NEW YORK - Santa's helpers are just a phone call away, and they may have lots of gifts for customers who haven't checked in for a while.
The truth is, many telecommunications customers have a "get it and forget it" mentality that could be costing them. Many customers don't check the choices for their Verizon services except when they move. Others don't check in until after they have switched to a competitor and now want to return to Verizon, at which point they say, "I didn't know you had a deal like that or I wouldn't have left."
There are plenty of new Verizon offers. The big, new service added in 2004 was the ability to order DIRECTV digital multichannel television entertainment from Verizon and get a discount off the total monthly bill. Savings are as much as $11 a month. Verizon customers get all-digital DIRECTV services, along with custom-fitted calling plans and dial-up or high-speed Internet access, breaking their bonds with cable.
"A quick call to Verizon will help many of our customers launch 2005 with savings over their current Verizon plan or over their cable TV bills," said Mark W. Adams, executive director of consumer marketing for Verizon. "It's time to cash in on the benefits of competition."
That competition is not always what it seems. Verizon's best bundle of unlimited calling, high-speed Internet access and DIRECTV is often as much as $20 or more per month less expensive than non-promotional cable TV offers.
"This is the kind of information that customers who come back to us report," Adams said. "They say the competitor's deal wasn't what they thought they were getting and that they like their new Verizon bundles of calling, Internet access and entertainment."
According to Adams, Verizon is performing well against cable's bundle of entertainment, Internet and TV because customers perceive not only good pricing but high value from Verizon services. With cable, for instance, calling is a one-size-fits-all proposition. And in many cases, calls travel over the Internet instead of Verizon's secure network. And DIRECTV's all-digital entertainment signal is top-quality, rated the best by J.D. Power for two years in a row and rated tops by the American Customer Satisfaction Index this year.
"Verizon's service representatives can virtually customize calling service, from totally unlimited calling to unlimited local and low-fee regional and long-distance calling, with savings that match," Adams said. "They also can recommend either dial-up or high-speed DSL Internet access, now at up to 3 megabits per second downstream on qualified lines, available with MSN Premium for free."
Verizon makes it easy to save more than $400 a year. With more than half of the homes Verizon serves purchasing a bundle of services, the best deal is Verizon Freedom, offering all-distance calling with call-management features, high-speed Internet access and digital entertainment service from market leader DIRECTV at $430 off the undiscounted annual cost of all the bundle components.
"Value is a function of good service, good pricing and plenty of choice," Adams said. "We'd like our customers to check in with us to fine-tune the value they get from us so they can start 2005 with confidence."
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. With a diverse work force of approximately 208,000, Verizon has four business units: Domestic Telecom serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications services, including broadband, nationwide long-distance and other services. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 42.1 million voice and data customers across the United States. Information Services operates directory publishing businesses and provides electronic commerce services. International includes wireline and wireless operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.