Bell Atlantic Warns Customers of 'Collect' Calls

Bell Atlantic Warns Customers of
'Collect' Calls

Donation Scheme May Result in Unwanted Telephone

May 15,1998

Media contact:


size="2">Cliff Lee


ALBANY, N.Y.-- Bell Atlantic today
warned its customers in New York to beware of
"collect" phone calls they may receive from a
company or organization soliciting donations.

A number of Bell Atlantic customers
have recently received misleading calls at their homes
and businesses. According to these customers, the calls
begin with a recorded message asking customers to accept
a collect call from someone named "Jennifer."

When they accept the call, customers
say they hear a recorded message saying an $8 charge for
the call would appear on their next telephone bill.
Customers said the message indicates the fee will be used
to benefit a child advocacy group. According to reports,
different organizations were cited as benefiting from the

Bell Atlantic has begun an
investigation to identify those responsible for the calls
and to determine if the solicitations are deliberately

While no one has yet reported being
billed for the calls, Bell Atlantic urges customers who
may have received such a call to closely examine their
next telephone bill to make sure there are no unusual or
unfamiliar charges.

If customers are billed for the call
and feel they were mislead by the solicitation, they
should contact Bell Atlantic at the number listed on the
front of their telephone bill. A Bell Atlantic
representative will discuss the customers' options and
work with them in resolving disputes.

Bell Atlantic urges consumers not to
accept collect calls unless they are certain of the
identify of the person placing the call.

Bell Atlantic -- formed through the
merger of Bell Atlantic and NYNEX -- is at the forefront
of the new communications and information industry. With
41 million telephone access lines and 6.7 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 22 countries.