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Phone, internet and cable credits are available for Sandy-related outages, but you must ask for them
If your Internet, cable or phone service went down during Hurricane Sandy, you might be entitled to a credit or a break on your bill -- but you've gotta ask for it.
Each provider has a different policy, but in general customers should put in their claim within 30 days. If you're not sure, read the fine print on your provider's terms of service.
"Most service providers will not automatically credit the accounts of their customers," John Gaccione, acting director of Westchester County's Department of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. "Consumers may miss out on possible account credit or fee waivers by not asking.”
Most of the time, cable companies and Internet service providers require customers call them and inform them of an outage to award credit -- that way, the company can verify the interval between the time the service was interrupted and when it was repaired.
Recognizing that Hurricane Sandy was a much different situation -- and many people did not have power, let alone phone or Internet service -- area providers have waived that requirement. Cablevision, Time Warner and Verizon all have offered credits to their customers for Internet and cable downtime.
(Full disclosure: Cablevision is the parent company of Newsday.)
Some cellphone providers, including AT&T and Verizon, are also waiving the usual fees for Sandy-impacted customers who went beyond their allotted minutes and text message totals for the month, and in some cases cell phone companies are giving customers extra time to pay their November bills. Check the details with your cell service provider -- customers in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties are eligible, but customers in Dutchess, Ulster and Orange counties are not.
Here's a list of links and phone numbers provided by Westchester County government:
Landline Phone Companies
· AT&T: www.att.com
Wireless Phone Companies
· Sprint: www.sprint.com
· AT&T: www.att.com
· Verizon Wireless: www22.verizon.com/support/residential/homepage.htm
Cable and Satellite Companies
· Verizon Fios www22.verizon.com/support/residential/homepage.htm
· Comcast: www.comcast.com/hurricaneseason
· DirecTV: www.directtv.com Network customers can visit the company’s support page.
Tags: ISP , phone , internet , Cablevision , Comcast , Verizon , Time Warner , outage , Hurricane Sandy , outage credit , service interruption , cable bill , phone bill , power outage , service provider