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TAMPA - Verizon Communications provided outstanding service to its Florida customers this year, according to measurements established by the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC).
The company attributed the strong results to a campaign to improve communication with customers combined with a $325 million capital investment to upgrade Verizon's network in Florida.
Florida has some of the most restrictive public service commission standards in the country," said John Ferrell, region president, operations, Florida. "While we believe the commission's current standards are not the best way to ensure service quality, this does not alter our commitment to meet them. The tremendous results we achieved this year resulted from the dedication of all our employees - from our customer contact representatives to our field technicians."
- Orders installed in three days -- 97.1 percent (versus standard of 90 percent)
- Out of service repaired in 24 hours -- 97.1 percent (versus standard of 95 percent)
- Customer Sales and Service Center answer time -- 97.2 percent of calls answered within 55 seconds (versus standard of 85 percent)
- Customer Response Center answer time -- 99.4 percent of calls answered within 55 seconds (versus standard of 95 percent)
Verizon invested $325 million in network improvements this year to modernize its local telecommunications network and provide additional broadband capability in Florida. This investment added leading edge communications technology that helped the company exceed the commission's service standards. (Editor's note: See related release, "Verizon Invests $325 million to Upgrade Florida Network During 2000.")
"Serving one million customers who call us every month for service is always a major challenge," said Ferrell. "However, our constant goal is to deliver the high-quality service they expect."
In key areas of service measurement, Verizon's average score (through September) led Florida's other major communication's companies, Sprint and Bell South. And, as an indicator of the strength of Verizon's network, the company also had the lowest number of trouble reports per 100 lines.
For example, the FPSC requires that 90 percent of orders for new service be installed within three days. The three companies scored as follows: Verizon, 98.7 percent; Bell South, 94.5 percent, and Sprint, 91 percent.
Another FPSC standard requires that 95 percent of lines out of service be repaired in 24 hours. The three companies scored as follows: Verizon, 97.3 percent; Sprint, 97.1 percent, and Bell South, 86.8 percent.
Finally, the FPSC tracked numbers of trouble reports per 100,000 lines. Verizon had the lowest number, 1.73 troubles per 100 lines, followed by Sprint with 2.22 troubles and Bell South with 2.71 troubles.
"These results prove what we have long believed -- that Verizon provides the best service in Florida and that the quality of our network is second to none," said Ferrell. He noted that Verizon's own Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) further bolsters these results by showing great improvements over time in Florida in key areas.
The CSI reflects the results of monthly surveys of randomly selected customers who have recently had contact with the company. Through November, these customer indicators showed improvement over 1999 in both the consumer and small business customer segments for both installation and repair.
Verizon's Florida network serves 2.4 million customer lines in a six-county area. The network covers 357 square miles and features digital switching technology and extensive deployment of fiber-optic cables. Verizon averages nearly one million customer contacts per month, including orders for new service, repair requests and billing inquiries.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), formed by the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, 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 more than 101 million access line equivalents and more than 26 million wireless customers. A Fortune 10 company with more than 260,000 employees and approximately $60 billion in 1999 revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com .