The pledge that Pai hurriedly got telecoms to sign said things like they would not “terminate service to any residential or small business customers because of their inability to pay their bills due to the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.” It also said telecoms promised to “waive any late fees that any residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.” According to NBC News, telecoms decided they didn’t care so much for those promises.
NBC gives case after case of newly unemployed workers and recently furloughed workers who have found their services cut off, and mixed messages coming from their providers. Cleveland.com tells the story of a woman who had her phone cut off in the middle of a telemedicine visit with her brother’s doctor, even after she spoke with a representative who assured her they would allow her to pay off her bill with a soon-to-be-received disability check.
The important thing to realize here is that there is no recourse for this. The FCC, in repealing net neutrality protections, has in essence given up the right to do much of anything except shake their fingers.