*Updated as of May 11, 2020*
Americans are facing uncertain and worrying times because of COVID-19, and whether it is work, school, or just saying hello to friends and family, connection has never been more important. As we face this crisis together, Charter is providing vital internet, voice, and TV news access to more than 29 million families and small- and medium-sized businesses across 41 states. Our products and services have proven critical to the country’s continued operation, ensuring our customers can do their jobs, learn remotely, connect with medical professionals, access vital information, and keep in touch with family and friends.
Supporting the Communities We Serve
As a company, we are helping to ease the strain in this challenging time, including by:
- Waiving Late Fees and Disconnects: In March, we committed to suspending collections, not charging late fees or terminating service for residential or small business customers who let us know they are experiencing Covid-19-related economic challenges, and we have extended this commitment through June 30th.
- Free Wi-Fi Access: Our Wi-Fi hotspots are open for public use through June 30th. Hotspot locations are available at Spectrum.com/WiFi-Hotspots.
- No Data Caps and No Hidden Fees: As always, Charter imposes no data caps or hidden fees.
- Free Internet for 60 Days for New Student and Educator Households: In March, we committed to offer Spectrum Internet up to 100 Mbps (200 Mbps in most areas) for free, including in-home Wi-Fi and a self-installation kit, for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students or educators who do not already have a Spectrum Internet subscription, and recently announced that the offer has been extended through June 30th.* By the end of the school year, we expect that this offer will have helped approximately 400,000 students and teachers and their families continue schooling through remote learning. Those interested in enrolling should call 1-844-488-8395.
We will also continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, our high speed, low cost broadband program to any eligible low-income households.
Additionally, Charter has donated significant airtime to run public service announcements and has prioritized more than 1,000 requests from government, healthcare, and educational institutions for new services, new fiber connections, and bandwidth upgrades. Spectrum News also opened its websites to ensure people have access to high-quality local news and information.
Supporting Our Workforce
Our employees have stepped in and stepped up, ensuring our customers stay connected when it matters most, easing the strain for millions of families and businesses. As Charter Chairman & CEO Tom Rutledge recently said, “The hard work and dedication of Charter’s 95,000 employees has been remarkable.” While our employees are doing all they can to maintain our operations, we are taking the necessary precautions to protect them.
- Additional Paid Time Off: All of our 95,000 employees – including hourly workers – receive paid time off, including sick time. Additionally, we’ve implemented an additional two weeks of paid sick time for Covid-19-related illnesses or when we ask an employee to self-quarantine. Every employee was given an additional 15 days of Covid-19 flex time to address related issues, including caring for children and dependents. Any unused Covid-19 flex time will be paid out after the end of the year for hourly employees.
- No Layoffs for at Least 60 Days: Our employees are our greatest resource, and to reinforce our commitment to them in this uncertain time, on April 19th we announced that for at least the next 60 days, no employee will be laid off or furloughed. We’ve also continued to pay employees in parts of our business, like direct sales, whose work has been put on hold.
- Increased Work from Home Options: We have dramatically reduced the number of employees going into the field or into the office, while maintaining the efficacy of our business operations that is so critical to fighting this pandemic. A significant majority of our office workers, including call center representatives, are working remotely.
- Increased Social Distancing: For some critical employees working in our offices and buildings, we have implemented extra cleanings in addition to regular nightly cleanings and we are staggering shift and break schedules and limiting trainings and meetings. We have also altered our field operations protocol by increasing educational efforts around customer self-installation and through proactive direct shipment of customer premises equipment, resulting in over 90% scheduled self-installations. Where a technician is required, the request is reviewed to ensure the work cannot be completed off-site and technicians will enter a customer residence only if customers confirm they are healthy and have had no known exposure to an individual diagnosed with Covid-19. Additionally, our employees have received clear instructions to stay home if they are sick. Where quarantines are recommended, we follow CDC recommendations and employees receive full pay and benefits.
We know our workforce is key to our long-term success and ability to deliver exactly what our customers depend on – great service and reliable connectivity – and we are proud to invest in them.
Our goal is to create a workplace where employees feel valued and empowered to grow and succeed. As part of our long-term commitment to our employees, we recently announced that we will permanently increase our minimum wage to $20 per hour. For frontline field operations and customer service call center hourly workers who are the face of our company to our more than 29 million customers and who are providing critical services to our communities, we immediately increased their wages by $1.50 per hour. We will implement subsequent increases so that in 2022 all current and future hourly employees will have a starting rate of $20 an hour or more.
* Limited time offer; subject to change. Two (2) free months Internet and Wi-Fi service available to households with students or teachers requiring remote education at the service address. Valid to qualified residential customers who have not subscribed to Internet services within the previous 30 days and have no outstanding obligation to Charter. Free months will be applied as a bill credit. Offer applies to speeds up to 200 Mbps. If you do not call to cancel your service before free period ends, standard rates apply. Taxes and fees extra; subject to change during and after the promotional period; professional installation (unless self-install not available), equipment and additional services are extra. Restrictions apply. ©2020 Charter Communications.