NEW YORK - The local phone service provided by Verizon ranks among the best in the country and it keeps getting better, according to customers participating in a national survey.
In results issued today, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) ranked Verizon neck and neck for the #1 ranking, just one point behind Bell South, which garnered the top spot in the annual local customer survey. Verizon earned a 73, just below Bell South's score of 74. A difference of three points or less is considered statistically insignificant. After Verizon, the next local phone company measured in the survey had a score of 66.
In addition, Verizon was the only local telecommunications company to improve its score in the ACSI survey, moving up two points from last year's score of 71. For all other local companies in the study, the scores went down.
''The results show that all our efforts to continually improve service are paying off,'' said Lawrence T. Babbio, Verizon vice chairman and president. ''We have the most highly skilled, hardest-working employees in the business, and we have built a nationwide telecommunications network that's second to none.
''We operate in some of the most competitive telecommunications markets in the world, and we know our customers' expectations get tougher each day, so we will keep investing in our network. We will continue to work hard to make sure we have the best people - all working together toward the single goal of exceeding what our customers expect each and every day,'' he said.
Verizon will continue to aggressively invest in its wireline and wireless networks this year, spending some $17.5 billion on its capital expense program, Babbio said. The Verizon wireline network - which carries more than 1.5 billion calls each day, along with billions of bits of data -- features more than 8.3 million miles of fiber-optic cable, more than any other local or long-distance company in the country.
Today's announcement follows the recent Yankee Group survey of local phone customers, which named the former Bell Atlantic region of Verizon tops in customer service.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index is conducted by the University of Michigan Business School, the American Society for Quality and the CFI Group. Each year, more than 50,000 customers are surveyed. The study has been conducted since 1994.
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