104-year-old great-grandma without landline for month, family frustrated with company's response

LOS ANGELES - Christine Garner was born in 1919, 43 years after the telephone was patented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876. The landline phone has been her main communication tool all her life. It's the way she keeps in touch with family and the outside world. Now she's been without it for nearly a month, and her family wants answers.

"She doesn't get out much these days," said her great-grandson and caretaker Prince Mitchell.

He and his 85-year-old aunt Dessie Tyson, Garner's daughter, have tried for a month to get AT&T to fix her landline. They said the company keeps promising to come out by 6 p.m. on a certain day, but doesn't. They said they've tried multiple times and, according to Tyson, "they keep giving us these different excuses that it's going to be fixed. It's going to be repaired and nothing is happening."

When asked why Garner can't just get a cell phone, Tyson said, "My mom would never be able to operate a cellphone. Because when I go over there, I let her use my phone, and she doesn't even know how to hang it up."

SUGGESTED: California landline phones may be dead

All of this conversation comes at a time when AT&T has filed a formal request with the California Public Utilities Commission to phase out traditional landline service.

In a statement to FOX 11, AT&T said that, "No customer will be disconnected. We are not canceling landline service in California and none of our California customers will lose access to voice service." But, later in the statement, the company said "We're working with the remaining consumers who use traditional landline service to upgrade to new technologies," which they say include "fiber and wireless."

Tyson said her mother would likely struggle with wireless as well. Right now, she just wants her mom's phone fixed because "that's what keeps my mom going."

AT&T did respond to FOX 11, saying they would look into Garner's disrupted service. By late Monday afternoon, they had reached out to the South LA family, but the issue still hasn't been resolved.