Solve It 7: Device Downtime

HINGHAM, MASS. (WHDH) - You know the old saying there’s no place like home? It’s especially true for Joyce Barber, of Hingham.

“How long has your family been here?” asks 7News’s Kris Anderson as they walk around her yard.

“1783,” Joyce says.

The beautiful coastal town is where Barber lives on land that has been in her family for centuries.

“My grandmothers and other relatives were Native American,” Joyce says.

As she has gotten older, Joyce isn’t quite as steady on her feet as she used to be.

“I have fallen at least twice,” she says.

Knowing how dangerous that can be, Joyce purchased a medical alert necklace from a local senior services organization several years ago.

“If I fall, it automatically goes off,” she says. “Or, I can press the button.”

That sends a signal to an emergency response company. The staff can then send medical help if needed. That’s exactly what Joyce needed two years ago when she felt sick and couldn’t stand up.

“I just took my button and called the ambulance to come get me,” she says. They came just in time.

Joyce had a serious gallbladder issue and had to have emergency surgery. Her necklace helped save her life. So she was concerned earlier this year when she noticed there was a problem with her important lifeline.

“I realized that then that the button wasn’t operable,” Joyce says.

It wasn’t a quick fix. Joyce says it took the senior center five months to send her a new alert necklace and that wasn’t the only issue. All that time she didn’t have a working necklace, she was being charged $30 a month for the service.

Joyce says senior services told her she was still responsible for the charges even though the device wasn’t working.

“I’m on a limited income,” she says. “I should be refunded the money because all those months I haven’t had the service.”

This time, Joyce didn’t press the button for help. Instead, she called Solve It 7!

With senior services unwilling to return the money, we reached out to the emergency alert company. The COO told us that they contract their services and products to senior centers, who in turn sell to their customers and collect payment. That’s why the company wasn’t aware of any of the problems that Joyce was having, but he wanted to help her.

“After you all had spoken with him, [he] called me and said that he was from the area and that we was going to make it right,” Joyce says.

And he did. As a goodwill gesture, the COO sent Joyce a check for $150, reimbursing her for the five months of the service she paid for while her device wasn’t working.

“Solve It 7 was very instrumental in getting my money back,” Joyce says. “Thank you for being an advocate for those who can’t solve the problem themselves.”

Is there a problem you can’t solve on your own? We want to hear about it. Send us an email at or give us a call at 617-367-7777.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)