In yet another tragic and gruesome reminder that the threat of mindless violence is a clear and present danger anywhere and everywhere at all times, terrorist attacks at the Ataturk International airport in Istanbul, Turkey, on Tuesday, claimed the lives of dozens of innocent people while wounding dozens more; many of them critically. While most people based elsewhere around the world can only offer their thoughts and prayers for those affected directly, some companies are doing their bit to ease the stress of bereaved relatives and concerned friends by responding with gestures that not only show their humane face, but also help their corporate image in the increasingly PR-driven society in the twenty-first century.
As is often the case with natural disasters and terrorist attacks in recent past, all major U.S. carriers have now announced that they will be waiving off charges for all calls and texts to Turkey from the United States. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile have all now decided to do the honorable thing and show their solidarity with those affected by offering free calls and texts to the Mediterranean country. T-Mobile has waived off charges for all calls and texts to Turkey from the United States for a whole week from the 28th of June to the 5th of July. According to a post on the company’s official blog, all customers on T-Mobile’s Simple Choice prepaid and postpaid plans are covered by the offer, as are MetroPCS, GoSmart Mobile and Walmart Family Mobile subscribers.
Meanwhile, other major carriers have also announced similar concessions, but not for as long. While Sprint has made all calls and texts to Turkey free for all its postpaid and prepaid customers until July 5th, Verizon and AT&T have also announced free outgoing calls and texts to Turkey from their respective landline and wireless networks (taxes will still apply, though). One thing to note here is that AT&T’s offer is valid for just the two days (June 28th and 29th), but Verizon will allow free calls and texts until the 30th of this month. While it is small consolation for those who have lost their loved ones in the brutal carnage, it is nice to see such companies, often rebuked for putting profits before all else, are at least trying to reach out to communities that have made them the multi-billion dollar enterprises they are.