I’ve often said I’m one of the few people in the world who is happy with his cell phone provider, Verizon. Other people may have had their own experience, but I’ve always gotten good service and good support from them. When they used to subsidize phones, once mine was “paid off,” I’d see a rate reduction. I feel better about them than Cincinnati Bell Wireless (my first carrier, who I was “neutral” about), and I actively hated AT&T.

I was particularly pleased, then, that I received this text message:

Verizon Hotspot Data Message

My current plan is one of the new, faux-unlimited plans (where you have no limit to how much data you can use overall, but there may be limits to the type of data, speed, etc.). Part of this plan gave me 15 GB of “hotspot” data, that let me tether another device, such as my laptop or iPad, to my phone. It’s a capability I like to have in the case of an outage at my house or occasionally on the go. But I don’t use it a lot, and, quarantined in my house with a working internet connection, even less so right now.

At the same time, I appreciate that they did this. I know for a lot of Americans, their phone is really their only Internet connection, and kids doing remote learning may need this capability. This is reducing the need to go to public spaces (which may be closed) to get remote learning, remote work, or leveraging online resources that have become critical during the quarantine.

The thing is, as near as I can tell, there was no mandate for them to do this–I haven’t even seen any indication there was any sort of request from any health officials. They recognized that, in order to get through the pandemic, this was something they could do to help. So, they did.

I’m seeing this in lots of places. Auto insurance companies, realizing they are paying out less due to less driving, are giving their members a reduction in rates. Car dealers and manufacturers, recognizing that their customers may presently be without income, are working with them. Different streaming services, such as Disney+ and Showtime, have given extended trials during the core period of the quarantine.

While there may be some cynical premise, or recognition that they might not get something, anyway, I like to think that there is a desire to be a good corporate citizen. They want to make this a bit easier for everyone involved, wherever they can. It makes me feel a little better working with them.