Verizon's 411 Directory Assistance Streamlines Access to Katrina Relief Agencies

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NEW YORK - Using a special automated greeting and customized database, Verizon's LiveSource operator services team is expediting customer access to phone numbers of hurricane relief agencies and services nationwide.

Verizon has programmed its self-service directory assistance system with a special greeting that automatically directs callers to operators who have access to an expanding database of numbers when customers say "Katrina relief" or any variation of that phrase.

"With so many customers eager to answer the call for help during this national crisis, we wanted to streamline the process for them as much as possible," said Kitty Linder, president of Verizon LiveSource.

The feature was added, Linder said, in response to the surge nationwide in requests for phone listings related to the relief effort and represents the kind of customer-focused enhancement made possible by new directory assistance technology based on voice recognition. The technology also supports Verizon's 4,000 operators in providing the best possible service to customers.

Callers nationwide now hear a new greeting: "Hurricane Katrina has devastated the lives of millions of people. If you're looking for information on Hurricane Katrina, say 'Katrina relief.' Or, for all other listings, please say the city and state."

Operators who hear the Katrina requests immediately access a special database of listings that is updated frequently.

Verizon is monitoring the use of the special service and will maintain it as long as there is a demonstrated need for it.

Verizon Communications Inc.

With more than $71 billion in annual revenues, Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon has a diverse work force of more than 214,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom provides customers based in 28 states with wireline and other telecommunications services, including broadband. Verizon Wireless owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving 47.4 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


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