AT&T and Verizon Wireless have both announced that they will offer free texts messages and calls to Japan in the aftermath of the 8.9 earthquake that struck Friday, and the devastating tsunami that followed. According to news reports, more than 10,000 people may have died in either the earthquake or the tsunami.
AT&T today announced it has implemented international calling and texting support efforts for U.S. residential wireless and wireline consumers trying to connect with loved ones in Japan, following last week’s tragic earthquake and tsunami.
Effective beginning last week, March 11, and continuing through March 31, AT&T wireless postpaid customers will not be charged for:
- International long distance usage from the United States and Puerto Rico to Japan
- Text messages to Japan, originated from a U.S. wireless number
In addition, and also effective 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.
To help its customers contact loved ones in the aftermath of Japan's devastating earthquake and tsunami, Verizon is enabling most wireless and residential customers to make free calls to Japan through April 10.
All Verizon Wireless post-paid customers will receive free calling to Japan from March 11 through April 10. Post-paid customers are those who receive a monthly bill from the company. In addition, Verizon Wireless post-paid customers will receive free text and multimedia messaging to Japan for the same time period.
All calls made from a Verizon residential landline to Japan will be rated at $0.00 per minute, from March 11 through April 10. Customers with Verizon World Plan (300, 500 or unlimited minutes of long-distance calling) can call Japan without using any minutes from their time-allotment blocks.
Additionally, Verizon Prepaid Phone Card charges for all long-distance calls placed to Japan from the U.S will also be waived from March 11 until April 10.