AT&T Inc., for the first time, disclosed how many customers stopped paying their phone bill because of economic hardships related to the virus-induced recession, reported Bloomberg.
The company said 338,000 regular mobile-phone subscribers stopped paying in the second quarter; an additional 159,000 broadband customers and 91,000 TV subscribers stopped paying as well.
"We're actively contacting, working with and trying to retain these customers and certainly, we haven't given up on them and they haven't given up on us," CEO John Stankey said during an earnings call Thursday.
AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile, along with top cable providers, such as Comcast, Charter Spectrum, and Cox Communications, signed an agreement in March with the Federal Communications Commission to keep Americans who couldn't afford to pay connected during the pandemic.
AT&T has said it wouldn't end service or charge late fees so long as customers notify service representatives about their inability to pay.
What this all suggests is that the virus-induced recession has economically scarred the average American. So far, AT&T is the only communications company we've seen to release such numbers. We fear the numbers are even greater if other communication companies release similar statistics.
If Americans can't pay their phone bill, then how can there be a V-shaped recovery?