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A committed kvetch: Old Jewish man buys ad in newspaper to complain about slow internet

We’ve all been frustrated with our internet service providers at one point or another, but one Jewish man took his kvetch game to the next level.

Aaron Epstein, a 90-year-old from California bought a quarter page ad in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday to lambaste AT&T CEO John Stankey over his company’s slow internet speeds in his area.

“Dear Mr. Stankey: AT&T prides itself as a leader in electronic communications. Unfortunately, for the people who live in N. Hollywood, CA 91607, AT&T is now a major disappointment,” Epstein wrote. According to Epstein’s ad, AT&T’s maximum download speed offering for the area is only 3Mbps, while their competitors offer speeds of more than 200Mbps.

According to AT&T’s website, the company advertises speeds of up to 940Mbps in some parts of the country.

Epstein paid to run the ad in both the Manhattan and Dallas – where AT&T is based – edition of the WSJ, which cost him some $1,100 he told Ars Technica in an interview.

“I get very annoyed because, periodically, I get snail mail and periodically I see ads on TV and ads on the internet offering the faster service [from AT&T],” he said.

The area is one of the few regions where AT&T’s still operates an outdated DSL-based internet, a service they will soon be discontinuing

So why doesn’t Epstein switch to a different provider? For one, he’s been a customer since 1960, something he specified in the WSJ ad, and he relies on AT&T for his phone service. Besides, he noted, he doesn’t want to risk an outside technician coming into his home during a global pandemic.


David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein

David Ian Klein covers breaking news and international Jewish communities for the Forward. You can reach him at and on Twitter @davidianklein .

Old Jew buys newspaper ad to complain about internet

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