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AT&T Offers $5 Credit for Service Outage, Gets Everyone Talking About How Cheap It Is

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AT&T is sorry for the recent outrage that left some customers without service for up to 12 hours. To make up for it, the company will give those affected a $5 credit that will count towards their next bill, though that doesn’t seem like nearly enough for many ticked off AT&T users.

The company announced its intentions to “make it right” with customers affected by the outage in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, over the weekend. According to its support page, the $5 credit is on a per-account basis, meaning that customers with multiple lines on one account will still only receive that amount. Furthermore, AT&T said that AT&T Business, AT&T Prepaid, and Cricket customers do not qualify for the credit.

The $5 credit will be applied over the next 1-2 billing cycles.

“We recognize the frustration this outage has caused and know we let many of our customers down. We understand this may have impacted their ability to connect with family, friends, and others,” AT&T states on its support page. “Small business owners may have been impacted, potentially disrupting an essential way they connect with customers.”

While a $5 credit may seem paltry at first glance, AT&T explains that the credit is based on the “average cost of a full day of service,” which does make more sense. But just because it makes sense doesn’t mean it’s the right solution.

Some angry customers on social media said that $5 wasn’t nearly enough to help compensate people who had missed out on work during the outage. Others wondered why it would take up two months to be credited such a small amount.

Given that AT&T provides mobile and broadband service to more than 100 million people in the U.S., the service outage last week quickly became a national news story. It also prompted widespread conspiracy theories. Some speculated that China or Russia were behind the outage. Others stated that this was “predictive programming”—a term used by some conspiracy theorists to explain how speculative fiction accurately predicts events in the real world—from the Netflix movie Leave the World Behind.

Overall, the best thing to do in a crisis is to take responsibility and overcorrect—something that AT&T has clearly botched. Instead of helping customers put the incident behind them, the company has poured gasoline on the event and prompted them to talk about how cheap AT&T is. The company brought in $118 billion in revenues in 2023.

“I don’t know whether to be angry or just offended, truthfully,” the user @saylilirose wrote in response to AT&T’s credit on X.

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