Count Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile among those service providers extending their policies through June 30 to not charge late fees or cancel services for consumers and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The policies previously ended on May 13.
The carriers are among the services providers that signed onto the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected pledge, committing for 60 days to not terminate service for customers impacted by COVID-19. The pledge also includes waiving late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of the pandemic and opening Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
Customers need to notify their carrier if they’re unable to pay their bills due to disruptions related to the pandemic. During Verizon’s earnings conference call last week, CFO Matt Ellis said about 800,000 customers by mid-April had told the company about their inability to pay their bills due to COVID-19.
Also last week, U.S. Cellular announced that it had extended and expanded its support for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through July 31, U.S. Cellular customers on any plan will not be charged any overages. It’s also providing customers on certain plans with an extra 15 GB of hotspot data and eliminated data limits on high-speed internet plans, so customers using its in-home Wi-Fi service will continue to get the data they need during shelter-in-place orders.
Cable rivals also are upping their commitments. Comcast is extending its commitments for Xfinity customers through June 30 to help ensure students can finish out the school year from home and remain connected to the internet during the crisis. Comcast also is making its Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots in business and outdoor locations across the country available to anyone who needs them for free, including non-Xfinity internet subscribers.