NEW YORK - The country's largest telecommunications company and the country's largest convenience store retailer today announced that they're teaming up to offer prepaid long-distance calling cards at up to 5,300 participating 7-Eleven® stores nationwide.
"It's all about convenience and reliability. Prepaid cards need to be easy to buy, easy to use and must provide reliable service," said Bill Freeman, president of Verizon's Public Communications unit that operates 430,000 payphones and offers prepaid calling cards to people on the go. "With Verizon and 7-Eleven, you get all three."
"Verizon is a dynamic telecommunications company that is working closely with
7-Eleven to create value-added phone card products," said Tim McCallum, 7-Eleven director, services. "The combination of Verizon's well-known brand as a premier phone service provider and 7-Eleven's scale and selling power enabled the development of higher quality products for our customers."
7-Eleven and Verizon will offer four prepaid phone cards, including one card exclusively for calls to Mexico. With per-minute rates starting as low as 1.9-cents per minute, the cards were designed to give consumers easy options to meet their different calling needs. The four 7-Eleven prepaid phone cards by Verizon include:
- The 7-Eleven Value+® Card, designed for callers who make longer calls, is available in $5, $10 and $20 denominations. It has a domestic rate of 1.9 cents a minute, with a connection fee of 79 cents per call that is deducted from the value of the card. A five-minute call with this card would cost 89 cents while a 20-minute call would cost $1.17.
- The 7-Eleven Flat Rate card carries no connection fee, and calls are always 9.9 cents a minute. It is designed for consumers who make shorter calls. The card is sold in $5, $10 and $20 denominations. A five-minute call with this card would cost 50 cents, while a 20-minute call would cost $1.98.
- The $50 7-Eleven Flat Rate card has no connection fee and a domestic rate of 4.9 cents a minute for a total of 1,020 minutes. A five-minute call using this card would cost 25 cents while a 20-minute call would cost 98 cents. And while the rate is only available with a $50 card, it is perfect for the heavy user or the business traveler. At 4.9 cents a minute, the rate is better than many home calling plans.
- The 7-Eleven Value+ Mexico card is designed exclusively for calls to Mexico, but also can be used for calls within the United States. Cards for $5, $10 and $20 are available. Calls are 8.9 cents a minute and each call has a connection charge of $1.99.
All four 7-Eleven phone cards by Verizon allow calling from more than 60 countries to the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The 7-Eleven prepaid card rates are among the lowest in the industry, and customer service is available 24 hours a day via a toll-free number printed on the cards. Customer support personnel are available to quote calling rates and answer questions. All of the 7-Eleven prepaid cards allow calling to more than 200 countries, at rates that vary by country. In addition, the
7-Eleven phone cards by Verizon have no maintenance fees.
"Our goal in working with Verizon was to design a program that focuses on meeting our customers' needs by creating easy-to-understand, everyday fair-value phone cards," McCallum said.
7-Eleven and Verizon will begin an extensive marketing campaign in May for the new prepaid calling cards, including television commercials, store-front banners, window signs and point-of-purchase displays.
The prepaid card industry is a $4 billion a year business. Those most likely to purchase prepaid cards are: consumers and business people on the go, international travelers in the U.S., Generation Xers, consumers who do not have long-distance service, college students, people who make frequent international calls and consumers who make only cash purchases.
Verizon is expanding its long-standing relationship with 7-Eleven. Verizon payphones currently are in most 7-Eleven stores across the country. Later this year, the company expects to offer additional Verizon services through 7-Eleven's in-store Vcom kiosks at participating stores. Customers would be able to view and pay their telephone bills, report or check on the status of a repair and order select optional calling features such as Call Waiting and Caller ID.
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 133.8 million access line equivalents and approximately 29.6 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and nearly 248,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.
7-Eleven, Inc. is the premier name and largest chain in the convenience retailing industry and is observing its 75th anniversary in 2002. Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, 7-Eleven, Inc. operates or franchises approximately 5,800 7-Eleven(r) stores in the United States and Canada and licenses approximately 17,000 7-Eleven stores in 17 other countries and territories throughout the world. During 2001, 7-Eleven stores worldwide generated total sales of more than $31 billion. Find out more online at www.7-Eleven.com