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Bell Atlantic-Pennsylvania Offers Free Weekends on Regional Toll Calls
SoundMinutes Customers Also Save with New 6-Second Billing
June 12, 1997
PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvanians can celebrate freedom from weekend
regional toll charges starting on the 4th of July weekend. Bell
Atlantic customers who are enrolled in the Bell Atlantic®
SoundMinutessmcalling plan will get free calls Saturdays and Sundays
for the rest of 1997.
SoundMinutes is a flat rate per-minute calling plan that allows
consumers to make regional toll calls for 10 cents a minute weeknights
(5 p.m. to 8 a.m.) and 15 cents per minute weekdays (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
The free, unlimited weekend calling is a promotional offer which will
be available July 1 through Dec. 31, pending regulatory approval which
is expected by June 14. Customers may order SoundMinutes now by
calling 1-888-FLAT TOLL, operator 9795. The first free weekend will
start July 5.
"With SoundMinutes, you can talk as long as you like on weekends and
you won't have to pay a penny on your regional toll calls," said Tom
Mazerski, Bell Atlantic executive director - consumer toll marketing.
"There are no restrictions, no hassles and no fine print."
Also starting in July, SoundMinutes customers will save with a new
billing plan for their regional toll calls. Those calls now will be
billed in increments of six seconds after the first minute of the
In addition, SoundMinutes customers automatically save 10 percent when
their monthly regional toll bill is $5 to $19.99 and 20 percent when
it totals $20 or more through Bell Atlantic's Automatic Savings plan.
Regional toll calls are calls beyond a customer's local calling area,
but generally within a few dozen miles from the customer's home.
Pennsylvania has five regional calling areas. Examples of regional
calls are those from Philadelphia to Allentown, Pittsburgh to
Uniontown, Lancaster to Harrisburg, Scranton to Stroudsburg or Altoona
to State College. Customers can find out what communities are in their
regional calling area by checking the Customer Guide section in their
Bell Atlantic White Pages directory.
With the new billing plan, customers will save after the initial
minute of a call made during the week. For example, a call of 1
minute 8 seconds will cost 17 cents during weekdays or 11 cents during
weeknights. Compared with the current billing in one-minute
increments, the new plan would save callers 9 to 13 cents on that
Residential customers can find out more information about SoundMinutes
by calling Bell Atlantic at 1-888-FLAT TOLL (1-888-352-8865), operator
9795. Hours are 7 a.m. to midnight Monday-Sunday. There is no
enrollment fee for the plan.
Bell Atlantic Corp. (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, Bell Atlantic's telephone company subsidiaries
are the premier providers 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.
Sharon Shaffer, Philadelphia
Shirley Risoldi, Pittsburgh