BEDMINSTER, NJ — Verizon Wireless, the company that paved the way for consumers to simply and easily switch their wireless or wireline phone numbers to another wireless service provider, said today it is eliminating 100 percent of the portion of its monthly Regulatory Charge that it charges customers for costs associated with this service, known as Local Number Portability or LNP. Verizon Wireless has collected $0.40 per customer since March 2004, or approximately $15 million per month, to help defray the costs to administer the program.
Beginning with customer bill cycles next week, Verizon Wireless will stop collecting the $0.40 per customer per month. The regulatory charge Verizon Wireless charges customers to help defray the cost of government mandates including LNP will be reduced from 45 cents per month to 5 cents per month per number.
"Leading up to the availability of LNP, Verizon Wireless fully prepared its operations and network, while at the same time calling for industry cooperation for the good of the customer. Our first priority was to make sure the customer experience was as seamless and positive as possible," said Denny Strigl, Verizon Wireless president and CEO.
"Our decision to eliminate 100 percent of the Regulatory Charge associated with LNP is the right thing to do not just for our own customers, but for our competitors' customers as well. In this heavily-taxed industry, we do not advocate adding anything unnecessary or extraneous to our customers' monthly bill."
Beginning in November 2003, consumers were able to switch their wireless service provider without changing their telephone number as a result of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate, and by May 2004 LNP became a reality nationwide. Verizon Wireless committed numerous resources to make barrier-free porting as simple and seamless as possible for its new and existing customers. For example, the company:
- integrated LNP into all of its business processes and installed the necessary technology and operational infrastructure to enable porting on Day 1;
- completed a comprehensive training program for its customer service representatives, sales channels and employees;
- launched two Web sites with information for individual consumers and businesses;
- conducted comprehensive tests of the porting process with other service providers to proactively identify any potential glitches in the porting process;
- and created an integrated project team focused on the consistent reliability of its nationwide network.
Regulatory ChargesEach month, Verizon Wireless charges customers a fee that appears on customer bills under the line item "Regulatory Charge." This charge is not a tax, and it is subject to change from time to time. Already significantly lower than any of the other national wireless service providers, with today's industry-defining move, Verizon Wireless' Regulatory Charge is reverting to 5 cents per month.
Prior to the launch of LNP in November 2003, Verizon Wireless did not require its customers to help defray the costs of preparing its network or operations for this FCC mandate. Then, between March and November 2004, Verizon Wireless charged customers to help defray the costs associated with LNP implementation. Currently, other major wireless carriers continue to charge customers for LNP as part of their "federal recovery fees."
LNP One Year LaterSince November 2003, millions of consumers have changed wireless carriers and have taken their phone number with them, and many of these customers have switched to Verizon Wireless. According to Strigl, the company attracts new customers because of its three major differentiators: its reliable national network, award-winning customer service and the consistent value of its service.
Customers interested in switching to the wireless carrier with the most reliable network can easily do so in one of three ways: in person by visiting any of Verizon Wireless' 1,200 Communications Stores; via phone by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN; or online at www.verizonwireless.com.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers. Headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). Find more information on the Web at www.verizonwireless.com. To receive broadcast-quality video footage of Verizon Wireless operations, log onto www.thenewsmarket.com/verizonwireless.####