Following the tragedy in Brussels on Tuesday morning, Canadians looking to contact loved ones in Belgium will be able to do so for free from three Canadian service providers.
Please connect with your loved ones in #Brussels. All calls and texts to and from the area are free until April 5.— Koodo (@koodo) March 22, 2016
Please connect with your loved ones in #Brussels. All calls and texts to and from the area are free until Apr. 5.— TELUS (@TELUS) March 22, 2016
Calls & texts on the WIND network to Belgium will be free for all prepaid and postpaid customers from March 22nd-28th. #Brussels 🇧🇪— WIND Mobile (@WINDmobile) March 22, 2016
Telus says they've done this in the past pointing to the earthquake in Nepal and the Paris attacks last November as recent examples.
"We can’t comment on what other providers are or aren’t doing," Emily Hamer in media relations at Telus said when asked about competitors offering the same services. "But we are committed to putting our customers first and we believe this is the right thing to do," Hamer said.
The Huffington Post Canada asked Rogers if they would be following suit. “This is a tragic event and we want to make sure our customers can connect with their loved ones without worrying about the cost," Andrew Garas, manager of media relations at Rogers Communications said. "We’ll waive the charges for any customer contacting Brussels when they get in touch with us."
Bell didn’t return a request for a comment at the time of publication.
Koodo, along with parent company Telus and competitor Wind Mobile, have joined the ranks of American providers like AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon who are also offering free calls and texts to Belgium.
Google pledged free calls to Belgium and Turkey through Google Hangouts.
Uber and Airbnb have also responded to the crisis.
We have activated our disaster response tool in Belgium for those in urgent need of somewhere to stay. https://t.co/8W2FCW5XCo— Airbnb (@Airbnb) March 22, 2016
Due to recent events, our service is affected. Demand is high, surge pricing is off, drivers are busy. Be safe and thanks for your patience.— Uber Brussels (@Uber_BXL) March 22, 2016
When asked if the free services would be extended to customers who have loved ones in Turkey, Yemen, the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, where terrorists have also struck over the past week, none of the Canadian telecom companies provided comment at the time of publication.
Meanwhile, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo implored that people stay off the phones yesterday:
IMPORTANT: Brussels mobile networks are getting saturated. Please contact through data messages: Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter. Avoid calls— Alexander De Croo (@alexanderdecroo) March 22, 2016
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