Baton Rouge, La. - Just two days after Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell pushed cell phone carriers to credit customers affected by Louisiana floods, major carriers have responded. 

"I'm very happy that both AT&T and Verizon have responded positively. Our people need a break right now and these adjustments to their bills won't fix their flooded homes or restore the memories they've lost, but they deserve every bit of help we can muster as they try to get back on their feet," said Campbell. 

In his letter to the Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on August 16th Campbell said he was seeking solutions for customers including:  

  • Credits for exceeding data limits during the period of most intense flooding;
  • General credit for extraordinary use of minutes by customers in affected areas;
  • Credit to customers who experienced prolonged wireless outages after storms; and 
  • Discounted devices for customers who can demonstrate loss or destruction due to flooding.

Today, both Verizon and AT&T announced plans to credit customers.

Verizon will provide free service from August 14 through August 21 to cover data, text and voice. AT&T is promising a credit for customers who incurred data overage charges between August 14 and August 28.

"I'll be listening to see if customers think this is satisfactory," said Campbell, noting that AT&T services went down for most customers in flooded areas for an extensive amount of time. "I'm calling on all communications providers to do what is right by our people and follow suit." 

Campbell has added a discussion of utility and phone service response and billing adjustments to the agenda for the August 31st PSC meeting and has said he expects providers to come to the table with solutions for flood victims.  

Earlier today, Campbell announced that DEMCO, utility provider to customers in several affected parishes, agreed to work with over 106,000 customers to implement deferred billing, waived deposits and waived late fees.

Ira Wray