NEW YORK - Verizon Communications' service quality results in New York have improved dramatically over the last five years, the company said today.
"New Yorkers are served by one of the most advanced and reliable networks in the country," said Arnold Eckelman, Verizon's senior vice president for operations. "We have long recognized that New York is the most competitive telecommunications marketplace in the country, so we have invested heavily here and continually improved the service we provide our customers.
"The overwhelming weight of evidence shows that we are deploying the technology our customers need. Anyone who suggests that the picture we report to the New York Public Service Commission is inaccurate is just plain wrong," he said.
"It is our goal to do a great job for customers," Eckelman said. "We call on all our employees and union leaders to join with us in working to provide the best possible service to the people of New York."
In fact, the Verizon record on service improvements in New York is among the strongest in the industry. Over the last two years alone, Verizon has invested about $2 billion annually in the telecommunications network that serves New Yorkers from Buffalo to New York City to Long Island. In addition, the company has added thousands of service-related jobs since 1996. Today, Verizon is the largest private employer in New York and provides over 33,000 union jobs.
"Our smart investments mean we have kept up with growth, deployed new technologies and continually improved service," Eckelman said.
In 1996, Verizon began its first full year operating under a seven-year regulatory plan that includes some of the toughest service standards in the country. Since then, the company has seen its service quality results improve across a broad array of measurements. In addition, the New York Public Service Commission (PSC) awarded the company formal commendations for providing "excellent" service in several different areas of New York City for three years in a row, beginning in 1997.
Two of the most significant service measurements are the number of repairs requested per 100 telephone lines (also known as the customer trouble report rate or CTRR) and the number of customer complaints to the New York PSC per 100,000 customers.
In 1996, the statewide average for the customer trouble report rate was about 3.9 repairs needed for every 100 lines. This year, the statewide CTRR average is about 2.9. That improvement - about 25 percent - occurred despite the August labor strike against Verizon. And it comes despite unusually heavy and prolonged rains during the spring and summer this year.
In 1996, the average rate of customers making a formal complaint to the NY PSC reached nearly 13 per 100,000 customers. This year, the average complaint rate is less than half as many or about six customers for every 100,000 customers. Again, this improvement - more than 50 percent -- comes despite the union strike and heavy spring and summer rains.
As part of the New York incentive regulation plan, Verizon reports pro-actively on the accuracy of service statistics. The accuracy of those statistics is verified by independent internal teams and by an outside accounting firm. The result is that service reports submitted to the PSC are proven to be over 99 percent accurate.
"The bottom line is that the New York communications infrastructure is solid, tremendous improvement has been made and we and our employees are focused on our customers," Eckelman said.
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 more than 101 million access line equivalents and 25.6 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 .