These moves are designed to make sure that customers who may be losing work during the coronavirus epidemic remain connected to their family, loved ones, and medical professionals. This is both companies recognizing that hundreds of thousands or even millions of Americans may face unexpected and unplanned for financial pressures.
What are AT&T and Verizon doing?
Both companies have enacted similar policies. Neither will disconnect any residential or small business customer which does not pay its bill for internet, home phone service, or broadband for the next 60 days. The two rivals will also not charge late fees that late payment fees that any of those customers incur if they are due due to economic hardship related to the coronavirus pandemic.
These new policies do not include cable or any other services provided by the companies. AT&T has also pledged to keep its network of public WiFi hotspots open "or any American who needs them," according to a press release.
This is smart business
Eventually, this crisis will pass and customers who got cut off during a time of need would likely be pretty angry. By working with its customers AT&T and Verizon can keep them on board and figure out how to collect money owed when people get back to work.