Bell Atlantic Delivers Improved Service to New York Businesses, Consumers
Results Improve Dramatically As Record Growth Continues
October 30, 1997
ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York consumers and businesses are
reaping the benefits of Bell Atlantic's sweeping efforts
to improve service through increased network investments,
new service delivery processes and the addition of
service-related jobs over the last 18 months.
From September, 1996, through August, 1997, Bell Atlantic
met or exceeded 94 percent of the service targets contained
in the regulatory plan under which the company operates in
New York. These results were reported at the end of the
second year of the state's seven-year Performance Regulatory
Plan (PRP), which includes nearly 1,000 monthly, quarterly
and annual service delivery targets. During the first year
of the plan, Bell Atlantic met 80 percent of the targets.
"These results show that we are fast becoming the company
that sets the service standard for our industry," said Arnie
Eckelman, Bell Atlantic Group President-Customer Services.
"What's remarkable about them is that our service quality
continued to improve even though the PRP's goals get more
difficult each year. And our performance was stronger while
we met a record demand for telephone lines and optional
services and faced increasing competition in our marketplace.
"Excellent service is what a successful company must provide
in a competitive marketplace," Eckelman added.
Under the PRP -- which was adopted by the New York Public
Service Commission (PSC) in August, 1995 -- Bell Atlantic
must meet a stringent set of service quality standards
that get tougher each year. The plan continues until year
If Bell Atlantic does not meet PRP targets, the company
has guaranteed its service by agreeing to pay rebates to
customers in affected areas. Once the PSC completes its
review of the second year results, it is expected that
Bell Atlantic in New York will pay rebates to its customers
that are dramatically less than what it paid during the plan's
first year. While the amount is not yet finalized, it is
estimated to be less than one-tenth of what the company paid
during the PRP's first year.
"Our results here, as well as our new customer care program
announced earlier this week, clearly demonstrate that quality
service is our top priority," added Eckelman, who is now
responsible for customer services across the Bell Atlantic
The service quality targets Bell Atlantic must meet in New York
include the following: The rate and total number of repairs,
missed repair appointments, lines out of service for more than
24 hours, speed of answer on customer calls to company business
offices and customer complaints to the commission.
This year, to improve service in New York, Bell Atlantic has
added 1,100 service-related jobs and increased its annual
network construction budget to over $1.5 billion -- a more
than $200 million increase.
Earlier this week, Bell Atlantic also announced a program
heightening its commitment to quality service across the
region it serves. The new "customer care" program, which
builds on service improvement practices that have worked
well in various parts of the business, includes:
- Sixty-day money back guarantees on many of Bell Atlantic's
most popular features.
- Automatic credits when a phone line is out of service for
more than 24 hours.
- Forwarding of incoming calls during prolonged outages.
- Follow-up telephone calls to customers after their service
is installed or repaired.
Bell Atlantic service results are expected to be reviewed
at an upcoming New York PSC meeting.
The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell
Atlantic and NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications,
information and entertainment industry. With 40 million
telephone access lines and 5.8 million wireless customers worldwide,
Bell Atlantic companies are premier providers of advanced
wireline voice and data services, market leaders in wireless
services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's
largest investors in high-growth global communications markets,
with operations and investments in 21 countries.