New Bell Atlantic Service Routes Calls
to Nearest Business Sites Using One Phone
Customers Need to Remember Only One Number
June 15, 1999
NEW YORK -- Businesses with more than one location can now
advertise one phone number and have calls routed to the nearest local
office using Easy Number Call Routing service, a new offering from Bell
Atlantic available in the mid-Atlantic states.
Using the sophisticated call processing power of Bell Atlantic's Advanced
Intelligent Network (AIN), customers of businesses like banks, real estate
companies, restaurant chains and automotive services now can rely on a
single phone number and still be sure of reaching the most convenient
branch office. The Bell Atlantic network will route the call to the
appropriate site based on instructions stored in an intelligent network
"Virtually every industry can benefit from this technology and it's a
service that consumers will really appreciate," said Mike Hassett,
Vice President of Product Line Management for Bell Atlantic. "For
example, in the restaurant industry, an Opinion Research Corporation
survey shows that a majority of families that order take-out food from a
multi-location restaurant need to look up the telephone number and then
determine which location is closest to their home. Our new service
eliminates that burden, by providing one phone number and automatically
routing the call to the right location."
Businesses also will have the option of providing information to the caller,
such as nearby rental units or properties for sale in the caller's
neighborhood. Callers can be billed up to $5 for the service.
Easy Number service debuts this week in Virginia, Maryland, West
Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey.
Businesses Can Choose Basic or Deluxe Easy Number Plans
Subscribing businesses will have the option of choosing either basic or
deluxe Easy Number service. The "basic" and
"deluxe" services work identically, allowing businesses with
multiple locations to route calls to the location closest to the caller. The
only differences in the two services are the number dialed and billing.
"Basic" business customers in Virginia, Maryland, West
Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Delaware will be assigned a phone number
beginning with 936 and businesses in New Jersey will receive a number
beginning with 554. They will be billed for each call customers make to
them. "Deluxe" customers must have a phone number
beginning with 555 assigned by Lockheed Martin, the national numbering
plan administrator, and will be billed according to "minutes of
use" based on the length of each call and number of calls handled.
Both "Basic" and "Deluxe" services also allow
businesses to charge customers up to $5 for information tailored to the
Weight Loss Forever Prospers From Easy Number Service in Virginia
Weight Loss Forever, a Virginia herbal weight loss store, has been using
Easy Number service to increase efficiency and reduce customer
frustration. By advertising one phone number linked to Easy Number
service covering its four Richmond-area and six Tidewater-area locations,
the company's customers avoid the hassle of mistakenly calling the wrong
store, and Weight Loss Forever managers are not sidetracked by
"Easy Number is a great benefit to my business because we publish
one, easy to remember number," said Ken Raper, owner.
"With Bell Atlantic's Easy Number service, we have found a
seamless technological solution that has significantly improved our ability
to serve our customers."
Easy Number is Also Ideal For Pay-Per-Call Information Services
The Bell Atlantic Easy Number Pay-Per-Call Routing Service can also
help businesses generate revenue by providing information tailored to their
Access Information Network, a Shawnee, Pennsylvania-based real estate
information service, has been using Easy Number Deluxe on a trial basis
since November 1997. The company uses a single number for customer
access when it advertises in local newspapers. Customers who call are
notified that a $5 charge will be billed to their number and if they accept,
they specify their real estate needs and a dozen properties are listed for
"The results have been phenomenal and customers are getting what
they need at a great price," said Access Information Network vice
president William Tavormina.
With the launch of Easy Number service, Tavormina and his partner, Don
Jordan, intend to expand their business to each state where the service is
"Businesses today need simpler and stronger links to their customers
to maintain their relationships," said Hassett. "They
continually seek ways to cut costs, increase their customer base and
improve customer service. Bell Atlantic's Easy Number service directly
addresses those needs."
Bell Atlantic's Easy Number service is provided through a portfolio of
Advanced Intelligent Network features that route incoming calls based on
the first three digits of a phone number. By the end of the year, Bell
Atlantic's network will also be able to route calls based on the nine-digit
zip code (Zip+4) of the calling party.
Easy Number service works on local and regional toll calls. The caller and
the business's nearest location must be in the same regional calling area.
Pricing varies by state and is set by state regulators in tariffs that cover
items such as contract length and calling parameters such as duration,
distance and volume of calls. Businesses interested in the service can call
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With 43 million telephone access lines and nine
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.