Verizon Adds 'RapidRecharge' Feature To SmartTouch Long-Distance Plan

NEW YORK - Imagine being able to refill your gas tank automatically once a week or whenever the gas level gets to "E." Verizon Long Distance has added just that kind of "fill-it-up" feature to its innovative SmartTouchsm pre-paid, long-distance plan.

Starting today, SmartTouch customers can set up their account to recharge itself automatically with a credit or debit card. RapidRechargesm allows customers to either refill their account monthly with a pre-set dollar amount or whenever their account declines to a minimum level set by the customer.

Two Ways To Set-Up RapidRecharge

RapidRecharge - Monthly -- SmartTouch accounts are replenished automatically on a date with amount determined by customer. Customers can add between $10 and $999 a month to their account. For example, a customer can add $50 to the SmartTouch account on the 15th of every month.

RapidRecharge - Every Time -- It replenishes the SmartTouch account with a customer-set amount every time the balance drops to a minimum level or $5. So, $50 could be added whenever the account gets to $5. With either version, any money in the SmartTouch account rolls over automatically each month and is available month-to-month until it's used.

"SmartTouch now gives our customers more freedom -- freedom to make calls at a great rate, and freedom to stay within their budget but keep the account charged up," said Jill Wagner, vice president for marketing, Verizon Long Distance. It's simple and the ultimate in convenience. The new RapidRecharge feature puts even more control in our customers' hands.

"Unlike many other plans, SmartTouch with RapidRecharge excels at giving customers the flexibility to manage and control spending levels and track time spent on a call. It's easy to put RapidRecharge on autopilot and never worry about losing minutes. It puts our customers on the cutting-edge of long-distance call management," Wagner said.

Verizon Long Distance is the first and only company to offer a pre-paid long-distance plan with SmartTouch's features. Verizon has applied for a patent for the plan.

How SmartTouch Works

Consumers establish a SmartTouch account and sign-up for RapidRecharge through the SmartTouch Web site at www.getsmarttouch.com. They buy long-distance time in advance either with a credit card or a Visa® or MasterCard® check/debit card.

Calls cost only 8 cents a minute for state-to-state, direct-dialed calls from home. Rates vary slightly by state for in-state long-distance calls. The price includes all taxes and surcharges. A voice prompt at the beginning of each long-distance call says exactly how much money is in the customer's SmartTouch account and the number of minutes available for the call. A prompt at the end of the call tells the customer the remaining balance. Only the customer can hear the account status information on the call. Customers also can dial "0-0" (zero, zero) from their home phone to get an account balance anytime, day or night or through the Web site at www.mysmarttouch.com.

SmartTouch also has a feature that allows customers to place calls from a pay phone, by dialing an 800 number and entering their home phone number and a secure PIN (personal identification number). These state-to-state, direct-dialed calls are 25 cents per minute. The amount of the calls is deducted from the customer's SmartTouch account just like calls made from home. SmartTouch does not add a per-call service charge to its Away-from-Home feature - even if the call is placed from a pay phone.

SmartTouch is available to consumers in 25 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin.

The Good Housekeeping Institute, known for 100 years for its product evaluations, recently gave its prestigious Web site certification to the SmartTouch Web site - www.getsmarttouch.com.

Verizon Communications

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 112 million access line equivalents and 27 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with approximately 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.