Major carriers waiving late fees, not cutting off service during coronavirus pandemic
The four major U.S. phone carriers have pledged to keep customers connected to their phone service even if they can't pay their bills during the coronavirus pandemic.
Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile have signed on to the FCC's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge."
It asks major carriers to help customers in three ways for at least the next 60 days:
1) Not cut off service to residential or small business customers who can't pay their bills due to coronavirus disruptions.
2) Waive late fees incurred due to outbreak conditions.
3) Open Wi-Fi hotspots to "any American who needs them.
AT&T said it wants to help customers stay connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. "We recognize that staying in touch with your family, friends, school and work has never been more important," the carrier said.
AT&T said that for the next 60 days, it will:
- Not terminate the service of any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer because of their inability to pay their bill due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Waive any late payment fees that any wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business customer may incur because of economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Keep our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for any American who needs them.
To provide further relief and support, AT&T also announced:
- Unlimited AT&T Home Internet: All AT&T consumer home internet wireline customers, as well as Fixed Wireless Internet, can use unlimited internet data.
- It will continue to offer internet access for qualifying limited income households at $10 a month through its Access from AT&T program.
- AT&T World Connect Advantage: Business customers currently on or who purchase an AT&T World Connect Advantage package receive 50% off the current rate in a monthly bill credit (max $7.50/month).
Verizon announced that for the next 60 days, it will waive late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus.
In addition, Verizon will not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus.
T-MOBILE & SPRINT
T-Mobile said that "in these unique circumstances, access to unlimited data is more important than ever. So today we are stepping up to take measures that will ensure that ALL current T-Mobile customers on plans that currently have data are provided the unlimited connectivity they need to learn and work."
All current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited smartphone data for the next 60 days (excluding roaming).
The carrier will provide T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers on smartphone plans with hotspot data an additional 20GB of mobile hotspot / tethering service for the next 60 days.
T-Mobile is also partnering with its Lifeline partners to provide customers extra free data up to 5GB of data per month over the next two months.
It is also icreasing the data allowance for free to schools and students using our EmpowerED digital learning programs to ensure each participant has access to at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days.
Additionally, T-Mobile is also offering free international calling for all current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers to Level 3 impacted countries.
The carrier will ensure residential and small business customers impacted financially by the pandemic do not lose service.
T-Mobile is expanding roaming access for Sprint customers to use the T-Mobile network.
"With expanded roaming access tens of thousands of locations nationwide, schools and families connected to Sprint's network will have expanded coverage and capacity – including in rural areas – over the next 60 days," T-Mobile said.