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The offer, which was first announced March 13, originally said the company would not turn off service or charge late fees for individuals and small businesses with 50 lines or less who are unable to pay their bills due to coronavirus-related disruptions for 60 days, or until May 13.
“Now more than ever, we need to ensure that our customers, their families and businesses have the ability to connect to the internet even if they’re facing financial hardship from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic,” said Verizon Chairman and CEO Hans Vestberg. “We want to ensure that our customers can continue to use the internet to work, learn, and carry on with their lives as we all address this collective challenge. We’re confident this joint effort will help make that happen.”
To take advantage of the offer, customers will have to notify Verizon ahead of time if they're unable to pay bills, which can be done through the company's support site.
The announcement comes as part of the Federal Communications Commission's “Keep Americans Connected” initiative, which has been signed by at least 700 companies, including AT&T, T-Mobile and Alphabet's Google Fiber, to help "keep the nation’s economy moving forward" by ensuring connectivity and offering assistance to customers and small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
According to the company, most of its wireless customers are on unlimited data plans. Customers who are not are encouraged to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots whenever available, which do not count against a customer’s data usage.
Verizon says it has not seen "any measurable increase" in data usage on any of its networks.
Last week, the company said it lost 68,000 wireless phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill in the first quarter amid lockdowns due to the coronavirus outbreak, according to its first-quarter earnings report for 2020. Verizon has also been forced to close down 70 percent of its stores.
|VZ||VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS INC.||57.22||+0.39||+0.69%|
Verizon stock closed at $57.81 per share during Monday's trading session.