How to get payment assistance on TV and internet bills during the 2019 government shutdown

Samantha Cossick
SC
Samantha Cossick
Jan 24, 2019

As the United States government shutdown extends for more than a month now, about 800,000 federal employees still haven’t received a paycheck and may be struggling to pay their bills, including TV and internet statements.

With no end currently in sight and the 2019 government shutdown effects mounting, relief to employees working without pay has begun to come in the form of charitable gestures from businesses large and small.

Here are some of the TV and internet providers offering assistance during the 2019 government shutdown:

AT&T government help

AT&T was one of the first providers to formally announce they’d be helping those affected by the government shutdown. In a statement, AT&T said customers affected by the shutdown will be eligible for flexible payment options.

“Just because the government shut down, doesn’t mean that your phone, TV, and internet should stop working too,” the statement said.

“We’re here to help ease the burden of trying to pay bills on time during the shutdown. As long as the shutdown is in effect, our customer service team will adjust late fees, provide extensions, and coordinate with you on revised payment schedules.”

Visit their make payment arrangement page for instructions on how to take advantage of flexible payment options or contact the AT&T customer service department for assistance adjusting late payment charges.

Cox Communications government help

Another provider offering assistance to government employees is Cox Communications. In a statement, Cox encouraged customers who are federal employees to reach out to a Cox customer service representative via your online account, text, phone or chat to learn more about Promise to Pay and Promise to Pay with Extension options.

“With the ongoing government shutdown, we don’t want our customers who are impacted to worry about losing their Cox services,” the statement said.

Cox customers can schedule future payments through their online account when clicking through the message “Can’t pay today? Request help here.” If you don’t see the message, call 1.844.221.3930 to speak with a special team representative. Additionally, you can type 54512 on your mobile phone to text a representative or visit www.cox.com/chat to chat online.

DIRECTV government help

As part of the AT&T family, DIRECTV is also providing assistance to federal employees. DIRECTV customers can visit their help center to learn more about how to “Make a Promise to Pay” or get a bill payment extension.

Customers can also contact a DIRECTV customer service representative to learn more about payment options or get assistance adjusting any late payment fees.

“For our customers affected by the shutdown, you are eligible for flexible payment options to keep your service running,” their statement said.

Verizon government help

Verizon was also one of the first providers to announce assistance for federal employees affected by the 2019 government shutdown. Customers can set up flexible payment options through their Promise to Pay program, which allows you to set a future payment date.

Nancy Clark, senior vice president of customer service, said in a statement: “As the longest government shutdown in U.S. history continues, we want you to know that Verizon will have your back. We are waiving late fees and agent assist fees for federal government employees directly impacted for the duration of the shutdown.”

“We appreciate everything you do and we’ll continue to do what we can to help you stay connected,” she continued.

They outline instructions for how to enroll in their Promise to Pay program for each type of customer. Additionally, you can speak with a Verizon customer service representative for more information or ask questions about waived fees and more.

Xfinity government help

While they have not made an official announcement yet, Xfinity employees have been answering questions in their online forums offering help to furloughed federal employees.

In the forum, customers were encouraged to private message ComcastJoeTru, an official Xfinity employee who can provide assistance reviewing accounts and making payment arrangements.

“To those federal government workers impacted by the government shutdown: we’re here for you,” said ComcastJoeTrue in one of the forums. “We know this is a difficult time for you and all those directly affected by this closure, and we want [to] make sure you can stay connected to family, friends and loved ones.”

As the 2019 government shutdown continues, other businesses have also stepped up to offer freebies, specials and assistance to federal workers. If you or a family member has been furloughed as part of the government shutdown, reach out to any of the providers on our list (or other businesses who may also be helping out) for assistance with your payments.

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