Verizon Wireless and AT&T state that both waive mobile data congestion charges to help customers cope with the coronavirus pandemic. However, the fees are not waived automatically. Instead, Verizon and AT&T users must contact airline customer service and state that they are suffering from a pandemic financial emergency to reduce fees.
This story originally appeared on Ars Technica, a trusted source for technology news, technology policy analysis, reviews, and more. Ars belongs to WIRED's parent company, Condé Nast.
Unlike Verizon and AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint provide customers with unlimited data during the pandemic without having to contact customer service. T-Mobile announced on March 1
Verizon announced in a press release Monday its excess relief program and released an FAQ on how it works:
We asked Verizon if customers needed to show that they couldn't pay because of the pandemic, but we didn't get an answer. Support options for cellular networks are available on this page. Here you will find support for private households.
Verizon does not impose data restrictions on its DSL and fiber optic home Internet services, so overhead is only incurred for certain cellular plans with monthly data limits. Some of Verizon's restricted plans only slow down customers' Internet speeds after they consume their data. However, other Verizon mobile plans impose overrun fees of $ 10 per gigabyte once the customer limit is reached. According to Verizon, more than half of its mobile customers have unlimited plans.
Verizon also adds 15 GB of 4G LTE data to customer accounts at no additional charge, which could prevent some people from exceeding their limits. The additional dates can be used from March 25th to April 30th and apply to both regular telephone plans and hotspots. Until April 30, Verizon offers customers unlimited domestic calls with limited voice minutes and free international calls for mobile and home language customers in Level 3 CDC countries.
AT&T announced an exemption from the data cap on Sunday. "From March 13th and for the next 60 days, we will waive domestic cellular, data, voice, or text charges for cellular or small business customers due to economic concerns Coronavirus pandemic difficulties arise. "  When contacting Ars, AT&T said customers would need to contact customer service to waive the fees. "Customers who are in trouble can chat with a representative online on att.com to request relief," said AT&T. The exemption will be available through May 13. Customers don't have to prove they can't pay because of the pandemic, AT&T told Ars.