Combined Bill for Telecommunications and DIRECTV Service Sweetens Deal for New Bundle Customers

NEW YORK - Besides receiving discounts for bundling DIRECTV digital entertainment service with qualifying Verizon packages and services, new DIRECTV customers who order service through Verizon now will get a single bill that combines their telecommunications and entertainment services.

All DIRECTV charges, including pay-per-view, will appear on a separate page in the Verizon bill, and a single check or online payment to Verizon will cover all services.
"For our new DIRECTV customers, this completes the picture for our integrated calling, Internet and entertainment bundle," said Margaret Gardner, executive director for affiliated services.

"Within a few months, we'll be inviting our existing DIRECTV customers to unify their bills as well. Linking our billing systems is almost complete," she said.

Verizon and DIRECTV began offering a combined service bundle a year ago, which includes discounts up to $6 off the total bill for bundle customers. In addition, a new discount of an additional $5 off the calling portion of the bill is being introduced in many states for customers who buy a Freedom Unlimited calling package with DIRECTV or DSL, or who request ONE-BILL integrated wireline and Verizon Wireless billing.

"Given that DIRECTV is the largest direct broadcast satellite company and has led customer surveys for digital entertainment quality and satisfaction, we've put together a bundle that we think trumps our cable competitors pretty nicely," Gardner said. "Our bundles really appeal to customers who are looking for true value, where quality is a key component in the value equation."

Verizon first introduced its bundling strategy more than three years ago by offering discounts on its local packages and Verizon Long Distance service. Now, Verizon is able to offer bundle discounts on dial-up and high-speed Internet and TV entertainment services, along with a convenient billing option for Verizon Wireless customers. By year-end 2004, bundled services continued to attract and retain Verizon customers, with more than half of all new customers choosing a bundle.

To qualify for the single bill, the customer's name on both the DIRECTV and Verizon accounts must be the same. Customers who want a separate bill for DIRECTV service will not be able to receive the DIRECTV bundle discount. DIRECTV will continue to handle inquiries about DIRECTV charges via a toll-free number printed on the Verizon bill. Orders in Maine will be subject to third-party verification of the order, a safeguard designed to assure fair competition originally instituted for long-distance services.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 43.8 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.