Metro nonprofit paid hundreds per month for internet that went out 15-20 times a day

Problem Solvers
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — No internet provider is perfect, but Vicki Dercher knew what was happening to her internet wasn’t normal.

Dercher is the executive director of the Johnson County Interfaith Hospitality Network, a nonprofit that helps homeless families find shelter. The organization was losing internet connection 15-20 times a day for the last five months.

“We pay $458 a month just for internet and phones,” Dercher said. “$458 a month, and we can’t get service.”

She and her staff have spent hundreds of hours trying to get the problem fixed. They call AT&T almost every day asking for help, often having to wait on hold. AT&T hasn’t ignored the problem. It just hasn’t fixed it.

“Many repairmen have been out,” Dercher said. “They can be here back-to-back Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. None of them have notes from what the previous repairman said. ‘No we don’t keep that information,’ they tell us.”

She said some AT&T repair people blame her computers. Others have said it might be in the aging AT&T lines that link to her building. Others have no idea.

That’s why Dercher, after five months of frustration, called FOX4 Problem Solvers.

While we were there interviewing her, yet another AT&T repairman showed up. He was shocked to discover he was walking into our cameras.

Like every repair person before him, he promised to do everything he could. However, in this case, he also called AT&T to let them know FOX4 Problem Solvers was on the scene. Dercher said that made the difference.

“He shared with me that night that he was instructed to not leave the site until the situation was resolved,” she said.

Over the next two days, there was a hub of AT&T activity outside and inside her building.

“On Monday we had a total of five people here,” Dercher said with a satisfied smile.

The AT&T repair people determined the problem had nothing to do with her computers and everything to do with their own system, Dercher said she was told.

“They found disintegrated wires in the box behind our building, and he showed them to me,” she said.

Upgrades were made in the lines outside her building and even at the main AT&T station near the intersection of Antioch and College.

“They told me when they left Monday night that we have the best system in all of Overland Park,” Dercher said. “It has been gutted. Everything has been replaced.”

Since Monday at 4:45 p.m., her internet has not gone down.

“Thanks FOX4 Problem Solvers,” a much-relieved Dercher said.

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