HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Imagine this: contractors show up to your house and dig up your yard to install fiber lines. Then, suddenly, you have sewage backing into your home, and nobody seems to want to pay for the damage.
This is exactly what happened to Patricia Whitley in July 2022.
After spending $4,000 on repairs, she realized why her sewer line was broken.
A few weeks before, contractors for AT&T had dug up her yard to put in fiber optic cables.
"They gave us a claim number, and then we never heard anything. Anytime we call, we get shoved around. Haven't gotten anything in the mail or any calls from him," she said. "I want my money. Since it wasn't my fault, and they say it happens from time to time."
Just down the street in her northwest Houston neighborhood, Johnny Oetljen's yard was also dug up in June, he said, by the same AT&T contractors.
When his wife did laundry, the water started seeping out of the bathtub.
"It was probably about two inches deep in the bathroom," he explained. "Came out here, got all the floor wet and went out in the hallway, came up in the bathtub and the other bathroom, and started running."
He said he paid $8,000 to put in a new floor.
AT&T's contractors, he says, two weeks ago offered to pay just $4,000.
In both cases, paperwork from AT&T shows the company directed the homeowners to file claims with the contractors who did the work.
"That's all it's been," he explained. "Passing around from one company and one person to another, beating around the bush, and not getting anything done."
ABC13 reached out to AT&T and received this statement:
"Our goal is to minimize impact on residents before, during and after construction related to our work to bring high speed fiber internet to these communities. In this case, we've reached out to the contractor who did this work to follow up with both residents regarding the status of their claims."
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