AT&T Offers Wireless Billing Relief for Rescue Workers in Haiti
Waives International Roaming Call Fees, Data Usage and Texting Charges from Haiti to Support Relief Workers
Dallas, Texas, February 2, 2010
AT&T* (NYSE:T) has further bolstered support for Haiti relief workers by waiving wireless usage charges for customers in Haiti who make/receive voice calls, use wireless data services or send text messages, in order to show the company’s support for those helping with relief efforts. The billing relief will be retroactive to Jan. 12, when the earthquake hit, and will be in effect until Feb. 28, 2010.
Additionally, AT&T is developing a calling/data plan specifically designed for relief workers in Haiti who remain there after March 1. While details are not yet finalized, the plan will help ensure that AT&T customers who are working on relief efforts in Haiti will be able to communicate as needed.
“AT&T is proud of the work our customers are doing to provide aid and support to the people of Haiti,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “This is not a short term-relief effort – rescuers will be working in Haiti for some time to come. Minimizing voice and data charges for our customers who are on the ground there is just one way we are demonstrating our commitment to help Haiti rebuild.”
"We are so grateful to see AT&T stepping forward with such a generous gift for the people tirelessly working to help in Haiti," said David Meltzer, senior vice president for international services at American Red Cross. "It's an exemplary move, and it will mean that more resources can be devoted to the many needs of the victims of the earthquake."
All of the fee relief will be automatically applied and customers do not need to take any action.
Following are details on the billing relief plans:
- Voice calls. Depending on a customer’s bill cycle date, roaming fees for voice calls made or received from Jan. 12 through Jan. 27, 2010 will either be automatically rerated to zero (and not appear on the customer’s bill), or if already billed they will be credited on the customer’s next bill. Customers’ monthly recurring charges will not be waived.
- Data and text messages. AT&T will also waive per kilobyte charges for data usage as well as charges for text and photo messages sent from customers’ devices in Haiti.
- Data usage and text messages sent from Jan. 12 through Jan. 30, 2010 will either be automatically rerated to zero on the customer’s bill, or if already billed they will appear as a credit on the customer’s next bill. Data usage and text messages sent from Jan. 31 through Feb. 28, 2010 will be rerated to zero on the customer’s bill. Customers’ monthly recurring charges will not be waived.
- Ongoing support. AT&T wireless customers have given millions of dollars to the Red Cross International Relief fund by pledging a $10 donation via text message from their mobile devices. To date, the Red Cross 90999 Haiti relief fund has received more than $30 million in pledged donations. Of that amount, AT&T customers have pledged more than $12.3 million.
AT&T has provided a $50,000 donation to Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF) to support their relief work on disasters in Haiti and around the globe. This support has been augmented by funding to two other leading organizations. Project HOPE and Aidmatrix have each received $50,000 to support their work from AT&T.
AT&T coordinated the donation of 10,000 wireless phones to Voila, a Haitian wireless carrier. Voila turned to AT&T for help, and AT&T arranged to airlift 1,000 Motorola wireless phones to Haiti, which Voila representatives could then provide to many in dire need of communications devices. AT&T then reached out to business allies Brightstar and Sony Ericsson. Brightstar agreed to share with AT&T the cost of providing and delivering 5,000 more wireless devices, while Sony Ericsson donated 1,000 more phones to the Haiti relief effort. In addition, Motorola, Samsung and LG have since donated 1,000 wireless devices each.
Internally, AT&T is providing a way for U.S. based employees to donate to a group of relief agencies at a special company Web site. Employees have donated more than $160,000 so far.
AT&T has joined the U.S. State Department’s Communications Sector Assessment Team on a mission to Haiti. Mike Castillo, one of the company’s seasoned network and construction engineers arrived last week to provide expertise and support as the team determines the extent of damage the earthquake caused to the country’s communications infrastructure and, wherever needed, facilitate the restoration of viable communications networks for the people of Haiti.
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