Yesterday I reported on AT&T and Verizon free text message and voice call service for their U.S. customers making calls to Japan to contact people affected by last week’s mega-earthquake and the devastating tsunami that followed it.
Let’s add information about calls to Japan on Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s network to complete the roundup of the big four U.S. national wireless carriers.
Sprint is waiving and/or crediting calls to Japan retroactively to March 11 and will continue to provide free calling and texting until April 10. They also provide some good advice in stating: During times of emergency, it has been shown that text messages may go through when calling capabilities aren’t available and may help free up networks for critical communication between first responders, other emergency personnel and aid workers.
T-Mobile is also waiving fees for post-paid customeres retroactively to March 11. Their free calling period ends March 31. This applies to both voice calls and text messages.
To summarize: Sprint’s and Verizon’s free calling and texting period to Japan is March 11 throught April 10. AT&T and T-Mobile’s free calling and texting period is from March 11 to March 31. Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are simply waiving charges. AT&T requires you to call to ask for a wavier after you receive your bill.
It is good to see that all of the big four mobile carriers are trying to do the right thing. It would be nice if AT&T joined the other three in simply waiving the charges instead of making customers who may be under great stress to remember to call them for the waiver.