Metro Detroit family worried poor phone service may affect elderly mother’s medical alert system

Family says woman’s alert system routed through her phone

Local family concerned phone service issues may cut off elderly woman's lifeline
Local family concerned phone service issues may cut off elderly woman's lifeline

A Metro Detroit family says they are concerned that changes to their 98-year-old mother’s phone service could affect her medical alert system.

The family reached out to the Help Me Hank team, explaining that the Royal Oak woman’s alert system is routed through her phone.

“I went for two days, and I finally emailed my brother and said ‘Can you go over and make sure mom is okay?’ I would let the phone ring 30 or 40 times and it obviously wasn’t ringing on her end,” said Maralyn, the woman’s daughter.

The 98-year-old woman has WOW! phone service and she just received a new modem from the company. But, within the last month, it has affected her phone service, which has the potentially to affect her medical alert system.

“They fixed something and it worked for two days. And then, on Sunday, she tried three different times, three different numbers, and couldn’t make a call out,” Maralyn said. “Fortunately she hasn’t had an issue with (the alert system), but if she needed it, it wouldn’t work.”

WOW! released a statement on the matter, saying:

“‘WOW!’s teams are continuing to troubleshoot what seems to be an intermittent issue, making it difficult to isolate the source of the problem.

“A technician was out to the customer’s home on Sunday and another service visit is scheduled for this week. We continue to work on the issue and will get it resolved as quickly as possible.”

WOW! Media Relations


About the Authors:

Hank Winchester is Local 4's Consumer Investigative Reporter and the head of WDIV's "Help Me Hank" Consumer Unit. He works to solve consumer complaints, reveal important recalls and track down thieves who have ripped off metro Detroiters.

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.