AT&T Will Give You A $5 Credit If You Were Hit By Its Network Outage

The carrier said it will apply the credit within two billing cycles for those affected by its widespread service outage.

person walks by AT&T flagship store in San Francisco
(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

AT&T wireless customers who were affected by the carrier's widespread network outage last week will receive a $5 credit on their accounts within two billing cycles, the company said in a post on its website.

“We apologize for Thursday’s network outage,” AT&T said in the post. “To help make it right, we’re reaching out to potentially impacted customers and we’re proactively applying a credit to their accounts.”

The $5 credit will not apply to AT&T Business, AT&T Prepaid or Cricket customers, however, AT&T said. The company said that, for the portion of AT&T Business consumer and small business customers most affected by the outage, it would automatically apply a credit to compensate for the inconvenience and that it would work closely with Business customers to address concerns.

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AT&T said its initial review of the cause of the February 22 outage indicates that it was not due to a cyberattack but was caused by "the application and execution of an incorrect process used while working to expand our network." The company said it is making investments to grow its network and deliver "an exceptional customer experience."

According to Downdetector, an online platform that tracks outages, the outage began at 4 a.m. EST. on February 22. The company restored service later that day. Customers of Verizon and T-Mobile also reported outages but their issues may have been due to problems at AT&T, Downdetector said.

Verizon and T-Mobile spokespeople told Kiplinger in emails that day that their respective services were operating normally but that some customers had issues when trying to call or text users of other carriers.

What to do if you experience an outage

If you an outage, AT&T recommends using Wi-Fi calling and texting until service is restored.

To activate Wi-Fi calling on your device, follow these steps:

  • Swipe down twice on your notification bar and select the settings icon.
  • Select "network & internet" and then slide the Wi-Fi Calling switch.
  • Review the pop-up prompt and select "Continue" to enter your emergency address, then verify your address.

You can call AT&T wireless customer service at 1-800-331-0500.

You could, however, be on hold for quite some time. On February 22, AT&T posted on notice on its website that some customers were having trouble making or receiving calls and that, as a result, "we are experiencing long hold times."

Can’t call 9-1-1? Do this:

If there’s an emergency and you cannot call 9-1-1 from your device, local government agencies such as the Fairfax County Department of Emergency Management and Security recommend calling from a landline or asking a friend or family member to call on your behalf.

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Joey Solitro

Joey Solitro is a freelance financial journalist at Kiplinger with more than a decade of experience. A longtime equity analyst, Joey has covered a range of industries for media outlets including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, Market Realist, and TipRanks. Joey holds a bachelor's degree in business administration.