PINE GROVE, Pa. -- Verizon customers in Auburn, Friedensburg and Pine Grove in Schuylkill County can now choose from an array of popular calling features, including Caller ID, Call Block and Select Call Forwarding.
Verizon recently completed upgrades to its digital switching equipment, giving customers access to the latest technology to effectively manage their telecommunications services. The upgrades are part of a three-year, $210 million investment by Verizon in its telecommunications infrastructure in the former GTE service areas of Pennsylvania.
"These new calling features will give customers better control of their communications services," said Daniel J. Whelan, president of Verizon Pennsylvania. "Our customers have asked for these services, and we're pleased to make them available."
One popular new feature, Caller ID, can show when friends or family members are calling and can deter harassing calls. With Caller ID, a customer can see both the name and telephone number of who's calling on a display unit that is built in or attached to the phone. The customer can then decide whether or not to answer the phone. The monthly cost for the service is $7.95 for residential customers and $11.50 for businesses. The Caller ID display unit may be purchased at many retail stores.
Callers with unlisted phone numbers and others who wish to protect their privacy can prevent their numbers from showing on a Caller ID unit. This can be done on a per-call basis or "all-calls" basis. Both options are free.
Other new services now available include:
- Busy Redial: Subscribers enter *66 on their phone, and this service will keep trying a busy number for up to 30 minutes. Customers with rotary or pulse-dialing phones enter "1166." When the call goes through, the person trying to call is alerted with a special ring. The service is $5 per month for residential customers; $6 for business customers.
- *69: Callers enter *69 ("1169" for rotary or pulse-dialing phones) on their phone and this service will automatically dial the number of the last call received, whether the call was answered or not. The monthly cost is $5 for residential customers and $6 for business customers.
- Call Block: This security feature rejects calls from up to 12 numbers chosen by the customer. A person calling from a blocked number hears a message saying that the called party is presently not taking calls. The monthly charge for residential customers is $3 and $4 for business customers.
- Call Trace: If a customer enters *57 ("1157" for rotary or pulse-dialing phones) after receiving a threatening or harassing call, the caller's number is captured by Verizon's network. If the customer reports the call to law enforcement, Verizon will provide the number to authorities investigating the incident. No subscription is required for this service, which costs $1 per use.
- Do Not Disturb: This service allows customers to select up to 12 phone numbers from which they want to receive calls. Callers who dial from a phone number not on the list will hear an announcement that the called party is not presently accepting calls. The cost is $3 per month for residential customers; $4 per month for business customers.
- Select Call Forwarding: Customers can use this customized call forwarding service to specify which calls (from as many as 12 different numbers) should be forwarded to another number when they are away from home. Customers do not need to have basic Call Forwarding to subscribe to this service. The monthly charge is $5 for residential customers; $6 for business customers.
- Priority Call: This service identifies with a special ring those callers (up to 12 phone numbers) selected by a customer as priority callers. The monthly cost to residential customers for the service is $3; the cost to business customers is $4.
All services may not be available to every customer. For more information or to order any of these services, residential customers should contact Verizon's customer service at 1-800-483-4000. Business customers should call 1-800-483-5000. Residential and small/medium business customers also can order the services online at www.verizon.com.
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 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, 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.