As restaurants, schools and businesses across the country temporarily close their doors to slow the spread of COVID-19, millions in the U.S. now rely on broadband internet to do their jobs, look for work, participate in school and stay connected with friends and loved ones.
And with more people shifting aspects of their daily lives online, the previous internet usage “peaks” have become the new average in many areas, stretching systems to their limits and threatening the quality of service.
Thankfully, many cable and internet providers — including Cox Communications — are responding to the COVID-19 crisis by waiving late fees, boosting internet speeds, and giving customers extra time to pay their bills.
“As we are all adapting in these uncertain times, Cox is continuing to focus on our customers with the greatest need to ensure they have the tools to work and learn from home,” said Pat Esser, president and CEO of Cox Communications, as stated in a recent press release on Cox.com. “We remain committed to keeping our customers connected and supporting the communities we serve.”
Read on to learn about the steps Cox Communications has taken to ensure users still get the level of service they want and have come to depend on.
Cox provides relief for residential customers
Because access to a reliable internet connection has become essential for both social and economic reasons, Cox Communications, like many major internet providers, has pledged to support the FCC’s Keep America Connected initiative by implementing relief measures and programs for its residential customers.
For instance, Cox Communications recently rolled out a low-income internet tier and is also offering a number of temporary promotional plans to help seniors, college students and those who are working reduced hours, have been furloughed or laid off due to the coronavirus.
Now through May 15, new Starter Internet users can sign up for service for $19.99/mo. with no contract, and with a temporary boost up to 50 Mbps download speeds.
What’s more, Cox is eliminating data use overages in order to meet the higher bandwidth demands, meaning customers won’t be charged a fee for using extra data. Customers who currently have the 500 GB or Unlimited data usage add-on plan will get a credit from Cox.
Per Cox’s website, Cox Communications is supporting customers through additional measures, including:
- Not shutting off service to residential customers or small business customers if they cannot pay their bills due to disruptions connected to the COVID-19 crisis.
- Waiving late fees incurred by small business customers or residential customers due to loss of income or economic circumstances caused by the COVID-19 crisis.
- Launching outdoor WiFi hotspots provided by Cox to help provide the general public with a reliable internet connection during this time of need.
The “Promise to Pay” program extends payment deadlines
In addition to adding lower-cost plans for new customers and boosting Mbps for all customers, Cox is also providing relief for those who are already using their services.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Cox Communications has rolled out the Promise to Pay and Promise to Pay with Extension options. These programs were set up to limit the number of payment reminders customers will receive, and even extend the amount of time they’ll have to pay their bill — all without interrupting service.
While users can find the full set of instructions on Cox Communication’s website, navigating the Promise to Pay program is quick and easy:
- Sign in to your Cox Communications account
- Navigate to the “My Bill” option. There, you may see the prompt, “Can’t pay today? Request help here.”
- Click on it to navigate to the Payment Arrangement Options page where you’ll be able to schedule payments to a date beyond the original due date or ask for more time to make your payment at a later date.
If the “Can’t pay today?” option does not appear in a user’s account, users can also call 1-844-221-3930 to speak to a customer service representative or text a representative by typing 54512 on their mobile phone. They can also reach a representative via live chat by visiting cox.com/chat.
The “Connect2Compete Program” assists low-income K-12 students
With the uncertainty surrounding shelter-in-place ordinances across the country, a reliable internet connection isn’t just necessary to work remotely or video chat relatives; it has now become essential for K-12 students everywhere.
However, a recent Brookings Study revealed that 14.1% of families with school-aged children don’t have a wired broadband internet connection sufficient to support online school and learning activities. This is especially evident in lower-income communities.
In an effort to help low-income families stay connected to school activities, Cox Communications’s Connect2Compete program provides affordable internet with Wi-Fi connection for families with school-age children for just $9.95/mo. Like the other programs under the Cox umbrella, this plan, too, will be eligible for a speed bump to 50 Mbps.
“To qualify for the Cox Connect2Compete affordable internet program, your household must have at least one K-12 student and participate in a government assistance program,“ says Cox Communications’s website.
Users can apply to the Connect2Compete program here.
Cox rolls out free remote help and service
Going the extra mile, Cox is also extending their Complete Care remote desktop support for no additional charge to customers in lower tiers. This means that if users need help setting up new applications or navigating aspects of Cox’s services (think: online classroom and learning applications or video conferencing services), they’ll get it. And they’ll be able to do so for free with the help of a Cox representative, no matter what plan they have.
Get access to service when it matters most
With the worldwide push to practice social distancing indefinitely, everyday tasks including working, socializing and going to school now require reliable internet service.
Cox Communications is taking steps to ensure users are able to practice social distancing while getting the service they need throughout this time of uncertainty — no matter what their employment status or financial situations look like.
Learn more about programs available to new and current customers by visiting Cox Communications’s official website.