TeleTruth: The Alliance for Customers' Telecommunications Rights
|PRESS RELEASE: "Send Us Your Phonebill" Campaign|
Tom Allibone, Director, Auditing Division
FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE --- JANUARY 29th, 2002
"SEND US YOUR PHONE BILLS"--- NEW JERSEY VERIZON CUSTOMERS
TELETRUTH LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN TO HELP NJ CUSTOMERS
New Jersey -- TeleTruth, an independent customer alliance, announced today a "Send Us Your Phonebill" campaign in New Jersey to help business and residential customers recover overcharges on their Verizon telephone bills and to collect additional data for its assessment of the scope and character of phone billing problems in the state.
"The preliminary results of our "end-to-end" analysis of Verizon billing in New Jersey indicates that up to 50 percent of customer phone bills are incorrect due to faulty billing data and to practices and systems that fail to catch such errors," said Tom Allibone, Director of TeleTruth's Auditing Division, and president of New Jersey based LTC Consulting. "Clearly, even a billing error-rate several times smaller than the one we've already found on the New Jersey local phone bills we audited to date is unacceptable and signals something fundamentally wrong with the telephone company's billing system and procedures," added Allibone.
This "Send Us Your PhoneBill" campaign has two purposes:
First, Teletruth is collecting phonebills as direct evidence for the
FCC (Federal Communications Commission) in order to block Verizon's entry
into long distance in New Jersey. "Verizon and independent auditor,
KPMG, claim that the billing systems (OSS) have "Zero defect - a
100-percent" accuracy. In our FCC filed Comments, we have provided
actual phonebill problems caused by a defective Verizon billing system.
This affects both residential and business customers, as well as all competitive
phone companies. Our belief is that Verizon's application to enter long
distance is premature given the billing problem evidence we've seen so
far and the additional evidence we hope to obtain and evaluate from New
Jersey phone customers who respond to our 'Send Us Your Phonebill' campaign,"
Kushnick said. To read the TeleTruth Comments go to: http://newnetworks.com/TeleTruthNJ271commentsl..htm
Secondly, Verizon customers in New Jersey who participate in the "campaign" can have a free phonebill analysis, and may be entitled to refunds. This phone auditing service operates in partnership with LTC Consulting, (see instructions below for joining the campaign). More information about how to join the New Jersey campaign and about the new TeleTruth customer alliance is found on the following web pages: http://www.teletruth.org/TakeAction/NewJersey/NJaction.html
Mr. Kushnick said the New Jersey phone bill campaign and the auditing service arrangement with LTC Consulting are only the first of several pro-customer, pro-competition activities and consumer education programs Teletruth plans to roll out in 2002. "The phone company's customers have always been the last heard and least represented in the unprecedented policy and regulatory battles that have determined the direction and pace of the industry's growth and transformation. I'm hoping that the formation of TeleTruth along with its education programs and customer-focused campaigns will help give the customer a more organized and informed voice in these debates, " said Kushnick.
Bruce Kushnick, Chairman of TeleTruth, is also the founder of New Networks Institute and a longstanding telecommunications industry analyst. New Networks Institute publishes analysis of telecommunication industry issues and trends.
Tom Allibone, Director of the Auditing Division "Right now, federal regulators are considering whether or not Verizon's OSS billing system is fixed enough to make sure that the network is working for everyone-- from customers to the competitors. We think the character and potential scope of the problems identified in our 'end-to-end' audit of Verizon's bills suggests that regulators need to take a more comprehensive look at the system and procedures before giving Verizon the green light."
This campaign is only for New Jersey customers of Verizon. Questions
concerning the Teletruth New Jersey "Send us Your Phone Bill"
campaign can be directed to Tom Allibone 609-397-2257 or Bob Garnet at
201- 239-0725. For more information about Teletruth contact Bruce Kushnick
212-777-5418. Customers can also get more information from Teletruth's
New Jersey website. http://www.teletruth.org/TakeAction/NewJersey/NJaction.html
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT "SENDING PHONEBILLS" see:
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