Aaron Epstein, from North Hollywood, California, has been a customer of AT&T’s since 1960.
However, according to Epstein, over the last few years, he has noticed that his internet speed has been slowing down to his frustration.
Speaking to KTLA, the longtime customer said that he had continuously tried to speak with the telecommunications company about the issue and to ask about faster speeds, only for AT&T to promise that faster internet was coming despite representatives informing him that the faster speed was not available in his area yet.
“I kept calling AT&T [and asking] ‘When are you going to give us a faster speed?’ They said, ‘It’s coming, it’s coming.’ But what really made me angry was they started putting ads in the paper and sending emails and putting ads on the internet [saying], ‘Try our faster speed,’” Epstein told KTLA.
The situation forced the 90-year-old to take matters into his own hands, by taking out two ads in the Wall Street Journal, one in Dallas, Texas, where AT&T is headquartered, and one in New York City, which he directed at AT&T CEO John T Stankey.
Titled: “Open letter to Mr John T Stankey, CEO AT&T,” the ads begin: “Dear Mr Stankey:
“AT&T prides itself as a leader in electronic communications. Unfortunately, for the people who live in North Hollywood, CA, AT&T is now a major disappointment.”
The ad then goes on to explain that many who live in the neighbourhood are “creative technical workers” that work for nearby companies such as Universal, Warner Brothers and Disney, who “need to keep up with current technology” and have looked to AT&T to do so.
“Yet, although AT&T is advertising speeds up to 100 MBS for other neighbourhoods, the fastest now available to us from AT&T is only 3 MBS,” the ad continues. “Your competitors now have speeds of over 200 MBS.”
Epstein concluded the ad with a question, writing: “Why is AT&T, a leading communications company, treating us so shabbily in North Hollywood?” before signing it with his name, phone number and email.
According to Epstein, the ads did what he wanted them to do, as he told KTLA that he received a call from AT&T the same day they ran and that a representative told him: “We’re going to see what we can do for you.”
As for the public response to the ads, the reactions have been mixed, with some applauding Epstein for taking the step while others said the tactic was a “waste of money”.
“I aspire to be this petty one day,” one person wrote on Twitter.
The Independent has contacted AT&T for comment.