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  • AT&T Waives Voice, Data, and Text Overage Fees for Tornado Victims in Oklahoma


    In response to the devastating tornado that hit Oklahoma City recently, AT&T announced that it will be waiving all overage charges for those affected through June 30.

    For those of you who aren’t fully aware of what’s been going on, on Monday afternoon local time, Oklahoma City saw a large tornado system rip through parts of the city and surrounding areas. The whole catastrophe left many buildings flattened and at least 91 fatalities in its wake. According to The New York Times as well as several other media outlets, the storm system was one mile wide.

    Several hours later, AT&T ended up announcing that it would be supporting efforts by waiving voice, data and text overage charges through the end of June for affected areas. According to Bryan Gonterman, the state president for AT&T Oklahoma:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the tornado that hit the Oklahoma City area Monday. We are coordinating with local authorities and bringing in additional resources.
    Due to expectedly high call volumes, Gonterman recommended that those who are trying to reach friends and family in the region should use text messaging instead of voice communications. The wireless carrier also reminded customers that they can contribute $10 to Red Cross humanitarian efforts by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. The donation will be charged as part of a user’s monthly bill for those of you who decide to contribute.

    It’s nice to see larger companies providing relief efforts for such a catastrophic event.

    Source: The New York Times
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Waives Voice, Data, and Text Overage Fees for Tornado Victims in Oklahoma started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 33 Comments
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by BamaWaterfowl13 View Post
      Well then by your very courteous and intellectual insight, every company and/or person that has made or will make a donation or waive anything for these victims is just doing scumbag marketing or wanting people to look at what they did. If you say differently then present us with a list of what people or companies would have donated money or help to this town just for the heck of it if there was not a natural disaster? Who is to say that AT&T will not make donations to help in rebuilding and/or economic recovery? At this point they are focusing on cellular overages that people are incurring because they are trying to find out where friends and family are.

      You can argue that these charges would not have occured if it were not for a disaster, but I would rather AT&T say don't worry about paying these overages than to expect them to pay them even though most of these people just lost everything they had. There are a lot more things that these people should have to worry about than having to pay cellular overages like rebuilding their homes and trying to salvage what wasn't blown away to who knows where.
      Amen!!!

      Obviously there are a lot of MMI members who can't see the good that is being given. Shame on you all!

      Sincerely,
      The guy w/ a skewed image of 'care!' LOL!
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      Quote Originally Posted by BrainSmashR View Post
      I wasn't with AT&T at the time...does anyone remember if they did this when hurricanes Katrina and Rita ravaged my state and our largest city was under 10 feet of water?
      AT&T was Cingular back in 2005 but Cingular did help raise money for victims and even had a program that gave affected people a free phone and like $75 credit, which was only good for a few hundred minutes, but that was better than nothing.
    1. thazsar's Avatar
      thazsar -
      Quote Originally Posted by Perceptum View Post
      And if AT&T waived their bill this month, then you would say "It will take more then a month to rebuild. This is just a marketing ploy." If they donated 1 million dollars to the community, then you will say "Only 1 million, they are cheap. Look how much money they are making! It's only a marketing ploy." If they handed out phones to everyone, gave them lifetime free usage, and gave each person 1 million dollars, you will still say "That still doesn't make up for me losing my unlimited plan. It's just a marketing ploy!" If this article was never written, then these same people would be complaining about something else. Grow up.
      Exactly my thoughts!!

      You others need to go complain somewhere else!
    1. slim.jim's Avatar
      slim.jim -
      Quote Originally Posted by Perceptum View Post
      And if AT&T waived their bill this month, then you would say "It will take more then a month to rebuild. This is just a marketing ploy." If they donated 1 million dollars to the community, then you will say "Only 1 million, they are cheap. Look how much money they are making! It's only a marketing ploy." If they handed out phones to everyone, gave them lifetime free usage, and gave each person 1 million dollars, you will still say "That still doesn't make up for me losing my unlimited plan. It's just a marketing ploy!" If this article was never written, then these same people would be complaining about something else. Grow up.
      +1
    1. BamaWaterfowl13's Avatar
      BamaWaterfowl13 -
      Quote Originally Posted by thazsar View Post
      You others need to go complain somewhere else!

      Or drop AT&T and go with Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc. because I am sure that none of them would offer to help individuals with their cellular overages. They would instead donate money that may or may not directly go to those people.

      I had a friend that was directly affected by the tornado in Tuscaloosa, AL back in 2011. There were millions donated in relief efforts to the city. How much of those millions went to purchase the chainsaws we used to cut the tress off of his home? How much of that money bought us water to drink while sweating? How much of that money got us around town in our vehicles trying to find out if the rest of our friends were okay? That's right, NONE! At that time it would have been nice to have your cellular phone carrier say don't worry about overages, use your phone all you want and stay in touch with your family and friends to see if they need help or to see where they are at.

      Even though this didn't happen, we never once complained that not enough was being given or being done. Instead we manned up and did the work ourselves to help friends and neighbors. It's sad that there are a couple idiots on here complaining because a cellular carrier is waiving the phone charges for their customers instead of doing what they think said company should be doing. Sometimes the best help is in the small things and not how much you get.

      AT&T may not donate money to help with relief efforts but they are brining in things to help with communication so that people and workers can stay in touch. They may not give millions but they are giving their customers one less thing to worry about. They may not do what you think they should. If you think they should be doing more, then how about you sit down and write them a letter or make a phone call and voice your opinion. Or better yet, donate your money to relief efforts or make the drive to help people you've never met clean up the remains of their lives and homes. Do something rather than sit on the computer and piss and moan about the unlimited data you used to have.
    1. njp316's Avatar
      njp316 -
      Ok this is a good deed by AT&T. Nothing more nothing less.
    1. Gino210's Avatar
      Gino210 -
      It's a marketing strategy plain and simple, PLUS tax deductible!! Is a very clever move. Sorry AT&T you can do better than that !!!
    1. Perceptum's Avatar
      Perceptum -
      Quote Originally Posted by UrghArgh View Post
      Short of writing a letter to AT&T (which they won't read anyway) and driving to OK (sorry, I have a family that depends on me to work), I have done all of this, but unlike AT&T I don't put out press releases about having done so. What have you done rather than sit on the computer and piss and moan about others pointing out the BS nature of AT&T's "charity"?
      You may not have put out a press release, but you still mentioned it here. Pretty much the same thing.

      Quote Originally Posted by UrghArgh View Post
      I'm a lifetime resident of South Florida and was directly affected by both Wilma and Andrew (hurricanes for those that don't know). I assure you that, in both situations, I was far less concerned with overage charges on my wireless bill than with where my family and I would be eating and sleeping for the next several weeks.

      EDIT: I admittedly did not have a wireless phone during hurricane Andrew...
      So AT&T shouldn't help people because there are more important things to worry about the cell phone usage? Really?!?!
    1. Cowboy's Avatar
      Cowboy -
      Guys ripping AT&T isn't helping or should even be apart of this thread. AT&T is doing people a huge favor. Trying to track down loved ones and family is very difficult at times like this. I live in Oklahoma (didnt get hit thank goodness) but during the time the storm was coming in towers were getting hammered it took me 10 calls to finally connect to my wife.
      But waiving overage charges is huge and they charge overage because it does cost them money so they are taking a hit. I don't see any other provider doing this.
      AT&T is doing a great and awesome thing for those families effected by the tornados.
    1. zeppy's Avatar
      zeppy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Gino210 View Post
      It's a marketing strategy plain and simple, PLUS tax deductible!! Is a very clever move. Sorry AT&T you can do better than that !!!
      + 1,000,000

      At a minimum most companies including AT&T should allow customers who lost their homes and more a way to apply for and receive some sort of substantial $$ credit on their current bills and not just overage!

      Edited AT&T rant due to past unforgiven AT&T grievances:
      Overage is a token offer and you are right, AT&T did step up.
    1. slim.jim's Avatar
      slim.jim -
      Quote Originally Posted by zeppy View Post
      + 1,000,000

      At a minimum most companies including AT&T should allow customers who lost their homes and more a way to apply for and receive some sort of substantial $$ credit on their current bills and not just overage!

      Overage? Really! Greed and Arrogance, two of the attributes that AT&T currently has left in it's evil empire.
      Here is the issue with offering money back for something that AT&T didn't cause, if you do it once and then don't do it another time you still look like a bad guy. If you do it every time there is a natural disaster the company would go broke or, everyone's bills would get higher and they would loose customers and still go broke. They are a business first and a charity maybe 1000th. This is the problem with the American society, everyone wants a handout but when they get something for free it's never good enough.
    1. zeppy's Avatar
      zeppy -
      Quote Originally Posted by slim.jim View Post
      Here is the issue with offering money back for something that AT&T didn't cause, if you do it once and then don't do it another time you still look like a bad guy. If you do it every time there is a natural disaster the company would go broke or, everyone's bills would get higher and they would loose customers and still go broke. They are a business first and a charity maybe 1000th. This is the problem with the American society, everyone wants a handout but when they get something for free it's never good enough.
      Edited AT&T rant due to past unforgiven AT&T grievances:

      Overage is a token offer and you are right, AT&T did step up.

      AT&T has done a lot of bad things in the past... :-) could not help myself to be honest and felt compelled to beat up on AT&T.

      Thanks for your response slim.jim.
    1. BrainSmashR's Avatar
      BrainSmashR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Channan View Post
      AT&T was Cingular back in 2005 but Cingular did help raise money for victims and even had a program that gave affected people a free phone and like $75 credit, which was only good for a few hundred minutes, but that was better than nothing.
      That's actually pretty significant IMO...roughly 1.4 million people in the NO metro area, 80% of which were at least temporarily displaced. I had several friends that lost everything, 1 even waded through chest deep water to the hospital (where his wife worked) and they were trapped for 4 days before being evacuated.