Bell Atlantic National 411 Marks Milestone in New England

Four Million Requests for Faraway Phone Numbers Logged

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BOSTON -- Late last week, a Bell Atlantic directory assistance operator helped the company's four millionth New England customer get a faraway phone number from 411. The company hit this milestone just two months after introduction of National 411 Service in Massachusetts and less than a year after the rollout in four other New England states. -"That we've taken this many calls for national listings from New England customers is proof we provide a service people like," said Kitty Linder, vice president - operator services for Bell Atlantic.

Bell Atlantic introduced National 411 in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Rhode Island in early spring 1999 and in Massachusetts in late October. With National 411, customers can dial the familiar 4-1-1 number for directory assistance, give the operator a city, state, and name, and get a phone number anywhere in the country for 95 cents. If the caller asks Bell Atlantic for a local listing, the cost is the lower rate for local directory assistance.

Local listings average about 35 cents. Additionally, in most states, consumers get several free calls to local directory assistance each month. Geographic areas covered by "local" lookups range from large metropolitan areas to entire states.

Competitors to Bell Atlantic directory assistance generally require dialing a 10-10 access code and all listings are billed at the same price, about 99 cents. Customers who seek distant numbers by dialing the area code plus 555- 1212 pay as much as $1.40 per call to their long distance company.

"Our National 411 service is removing the confusion for consumers who are looking for the best buy in directory assistance," Linder said. "Customers can use the familiar 411 code to reach us; they don't need to know the area code for the listing they want, and our pricing is affordable. Our experienced operators are the best at satisfying customers with accurate listings."

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