By Jim Donovan: To help unite families and friends in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, many phone and cable companies are temporarily waiving fees. Here is a breakdown:
From March 11 through March 31, AT&T wireless postpaid customers will not be charged for international long distance usage from the United States to Japan and text messages to Japan that originate from a U.S. wireless number
In addition, beginning with calls made from March 11 through March 31, residential wireline customers can seek credits for up to 60 minutes of direct dial calling to Japan. Upon receiving their wireline bill, customers may call AT&T to receive adjusted calling for up to 60 minutes. In other words, no charges for up to 60 minutes of call time from the United States to Japan between March 11 and March 31.
For any of the above activity, customers will either see no charges reflected on their monthly statement, or they will see a full credit applied to their statement for activity between March 11 and March 31.
Verizon is making all calls to Japan free for most residential and wireless customers through April 10. Additionally, Verizon Prepaid Phone Card charges for all long-distance calls placed to Japan from the U.S. will also be waived through the same period.
Comcast has announced it is providing free calls to Japan for its Xfinity Voice and Business Class Voice customers. For calls made to Japan by customers during the timeframe from March 11 through April 10, 2011, Comcast will remove these charges from customers’ bills. Credits and waived fees will be automatic, as no action is required by customers. Comcast will cover fees for calls made to both landline and mobile phones. Comcast’s subscriber terms and conditions otherwise apply.
Sprint is waiving and/or crediting fees for wireless calls and text messages to and from Japan for customers who are on Sprint’s networks – retroactive from March 11 and continuing to April 10, 2011.
Effective immediately T-Mobile USA is enabling phone calls to Japan for postpaid customers without charges for international long distance through March 31, 2011, and retroactive to March 11, 2011. T-Mobile postpaid customers can make Wi-Fi calls to and from Japan free of charge through March 31, 2011, and retroactive to March 11, 2011. Text (SMS) messaging is also free of charge to and from Japan for T-Mobile postpaid customers through March 31, 2011 and retroactive to March 11, 2011.
US wireless services customers can make unlimited free calls to Japan. The company said that the feature has been activated for all Cricket voice-plan customers effective immediately and will continue through March 29 March.