Verizon to provide free calls, texts from wireless and wireline phones to Japan

One of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies, Verizon Communications, has announced that it will be providing its customers free text messages, along free with wireless and wireline calls, from the United States to Japan. The company announce its intentions via a short tweet earlier today:

We’re about to announce free calls to Japan from wireless and residential landline phones. Free messaging to Japan too.

The move comes hours after AT&T announced that it was providing its customers with a similar courtesy. Verizon Wireless has provided instructions on how users can donate via text to the Japanese relief effort — both press releases are after the break.

VERIZON MAKES CALLS FREE TO JAPAN FROM MARCH 11 TO APRIL 10

Verizon Wireless Customers Can Text to Japan for Free

NEW YORK – To help its customers contact loved ones in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake and tsunami, Verizon is making calls to Japan free for most wireless and residential customers through April 10.

All Verizon Wireless post-paid customers will receive free calling to Japan from March 11 through April 10. Post-paid customers are those who receive a monthly bill from the company. In addition, Verizon Wireless post-paid customers in the U.S. will receive free text and multimedia messaging to Japan for the same time period.

Verizon Wireless has also made it easy for customers to text donations to a host of non-profit organizations responding to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Customers can easily make a $10 donation by simply sending a text message and may choose from 10 organizations aiding those in need in Japan.

All calls made from a Verizon residential landline to Japan will be rated at $0.00 per minute, from March 11 through April 10. Customers with Verizon World Plan (300, 500 or unlimited minutes of long-distance calling) can call Japan without using any minutes from their time-allotment blocks.

Additionally, Verizon Prepaid Phone Card charges for all long-distance calls placed to Japan from the United States will also be waived from March 11 until April 10.

The company is also providing FiOS TV customers who are not subscribed to the channel free access to TV Japan through March 17. The channel location is 1770.

* Only long-distance usage charges associated with calls made from residential landlines terminating to wireline or wireless destinations in Japan will be waived from Mar. 11 – April 10. All other fees including taxes, surcharges, monthly recurring charges (MRCs), minimum spend levels (MSLs), monthly minimum charges (MMCs), etc will continue to apply. Post-paid calling card charges to Japan will also be waived.

** If long distance calling fees were charged, credits will be issued in a future bill statement.

Verizon Wireless Provides Quick And Easy Way To Help Japan Relief

Charitable Organizations are Harnessing Mobile Donation Capabilities

BASKING RIDGE, NJ — Verizon Wireless has quickly implemented a mobile giving program for customers looking for a quick and easy way to contribute to Japan relief efforts. The company announced today that customers can use their mobile phones to make $10 donations to a host of non-profit organizations responding to the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Customers can easily make a $10 donation by simply sending a text message and may choose from nine organizations aiding those in need in Japan, including the American Red Cross. Donating $10 is easy – simply text the specific word to the organization’s designated short code:

  • ADRA Relief: text SUPPORT to 85944
  • American Red Cross Relief: text REDCROSS to 90999
  • Convoy of Hope: text TSUNAMI or SUNAMI to 50555
  • GlobalGiving: text JAPAN to 50555
  • International Medical Corps: text MED to 80888
  • Mercy Corps: text MERCY to 25383
  • Salvation Army: text JAPAN to 80888
  • Save the Children Federation, Inc.: text JAPAN or TSUNAMI to 20222
  • World Relief Corp. of National Association of Evangelicals: text WAVE to 50555
  • World Vision, Inc.: text 4JAPAN or 4TSUNAMI to 20222

Text messages are free for customers donating to any of these organizations. Verizon Wireless always waives text-messaging fees for disaster relief, and 100 percent of each $10 donation goes to the relief organization. For Verizon Wireless customers who pay monthly bills, the $10 donations will appear in customers’ next regular monthly bill. For customers using the company’s prepaid services, the $10 donations will be taken from customers’ prepaid balance.

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