- AT,amp;T and Verizon will not apply late fees or surplus fees for the next 60 days.
- The move comes in response to the continued impact of the coronavirus on the U.S. economy.
- A record number of Americans applied for unemployment benefits this month.
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With the US economy. USA Shabby and millions of people currently struggling to pay their bills, Verizon and AT,amp;T recently announced that they will not charge subscribers excess fees for exceeding their monthly bandwidth allowance.
It is a good gesture, but the problem is that surplus fees will not be automatically removed. Rather, subscribers should contact Verizon and AT,amp;T directly over the phone. We can only hope that enough staff are available to accommodate what could well be an avalanche of callers.
Incidentally, Verizon will also waive late fees for people who can't make their monthly payments on time. Verizon's suspension of late fees and surplus fees will apply for 60 days and will run from March 16 to May 13. In addition, Verizon announced Monday that it will automatically provide subscribers with 15GB of additional data from March 25 to April 30.
Similarly, AT,amp;T earlier this month said it will waive late payment charges and surplus charges for a period of 60 days beginning March 13.
The AT,amp;T announcement says in part:
In keeping with FCC President Pai's "Keep Americans Connected,quot; promise announced today and the concerns raised by members of Congress, which we share, AT,amp;T is proud to support our customers by promising that, over the next few years, 60 days (from March 13, 2020), we will:
- Failure to terminate the service of any residential or small business wireless, residential or broadband customer due to their inability to pay their bill due to interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- Do not apply any late payment charges that may be incurred by any residential, residential, wireless broadband or broadband telephone customer due to financial difficulties related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- (NEW) Waive national wireless data, voice or text surplus charges for residential or small business wireless customers incurred due to economic hardships related to the coronavirus pandemic.
- Keep our public Wi-Fi hotspots open for anyone who needs them.
AT,amp;T subscribers who cannot pay their bills can call support at 1-800-288-2020. In particular, we've seen reports that AT,amp;T subscribers won't have to provide proof of financial hardship to take advantage of AT,amp;T's updated regulations.
Altogether, AT,amp;T and Verizon's response is commendable and to be expected given that the coronavirus has completely disrupted the American economy. With almost all businesses closed and millions of people trapped in their homes in the lockout, the unemployment rate is now at its highest point.
To that end, the United States Department of Labor said today that a record number of people applied for unemployment benefits this month:
In the week ending March 21, the anticipated figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the revised level of the prior week. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October 1982.
Consequently, the Senate this week approved a $ 2 trillion aid package, the largest in United States history.