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AT&T Outage Leaves Williamston Residents Without Cell Service

AT&T hiking prices, but raising data caps
Posted at 2:15 PM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 14:45:59-05

LANSING, Mich. — For almost 10 days residents of Williamston have been without cellular service. In speaking to a representative from AT&T this outage is due to a "Tower Degregation" in the area.

Tower Degregation is not the answer that most residents want to hear, and instead they would rather have their service back, and their ability to communicate with others restored. In talking to a number of residents we found that this has impacted residents in different ways.

Michele Bisard, a resident of Williamston shared that "My phone starting having issues last Tuesday (Jan. 28). It has affected my whole family. I can only rely on text messages and not everyone checks their texts while working."

Derrick Zenker explained this current situation with AT&T is "making it impossible to get things done... I have to either leave the house and drive till I get good reception to have conversations or text only. Communication with the wrestling club that I run for Williamston is a inconvenience as parents are trying to get a hold of me before or during or after practice and they only get one out of four words that I am saying. I’ve had customers hang up on me in frustration, AT&T keeps saying it is fixed but the problem still exists."

Tammi Smith, another Williamston resident commented that her "Husband is a mail carrier and calls me throughout the day to let me know how his route is going or tell me what time we can meet for lunch etc. Every single day for the past few weeks, when he calls, it’s all garbled and he sounds like a robot. I usually can only understand maybe 1-2 words out of 10. I’m hoping AT & T will be willing to give us some kind of credit for this."

Finally, another resident who wished not to be named explained that because of this outage she was "unable to discuss bills and (medical) appointments without loading up the kids and driving out of the area and sitting in my car to make calls."

We reached out to AT&T for comment and John, a Technical Service representative for AT&T said that a potential planned restoration is set to be on Thursday, February 6, 2020. However, some residents from Williamston claim that they called last week and were told that service was planned to be restored by Friday, January 31. John explained that the reason for not meeting this possible deadline includes "parts not being received, weather or other factors". John was apologetic and stated that he was sorry for any inconvenience that this caused people in the community.

John also shared that he encouraged residents of Williamston that are having continued service issues while in Williamston to set their phone to use WIFI calling on their phones, if you have WIFI available where you live or work.

On an iPhone, you would go under the cellular tab to make these changes to your phone.

On an Android, you need to click on connections and then more cell connections to make the change

When asking about whether customers will be credited for their cellular phone bills, John stated that he was able to give a $25 credit for customers. When I shared with him that other residents were told that they could get up to $50, he said that he would request this but that it would require manager approval. When he put in this request he was informed that the $50 request went through and that approval was not necessary.

This shows that AT&T customers in Williamston should plan to call once service is restored to ask for a credit and to know that the scale that is being offered initially and what could be received may be different.

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