PHILADELPHIA - Customers in Pennsylvania can now dial Verizon's Local and National 411 and ask for a bookstore in Bryn Mawr or a caterer in Columbus, without a specific name or street address, using Verizon's Business Category Search service.
With the new service, customers can ask for a type of business in a locality or city, and the Verizon operator will offer three choices randomly selected from telephone listings for the area. For $1.25 per request, customers can get the number and street address for any one or all three choices. Non-published numbers will not be provided via this service.
"Our Local and National 411 Directory Assistance is still the fastest and easiest way to get a number, and we know that when our customers need a number, they often don't have a specific business name in mind. They just need to reach a plumber or an auto repair shop or a restaurant," said Kitty Linder, president of Verizon's LiveSource and Public Communications team.
"With this new tool, we're enriching Directory Assistance in a way that makes it even more valuable to our customers, and we're invigorating our product in the face of stiff competition from other services," she said.
When callers dial 411, they will still be asked for a city, state and listing. Instead of requesting a specific business, however, customers can simply state the category - plumber, lumberyard, caterer or dentist.
The listings offered to callers are not advertising-sponsored, unlike many Yellow Pages directories and services. And since the listings are randomly drawn from telephone records, all businesses in any category have an equal chance of being selected for the listing offering. There is no charge to a business for providing its listing. Consumers benefit from new services while businesses benefit from the additional opportunity for a customer contact.
The Business Category Search service will initially be available only to customers in the former Bell Atlantic areas of Pennsylvania. The service also is available in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The company plans to expand it soon to other states.
A Dow 30 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.