Woman struggles to get phone service for 5 months


Ella Truvillion lives on a fixed income. She leaves her cellphone off except for emergencies so her cell bill can remain small. That means her landline is basically her lifeline to the outside world.

That sound signals a return to normalcy for Truvillion. For five months, her phone pretty much sat idle. After she moved into her new home in August, her carrier MCI just couldn't get the phone to work.

"I kept calling MCI to come out and get the wiring straight. The service would never work," said Truvillion.

She said repair crews from both MCI came out several times to try to help her. On top of that, two appointments were missed.

"And I was given so many appointments, most of them never was kept," said Truvillion.

MCI blames the missed appointments on a third party contractor it has since dismissed. Nonetheless, her wiring was finally replaced and she began receiving spotty phone service in November.

"It if was raining, like steadily rain, it would go dead. It would come in and go off and then so much static you've couldn't even hear it," said Truvillion.

It was in November that she reached out to her daughter, Elnora Truvillion, for help.

"I was concerned my Mom didn't have a telephone, a working telephone. By her being up in age and an emergency should come," said Elnora.

MCI told us by email, "We made every effort to help resolve Mrs. Truvillion's issue. We take customer service issues very seriously and we do our best to provide a positive customer experience."

MCI says it was not contacted by Truvillion until October.

"I see so much of the work that you're doing and I never would dream that I would be one of them, your customers. But I just say thank you," said Truvillion.

By the way, Truvillion probably qualifies for California's LifeLine rate, but she was not aware the program existed. Under LifeLine, her monthly phone service for local calls could be as low as $5.47 a month.

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