Verizon's Call Intercept Allows Florida Customers To Block Unwanted Calls

TAMPA, Fla. -- Caller ID users now can block unwanted calls from telemarketers and other callers whose numbers

don't appear on Caller ID units. Call Intercept, a new service available to Verizon's Florida customers, will screen

their incoming calls when callers fail to identify themselves and allow users to decide if they want to receive calls

from others who do announce themselves.

"This product has the power of a junkyard dog, guarding customers' privacy and helping control incoming calls,"

said Jill Wagner, vice president of Consumer Marketing for Verizon. "If you're just sitting down to dinner, you

won't get those unidentified solicitation calls. Call Intercept will let you know whether a call is from a telemarketer

or a friend you've been waiting to hear from."

Since last fall, Verizon has introduced the service in New York, Washington, D.C., Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia,

Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Additional markets will be added in coming months.

With Call Intercept, calls that do not provide a valid telephone number which typically appear as "anonymous,"

"private," "out of area" or "unavailable" on Caller ID units will be intercepted before the

phone rings. Callers hear a message informing them that the subscriber does not accept unidentified calls and asking

them to say who they are. Call Intercept then rings the subscriber's phone, plays the message identifying the caller and

provides several options for managing the call. The subscriber may accept or decline the call or send the call to voice


"Call Intercept is a great product for customers who receive a lot of 'anonymous' or 'out of area' calls or who gave

up on Caller ID because some incoming calls were unidentified," Wagner said. "We expect Call Intercept will be

extremely popular because people are tired of phone calls interrupting their privacy and peace at home."

Verizon's Call Intercept also allows subscribers to give a four-digit PIN (personal identification number) to family and

friends to bypass the blocking feature when they're calling from a phone line that doesn't provide information to Caller

ID devices. Certain types of business lines, pay phones or lines with "per-line blocking" do not pass along

the phone number or name to Caller ID devices. Verizon is the first company to provide this bypass feature.

When Call Intercept rings to announce a caller, the subscriber hears a distinctive ring and "Call Intercept"

appears on the Caller ID display. When the subscriber answers, the service identifies itself and plays the recorded

name. The subscriber then has these options:

  • To accept the call, the customer presses "1" and the call is connected.
  • To decline the call, the customer presses "2" and the caller hears, "The person you are calling is not

    available. Thank you. Goodbye."

  • To refuse a sales call, the subscriber presses "3" and the caller hears, "The person you are calling

    does not accept phone solicitations. Please add them to your do-not-call list. Thank you. Goodbye."

  • Pressing "4" sends the call to Verizon's Home Voice Mail service and allows callers to leave a voice mail

    message for the person they are calling.

  • Pressing "5" replays the caller's name.

Throughout the process, the caller remains on hold listening to music.

Callers who encounter Call Intercept hear: "The number you are calling has Call Intercept, a service that requires

callers whose telephone numbers do not appear on the Caller ID display to identify themselves before the call can

continue. At the tone, please say your name or the company you represent. Then press the pound key." Callers who

record their name, then hear, "Thank you, please hold." The caller then hears music while the subscriber

receives the call.

To activate the bypass feature, friends and family members simply enter the PIN at any time during the initial Call

Intercept greeting. The words "Priority Caller" will appear on the subscriber's Caller ID unit.

Call Intercept is $5 a month. Customers also must subscribe to Caller ID with name, which is $7.95 a month. Call

Intercept is $4 monthly if purchased with select Verizon packages.

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 125 million access line

equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the

world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, 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.