Restore jobs, Blumenthal tells AT&T

John O'Brien Sep. 8, 2008, 2:44pm


HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline) - Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal will soon take action against AT&T in an effort to change the company's customer service practices.

Blumenthal said Monday the company has a poor record of dealing with customers' complaints and hopes the company will restore some of the 1,000 jobs eliminated in recent years. Blumenthal is intervening in proceedings before the state's Department of Public Utility Control.

"These 1.67 million telephones are not a luxury," Blumenthal said. "They are lifelines to hospitals and police and families. Without the means to stay connected, citizens are at risk.

"AT&T answers its phones four times slower than other telephone companies, and its call abandonment rate is four times higher."

Blumenthal says existing repair service standards need to be enforced by the DPUC. For the past eight years, AT&T, he claims, has failed to fix 90 percent of out-of-service phones within 24 hours.

The Communications Workers of America joined Blumenthal's cause.

"AT&T has been downsizing since 2001," said William Henderson, president of the CWA Local 1298. "Over 1,000 jobs have been eliminated in Connecticut since that time..

"We are the same workers who once received awards and commendations for providing excellent customer service, including the JD Power Award. It is time for AT&T to stop making excuses and invest in customer service needs right here in Connecticut."

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