AT&T will pay a miserly $5 per account in outage compensation

Posted:
in General Discussion

AT&T will be providing bill credits to customers over the major February 22 outage, but the $5 credit will be paid on a per-account basis instead of per line.

An AT&T logo on a building
An AT&T logo on a building



On February 22, AT&T suffered from an outage that affected its cellular network across the United States. The outage meant many customers lost signal, with some iPhone owners seeing an option to use SOS via Satellite if necessary.

In an announcement on Saturday, AT&T confirmed it will compensate affected customers. However, that compensation may not be that much for some customers who have multiple lines on their account.

AT&T's Make it Right page apologizes for the outage, stating that the carrier is "proactively applying a credit" to accounts. The credit is claimed to be the "average cost of a full day of service."

The small print details that the compensation will be "One $5 credit per account" to AT&T Wireless users. While this is fairly suitable for accounts with one line, accounts with multiple lines will not receive multiple credits, just the single $5 addition.

AT&T also warns that the bill credits will be applied within two bill cycles, with most applied to the customers' next billing cycle.

Not everyone will get a credit, as Cricket and AT&T Prepaid are ruled out from compensation. AT&T Business customers are also not going to get the $5 credit, but the carrier says it will be offering some credits and will be working with Business customers on the matter.

AT&T explains that the outage was due to "the application and execution of an incorrect process used while working to expand our network, not a cyber attack." It has not seen any evidence of any third-party intervention that caused the outage, and that customer data was not compromised during the event.



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Drew.KocurDrew.Kocur Posts: 6unconfirmed, member
    I pay $40/mo. for my line, which is like $1.30/day. My service was out half a day. Five bucks seems decent, until I divide it by the 8 lines on my account.
    retrogustograndact73watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 22
    I dumped AT&T 35 years ago with no regrets.
    watto_cobrajamiedennis
  • Reply 3 of 22
    As Steve Martin would have said, "It's a profit deal."

    While my own carrier would likely offer nothing better, I'm glad I'm not an AT&T customer.
    watto_cobrajamiedennis
  • Reply 4 of 22
    After a two year class action lawsuit, who here thinks the customer would get any more than $5, while the lawyers pocket millions. I'll take my $5.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    maltzmaltz Posts: 474member
    I pay $40/mo. for my line, which is like $1.30/day. My service was out half a day. Five bucks seems decent, until I divide it by the 8 lines on my account.

    At $0.65 for half a day for one line, times 8 lines = $5.20.  $5 still seems decent, no?

    I'm on prepaid and not eligible, but I also don't think I was affected.  So I guess I can't complain.  lol

    grandact73
  • Reply 6 of 22
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,431member
    My internet bill went from 150 dollars a month to  80 dollars a month with AT&T Fiber.   Granted we stream 4k video so we needed to pay an additional amount to Cox for unlimited the reality is every month on AT&T we are saving significant money.    If I was so worried about the occasional service problems I'd guy a dual WAN capable router.   I may just do that depending on when AT&T brings Internet Air to my region. 




    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    sbdudesbdude Posts: 275member
    As though they needed to offer something at all?
    cdygrandact73watto_cobrapaisleydisco
  • Reply 8 of 22
    mpantonempantone Posts: 2,101member
    sbdude said:
    As though they needed to offer something at all?
    Technically no.

    However it is in their best interest from a customer relations standpoint. Remember that AT&T is no longer a monopoly. Their customers have alternatives (Verizon, T-Mobile).

    Realistically though this was done to thwart a massive class action lawsuit which certainly would come had they just shrugged and said "too bad."

    They can pay $5 per account now or end up probably paying the same amount in 6-7 years after spending millions on legal fees and enduring lots of hatred and subscriber churn.

    What do you do if you were AT&T senior management?
    edited February 26 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 640member
    As Steve Martin would have said, "It's a profit deal."

    While my own carrier would likely offer nothing better, I'm glad I'm not an AT&T customer.
    Your carrier will go down at some point. It is inevitable as massive systems like these do have failures. What your carrier does not like is they cannot really criticize AT&T too much since they owned the problem and paid everyone the equivalent of 4 days of free service. Your carrier and others will be expected to pay even the failure is minor.
    watto_cobrapaisleydisco
  • Reply 10 of 22
    jimh2jimh2 Posts: 640member

    GeneT said:
    After a two year class action lawsuit, who here thinks the customer would get any more than $5, while the lawyers pocket millions. I'll take my $5.
    The class action is probably in the works though the judge should throw it out immediately since AT&T has proactively handed out the $5 credit which is about what a class action suit would have yielded.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    I’m sure some actuaries somewhere calculated the $5 and felt that was fair when factoring in all the class action lawyerly nonsense.  I’m fine with $5 per line.

    However, accounts are NOT customers.  The 7 people on my acct all lost service.  Aren’t they entitled to some form of relief?  Each of those lines run $35/mo.

    Even if the compensation is a paltry $5 per line, that would seem to be a fair preemptive arrangement and reduce the likelihood of a class action settlement significantly more than the $5 per acct.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    It did not affect me adversely so $5 is free money.  But for people who depend on AT&T for gig economy type jobs like Uber and Postmates that require their cell service to be working or they don't make money, it is not nearly enough to compensate for the lost revenue. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    badmonkbadmonk Posts: 1,317member
    It makes sense to me for ISPs and TelCos to reimburse customers for proportional downtime.  If the service is down for 5% of the time for instance, you get a 5% rebate.  It would stave off class action lawsuits and provide an incentive to improve uptime.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 22
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,492member
    This will get the affected subscribers one Hamburger Happy Meal at McDonalds (in US). Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal? Forget about it. At least you'll get a toy to remind you of your loss of service for one day. Feeling better now?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    davendaven Posts: 705member
    Well, I pay $25 a month and didn’t even notice it was down so I’m not complaining.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    JonGJonG Posts: 24unconfirmed, member
    To be clear, they aren't "paying" anything.  They are offering a discount on future billing for the inconvenience.  So if you terminate service with them, you don't get anything.

    That is not a payment, it's a very cheap sounding credit. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    tyler82tyler82 Posts: 1,105member
    I pay $15/ month for Mint Mobile 5G. 
  • Reply 18 of 22
    badmonk said:
    It makes sense to me for ISPs and TelCos to reimburse customers for proportional downtime.  If the service is down for 5% of the time for instance, you get a 5% rebate.  It would stave off class action lawsuits and provide an incentive to improve uptime.
    When my Spectrum service is “down” it is up to the subscriber to call Spectrum for a billing adjustment. They do not do it automatically, 
  • Reply 19 of 22
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 1,036member
    AT&T should pay damages to people with accounts on other carriers because we were not able to contact their subscribers.  Or AT&T should pay everybody $1 million each.  Seriously though, if you are on AT&T you don't care too much about service so just take the outage and like it.  Suck it up.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    My internet bill went from 150 dollars a month to  80 dollars a month with AT&T Fiber.   Granted we stream 4k video so we needed to pay an additional amount to Cox for unlimited the reality is every month on AT&T we are saving significant money.    If I was so worried about the occasional service problems I'd guy a dual WAN capable router.   I may just do that depending on when AT&T brings Internet Air to my region. 





    I am also switching to AT&T Fiber.  I was getting ready to do so, and when Spectrum decided that the absolute best time to upgrade their network was during the day on a week day, I called AT&T right then and there.  I'm getting 3 times the bandwidth for less than half the cost.
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