With so many people out of work or experiencing pay or hour cuts due to the Coronavirus pandemic, bills are starting to pile up. The best thing you can do about them is to contact your providers and ask them to help out. We’ve compiled a guide of who is offering what and the best way to get in touch.
If you’re worried about getting your service cut off, take a breath. Every major internet and phone provider in the country has signed the FCC’s “Keeping Americans Connected” Pledge. That guarantees that they will do three things for 60 days:
1. not terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic;
2. waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic; and
3.open its Wi-Fi hotspots to any American who needs them.
However, most are not doing these automatically. You must contact them in order to get late fees waived or avoid disconnects.
Whether you’re economically struggling right now or not, the best thing you can do is prepare by negotiating your bills. Even with service disconnects suspended, you’ll still owe the remaining balance as soon as this ends.
Here’s our guide to negotiating your own bills:
Late Fees Waived: Yes
Disconnects Suspended: Yes
New Low Income Customers: 60 days free on Internet Essentials, if you are low income don’t already have service.
Phone Number: 800-266-2278
No unlimited data overages from March 13 – May 13, 2020. Unlimited data plan will be automatically credited during that period.
Internet Essentials speeds have been upgraded from 15/2 Mbps to 25/3 Mbps
Spectrum (Charter/Time Warner/Brighthouse)
Late Fees Waived: Yes (but may require contact)
Disconnects Suspended: Yes (but may require contact)
New Low Income Customers: 60 days free if you there is a student or teacher in the household and you don’t already have service.
Phone Number: 888-615-0301
If you already had Lifeline, Verizon’s low-income offering, they are waiving 60 days of bills. New bills will continue to be sent, but they will be credited after two billing cycles. This only applies to households that had Lifeline before 3/20/2020.
Late Fees Waived: Yes (but may have to contact)
Disconnects Suspended: Yes (but may have to contact)
New Low Income Customers: 60 days free on Connect2Compete for low-income households, then $9.95.
Phone Number: 800-234-3993
Speed upgrades for Starter, Essential, StraightUp Internet, and Connect2Compete to 50Mbps though May 15.
Data overage fees suspended.