AT&T offers $5 credit after widespread service outage

AT&T will offer a $5 credit on Thursday to customers affected by a widespread outage caused by technical problems the company encountered as it tried to expand its network, its chief executive said Sunday.

The outage, which began around 3:30 a.m. Eastern Time, temporarily disrupted user connections across the United States.

Some of the affected cities included Atlanta, Los Angeles and New York, according to Downdetector.comwhich tracks user reports regarding telecommunications and internet disruptions.

At its peak, the site received about 70,000 reports of service disruptions for AT&T. Service was fully restored after approximately seven hours.

“Regardless of the timing, one thing is clear: We have failed many of our customers, including many of you and your families,” said AT&T Chief Executive John T. Stankey. wrote in a letter dated Sunday. “For this we apologize.”

In an effort to “make things right,” AT&T is offering customers a $5 credit to their AT&T Wireless account, according to the company’s website.

“For the portion of individual and small business customers most affected by the outage, we are automatically applying an account credit to compensate them for the inconvenience they have suffered,” the company said.

It will take one to two billing cycles for the credit to appear, depending on the customer’s invoice closing date, the company said.

Prepaid customers will have options available if they are affected, Mr. Stankey wrote, but did not specifically identify those options.

AT&T also said it was “working closely” with Mid-Market and Enterprise customers, which are internet plans aimed at businesses, to address their concerns.

It was not immediately clear how much of a loss in revenue the credits would represent. A company representative could not be reached Sunday.

In a statement, AT&T stressed that the outage was not caused by a cyberattack.

“Our initial review of the cause of Thursday’s outage indicates that it was due to the application and execution of an incorrect process used during our network expansion work,” Stankey wrote in his letter.

The credit is intended to reimburse customers for the day service was lost, he wrote.

“I believe crediting these customers for essentially a full day of service is the right thing to do,” Mr. Stankey wrote.