Bell Atlantic Takes One Millionth 'National 411' Call
Service a Big Hit in New York, Virginia; Rollout Continues
March 5, 1999
Jim Smith ,
NEW YORK -- Sometime today, a Bell Atlantic operator in New York or
Virginia will help the company's one millionth customer get a faraway
phone number. The company will hit this milestone just five weeks after
the rollout of National 411 Service in New York and five days after the
introduction in Virginia.
"A million of anything is a lot," said Kitty Linder, vice president -
operator services for Bell Atlantic. "That we've taken this many calls for
national listings in this short period, from only two states, is proof that we
have a product our customers like."
Bell Atlantic is in the process of rolling out National 411 Service
throughout the northeastern states. With National 411, customers can dial
the familiar 4-1-1 number for directory assistance, give the operator a
state, city (or an area code) and name, and get a phone number anywhere
in the country for 95 cents.
If the caller asks Bell Atlantic for a local listing, the cost is much lower.
Local listings are priced by state regulators and will be billed at the
prevailing rate, which averages about 35 cents. Additionally, in most
states, consumers get a number of free calls to local directory assistance
each month. Geographic areas covered by "local" lookups range from
large metropolitan areas to entire states, depending on local regulations.
Other directory assistance services generally require dialing a 10-10
access code and all listings are billed at the same price, about 99 cents.
Customers who seek distant numbers by dialing the area code plus 555-
1212 pay as much as $1.40 per call to the long distance company that
serves their telephone.
"Our National 411 is an instant success," Linder said. "Customers can use
the familiar 411 code to reach us, they don't need to know the area code
for the listing they want, and our pricing is fair. Our experienced
operators are the best at satisfying customers with accurate listings."
Bell Atlantic will continue the rollout of National 411 service later this
month in parts of New England, and in additional states in April.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 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.