BOSTON - Verizon customers in New England are the first to receive completely redesigned phone bills that are easier to understand, as the company continues its multi-year program to improve the bills for its over 27 million residential customers nationwide.
Beginning this month, Verizon's local, long-distance and DSL consumers in New England are receiving monthly bills that contain several improvements -- building on initial redesign work that began last year. Enhancements include: consolidation of product charges from four different sections into one "New Charges" section that clearly displays Verizon's products and product bundles; elimination of multiple displays of taxes; and an updated design of page 2, which now explains telecom-related taxes and surcharges, payment options, contact center phone numbers, and addresses for 24-hour Web sites. On page 3 of the new bill format, products and taxes have only one section each with the charges listed on the left and corresponding explanations listed in the right margin. As a result, product charges now match advertised prices with taxes and surcharges broken out separately. Verizon will also confirm on customers' bills whenever they order a new product or product bundle.
Another new feature of the enhanced phone bill will allow Verizon to notify customers, via the bill, when a new product or service is available in their area.
No service prices or government taxes and surcharges have been changed as a result of the bill redesign.
Last year, the company launched the program by redesigning and improving the first two pages of the bill. Now, all pages of New England bills have been redesigned. Verizon will begin rolling out the new bills in other parts of the country next year.
"Our goal is simple: We wanted our bill to be easy to use and easy to understand like our Freedom service bundles, which combine high-speed Internet, wireless, video and home communications in one simple product with an easy on your wallet price," said Mike Hassett, Verizon senior vice president for retail marketing. "The new bill provides a simple display of charges with clear explanations and even contains tips on how customers can use the Verizon Web site to pay their bill, obtain product information and order services.
"We are focused on enhancing every aspect of the customer's experience with Verizon, as part of our overall service quality effort. This improvement of our bill is a critical part of that program," Hassett added.
Verizon customers in New England are receiving additional information about the new bills in a special insert contained in their latest bills. In addition, customers can visit a special Web site and see samples of the new bill by visiting: www.verizon.com/newbill.
To plan for the overall bill redesign, Verizon conducted focus groups and usability studies with customers around the country. One of the areas the groups identified as most often leading to confusion was the information about Verizon services, which previously had been spread throughout the bill - often on four separate pages. Now this information is located on a single page. And in a new section, the taxes and surcharges such as the federal subscriber line charge are explained in a clear, understandable fashion.
Other features of the new bill from the initial redesign effort last year as well as additional improvements this year include:
- A new, easier-to-read typeface for Verizon charges
- Customer-friendly terms replace technical and regulatory jargon
- Elimination of anything redundant
- A new "For Your Information" section on page 2, which contains explanations of tax and surcharges along with other payment tips
- The phone numbers, hours and Web sites for various Verizon offices - ranging from the 24-hour repair center to the business office - are now located in one place on page 2
- Larger paper
- Simplified payment coupon with electronic payment enrollment
In addition to the Verizon retail marketing team, Verizon's Information Technology (IT) organization played a key role in the project as various operations support systems and other aspects of IT had to be changed to produce the new bill.
"The new bill provides clear, common and consistent communication each month both in paper and online formats via verizon.com's expanding self-service capabilities," said Fari Ebrahimi, senior vice president-information technology. "This new bill is the enabler for reducing complexities within the existing billing applications, which currently support multiple formats and jurisdictions. By reducing complexity, changes can be delivered faster and more consistently. This is mutually beneficial to Verizon in terms of improved, streamlined internal processes as well as to our customers."
For customers who don't want a paper bill at all, Verizon's Web site, www.verizon.com, allows customers to review and pay their bills without writing a check or paying postage. Customers can also perform other functions there, ranging from buying a new service to reporting a problem at any hour of the day or night.
To enroll to review and pay bills on the Web site, Verizon customers should have their regular phone bill in front of them, as it contains customer-specific and private information that is required to sign up and execute transactions electronically.
A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.