A California man frustrated with slow Internet service from AT&T has spent $1,100 trying to get the CEO's attention. In a quarter-page ad published in the Wall Street Journal Wednesday, 90-year-old Aaron Epstein tells CEO John Stankey that he has been a customer since 1960—and the company has become a "major disappointment" for residents of his North Hollywood neighborhood. "We need to keep up with current technology and have looked to AT&T to supply us with fast Internet service," he wrote. "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." "Why is AT&T, a leading communications company, treating us so shabbily in North Hollywood?" he asks in the ad, which can be seen here.
Epstein tell Ars Technica that the slow service sometimes makes it impossible to watch streaming services. He says he often sees ads offering the faster service, but whenever he asks AT&T about it, they say they're working on upgrades—but don't say when that will happen. He says he also pays for Charter's cable Internet service but normally only uses AT&T because "in order to get phone service, I have to use the AT&T modem." He says a technician could probably change the set-up—but he and his wife don't want to have people come to their home during the pandemic. Ars Technica notes that AT&T has slashed its workforce by almost a sixth since 2018, meaning there are fewer technicians around to install fiber cables and maintain the old DSL service. (Read more AT&T stories.)