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Companies are updating their COVID-19 relief policies

Companies are updating their COVID-19 relief policies

Coral Murphy
USA TODAYPublished 6:37 PM EDT Jul 17, 2020As thousands of people began losing their jobs in March due to the pandemic, several companies stepped up to accommodate consumers struggling to pay for services But are those companies still helping?AT&T, Comcast and Verizon were among the companies allowing customers to delay payments or offering free services as COVID-19 disrupted the lives of families, businesses and communities.However, some companies ended the breaks and established new policies with how to deal with customers who were unable to pay their bills.For example, Comcast created new extended payment plans. These help both customers who had existing debt prior to the pandemic and those more recently impacted by the shut-down and stay-at-home orders.Others, such as AT&T, said they would automatically waive home Internet data overage charges for internet customers through September 30.Coin shortage: COVID-19 stole our change, and this is what stores are doing to get moreMask required: Walmart, Target among retailers adding face masks requirements due to COVID-19Here’s how other companies have updated their late-payment policies:Pacific Gas and Electric Co.: PG&E Co. extended their shutoff moratorium for residential and small business customers to April 2021. Southern California Edison: SCE is waiving disconnections and late fees for all of their customers until April 2021.AT&T: New and existing AT&T FiberSM and AT&T Internet customers can use unlimited data and won’t see overage charges on their home internet bill through September 30.Verizon: Until June 30, Verizon said it would not terminate service or charge late fees for postpaid wireless, residential and small business customers who notified them of their inability to pay their bills due to pandemic disruptions. Starting July 1, those customers will automatically be enrolled in their Stay Connected program. Verizon will also extend availability of the current $20 discount through 2020 and waive the first 60 days of router rental charges for new customers.Ford Motor: Ford’s initial COVID-19 disaster relief program ended May 31. The company said it encourages Ford Credit customers who are having difficulty making payments to contact the company to discuss their options.Duke Energy: The earliest disconnections for non-payment under regular credit and notice timelines will begin Sept. 1 for customers.Charter Communications: The “Keep Americans Connected Pledge” kept customers connected and Charter did not charge late fees until June 30.  Dominion Energy: The company’s “no disconnection” policy will remain in place through mid-September in South Carolina, and until mid-October in Virginia. Dominion Energy also offers assistance programs for customers facing economic hardship due to the pandemic.

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