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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 1996
AT&T MOVE MAKES MILLIONS OF
CALLING CARD CALLS MORE COMPLICATED AND EXPENSIVE
Customers Can Avoid Hassles And Save Money With Bell Atlantic IQ
Arlington, VA -- Phone giant AT&T has fired another
salvo in the
telecommunications competitive war. Among the first casualties will
be AT&T's own card holders.
AT&T canceled the five-year-old Mutual Card Honoring agreement with
Bell Atlantic effective July 15. This agreement allowed Bell Atlantic
and AT&T customers to use either companies' calling cards over each
other's networks to make millions of calls a year.
"By ending the agreement, AT&T is trying to force its calling
customers to use only AT&T's network," said Lorraine E. Chickering,
President of Bell Atlantic Public and Operator Services.
"A student who needs to call home in an emergency or an elderly
trying to reach a doctor will no longer be able to dial 0 plus the
phone number to make a local or regional toll call with an AT&T
she said. "They are going to find their calls are blocked, at
Starting July 15, AT&T will not allow its customers to use their
calling cards to make a local or regional toll call on Bell Atlantic's
network. Bell Atlantic®
IQ® Cards can still be used for these calls,
however, as well as for all long distance calls.
Bell Atlantic plans to notify its customers of AT&T's action and the
consequences this decision can have for AT&T's customers. In
addition, Bell Atlantic is informing customers that the convenience of
the IQ Card will not change. As always, it can be used to complete
all local, regional toll and long distance calls.
"When AT&T card holders' calls don't go through, a Bell Atlantic
operator will explain that the inconvenience is the result of AT&T's
decision," Chickering said. "Our employees also will inform
that the Bell Atlantic network usually offers lower rates than
To get more information about the termination of this agreement,
consumers can call toll free 1-888-790-1996.
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
- Ells Edwards, (302) 576-5340
Holly M. Benton, (301) 282-5701