AT&T customers frustrated over outage

AT&T customers frustrated over outage
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - One telephone company is in the hot seat again after another round of cell service outages. It happened during the August flood and it appeared to have happened again Thursday night.

Customers with AT&T said they are worried the company will leave them hanging during an emergency.

Brittany Lombard and her 3-year-old Chevy were outside Friday taking advantage of the cooler weather, which was a breath of fresh air for the toddler who had been cooped up inside trying to get over a cold.

Lombard, who is an AT&T customer, said on Thursday, Chevy was out of medicine and she was without a car and no cell phone service.

"I couldn't send a text message and every time I tried to place a phone call it said emergency calls only, and I couldn't get online or do anything," Lombard said.

Because Lombard does not have wifi or a landline, she said she had no choice but to sit and wait.

"I noticed it went out around noon and every once in a while I would get a text message, but I couldn't send one out. I couldn't place any calls and it finally came back on at around 1 a.m.," Lombard said.

Lt. Laura Gremillion with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Communication Division said the AT&T outage did not impact 911's ability to provide emergency services but it did affect the ability for some residents to call 911 if they needed those services.

"When they can't get in touch with us that's the problem we can't help solve for them," Gremillion said.

The sheriff's office said the outage serves as an important reminder to homeowners to invest in a landline. It was the subject of a public service announcement a couple of years ago and the message is coming back stronger than ever.

"Especially households with small children who may not know their address or phone number or maybe mom and dad's name," Gremillion said. "It gives us that security to know we can reach that info off of our screen and see exactly where that call is coming from."

Lombard said she is not sure whether she will have one installed, but she has decided to cut her connection with AT&T.

"It just seems like there's always something, there's always a problem, and I thought after the flood they might have got it together and figured something out but it's still have nothing but issues," Lombard said.

Some of the customers said AT&T did offer them a reimbursement following the outage. However, the company did not return WAFB's calls for comment Friday.

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