Cemetery hoping for a life line after dead utility buries business
PLAQUEMINE - A cemetery has been without AT&T service for a month and says it's been detrimental to business.
Grace Memorial Park Cemetery has been operating in Plaquemine for 165 years. Jacob Wilbert says the family-run business has been steady, until about a month ago when the phone lines went dead and the internet stopped working.
"We came in and tried to pick up the phone to call and it was dead," said Wilbert. "People depend on us to take care of them in a timely fashion and were unable to meet those needs."
The problem started on July 2 and he hasn't had much response from his service provider since.
"AT&T has probably been called every day since July the second," he said.
For the past month, Wilbert says business has been slowing. Two of the phone lines have been transferred to a cell phone, but with spotty service, he's concerned he's only getting a small portion of those calls.
"We don't get most of those calls," he said. "Unfortunately we have become dependent completely on technology."
Without the internet, the cemetery can't run credit cards, check emails, or send off orders. This month-long mess for his business is why Wilbert contacted 2 On Your Side.
AT&T tells WBRZ it's working as quickly as possible to repair damage from a power surge that happened when a power line came in contact with some equipment near Grace Cemetery.
In order to run the business more efficiently, Wilbert says they need the utilities they pay for.