[Update 3/24: We’ve found a few more relief efforts and highlighted them below.]
We are currently in the middle of a global health crisis that has drastically altered the lives of millions of individuals around the world. In addition to directly affecting those who have fallen ill and their loved ones, COVID-19 has also started taking its toll on the social aspects of the human condition. Social distancing guidelines, limitations on gathering sizes, and widespread closures aimed at slowing disease transmission all help curb disease transmission. However, these same measures that are helping to keep us safe have begun impacting our communities by causing us to lose touch with friends and family.
Luckily, we are living in a golden technological age — one where our mobile devices and computers can connect us to anyone around the world, effortlessly and instantly. And in an effort to keep these devices running and connected without issue, several prominent tech companies have begun picking up the slack by offering various relief efforts such as unlimited data to customers. Join us as we look at a handful of altruistic gestures by major tech companies that help minimize the social isolation caused by the Coronavirus.
Although AT&T’s best phone plans are already truly unlimited, AT&T has found a way to help customers affected by the coronavirus. They’ve done so by vowing to provide billing relief to customers through a variety of means:
- No terminations or late fees (wireless, home phone, home broadband, or small business) for those who can’t pay their bill due to the coronavirus (call 800-288-2020 to let them know)
- Public access to the nationwide network of AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots
In addition to providing relief through their wireless plans, AT&T also is helping home and business internet users by offering unlimited data without caps and more. Check out AT&T’s relief page for more.
Mint Mobile already offers extremely competitive pricing and great overall service. We even took them for a test drive in our full review in order to experience what it’s like switching to Mint. Long story short, they’re great.
But the good times don’t stop with their high quality service and great prices. Mint is offering free unlimited high-speed data for all customers from now until April 14. To take advantage of this offer, do the following:
- Download the latest version of the Mint Mobile app on your mobile device
- Tap “account” and then “buy more data”
- Purchase additional data in 3GB increments (95% of your data add-on must be used before you can add another)
Although the system will initially charge your credit card for the upgrade, you will be refunded within 24 hours. I tried this myself and was refunded in approximately 2 hours. More details and a visual walkthrough can be found on Mint Mobile’s unlimited data promo site.
Sprint is also doing away with data caps by providing unlimited data. They are also going the extra mile by offering billing assistance to those affected by the Coronavirus. Here is the full list of relief benefits they are offering for the next 60 days:
- Customers with metered data plans get unlimited data
- Additional 20GB of mobile hotspot for Sprint customers with tethering plans
- Customers without a tethering plan now get 20GB of mobile hotspot
- No service termination or late fees for customers unable to pay their bill due to the coronavirus
[Update 3/24: In addition to the unlimited data and other benefits mentioned below, T-Mobile is offering a new set of relief efforts to help those affected by the coronavirus:
- T-Mobile doubled network capacity by leasing access to additional 600 MHz spectrum owned by other carriers
- Later today, T-Mobile is launching the brand-new T-Mobile Connect plans, which start at just $15/month for unlimited talk and text, with 2GB of high-speed data. Starting tomorrow, March 25, this pricing will be available for Metro by T-Mobile customers as well for a limited time.
- And to make your time practicing social distancing a little more enjoyable, T-Mobile is giving away 2 months of YouTube Premium (ad-free) to users with the T-Mobile Tuesdays app. Just make sure to cancel before those two months are up in order to avoid the $11.99/month subscription fees.]
Similar to Mint, T-Mobile is offering unlimited data to all customers with data subscriptions. In addition, the un-carrier is going above and beyond by also offering the following benefits for the next 60 days:
- Unlimited smartphone data for ALL current T-Mobile and Metro by T-Mobile customers with data plans
- Additional 20GB of mobile hotspot for T-Mobile and Metro customers with tethering plans
- Free international calling to level 3 impacted countries
- T-Mobile Lifeline customers will get an additional 5GB of data per month
- Increased data to at least 20GB per month for schools and students using EmpowerED digital learning programs
Rounding out the list of wireless providers, we have Verizon. Just like AT&T, all of Verizon’s best phone plans are already truly unlimited. However, Verizon is still able to help customers by getting rid of service termination for customers unable to pay their bill due to the coronavirus. Visit Verizon’s relief page to learn more.
Xfinity Wireless and Home Internet
[Update 3/24: In an effort to help make social distancing a little less painful, Xfinity cable customers now have access to a much wider array of free video content. Simply say “Free” into your Xfinity Voice remote to learn more. In addition, Comcast is also providing relief through its Xfinity Mobile wireless network. As we recently touched upon in our Xfinity Mobile deals roundup, the carrier has extended some of their limited-time deals for a few months. This lets new customers get great perks such as a free $50 Visa gift card when signing up and bringing your own phone.]
Wireless networks aren’t the only providers offering relief. Comcast is also stepping up to help consumers through a variety of means including providing free access to the nationwide network of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots and eliminating data caps. Here is the full list of relief efforts offered by Comcast for the next 60 days:
- Free access to the nationwide network of Xfinity Wi-Fi hotspots for everyone
- Data plans are paused, effectively giving all customers truly unlimited data at no charge
- No service termination or late fees for customers unable to pay their bill (call to set up alternate payment plans)
- Low-priced Internet Essentials service is now free for new customers for 60 days
- Educational and informative content now available on X1 for school-age students at home
While a global crisis is never a good thing, it’s inspiring to see us all come together to help each other in this time of need. So use that additional data and make sure to send your friends and family a few extra FaceTime or Skype calls. And remember to follow the WHO’s guidelines to keep yourself and those around you safe.