To help their customers in light of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies continue to change the way they do business by offering relief to people who need internet access.
Many of the carriers’ efforts are a response to the Keep Americans Connected Pledge issued by the Federal Communications Commission, which is asking companies to aid their customers.
Here’s What Cell Phone Carriers Are Doing to Help People Stay Connected
So what are cell phone companies doing? Let’s look at the details of what some carriers are offering:
Through June 30, if you notify AT&T that you can’t pay your bill due to COVID-19 disruptions, it will:
- Not disconnect service for any postpaid wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business accounts
- Waive late payment fees for postpaid wireless, home phone or broadband residential or small business, U-verse TV or DIRECTV customers
- Waive overage charges for all postpaid data, voice or text customers on residential or small business wireless plans domestically
- The company also says it will keep public Wi-Fi hotspots open
Here’s how to notify AT&T about assistance: Call customer service at 800-331-0500 or sign in to submit a waiver request.
- For 60 days starting March 13, Sprint is waiving late fees for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
- Keeping services on for those who are late paying their bill due to the pandemic
- Through May 31, waiving international calling rates to U.S. customers calling countries defined by the CDC as Level 3.
- Starting March 18, customers with metered data plans will get 60 days of unlimited data (a minimum of two bill cycles) for free
- Also beginning March 18, customers will also get an extra 20GB of mobile hotspot data per month for 60 days (a minimum of two bill cycles) for free
Here’s how to contact Sprint: Call customer service at 1 (888) 211-4727 or chat with tech support.
- An expanded network capacity boosted by 600 MHz of spectrum (frequency capacity) for the next 60 days
- More roaming access for Sprint customers on T-Mobile’s network
- An additional 5GB of free data per month over the next 60 days for its Lifeline partners
- More data for schools using its EmpowerED digital learning programs. The goal is for each user to have at least 20GB of data per month for the next 60 days
T-Mobile says customers who have already talked to them and made arrangements for their account can contact them after May 13 to get an extension through June 30.
Here’s how to contact T-Mobile: Call customer service at 1 (800) 937-8997, dial 611 or send a message through the app.
Metro by T-Mobile
- As of March 13, Metro by T-Mobile customers who have plans with data will have unlimited data for 60 days (excluding roaming and the Save $15 plan).
- As of March 20, customers with mobile hotspot phones can add 10GB each month over the next 60 days
- As of April 10, those on the Save $15 plan can add 2GB of data for $5 a month
Here’s how to contact Metro by T-Mobile: Call customer service at 1 (888) 863-8768 or sign in at MyAccount.
- Extending until June 30 its moratorium on disconnections and late fees for postpaid wireless, residential and small business customers who notify them that they can’t pay due to COVID-19 disruptions
- From April 6 through July 6, giving students and teachers free digital access to NYTimes.com.
Here’s how to contact Verizon: Call customer service at 1 (800) 922-0204 or chat with Verizon Digital Assistant.
You should check with your wireless provider to see whether they’re providing free data and other perks during this time. If you need help with your bill, take action by contacting your provider.
Here’s What Home Internet Providers Are Doing to Help
Comcast is extending until June 30 its relief for customers by waiving late fees and not terminating Xfinity internet, mobile or voice services for those who notify them that they can’t pay their bill due to COVID-19’s effects.
The company is also improving its basic service — Internet Essentials — and offering it for free to new customers who qualify. Read more about it here.
Here’s how to contact Comcast: Call customer service at 1-800-934-6489 or chat with Xfinity here.
As of March 16, Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi to households with kids in grades K-12 and college students for 60 days.
To get the deal, you can’t already have Spectrum broadband service at any level up to 100 Mbps. The company says they will also waive installation fees. Spectrum says it will also:
- Open its Wi-Fi hotspots for public use
- Partner with school districts to make them aware of these services
Here’s how to contact Spectrum: Call customer service at 1-844-579-3743 or use Ask Spectrum chat here.
Has the pandemic affected your ability to pay your home internet bill? Contact your provider to see if they are offering any assistance.
See more of the companies helping customers due to coronavirus on the FCC’s list here.
Worried about your wallet? See how you can limit the coronavirus pandemic’s effect on your finances.