Verizon Will Give You a Bit More Time to Come Up With the Cash

Illustration for article titled Verizon Will Give You a Bit More Time to Come Up With the Cash
Photo: Cindy Ord (Getty Images)

Verizon won’t make you pay late fees—or cut off yourself altogether—if you can’t pay due to coronavirus-induced financial hardship. The carrier announced today that it will extend its new non-payment and late fee policy through the end of June for individuals and small businesses.

Advertisement

The main caveat is that customers will need to let Verizon know that they are having trouble paying their bills; Verizon won’t automatically assume unpaid bills are do to covid-19 and will likely cut you off if you don’t inform them.

Back in March, Verizon and several other major telecom companies agreed not to cancel customers’ internet and cell phone service for 60 days, or through the end of May. The agreement was part of an FCC initiative to “Keep Americans Connected.” Verizon also added an extra 15GB of 4G LTE hotspot data for customers with unlimited data plans, as well as 15GB of extra data for customers on prepaid and postpaid metered standalone or shared data plans.

Advertisement

But this extension may not benefit some customers, according to a recent analysis of the program. Customers who are subscribed to Lifeline, Verizon’s government assistance program for qualified, low-income individuals, who have home phone service and/or Fios Home Internet service qualify for Verizon’s covid-19 relief package, but customers with a DSL plan don’t. In addition, Verizon said that new Lifeline customers are not eligible to have their first two billing cycles waived, though they will have access to discounted Fios home internet.

Verizon told Gizmodo that it’s extending its low-income internet option for new Fios Internet customers and waiving router charges for two months. However, Verizon did not say if new Lifeline customers would be eligible to have any billing cycles waived this time around.

Fios is only available in certain metro areas, like New York City and Boston, in eight states, compared to its DSL service that is more broadly available in 11 states. But Verizon’s DSL service largely covers rural areas in those states, which are statistically less likely to have access to fast, reliable internet.

Staff Reporter, Reviews at Gizmodo. Formerly PC Gamer, Maximum PC.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

...it will extend its new non-payment and late fee policy through the end of June for individuals and small businesses.

At which point people who have lost their jobs or been put on indefinite furlough will owe even more money but have even less. Then, when Verizon thinks nobody is looking, they start breaking kneecaps.

Wake me up when these companies do the right thing and waive all bills for people hit the hardest by the pandemic for the full duration of their unemployment.

This goes double for the entire rental industry. Deferring payment is almost meaningless. Forgiving it is the only thing that will get us out the other side of this disaster without heretofore unseen levels of socio-economic catastrophe.