People stand around a table that a store has placed outside with power bars for cell phone charging, in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in New York November 1, 2012. (Photo : Reuters)
Verizon users in the New York and New Jersey areas affected by Hurricane Sandy have one less thing to worry about-those pesky voice and text charges. On Sunday, the mobile carrier announced that it would waive charges on domestic voice and text usage between October 29 and November 16.
"Verizon Wireless continues to focus its efforts to assist customers in the regions hardest hit by Hurricane Sandy," it said in a Hurricane Sandy FAQ page on its website. "We announced November 4th that customers in portions of New York and New Jersey will not be billed usage charges for domestic voice and text usage incurred between October 29th and November 16th 2012. No action is required by our customers to be eligible for this program."
Customers in the areas outlined by the mobile provider will not have to do anything, Verizon stated. Instead the mobile provider will simply not credit users for any voice and text activity. However, the company will continue to charge monthly access charges.
The following New York and New Jersey areas are included in the program:
New York: Bronx County, Kings County, Nassau County, New York County, Putnam County, Queens County, Richmond County, Rockland County, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.
New Jersey: Atlantic City, Bergen County, Burlington County, Camden County, Cape May County, Cumberland County, Essex County, Gloucester County, Hudson County, Hunterdon County, Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Morris County, Ocean County, Passaic County, Salem County, Somerset County, Sussex County, Union County, and Warren County.
The company added that it hopes customers will recoup before the program's November 16 cut-off date. "By 11/16 we're hoping that the lives of our customers impacted by storm will have returned to pre-Sandy normalcy," it wrote on the FAQ.
According to CNET, Verizon had restored 99 percent of its service along the East Coast by last weekend. In addition, the mobile provider deployed Mobile Wireless Emergency Communications Center (WECC) trailers that allowed local residents to charge their devices and make free domestic calls and matched customers' text-to-donate donations to the American Red Cross relief efforts up to a million dollars.
PCMag reported that fellow mobile providers AT&T and T-Mobile announced they would not charge late fees to victims of Hurricane Sandy who could not pay their bills in time. The two mobile providers also allowed in-store charging for customers without power.