updated 11:55 am EDT, Mon March 14, 2011
AT&T, Verizon offer free calls, texts to Japan
AT&T on Monday said it has made calling and texting to Japan free effective as of Friday, March 11 and until March 31. At the same time, Verizon is waiving fees for calls to Japan until April 10, again since Friday. This includes calling and texting, with AT&T's US and Puerto Rico customers having free calling while US customers also get text messaging.
AT&T also offers up to 60 minutes in credits for direct dial calling to Japan for residential landline customers. Subscribers need to call AT&T to get the credit, however. AT&T customers can text "redcross" to 90999 to donate $10 to Red Cross to help with earthquake and tsunami relief.
The carrier also opened up free access to its 24-hour Japanese news channel, TV Japan, until March 17 for all U-verse TV subscribers.
Verizon's efforts are similar but differ in some key areas. Calling and texting is free for most postpaid wireless and residential customers. The wireless customers also get free multimedia messaging in addition to free texting. Prepaid phone card charges will also be waived for calls to Japan.
The carrier lets users choose from 10 aid organizations for texting donations.
Lastly, Verizon FiOS TV subscribers have free access to TV Japan until March 17 as well.
Please consider using either donation option or donating through iTunes to help those in need.