90-year-old man spends $10,000 on Wall Street Journal ads to shame AT&T
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A 90-year-old California man was so irked by slow internet at his home, he took out two Wall Street Journal ads to shame the CEO of AT&T into fixing it — and it worked.
Aaron Epstein, of North Hollywood, paid $10,000 for the matching quarter-page ads on Feb. 3, griping that the firm failed to provide his neighborhood with internet faster than 3 megabits per second.
“An open letter to AT&T CEO John Stankey,” the ad begins. “AT&T prides itself as a leader in electronic communications. Unfortunately for the people who live in North Hollywood 91607, AT&T is now a major disappointment.”
The complaint continues, “Although AT&T is advertising speeds of up to 100 MBS for other neighborhoods, the fasted now available to us from ATT is only 3 MBS.”
The ads were also printed in the paper’s Dallas, Texas, edition, where the company’s executive offices are headquartered — and it appeared to work.
Epstein told local station KTLA he got a call back from the office the same day they ran.
“We’re going to see what we can do for you,” he said an AT&T rep told him, adding that the company may put in fiber optics in his area to speed up the internet.
Epstein, who has been an AT&T customer since 1960, said he used the old-fashioned newspaper method of getting the executive’s attention because he doesn’t use social media.
“With the response I’m getting … it’s accomplishing my goal,” he said.
“The money we could’ve spent for other luxuries is going to something that’s also giving us pleasure.”
An AT&T spokesman said in a statement that the company frequently enhances its networks and invested $3.1 billion in the Los Angeles area from 2017 to 2019.
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