Our people can accomplish so much thanks to our customers. It’s why AT&T employees are always looking for creative ways they can bring smarter, faster service no matter the situation: from solving challenges on the phone to offering solutions in our retail stores. But staying customer-centric isn’t just about what happens in our offices – it extends to our communities.

Read some of the many stories our people have shared on how they served customers first in moments that were as extraordinary as they were unpredictable. These employees pulled through with their quick thinking, passion and pride.

Providing Basic Supplies

In-home expert Austin Bunn and his sales team braved wildfires on the west coast to make sure those seeking safety had everything they needed. While local farmers offered their land for shelter, some sheltered over 100 people. With so many in the area, these farms often lacked the resources that evacuees needed.

“We played movies for the kids, delivered pizzas and gave out care bags to each person with water, sports drinks, snack and meals you add water to,” Austin said.

The lead at the farm thanked the team and said, “This was a real boost to everyone’s spirits.”

At Happy Valley, Oregon, evacuees slept in their cars near the mall. They had enough food thanks to local businesses, so Austin and team deliver pillows and blankets.

“I spent two days on level two evacuation (level three means “get out, fast”) and that inspired me to do this. Being in a place where I had an opportunity to help was a big factor.”

Dealing with Disaster

In the wake of Hurricane Laura, our Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) team jumped into action.

NDR volunteers Josh Swindell and Lou Fiorenza put in a full day doing maintenance on equipment and leading training on the team’s new amphibious vehicle at the base camp in Lafayette. However, their biggest assignment came shortly after they headed to the hotel that night.

“About two hours after they left camp for the hotel, we learned of an immediate repair that needed to be done – and Josh and Lou were the closest crew,” said the NDR Incident Commander for Hurricane Laura. Their only response was, “we’ll change our clothes and get on the road.”

The team dispatched from the warehouse shortly after 10 PM and completed the job just before sunrise.

Lake Charles Manager Continues Providing Service

Amid all the power lines, trees and store ceilings downed by Hurricane Laura, Lake Charles Center retail store manager Chance Henry often hears how grateful customers are for our service.

“Competitors’ customers would come into the store and realize we were open. The first thing they say is, ‘Help. I need help. I can’t talk to anyone to tell them I’m alive.’ We’d let them use our company phones to make calls.

“At this point we’re making sure people have what they need the most – a connection to others. Just seeing their faces when they realize we’re open to help is so great.

“I’ve been blown away by how quickly AT&T mobilizes here. Within a day, we had a charging center and mobile store in all three of the corporate locations and one mobile store we can drive around for customers who can’t get to us.”

Our retail stores and business sales teams jumped in and worked together to take care of our customers. “Not one time over the past several days did someone tell me to call someone else. Everyone’s taking ownership and saying they’ll take care of it. We stand together and win as one.”

Little Things, Big Impact

Bob Trela makes sure everyone in the field – stores, sellers and managers – have everything they need to work and stay safe. As he puts it, our people are often there “when the worst things happen – hurricanes, tornadoes, crises.”

So, when the pandemic hit, it’s not surprise that he was there. When hospitals in New York City asked for help to locate chargers for doctors and nurses, Bob got it done. He quickly located inventory left from previous storm seasons, then coordinated with the hospitals, adapting to social distancing and quarantine restrictions and arranged to get all the devices shipped quickly.

Bob found nearly 1,000 personal power banks – portable batteries – to donate to healthcare professionals so they could stay connected during this unprecedented time.

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