PRESSURE FROM CAMPBELL LEADS SPRINT TO JOIN AT&T AND VERIZON IN GRANTING FLOOD VICTIM BILLING CREDIT

BATON ROUGE -- Sprint announced it will offer credits to those affected by flooding in Louisiana following yesterday's announcement that AT&T and Verizon will offer credits to victims as well.

Sprint's announcement comes three days after Public Service Commissioner Foster Campbell pushed cell phone carriers to credit customers affected by Louisiana floods.


"It's nice to see another major wireless carrier follow suit. I know these billing adjustments may be small, but the people of Louisiana need all of the help they can get," 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.

Sprint joins both Verizon and AT&T's efforts to credit customers.

Sprint is waiving (on a reactive basis) overage charges for customers in affected parishes for the period between 8/12/16 through 9/11/16.  They are also suspending disconnect and collection efforts for customers in affected areas.


"I'll continue to listen to our people to see if customers think this is satisfactory," said Campbell. "I'm calling on the remaining major communications providers to do what is right." 

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.  

 

Yesterday, 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. 

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BACKGROUND: 

Most communications providers have the ability to identify affected customers by zip code to quickly credit and adjust bills. Campbell previously worked to secure over $39 million in communications aid for affected customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

Campbell has a reputation as a fierce consumer advocate, with a long history of consumer protection wins for his constituents including a recently brokered deal to refund CLECO customers nearly $400 per household. 

Ira Wray