Action Report helps N.O. East man out of tricky financial situation

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 29, 2013 at 6:28 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 6:40 PM

Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

NEW ORLEANS -- Robert Alberti has worked for Carol Zulli's restaurant supply company for over three decades.

"He was diagnosed with cancer right around Katrina," Zulli said. "He lost his house like most people, his mother shortly before Katrina, and worked the entire time while he was on chemotherapy."

On July 4, 2012, the utility pole in front of Alberti's home broke and pulled the meter off his house. He was powerless for days.

"It was miserable," Alberti said. "It was really bad."

Repairing the damage cost him $650. The broken pole had a BellSouth tag on it, which is now AT&T, but they couldn't get the company to reimburse Robert.

"AT&T insisted it wasn't theirs," Zulli said.

"It is frustrating," Alberti said. "I didn't want to pursue it."

"Robert's like family, and this just wasn't going to go," Zulli said.

"She kept going. She didn't stop," Alberti said with a laugh.

On my first visit I walked up and down the block checking the ownership tags on all the poles I could find. Every one of them said AT&T, so I contacted the company, told them that, asked them to take another look.

And when they did, they found a simple mistake had been made.

"An engineer verified that it was most likely an old BellSouth pole, and there's so many other poles on that block that belong to BellSouth, now AT&T, we decided to go ahead and pay that homeowner," said AT&T spokeswoman Sue Sperry.

"I was calling Robert, I got your money," laughed Zulli when the AT&T check arrived.

"I can't believe it," Alberti said. "Oh, it means quite a bit."

"It means that they were trying to do the right thing, and they did," Carol said.

 

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