AT&T, Verizon waive fees to contact Philippines

AT&T, Verizon waive fees to contact Philippines
A husband and wife protect their baby from the rain as they wait for an evacuation flight in Tacloban, central Philippines, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013. Thousands of typhoon survivors swarmed the airport here on Tuesday seeking a flight out, but only a few hundred made it, leaving behind a shattered, rain-lashed city short of food and water and littered with countless bodies. (AP Photo/Wally Santana)

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NEW YORK (AP) — AT&T and Verizon are offering free calls and texts to the Philippines for customers trying to contact friends and family there in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan.

AT&T wireless customers will be eligible for unlimited calls and texts until Nov. 30. Landline and U-verse voice customers will get up to 60 minutes of direct-dial calling to the Philippines. The offer is retroactive to last Friday. That was when the typhoon hit the island nation, displacing more than 600,000 people. Authorities fear that thousands were killed in the country's Leyte province.

Verizon is waiving charges on residential landlines through Dec. 7, also retroactive to Friday. Wireless customers who aren't under prepaid plans are also eligible.

Sprint says it's still reviewing its service-relief offerings.

Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile say they are also letting people send texts to donate $10 to selected charities. The donations will be added to phone bills. The wireless carriers are waiving the usual text messaging charges and processing fees, so that the entire amount goes to the charities.

Meanwhile, Apple is letting people donate to the American Red Cross through its iTunes online store. Apple says the entire amount will go to the charity.

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