February 5, 1997
CONTACT: Steve Marcus 212-395-0500
NYNEX, Responding to Customers, Will Replace Change Card Pay Phones With Coin-Operated Version
NYNEX announced today (2/7) that it will remove its
bright yellow Change Card pay phones -- which only accept a
special, prepaid telephone card -- and replace the majority
of them with a state-of-the-art version of the traditional,
coin-operated pay phone.
Most of the 800 Change Card phones are situated in
Manhattan on city sidewalks.
The others are at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal
and at several other indoor and outdoor locations. NYNEX
will begin the replacement program next week.
"Although we conducted a variety of marketing and
advertising campaigns to inform the public about the NYNEX
Change Card (R) phones and to encourage their use, these
phones just never caught on with our customers," said Brian
Price, director of marketing and sales for NYNEXs Public
"New Yorkers are used to carrying coins with them for
parking meters, the laundromat and bus fare," he said. "And
we learned that when it comes to making a local call from a
NYNEX pay phone, people prefer to use coins rather than the
specialized Change Card product, which only worked on the
special yellow phones."
NYNEX will replace the Change Card phones that are on
city sidewalks with a new type of coin-operated phone that
looks and works like the traditional, coin-operated phone
but is much more technologically advanced. The new phones,
known as "smart sets," contain a computer chip that
automatically sends out a signal to a central NYNEX location
when the phone is not working or needs servicing.
In addition to the Change Card phones, NYNEX will
replace all of its other city sidewalk pay phones with
"smart sets" this year.
"By knowing automatically when there is a problem
with one of our smart sets, we can dispatch a technician
right away and get the phone back in service more quickly,"
Price said. "This will enable us to provide better service
to the public."
The balance of the Change Card phones will be
replaced by the traditional, coin-operated pay phones.
NYNEX will provide full refunds to consumers who have
the NYNEX Change Cards. The cards, about the size of a
credit card, were sold in denominations of $5, $10 and $20.
Holders of valid Change Cards in good condition may
obtain refunds for the unused portion of the cards by going
in person to any one of five refund vendors in Manhattan,
Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island. NYNEX will also
maintain a toll-free number -- 1-800-545-EASY -- for
customers who wish to obtain refunds by mail or who have
questions about the refunds or other aspects of the Change
NYNEX will inform customers about the refunds and the
toll-free number by posting signs at the major locations for
Change Card phones and through legal notices in daily
newspapers in New York City.
NYNEX installed the Change Card phones on a trial
basis in 1991 and then expanded the program in 1994.
Although the Change Card program is being
discontinued, NYNEX remains committed to its other telephone
card products. They are the NYNEX Calling Card
(1-800-54-NYNEX), which customers use and then receive the
itemized charges on their monthly telephone bill, and the
NYNEX prepaid calling card, which customers use by calling
another 800 number. Both cards can be used at any telephone
for local as well as long distance calls.
The following vendors will provide refunds for change
cards: EGI Check Cashing, 106 Greenwich St.; NY Check
Cashing, 20 Beaver St.; Cataldo Newsstand, 360 Adams St.,
Brooklyn; I & R Payment Center, 416 East 149th St.,
Bronx; MTW Check Cashing, 202 Bay St., Staten Island.
NYNEX is a global communications and media
corporation that provides a full range of services in the
northeastern United States and high-growth markets around
the world, including the United Kingdom, Thailand,
Gibraltar, Greece, Indonesia, the Philippines, Poland,
Slovakia and the Czech Republic. The corporation is a leader
in telecommunications, wireless communications, directory
publishing and video entertainment and information services.
NYNEX is also managing sponsor of FLAG -- Fiberoptic Link
Around the Globe -- the world's longest undersea fiber optic
FAX copies of recent NYNEX news releases are
available free of charge, 24 hours a day. Call
1-800-331-1214 and an automated system will provide