NEW YORK — With its first integrated consumer service offer, Verizon has linked the two hottest technologies - digital wireless service and the Internet -- in a promotional package designed to let its local residential customers in 21 states and the District of Columbia experience the "anything, anytime, anywhere" nature of modern communications.
Between now and November 30, residential customers of many Verizon local telephone companies who purchase any Verizon digital calling plan worth $29.95 per month, or renew an existing plan from Verizon Wireless will receive free home Internet service and free Mobile Web access through Memorial Day.
"This is the first time a major telecommunications company has placed in the hands of the consumer the passkey to true universal communication - access to people and information, messages and connections, from any resource, whether at home or on the road," said Jody Bilney, president of Verizon's consumer group. "The way this offer augments our feature-rich home service makes it, truly, 'a great new offer from a great new company."
"This package is an invitation for telephone customers to join a growing community of people who use Verizon Wireless products, especially Mobile Web, to simplify their lives," said Debra Carroll, vice -president marketing for Verizon Wireless. "It is an opportunity for customers to personalize the technology revolution by exploring the new services and learning how the technology can work for them. Simply put, it is an opportunity to 'join in'."
"Verizon can bring the benefits of these tools to far more people with this kind of bundle," Bilney said. "For example, if a parent on the way to a soccer match one Saturday morning can't find the other team's soccer field, they can get directions using their Mobile Web to access an Internet map. If they get a business inspiration while watching the game, they can fire off an e-mail message. When they get home, they can check the other teams' scores on a local league Web site and print out the standings for the players. Everything comes together with services like these."
The offer will be made via TV, radio, print, point of purchase and Internet advertising as well as targeted direct mail and bill inserts to most customers of former Bell Atlantic and GTE telephone companies in the targeted markets. Areas where dial-up home access to Verizon Online Internet service is not yet available or where digital wireless Internet service is still being implemented are excluded, but may be eligible for other promotion features. Customers of Verizon Select Services, the company's Competitive Local Exchange Carrier (CLEC) also are not eligible.
To participate in the program, Verizon customers must purchase any of Verizon Wireless' digital rate plans at a minimum of $29.95 monthly access. If they choose to purchase a national Single Rate plan, they also need to have or purchase a tri-mode (digital and Internet capable) phone. As part of the promotion, the regular $6.95 Mobile Web access fee will be waived through May 31, 2001, and Verizon Online dial up home Internet access fees of $19.95 per month (which includes a $2.00 Global Service Provider charge) also will be waived through May 31, 2001. Mobile Web access air time will be charged against the calling plan's monthly allowance and will be billed at per minute rates applicable to each plan, once air time allowances have been exhausted and will include 100 message alerts per month. Additional alerts are 10 cents.
Nationwide Single Rate wireless calling plans offer coast-to-coast coverage with no roaming or long distance charges. Plans include call management features like Caller ID, voice messaging, Call Waiting, Three-Way Calling, Call Forwarding (where available) message waiting indicator and no answer/busy transfer. Depending upon the plan, monthly access fees range between $35 and $200 for 150 to 2,000 minutes of airtime per month. Per minute charges after the call allowance is exhausted vary depending upon the plan. There is a $25 activation fee and a one or two-year contract.
Mobile Web links the user to a wide range of Web-based services including e-mail, news, finance, sports, information services, specialty web sites, any text-only web site and a personal organizer featuring contacts, a calendar and to-do lists.
The Verizon Online home Internet services vary slightly by area, but include 150 hours of free Internet access per month, 24-hour live help desk service, an online help center, personalized start pages and e-mail services and other features.
This program's offer of free Internet access service without requiring detailed personal information or inserting intrusive advertising during Internet sessions is expected to be popular with customers. The offer also demonstrates the way Verizon's industry-leading wireless and wireline networks complement each other in support of customers.
The offer is available at more than 200 Verizon Wireless retail outlets, at nearly 1,700 Verizon Wireless sales agencies, and toll-free over the phone from Verizon Wireless sales representatives. Orders also can also be placed at 83 Verizon Phone Marts or over the Internet at www.verizon.com/freeweboffer.
[This offer will be available in all or parts of the following states: California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.]
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 100 million access lines and more than 25 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.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S., serving more than 25 million voice and data customers and 3.5 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast company was formed through the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp. and GTE Corp -- now Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) -- and Vodafone (LSE:VOD); The company, which includes the assets of Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging, is licensed to serve nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population and 96 of the top 100 markets. Headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, the company has 30,000 employees. For more information about Verizon Wireless visits its Media Center on the Web at: http://www.verizonwireless.com/mediacenter/index.shtml####