You might be getting $5 from AT&T for last week's service outage

AT&T storefront
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • AT&T suffered a major outage last Thursday that caused more than 73,000 people to lose service. 
  • Despite rumors that the outage was caused by solar flares or cyberattacks, the company said it was "due to the application and execution of an incorrect process used while working to expand our network."
  • As compensation, AT&T wants to give users a $5 credit for the inconvenience.

If you're an AT&T customer that was affected by last week's service outage, your bill for next month or the following month might be a bit cheaper. Five dollars cheaper to be exact, because AT&T wants "make it right" by giving customers a $5 credit on their cell phone bill. 

An issue caused more than 73,000 AT&T users to lose service for hours starting early Thursday morning on Feb. 22. Some suspected recent solar flares or a potential cyberattack as the culprit. However, AT&T explained late Thursday that this wasn't the case. 

"Our initial review of the cause of Thursday’s outage indicates it was due to the application and execution of an incorrect process used while working to expand our network, not a cyber attack," the company said in a new FAQ page. "We have not seen any evidence and have no reason to believe the Feb. 22 outage involved a third-party or that customer data was compromised during the event."

AT&T says that the $5 credit will be automatically added to the bill of customers that may have been impacted by the outage. The denomination represents "the average cost of a full day of service," according to the company. 

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AT&T also reached out to potentially affected customers with an SMS message over the weekend. "We apologize for Thursday's outage, which may have impacted your ability to connect with others," the message said. "We value you as a customer and continue to doing better."

However, not all AT&T customers were satisfied by the company's attempt at compensation. Some social media users, specifically business owners, described losses due to the outage that exceeded the $5 offered by AT&T. The credit does not apply to AT&T Business Enterprise and Platinum accounts, and subscribers to those plans will be compensated separately. 

"For the portion of consumer and small business customers most impacted by the outage, we are automatically applying an account credit to compensate them for the inconvenience they experienced," the company said. "We are also working closely with our Business customers and will address their concerns as those discussions take place."

No action is required by users, but it may take a billing cycle or two for the statement credit to appear. AT&T reminds users to stay vigilant with regard to phishing scams because any message asking users to claim their $5 credit is not real.  

Brady Snyder
Contributor

Brady is a tech journalist covering news at Android Central. He has spent the last two years reporting and commenting on all things related to consumer technology for various publications. Brady graduated from St. John's University in 2023 with a bachelor's degree in journalism. When he isn't experimenting with the latest tech, you can find Brady running or watching sports.

  • notforhire
    be still my beating heart :love:
    Reply
  • joeldf
    Ooooo... I can budget an extra Sausage Egg McMuffin next month.
    Reply
  • Richard_Indy
    A coworker asked a good question....
    Is that $5 per line on your account?
    Reply
  • joeldf
    Richard_Indy said:
    A coworker asked a good question....
    Is that $5 per line on your account?
    I actually wondered that myself as we have 4 lines in my household.

    But I'd almost lay odds that it's per account, not per line.
    Reply
  • mustang7757
    Richard_Indy said:
    A coworker asked a good question....
    Is that $5 per line on your account?
    joeldf said:
    I actually wondered that myself as we have 4 lines in my household.

    But I'd almost lay odds that it's per account, not per line.
    I believe per account.

    not including business/prepaid/cricket which is stupid in 2 billing cycles

    https://time.com/6817361/att-outage-refunds-customers-cell-internet-service/
    Reply
  • Richard_Indy
    I have 5 lines, so it'd be nicer to get $25
    Reply
  • kolyan2k
    $5 bucks what an insult
    Reply
  • BerryBubbles
    I think it's nice that AT&T acknowledged it was their error & is making a goodwill gesture with the $5.00.

    In this era everyone seems to dodge responsibility but AT&T is actually owning it.

    And no, I'm not an AT&T employee nor use them as a provider. I'm on T-Mobile.
    🙂
    Reply