scorecardAT&T is giving customers a $5 credit for its cellphone outage. Some angry customers say it's not enough.
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AT&T is giving customers a $5 credit for its cellphone outage. Some angry customers say it's not enough.

Lauren Edmonds   

AT&T is giving customers a $5 credit for its cellphone outage. Some angry customers say it's not enough.
Tech2 min read
AT&T announced on Sunday that it would reimburse customers affected by a service outage.     SOPA Images/Getty
  • AT&T experienced a nationwide cellular service outage last week that affected tens of thousands of customers.
  • On Sunday, AT&T announced it would reimburse impacted customers with a $5 credit.

What's a fair price for not being able to use your phone for around 12 hours?

For AT&T customers impacted by last week's nationwide service outage, the company says the answer is $5.

That didn't go over well with some angry AT&T customers, who took to social media to say it's not enough.

The telecommunications company shared a statement on Sunday addressing the cellphone service outage on February 22. The outage — which the company said an initial review indicated was caused by a software update — impacted tens of thousands of customers, some for nearly 12 hours. The outage caused a nationwide stir after customers woke up to find their cellphones on SOS Mode, and even prompted the FBI and Homeland Security to investigate.

"No matter the timing, one thing is clear — we let down many of our customers, including many of you and your families. For that, we apologize," AT&T said in the statement, which was posted to its website.

AT&T added that it would "automatically" apply credit to the accounts of impacted customers to "compensate for the inconvenience they experienced."

A second statement shared on AT&T's website specified that the $5 credit is comparable to "the average cost of a full day of service." The offer is available to those with AT&T Wireless but doesn't apply to customers with AT&T Prepaid, AT&T Business, and accounts with Cricket.

On X, the social network formerly known as Twitter, the company further explained in a post that it would take one to two billing cycles for customers to see the credit in their accounts.

Soon after the announcement, some online users identifying as AT&T customers expressed frustration over the credit, saying it doesn't adequately cover their losses. On AT&T's Community Forum, one user called the credit a "joke."

"We all pay so much more than is necessary for their cell service and they laugh in our faces with this joke offer," the comment read.

One person who claimed to own four cellphone lines on one AT&T account said the $5 credit would essentially be "worthless."

Woman walking by AT&T sign in February 2024.
AT&T faced a service outage on February 22.      MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Other users echoed those sentiments on X.

"@ATT thanks for the credit but $5 not enough. Our phones were out of services at least 8 hrs," one user wrote.

Another added: "ATT only giving a $5 credit for the nationwide outage on Thursday. It won't even apply until 2 bill cycles. That's not enough lol."

One user said the service outage affected customers making calls to emergency services, saying, "It put many lives in danger. They're owed more than a $5 credit."

When asked for comment on the push-back from some of its customers about the amount of the credit, AT&T pointed Business Insider toward its previous apology.

"We apologize and recognize the frustration this outage has caused and know we let many of our customers down," an AT&T spokesperson told BI.




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