AT&T says it will credit customers for last week's massive outage

AT&T is promising to do better next time (Image credit: Shutterstock / Jonathan Weiss)

The reaction to last week's major AT&T network outage in the US last week hasn't died down yet, and we're now getting some details about how affected customers are going to be compensated for the loss of service.

Via a new AT&T support page, the company apologizes for the outage. "We recognize the frustration this outage has caused and know we let many of our customers down," says AT&T. "We understand this may have impacted their ability to connect with family, friends, and others."

To "make it right" with customers, the company is proactively applying a credit to the accounts of those affected. This credit represents "the average cost of a full day of service" – the amount isn't specifically mentioned, but it's reportedly $5 per person

If you're on AT&T and you lost service on Thursday, you should see the credit appear in the next one or two bill cycles. AT&T says it's working separately with business customers to reach deals on compensation amounts.

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The reactions to the credit offer have been mixed on social media, varying from those describing it as an "insult", to others taking a more philosophical view. Some AT&T customers have pledged to switch carriers after the outage.

AT&T has also published a letter from CEO John Stankey, sent to employees, which goes into a little bit more detail. The letter says Thursday was a "challenging" day, while also expressing confidence that the compensation is "fully manageable" – $5 each for potentially hundreds of millions of customers is a significant sum.

Stankey reiterates what we heard last week: a technical error rather than a cyberattack was to blame for the outage, which lasted for around half a day. According to AT&T, no customer data has been exposed as a result of the problems.

While AT&T seemed somewhat slow off the mark in addressing user concerns last week, it now seems eager to make up for the breakdown in service. AT&T says it's "taking steps to prevent this from happening again in the future".

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David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.