STUART, Fla. — Earlier this week, WPTV received several calls from AT&T customers who were dealing with an outage for more than a week and couldn't get any answers from AT&T. Contact 5 stepped in and their service was restored within hours.
For Paulette Aufort, her phone and her medical alert device are her lifeline.
"I just put it around my neck, carry it all the time," Aufort, 97, said. "I take it off at night and if I fall, I got one in the bathroom, too, in the shower. I just press that and they get the alarm."
When WPTV talked with her earlier this week, she was without internet service and her landline for 16 days, and she doesn't have a cellphone.
"I like my little portable," Aufort told Contact 5. "I hear better on them than everything else."
Aufort's daughter, who lives in Mississippi, called WPTV, concerned for her mother.
Neighbors stopped by to check on Aufort and lend her their phones, but Aufort and her daughter said they were having trouble getting answers from AT&T.
"He didn't say what it was or when it was going to be," Aufort said. "So what could I do? Just wait."
Aufort told WPTV that several other people who live in her 55+ community have been affected.
Contact 5 spoke with another resident, who is also in her 90s. She shared the same frustrations as Aufort.
"The frustrating thing is not being able to know why," Randy Pfeiffer, who lives in Wellington, told WPTV.
When Contact 5 spoke with Pfeiffer the same day as Aufort, he was having the same problem in his Wellington neighborhood.
"Both my wife and I are Realtors," he said. "It's sort of a 24/7 kind of thing and we have to respond to people in the evening."
Pfeiffer's internet service was out for seven days.
"We were able to find out at least how many people in our area were out and that was 99, plus us," Pfeiffer said.
Contact 5 spoke to AT&T officials, who said they weren't aware of the outage. After giving AT&T both Pfeiffer's and Aufort's names, Pfeiffer's service was restored within a few hours.
Contact 5 called AT&T again for Aufort on day 18 of her service being out. It was finally restored after the call.