Council of Better Business Bureaus Honors Verizon With Prestigious 'Torch Award' for Marketplace Excellence, Exceptional Standards

The Council of Better Business Bureaus (BBB) has honored Verizon with a Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence. The prestigious award, presented by the council since 1996, recognizes businesses for building long-term relationships in the marketplace and implementing honorable business practices.

Verizon is the only communications or cable provider to have ever earned a national Torch Award. Verizon's award, announced by the council on Monday (Nov. 16), recognizes the company's drive for customer satisfaction in all Verizon business groups including Verizon Wireless, which serves more than 89 million customers nationwide. 

Steve Cox, president and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, cited the company for its commitment to exceptional business practices that benefit customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders and the communities served by Verizon.

"Verizon's business model is based on core values - integrity, respect, performance excellence and accountability - that guide every aspect of its operation," Cox said. "Verizon's investments in broadband and wireless technologies are providing a platform for economic growth across America as well as new ways to address big social issues like health care and the environment."

Putting Customers First Makes for Good Business, Creates Social Value

John Stratton, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Wireless, said, "We are honored that the BBB is recognizing Verizon for putting our customers first by providing excellent service and a great communications experience.  More than 100 million people communicate over a Verizon network every single day, and we take that responsibility seriously by focusing on fundamental strengths. It comes down to a few basic priorities: performing with integrity, respecting our customers, excelling by making our customers' experience better every day, and being accountable for our actions in the marketplace." 

Stratton also noted that Verizon is encouraging development over its networks to address goals including: creating jobs for the future; driving marketplace innovation and economic growth; advancing education; improving health care delivery; reducing energy consumption; and conserving environmental resources.  "We are proving that in business you can do well by doing good," he said.

Marketplace excellence is only possible with a dedicated, educated and motivated workforce.  With more than 230,000 employees, Verizon has spent more than $1 billion for employee education, training and development over the past several years.  Verizon employees and retirees have volunteered more than 3 million hours of community service since 2000.  Through the Verizon Foundation's matching employee donations, nonprofit organizations have received an additional $26 million in contributions.

The company's technology also assists people with disabilities, the largest minority in America.  Nearly 20 years ago, Verizon became the first telecommunications company to adopt a set of Universal Design Principles, which are now an integral part of the product design process throughout the company and have led to a number of products and services offerings.

The broadband and wireless technology that Verizon provides is playing an increasingly significant role in enabling smart logistics, smart buildings and a national smart power grid. The company has also led the telecommunications industry by requiring that much of the network equipment it purchases be 20 percent more energy efficient.

Earlier this year, Verizon was named the most trusted communications company for privacy in a new comprehensive analysis by two independent privacy security firms. The company ranked No. 2 on the 2009 list of Most Trusted Companies for Privacy, as selected by the Ponemon Institute, an information security research company; and TRUSTe, a leading Internet privacy services and privacy seal provider.

The company also earned a spot on the Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index, which lists North America's leading companies as measured by governance, social and environmental performance. Verizon is the only telecommunications company in the U.S. to be named to the index.

Verizon supports tens of millions of customers by managing billions of personal communications and engaging in millions of customer transactions annually. The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau Online, assuring that it abides by the bureau's Code of Business Practices. 

More information on the Torch Awards is available at www.bbb.org/international-torch-awards.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving more than 89 million customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers innovative, seamless business solutions to customers around the world.  A Dow 30 company, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of more than 230,000 and last year generated consolidated revenues of more than $97 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.