WASHINGTON, D.C. - August 7, 2000 - Consumers are experiencing no problems making phone calls and cruising the Internet during the work stoppage in Verizon Communications' Northeast service area. Customers calling directory assistance or ordering new phone service will likely encounter delays, however.
Verizon is the national telecommunications company formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE. The work stoppage affects customers in the former Bell Atlantic service area, from Maine to the Virginias.
Verizon's telephone network - which is fully automated and uses the latest in digital switching and transmission technology - is handling local and long distance calls without any interruption. So customers can dial away and keep surfing the 'Net using our network.
Some services may be affected by the work stoppage. The following tips may help customers during this dispute:
- Patience on repair - If you're having trouble with your home phone, check the inside wiring in your house or telephone before calling the Verizon repair center. Residential customers can troubleshoot any problems in their inside wiring or phone by accessing Verizon's on-line customer suppport page on the Web and following the instructions. The site also will allow you to file a trouble report with Verizon electronically. Handy instructions for checking your wiring or phones also are available in the front section of your White Pages directory. By using these alternatives, you may avoid a potentially unnecessary call to repair. During a work stoppage, repairs likely will be delayed.
- Ordering new services or products - Customers who do not have an urgent need to order new services or products during the strike might prefer to avoid long holding times on the phone, waiting to speak with service representatives, by delaying their purchases or by calling early or late in the day. Alternatively, new lines, services and packages of services, including required equipment, can be purchased through a Verizon on-line order entry system, often with an incentive award for ordering on-line. If you order a new service now or have recently, be prepared for a somewhat longer wait than normal.
- Use the book - or the Web. If you're having trouble getting through to Verizon's 411 service, try the reliable Verizon White and Yellow Pages directory to find the number. And you might want to try Verizon's Big Yellow Internet site (www.bigyellow.com), where it's easy to find just about any residential or business listing in the United States.
- Wait a few days with billing questions - If you have a question about your Verizon phone bill, don't call the 411 or "0" operator. Employees who answer these calls will not be able to help you with your bill. If you have a pressing question, please call the regular Verizon business office number, which is listed on the front page of your bill. Employees will be able to answer your question, but you might experience some delays reaching them. Again, if the question is not pressing, you may want to hold off calling the business office for a few days.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 95 million access lines and 25 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 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.