NEW YORK - Like to surf the 'Net, but hate to miss phone calls? Now, that problem is solved with Verizon's Internet Call Manager service.
The service is now available to Verizon customers in Baltimore, Philadelphia, the Washington, D.C. area, Delaware and Northern New Jersey.
Internet Call Manager notifies customers of incoming calls while they are on the Internet using the same phone line. The incoming call is announced on their computer screen by a pop-up window, much like a Caller ID display.
"Internet Call Manager is ideal for customers who have only one phone line or want to make and receive voice calls on a line primarily used for Internet access," said Jill Wagner, vice president of Consumer Marketing for Verizon. "It provides so much convenience - you're not interrupted if you're on the Internet, yet you won't miss calls you want to answer.
"Internet Call Manager will rescue the college student who needs to do research online for a term paper, but wants to wait for a call from his girlfriend. It will also help the work-at-home mother who may be juggling e-mails while nervously waiting for a call from her child's teacher," Wagner said.
When a call comes in, the customer can decide to end the Web session and take the call, forward it to another line or a wireless phone, provide one of three pre-recorded messages to the caller, or send the call to voice mail. Messages can be delivered in English or Spanish.
Internet Call Manager is $5.95 a month, plus $2 a month for Call Forward Busy Line, a required call-handling feature.
Customers may only order the new service on Verizon's Web site at www.verizon.com/internetcallmanager.
Verizon's Internet Call Manager service uses patented technology from InfoInterActive. Each time a customer connects to the Internet, the current Internet address is automatically sent to an InfoInterActive node. If that customer receives a call while online, the Verizon network requests call-handling instructions from the node which in turn displays the caller's name and number on the customer's computer screen -- just like a Caller ID box -- and asks for instructions. The call is then routed based on the customer's instructions.
With Internet Call Manager, the caller hears normal ringing and is not aware that the customer is online. The customer does not need to respond to the request for instructions if he or she chooses, in which case the caller continues to hear ringing or is sent to the customer's voice mail. The node also can detect when the Internet address has changed or the customer has disconnected.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.