SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Verizon Long Distance today began offering innovative, straightforward long-distance calling plans that bring the true benefits of competition -- choice and value -- to Vermont consumers and businesses.
Earlier this month, Verizon received approval from the Federal Communications Commission to offer long-distance service in Vermont, allowing the company to jointly market local and long-distance services in the state.
"Starting today we are bringing simplicity and savings to long-distance services in Vermont," said Louise McCarren, president of Verizon Vermont. "Based on our experiences in other markets, Vermont customers will benefit from increased competition for both long-distance and local phone services."
The entrance of Verizon into the long-distance market in other Northeast states has given customers greater choice in long-distance and local calling plans. Research by several independent watchdog groups shows that consumers in the Northeast have saved as much as $1.8 billion annually on their phone bills in states where Verizon can offer long-distance service.
Verizon's long-distance plans have competitive, per-minute rates without pricing gimmicks. Most plans do not have monthly charges or minimums.
"It's long distance made simple from Verizon," said Jill Wagner vice president - retail markets for Verizon. "We're offering Vermont residents and businesses long-distance calling plans that are innovative and easy to understand. We've eliminated the hidden fees and complicated rate structures. We've made it easy with one provider, one bill and one call for customer service."
Both residential and business customers told us they want to 'keep it simple' and Verizon's long-distance plans do just that. We offer customized calling plans tailored to fit our customers' lifestyles and calling preferences," Wagner said.
Verizon's plans, available in 42 states including Vermont, have proven very popular with consumers and businesses alike. Consumers and businesses can choose from an assortment of Verizon long-distance plans designed for domestic and international calling. Verizon also offers toll-free plans and calling cards for both consumers and businesses.
Innovative Calling Plans for Residential Consumers
Verizon's residential long-distance service earned top marks in "overall satisfaction" on the Yankee Group's annual Technologically Advanced Family Survey, ahead of "big three" competitors AT&T, MCI/WorldCom and Sprint. Of customers queried, 76 percent gave Verizon's service "excellent or above average," better than Sprint, AT&T or MCI/WorldCom. According to the Yankee Group, a Boston-based technology research and consulting company, Verizon's "strong customer acquisition strategies" are a key factor in bolstering the company's customer rating.
Some plans enable customers to purchase long-distance service in advance or to bundle long-distance with packages of Verizon products and services. For instance, Verizon Vermont customers who subscribe to the Local Package can add long-distance service at 8 cents a minute (both state-to-state and in state). The Local Package is $42.95 per month and includes the local line, unlimited local calling and four or more value added services.
"Verizon offers the most value for consumers not subscribing to a long-distance plan from their current long-distance company," said Wagner. These customers may pay as much as 25 cents a minute for calls. Verizon's most popular plan, Timelesssm, offers consumers a flat rate of 10 cents a minute for state-to-state and in state Vermont long-distance calls and has no monthly plan fees.
Flexible Plans Meet Needs of Smallest Business to Largest Enterprise
Verizon is offering long-distance voice and data services designed to meet the requirements of small, medium-size and large businesses, government agencies and education customers in Vermont.
"There's a plan here for everyone -- from the highest to lowest volume long-distance callers," Wagner said. "We will make it easy to do business with Verizon."
Verizon's plans offer small and medium-size businesses the simplicity of bundled packages of local and long-distance services, one bill, and one place to call for their local, long-distance and other communications needs. The company offers customized calling plans for medium-size to large businesses.
Residential customers and small and medium-size businesses can sign up for Verizon long-distance service through the company's Web site at www.verizonld.com or by calling their local Verizon business office. Enterprise customers can contact their account manager or visit the Verizon Enterprise Solutions Group Web site at www.verizon.com/enterprisesolutions.
In addition to Vermont and 41 other states where Verizon offers long distance, the company is proceeding with additional federal applications for permission to serve six other states and Washington, D.C. in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions formerly served by Bell Atlantic (now Verizon). Verizon previously has won federal approval to offer long-distance in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
Verizon launched its new Vermont plans today in a ceremony at the company's state headquarters in South Burlington. Joining McCarren and other Verizon employees in the celebration were Clay Ives and Chris Thorpe, bronze medallists in the men's luge doubles competition during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Verizon became a founding sponsor of the USA Luge team in 1985.
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.