Bell Atlantic Earns State Commendations for 'Excellent' Service in Three New York City Areas

Bell Atlantic Earns State Commendations for 'Excellent' Service in Three New York City Areas

Company Commended for Service Quality During 1999 in Queens, Midtown Manhattan and Southern Manhattan

March 15, 2000


Mark Marchand,

NEW YORK - For the third year in a row, Bell Atlantic has earned commendations from the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) for the local phone service it provided in three areas of New York City during 1999.

Bell Atlantic organizations serving Queens, midtown Manhattan and southern Manhattan were among several telephone companies or company divisions receiving commendations from the PSC today. The PSC annually recognizes local telephone companies throughout the state when they exceed tough service standards for customer repair reports and customer complaints to the PSC.

"Whether it's the diverse neighborhoods of Queens or Wall Street in southern Manhattan, we strive to provide the best possible service to all our customers," said Arnie Eckelman, Bell Atlantic president and chief operating officer for consumer services. "We sincerely appreciate the recognition from the Public Service Commission, and a hearty congratulations goes out to all the men and women of Bell Atlantic who worked night and day - often under difficult circumstances - to make these commendations possible.

"These commendations -- along with results from the numerous service measurements we meet throughout New York State -- demonstrate that what the company and its employees are doing every day is paying off, but we won't stop here," Eckelman added. "Our goal is to have every customer, when asked, rate our service as very good or outstanding - satisfactory is not good enough."

Last year, Bell Atlantic invested about $2 billion to continue expanding and modernizing the massive network that serves New Yorkers. The company's network throughout the state now has more than one million miles of fiber optics and all of the company's 586 call-switching centers from Buffalo to Long Island use advanced digital technology.

"Today, New Yorkers are served by one of the most advanced telecommunications networks in the world," Eckelman said.

To earn a PSC commendation, a local phone company or a geographical division of a company must meet two standards. The company or the division must have fewer than 4.2 trouble or repair reports per 100 lines in at least 95 percent of its call-switching centers. Second, the company or division must have fewer than 0.5 customer complaints to the PSC per 1,000 lines.

The commendation targets are above and beyond the thousands of monthly, quarterly and annual targets Bell Atlantic must meet under the Performance Regulatory Plan adopted by the PSC in 1995. This seven-year plan contains some of the toughest service quality standards in the country.

Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and information industry. With nearly 44 million telephone access lines and 12 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 23 countries.