Seniors are again without phone service, can't call for help

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by Bill Walsh

(MILWAUKEE)-- Another landline phone outage at an assisted living facility has residents and relatives on edge, and there is no permanent fix to the problem in sight.

Christina Fox came to CBS58 in late July, she was angry that her mother's phone line had been working intermittently-at-best for weeks.  When we went to AT&T with Fox's concerns, we were told that the problem had been fixed.   

Fast forward to August 11, Fox reports another long phone outage to CBS58.  And she says this outage doesn't just affect her mother's ability to contact the outside world, she says her mother's medical alert necklace is also rendered useless.  That has Fox frustrated and scared for her mother, who isn't able to move around well on her own, and couldn't reach a cell phone in an emergency.  "Worst-case scenario, if she were in an accident, and she pressed it (her inoperative medical alert), how would they know? How would they know to help her?" Fox said. 

We went to building management with our concerns, who told us they are just as frustrated as residents with the situation.  

When we contacted AT&T, a spokesperson released a statement:

Due to a hardware issue, some customers in the Becher Terrace area in Milwaukee may have experienced issues with their wireline services. Technicians worked diligently to resolve the issue and service is currently running normally. We apologize for this inconvenience.

These outages were first reported in early July, residents tell CBS58 that every time it rains, there's a good chance the phones will be down the next day.  What building management or AT&T can't or won't tell us is when to expect a permanent fix to give residents a reliable phone, and give their relatives peace of mind.  CBS58 will stay on this story until the phone issue is resolved.   

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