Even though it has already ravaged a number of Caribbean islands, Hurricane Maria remains a threat to impose more damage in the region. Not to be outdone, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico City and surrounding areas has killed at least 216 people. Both of these events have left these areas and the people who live in them in ruins, and US carriers have stepped up to make it easier to contact friends and loved ones in affected areas.
Starting with T-Mobile, the carrier said that those in Puerto Rico will have free calls and texts, along with unlimited data, to the US through September 24, even if their plans do not include unlimited data. T-Mobile also grants those in the US and Puerto Rico free calls and texts to Mexico through September 22, while customers in Mexico can roam for free.
Moving on to AT&T, customers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands will automatically receive credits and have fees waived for unlimited calls, texts, and data through September 24. Prepaid customers in the two regions will receive unlimited calls and texts, as well as extended payment dates.
As for AT&T customers who have loved ones in the Caribbean, they will be issued credits that grant them unlimited texts, wireless calls, and landline calls from the US to the British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Turks and Caicos, Saint Martin, and Saint Maaten through September 22. Finally, Cricket Wireless customers can make free calls to the Dominican Republic and Haiti through September 22.
Next up is Verizon, which offers wireless postpaid customers free calls and texts from the US to Mexico through September 22. Landline customers can make free calls from the US to Mexico through September 22. Big Red has yet to announce anything related to Hurricane Maria, though we expect an official statement sometime soon.
Last one up is Sprint, which will waive text, call, and data overage fees for Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands through September 24. Sprint, Boost Mobile, and Virgin Mobile customers in the US can also call and text those in Mexico for free through September 22. Sprint will waive any voice roaming and text charges for customers in Mexico.
On a personal note, I commend the carriers for waiving calling and texting fees to and from affected regions. Hurricane Maria and the Central Mexico earthquake have caused a significant amount of damage, and the last thing worried loved ones need to concern themselves with is overage fees.