SURVEY SAYS: "NO" TO A CALL FROM HOWARD STERN "YES" TO A CALL FROM THE PRESIDENT OR OPRAH WINFREY, DON'T CALL DURING SUPPER OR SNUGGLING

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 1996

SURVEY SAYS: "NO" TO A CALL FROM HOWARD STERN,
"YES"
TO A CALL
FROM THE PRESIDENT OR OPRAH WINFREY,

DON'T CALL DURING SUPPER OR SNUGGLING


ARLINGTON, VA - Consumers have very definite opinions
about which
well-known personalities they'd least like to talk to on the phone,
according to a "Calling America" survey commissioned by Bell
Atlantic.

Nine out of ten Americans surveyed would least like to take a call
from Howard Stern, while one out of three Americans surveyed would
welcome a call from President Clinton. Oprah Winfrey would get a warm
response from one in four.

While respondents said they wouldn't want to miss the President's or
Oprah's call, the same poll found there are times when Americans don't
like to be interrupted by phone calls. The majority of Americans do
not like to be interrupted during dinner (53%). For one in three,
getting phone calls is least appreciated when taking a shower or bath
(34%), or while enjoying romance (33%). The Calling America study
showed that how consumers feel about answering the phone depends on
who might be calling and when the call occurs.

"Traditionally, Americans have had a love-hate relationship with
their
telephones," said author and popular psychologist Dr. Joyce
Brothers.
"Here's a piece of equipment so ingenious that we've allowed it to
dominate our lives even when trying to visit with family or rush out
the door. Now, however, with the new technology allowing us to
control which calls we take and when, and whose numbers we store, we
are able to emphasize more of the 'love' portion of that
relationship."

Brothers was referring to new phone company services that let
consumers ensure that they take only the call from Oprah and not
Howard Stern. One service, Caller ID Deluxe, shows you the number of
the person calling and the name associated with that phone number
before you pick up the phone.

If you don't want to be interrupted during romance, another service,
Answer Call will take all your messages. This improvement on the
answering machine provides "voice mail for your house" and is
available with individual mailboxes for each family member.

Call Waiting, yet another phone company service, immediately alerts
you to a second call on the line, allowing you to talk to both Oprah
and the President or allow one call to go to Answer Call.

Only 2% of Americans surveyed felt certain that they never missed a
call, leaving the vast majority who felt certain that they had. One
in five said they missed important information from a parent or family
member. One out of eight said they missed a job offer or social
invitation, and one in ten a meeting or appointment.

Of the majority who said they had missed calls, one in five claimed it
was due to a forgetful family member or roommate, a malfunctioning
answering machine or not having an answering machine. Another one in
ten blamed a busy phone with no Call Waiting service.

"Caller ID Deluxe, Answer Call and Call Waiting can solve all the
situations cited in the survey results and virtually everyone who owns
a phone is already wired to receive them," said Mary Matthews,
Consumer Services director of marketing, for Bell Atlantic.

Other results of the survey showed:

  • Men are significantly more likely than their female counterparts
    to be most irritated by calls during romantic moments (42% to 24%).
    That is especially true for men under 35.

  • Home turf plays a role in which well-known individuals some
    Americans would look forward to hearing from. More than one in
    five Midwest residents wouldn't want to miss a call from Indiana
    native David Letterman, compared to 13% of those living in other
    regions of the country.

  • Party affiliation also impacts the reception some public
    personalities would receive when calling Americans. President
    Clinton would get the warmest reception from fellow Democrats
    (52%) and independents (30%). While one out of five Republicans
    would like to hear from the President and about that same
    proportion also would like to hear from Pat Buchanan or
    Steve Forbes.

  • More than one in five (22%) of single Americans wouldn't want to
    miss a call from any cast member of "Friends."

  • While men and women are equally likely not to want to miss the
    President's call, men are more likely than women to be sure they
    answer a call from Magic Johnson (20% to 12%).

Calling America was a random telephone survey of 1,000 adults in the
continental U.S., age 18 or over, conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide
during the week of March 3, 1996. The sampling margin of error is +/-
3%.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider 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.

####

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