11.26.1997Corporate

New Jerseyans Aware of Area Code Changes Survey Shows




New Jerseyans Aware of Area Code Changes, Survey Shows

But Some Still Unprepared for Dialing Changes on Dec. 6


November 26, 1997







Media contacts:

Tim Ireland

973-649-2279


NEWARK, N.J. - Most consumers and
virtually 100 percent of businesses in northern and central New Jersey
know about the new 973 and 732
area codes, according to a Bell Atlantic-New Jersey poll taken in late
October and early November.


But the survey also shows that one out of three residential customers
and one out of six businesses affected by the new codes have not taken
steps to get ready for the dialing changes.


"It's clear that we've succeeded in informing our customers about the
new 973 and 732 area codes," said Len J. Lauer, president and CEO of
Bell Atlantic-New Jersey. "Now it's up to all of our customers to use
the information we've provided."


Telephone customers have had a chance to get ready for the new area
codes during a six-month transition dialing period that ends Dec. 6.
As of that date, callers who continue to dial 201 and 908 to reach
customers located in the 973 and 732 area codes will begin to hear a
recorded message instructing them to dial the correct area code.


What customers should do:



  • Notify people who call you regularly. Tell friends, relatives,
    customers, employees, local affiliates, business associates, suppliers
    and others.


  • Reprogram telecommunications services and equipment to include the
    new area codes. This is particularly important for businesses with
    PBXs (Private Branch Exchanges) that must be reprogrammed to complete
    calls to the new area codes. Businesses with clients or customers
    outside New Jersey also should instruct them to reprogram their PBXs
    to make calls to 973 and 732.


  • Make certain the new area codes appear in ads, promotional brochures
    and other printed materials. This includes stationery, business
    cards, invoices, purchase orders, catalogs, product packaging,
    internal records, company directories, labels, billboards, recorded
    messages, trucks, mugs, key chains, radio and TV spots or anything
    else that displays your area code and telephone number.


  • Special note to medical doctors, veterinarians and dentists: Be
    sure to reprogram your call forwarding on Friday, Dec. 5, to accept
    the new area codes. Otherwise, weekend emergency calls might not
    reach the appropriate answering services.


How Customers Can Find Out If They're Affected by the Area Code
Changes:



  • Pay attention to information provided with Bell Atlantic phone
    bills. During November and early December, customers who live or
    conduct business in the 973 and 732 area codes will be receiving
    pamphlets listing telephone exchanges included in the two new area
    codes. Customers who find their exchanges listed on the 973 or 732
    lists will know that they are getting a new area code.


  • Look for ads in local newspapers; listen to ads on the radio. In
    November and early December, Bell Atlantic will run informational ads
    in local newspapers and spots on regional radio stations.


  • Refer to Bell Atlantic's two area code web sites. Bell Atlantic has
    created two area code web sites to which customers can refer. One
    site, http://www.bell-atl.com/areacode, features a wealth of
    information about area code changes in New Jersey and across the Bell
    Atlantic region. Another site, http://www.bell-atl.com/ba-nj, allows
    customers to type in New Jersey telephone numbers to see if those
    numbers are included in the 973 or 732 area codes. Both web sites are
    available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


  • Call Bell Atlantic's toll-free area code hotline. The hotline, at
    1-800-409-8773, takes calls Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5
    p.m.


About the Bell Atlantic-New Jersey Area Code Poll:



Between Oct. 21 and Nov. 2, 200 Bell Atlantic residential customers
in the new 732 area code and 200 customers in the new 973 area code
were interviewed by telephone. Interviews were conducted with the
household member who usually pays the bills.


A similar poll designed for Bell Atlantic business customers was
conducted between
Oct. 13 and Nov. 4.


The margin of error in both polls was roughly 5 percent.


The Results:




  • Ninety-seven percent of residential customers and 100 percent of
    business customers said they were aware of imminent area code changes
    in the 973 and 732 area codes.


  • Seven percent of residential customers in 973 and 732 said that the
    area code changes would have a great deal of effect on them, while 22
    percent responded that the creation of new area codes would have some
    effect on them. Nineteen percent said the changes would not have very
    much effect, and 46 percent said they would have no effect at all.


  • Fifteen percent of business customers in 973 and 732 said that the
    area code changes will have a great deal of effect on them.
    Twenty-nine percent of business customers said the changes would have
    some effect; 9 percent said not very much effect and 44 percent said
    no effect at all.


  • Fifty-one percent of residential customers in 973 and 732 said they
    understand that new area codes will not increase the rates they are
    charged for local and regional toll calls. Twenty-two percent said
    that they believe their rates will go up and 27 percent said they
    didn't know one way or the other. (For the record, rates will not
    increase as a result of an area code change.)


  • Fifty-two percent of business customers in 973 and 732 said they
    understand that new area codes will not increase the rates they are
    charged for local and regional toll calls. Nineteen percent said they
    believe their rates will go up, and 29 percent said they didn't know
    one way or the other.


  • Eighty-three percent of residential customers in the new 973 and 732
    area codes said they knew that their new area code was either 973 or
    732.


  • Ninety-five percent of business customers in the new 973 and 732
    area codes said they knew that their new area code was either 973 or
    732.


  • Thirty-one percent of residential customers in 973 and 732 have made
    no changes whatsoever to take the new area codes into account.
    Fifty-eight percent have made one or two changes. Eleven percent have
    made three or more changes.


  • Thirteen percent of businesses customers in 973 and 732 have made no
    changes whatsoever to take the new area codes into account. Twenty
    percent have made one or two changes. Sixty-seven percent have made
    three or more changes.


  • Fifty-eight percent of residential customers in 973 and 732 have
    notified family and friends about area code changes. Thirteen percent
    have reprinted stationery, checks and labels. Twenty-one percent have
    started dialing the new area codes.


  • Sixteen percent of the businesses in 973 and 732 that own speed
    dialers have reprogrammed them. Twenty-two percent of the businesses
    that own fax machines have reprogrammed them. Twenty-two percent of
    the businesses that own PC modems have reprogrammed them.


  • Sixty percent of businesses in the new area codes have notified
    customers and vendors of the area code changes. Fifty-three percent
    have advised employees of the changes. Sixty-eight percent have
    reprinted stationery. Sixty-six percent have revised advertising, and
    31 percent actually have started dialing the new area code numbers.


The new Bell Atlantic - formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and
NYNEX - is at the forefront of the new communications, information and
entertainment industry. With 40 million telephone access lines and
5.8 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 21 countries.