ASHLAND, KY — Verizon Wireless, the wireless company with the highest customer loyalty, announced today that its integration of Alltel's billing system and retail operations is progressing as planned and that Alltel customers, who have already begun benefiting from changes implemented since the January merger, will soon see additional results of the integration.
"Our goal is to offer all Verizon Wireless customers the best possible customer experience on the nation's largest and most reliable wireless network," said Roger Tang, president Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia region, Verizon Wireless. "That means transitioning Alltel customers to Verizon Wireless handsets and pricing plans as soon as they are eligible to upgrade their handsets so they can enjoy the benefits of our 3G broadband wireless network, advanced device portfolio and industry-leading data services."
Alltel customers can keep their existing service plans and their phones even after the integration is complete. In fact, Alltel customers are already experiencing some of the benefits of joining with Verizon Wireless. For example, since the merger was announced in mid-January, Alltel customers have been added to the Verizon Wireless Mobile to Mobile Calling family and may now call any of the company's more than 80 million customers without using their plan minutes.
Beginning in early June, the Alltel-branded store at 925 Winchester Avenue in Ashland will begin featuring Verizon Wireless merchandising and handsets. With this change, eligible area customers who want to transition to Verizon Wireless now will be able to activate new handsets and pricing plans at this store. Other Alltel customers who do not wish to transition at this time to Verizon Wireless will continue to receive sales and service support on their existing accounts. Additionally, Verizon Wireless customers can now be served at this new location.
"This dual point-of-sale operation gives Verizon Wireless additional stores in the Ohio/Pennsylvania/West Virginia region," Tang said, "and will help us ease the transition of existing Alltel customers to Verizon Wireless ahead of our brand and billing conversion."
As announced in January, the company is continuing to use the Alltel brand until it completes the branding and billing system integration. This work is well under way and is projected to be completed in the fourth quarter.
In the meantime, Alltel customers who have questions about how the merger may affect them, can visit www.alltel.com to find answers to many questions including the most frequently asked, some of which are also listed below:
Will Alltel customers' wireless devices still work once the company is fully integrated with Verizon Wireless? Most Alltel customers' wireless devices will work on the Verizon Wireless network after conversion.
Based on our wireless device testing, fewer than 1 percent of Alltel customers may need to replace their wireless devices for use on the Verizon Wireless network after the conversion. These are older devices that do not contain the chipset required to receive over-the-air software changes to enable them to work on the Verizon Wireless network. Also, customers who want to sign up for a Verizon Wireless price plan, take advantage of Verizon Wireless data services (such as VZ Navigator(SM), V CAST and others), or those who choose to migrate early to Verizon Wireless, will need to purchase a Verizon Wireless device.
If an Alltel customer's current device cannot receive over-the-air software changes, does the customer have to pay for a new device? If a device cannot receive over-the air software (More) changes to enable it to work on the Verizon Wireless network after conversion, the phone will be replaced with a like device at no cost to the customer, or the customer will receive a credit toward the purchase of a higher-priced device.
Once the companies are fully integrated, can an Alltel customer continue to benefit from Alltel's My Circle? My Circle will continue to be available to Alltel customers while they are on Alltel price plans.
Also, if an Alltel customer changes to a Verizon Wireless device and a qualifying price plan, he/she can benefit from the company's Friends & Family® feature at no additional cost. The customer can choose up to five or 10 Friends & Family numbers (including friends on other networks, office numbers or home numbers) and enjoy unlimited calling with them anywhere within Verizon Wireless' Nationwide Coverage Area.
Do Alltel customers in contract who choose to port their numbers to Verizon Wireless before the integration have to pay an early termination fee (ETF)? Eligible Alltel customers within four months of their contract end dates will not have to pay an ETF.
About Verizon WirelessVerizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and data network, serving more than 86.6 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with more than 86,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.####