize for the delay.
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