MARION, Ohio - Verizon once again delivered high-quality local and long-distance phone services in Ohio during 2002, using one of the most advanced and reliable networks in the nation and continuing a trend over the last four years.
"Strong results from almost every major indicator show that we're continuing our focus on delivering the best phone service possible to our customers in Ohio," said Todd Colquitt, president-Verizon Ohio. "Customer complaints to state regulators remained low as did customer requests for repairs, while we continued to invest heavily in the Verizon network that serves Ohio."
Last year, Verizon spent $115 million on capital projects in the state -- helping the company expand and modernize a statewide network that now features nearly 93,000 miles of fiber optics. In the process, Verizon expanded the availability of products ranging from DSL (digital subscriber line) to Caller ID Name and Number.
Since 1999, Verizon has dramatically reduced the rate of customer complaints to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), from 527 complaints to 372 last year.
"We've worked diligently to continually improve service quality to our Ohio customers," Colquitt said. "And our ongoing investment in the Verizon network that serves them is paying off. There's been a significant drop in the number of repair requests. It's clear that Verizon's network is performing very well."
During 2002, Verizon's trouble report rate -- or the number of repairs requested per 100 phone lines - averaged 1.49 in Ohio, a 16 percent drop since 1999. The PUCO requirement is no more than 3.0 trouble reports annually per 100 lines. These repair requests from customers typically include static on a line, a feature that doesn't work properly or a line that is out of service.
Verizon is measured by PUCO in several other areas, including the average time customers wait for an installation once they've placed an order, the average time a phone line is out of service, the percentage of repeat trouble reports, and the average time it takes employees to answer customer calls for repair. Verizon beat the industry targets in each of these areas.
For example, customers receive new services, like Caller ID, less than 12 hours after they request them, while the commission's target is about 54 hours. Verizon has invested in an extensive computer network that allows calling features to be installed the same day, sometimes even when the customer is still on the phone requesting the service. In 1999, customers waited an average of 20 hours.
"These are challenging times in the telecommunications industry and the cornerstone of keeping our current customers -- and attracting new ones -- is Verizon's service quality, " Colquitt said.
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 135.8 million access line equivalents and 32.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and 229,500 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to 33 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.