With Verizon Long Distance in New Markets, Consumers Save an Estimated $1.8 Billion
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NEW YORK - The presence of Verizon Long Distance in new Northeast markets has had a positive impact on telecommunications competition in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. Research indicates annual savings of $1.8 billion for residential consumers from local and long-distance competition associated with Verizon's entry into the long-distance markets, according to studies analyzed by Verizon.
The $1.8 billion in projected savings, is an estimate based on projections from a variety of sources, including the Telecommunications Research Action Center, Dr. Jerry Hausman, Consumer Federation of America, TeleNomic Research and BBK Anderson Economic Group.
The research shows that after Verizon's entry into long distance, both local and long-distance competitors work harder to gain and keep customers. This always works to the customer's advantage. As Verizon is permitted to enter more long-distance markets, that will bring the solid benefits of long-distance competition to more consumers, and the roughly $1.8 billion in savings for consumers can be expected to grow substantially. The benefits start even before Verizon enters the market and grow quickly over time.
Verizon Long Distance scored big last year with residential and small business customers in the 40 states where it now operates. Verizon exceeded its expectations, growing to 7.4 million customers in 2001 and moving to the fourth largest long-distance company in the U.S.
Consumers gave Verizon's residential long-distance service the highest rating for "overall satisfaction," ahead of Big Three competitors AT&T, MCI and Sprint, on the Yankee Group's annual Technologically Advanced Family® Survey. Of customers queried, 76 percent gave Verizon's service "excellent or above average" ratings compared to 75 percent for Sprint, 74 percent for AT&T and 68 percent for MCI.
"Market research shows that customers want easy-to-follow, straightforward plans; the ability to make just one call for service solutions, and a good, competitive price," said Jill Wagner, vice president-retail consumer marketing for Verizon. "In states where we have been permitted to compete, Verizon offers consumers and businesses a clear choice, and our presence in the market has increased the benefits of competition to all long-distance customers there."
According to Wagner, plans with constraints, limits, rules and surcharges--like the one announced recently by AT&T that allows a flat monthly rate for calls among its own customers, but per-minute charges for calls to others--only confuse and anger customers. Most of Verizon's plans have no monthly minimums and no monthly charges.
Customers need to shop for long-distance calling plans and should not become the victims of high rates when they do not subscribe to a calling plan, Wagner said.
Verizon Long Distance offers a selection of easy-to-understand consumer and business products and calling plans; tailored to meet the needs of customers' lifestyles and calling preferences, in all markets it serves. The long-distance plans come with competitive per-minute rates and no pricing gimmicks. Some products and plans let consumers buy long-distance service in advance or at a low flat rate available only through the Internet. (NOTE: See accompanying calling plan descriptions).
Verizon does not add surcharges or fees, as other carriers do, such as for the right to make in-state toll calls or to receive a single local and long-distance bill.
"Simplicity is exactly what we offer with our bundled local, long-distance, data, wireless and other services. Our calling plans are tailored to meet the individual communications needs of consumers and businesses," said Maura Breen, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Verizon Retail Markets. "This strategy works. It puts choice back where it belongs in the hands of the customers and they have responded by choosing Verizon for their long-distance service."
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 132.1 million access line equivalents and 29.4 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with more than $67 billion in annual revenues and approximately 247,000 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.
Long Distance Made Simple. Only From Verizon.
Choose from the following simple, 'surprise-free' plans for residential customers:
Timelesssm Calling Plan
One low, 10-cents-a-minute rate for direct-dialed, state-to-state calls, in-state long-distance calls, and 8 cents for in-state calls - every time, every day. No monthly charges or minimum usage requirements.
Five cents a minute for direct-dialed, state-to-state calls and in-state calls on weekends, and 9 cents a minute Monday - Friday. Sign up at www.verizonld.com.
Talk Time Calling Plan
Buy in bulk with rates as low as 6 cents a minute. The more time purchased, the lower the rate: buy 60 minutes for $5 a month (additional minutes are 10 cents a minute), 300 minutes for $21 a month (additional minutes are 8 cents a minute) or 500 minutes for $30 a month (additional minutes are 6 cents a minute).
Best TimessmCalling Plan
Five cents a minute during off-peak calling hours (5 p.m. - 8 a.m. Monday - Friday and all weekend) and 7 cents a minute during peak calling hours (8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F) for in-state calls and state-to-state long-distance calls. Monthly recurring charge of $4.75.
Eight cents a minute for direct-dialed, state-to-state calls and in-state long-distance calls, when you buy time in advance with cash, or a credit card, or a Visa®- or MasterCard®-branded check/debit card. Voice prompts indicate how many minutes you have for the call and in your remaining account balance. Taxes and surcharges included. Sign up at www.getsmarttouch.com.
International Savings Plan
Low, flat rates for direct-dialed, international long-distance calls. Rates vary by country, with a $3 monthly charge.
A toll-free number with a private PIN code (personal identification number) that callers use to reach customers free of charge. Basic rate is 25-cents a minute to receive calls made in the U.S.
With all plans, a Verizon Long Distance calling card lets you make domestic calls when you're away from home for 50 cents a minute when Verizon carries and bills the call. In states where Verizon Long Distance cannot carry the call, United States Advanced Network, Inc. (USAN) will provide service at rates, terms and conditions set by USAN. If you use a payphone, a federally mandated, 24-cent payphone compensation surcharge will apply.
Eight cents a minute (both state-to-state and in-state) to add long-distance service, plus calling features like Call Waiting, *69, Call Forwarding and Speed Dialing to a line.
Appropriate taxes and surcharges apply.
Choose from the following simple, 'surprise-free' plans for business customers:
For business customers who spend less than $100 a month on long distance, FirmRatesm offers a rate of 9 cents a minute for direct-dialed, state-to-state calls -- every time, every day. No monthly plan fees or minimum charges. Optional term plans lower the 9-cents per-minute rate. You can even add Toll Free Service at the same rate, with no additional monthly charges or sign-up fees.
For business customers who regularly spend more than $100 a month on long distance, SimpleOptionssm offers a variety of low, per-minute rates (7 1/2 cents or less for state-to-state calls) based on volume and term commitments. Toll-free and international usage applies to minimum spending levels. No monthly plan fees.
This local and long-distance package features 7 cents per minute on state-to-state, direct-dialed calls for long distance customers who subscribe to certain local services, such as Centrex. (Similar discount packages are also available with the SimpleOptionssmCalling Plan). No monthly plan fees.
e-Values for Businesssm Plan
Available only on the web at www.verizonld.com, this package offers a flat rate of 8 cents a minute for state-to-state, direct-dialed calls. No monthly plan fees or minimum charges.
Talk to the World Plan
This plan is for businesses that make international calls. For a $3 monthly service fee, businesses can save on calls to more than 250 foreign countries and locations.
International Regional Calling Plan
This plan provides business customers with greater savings if they call a single country or region the most. Customers pay $3 a month and pre-select a region to receive the lowest rates to the countries they call the most.
Enables businesses to stay in touch with customers and suppliers by using a toll-free "800," "888" or similar number.
With all plans, a Verizon Long Distance calling card lets you make domestic calls when you're away from home for 36-cents a minute (or less under term plans) when Verizon carries and bills the call. In states where Verizon Long Distance cannot carry the call, United States Advanced Network, Inc. (USAN) will provide service at rates, terms and conditions set by USAN. If you use a payphone, a federally mandated, 24-cent payphone compensation surcharge will apply.
Business customers can save even more with valuable local and long distance packages. In-state rates may vary from state-to-state rates.