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NEW YORK -- Students, travelers, international visitors, military families and many other consumers will soon enjoy extra savings and convenience at Verizon payphones with a new discount dialing service.
By dialing 1-800-USE THE VZ (1-800-873-8438), callers can save up to 50 percent on interstate automated collect rates over the current rates of AT&T and MCI for competing products. (The savings is compared to AT&T and MCI collect call rates for interstate calls reported May 2002.)
In addition, callers who wish to talk with someone in a language other than English may be connected by live operators who speak 120 other languages.
"Consumers want reliable, flexible and convenient calling options at payphones, and our new service offers all that and more," said Paul Francischetti, vice president of marketing and business development for Verizon Public Communications, which operates Verizon's 400,000 payphones nationwide.
A consumer calling with 1-800-USE THE VZ can save about $3 over AT&T and MCI current rates for a five-minute, out-of-state, automated collect call.
The new service supports all kinds of calls -- collect, third-party billing, person-to-person and credit card. Callers choosing the credit card payment option may use American Express, Diner's Club, Discover and MasterCard.
The availability of operators to communicate in so many different languages will appeal to many international callers. "Verizon serves an increasing number of multi-cultural customers," said Francischetti. "With assistance in 120 languages, people can keep in touch with friends and family across the U.S. and around the world."
The discount dialing service, offered by Verizon Select Services, Inc., will be offered in the 44 states where Verizon currently provides long distance services.
Customer service via a toll-free number is available every day, around-the-clock.
Verizon this week will begin placing placards with the toll-free access number and dialing instructions on most of its payphones around the country. The company will not offer 1-800-USE THE VZ in Delaware, New Hampshire, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. until it is allowed to offer long-distance service in these areas.
While Verizon will concentrate initial marketing efforts on its payphone business, callers can use 1-800-USE THE VZ from any Touch-Tone or rotary phone where the service is available. Callers also can use Verizon's new service to make local payphone calls.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.1 million access line equivalents and 30.3 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 241,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.