What's ironic about this announcement, besides the fact that this new
limited minutes plan is priced higher than competitive plans by
companies such as VoicePulse and BroadVoice, is that the announcement
has a dateline of Muskegon, Mich. That's not unusual because
Verizon's state headquarters are in Muskegon. But what is ironic is
that you can't get a Muskegon number with Verizon's VoIP service. In
fact, if you read the list of area codes in which numbers are offered,
neither 231 (northwest Lower Peninsula, including Muskegon and several
other Verizon exchanges) nor 269 (Southwest lower Michigan, which also
has many Verizon exchanges) are on that list. Could it be that
Verizon doesn't want their own ILEC customers buying their VoIP
But no matter, other companies including the two I mentioned above
have numbers in many of these Verizon exchanges, and their similar
offerings are less expensive and they offer more features.
Furthermore, though I have no proof of this one way or another, it
would not surprise me if, because Verizon is a traditional telco, they
tack on a few of the extra fees that are so prominent in the
traditional telephone industry. Personally I see nothing at all in
this announcement that would motivate me to pick Verizon's offering
over that of another company (and I would make that same comment about
AOL's similarly-overpriced service, also announced today).
Verizon Brings VoiceWing Internet-Based Calling to Michigan for as Low
as $19.95 a Month http://www.verizon.com Company Archive
VoiceWing Costs Less Than Traditional Phone Service and Harnesses the
Power of the Internet to Provide Unique Calling Features
MUSKEGON, Mich., April 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Residents of Michigan now
have a new low-cost, feature-rich option for telephone service with
VoiceWing, an Internet-based calling service from Verizon. One
VoiceWing calling plan just introduced today gives customers 500
minutes of outbound local and domestic long-distance for just $19.95 a
month. An unlimited local and long-distance plan is also available
for as low as $29.95 a month.
VoiceWing customers use a small telephone adapter provided by
Verizon to connect their own telephones to their home high-speed
Internet connections. The telephone adapter allows the VoiceWing
customer to send and receive calls over the Internet instead of using
a standard phone line. The service works with both DSL and cable
modem broadband connections and allows subscribers to call anyone,
"VoiceWing lets you use something familiar -- your own home phone
and broadband connection -- to save money and communicate in exciting
new ways," said Michelle Swittenberg, executive director for Verizon's
consumer VoIP services. "It's like having a customized, portable
telephone service and personal assistant rolled into one."
The service is offered nationally, and subscribers, regardless of
where they live, can choose from 167 area codes, including the 248,
313, 517, 586, 616, 734 and 810 codes in Michigan. Customers can take
VoiceWing with them by using their adapter to make and receive calls
anywhere there is a DSL or cable modem high-speed Internet connection.
Subscribers can also purchase up to five additional telephone numbers
with their choice of area codes to use on their VoiceWing service for
incoming calls. "This is very convenient for calling with out-of-town
friends and family," said Swittenberg.
"For example, if you live in Michigan and your mother lives in
Atlanta, you can purchase an additional incoming number with your
mother's 404 area code. Now every call mom makes to you is a local
call for her." Both VoiceWing calling plans include faxing
capabilities; calls to Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories; a
30-day money-back guarantee; and low per-minute international calling
rates, including 1 cent per minute to Canada, 3 cents per minute to
the United Kingdom and 6-to-11 cents per minute to various locations
All VoiceWing subscribers can make unlimited calls to other VoiceWing
subscribers at no additional charge. Both VoiceWing plans also
include an extensive roster of advanced calling features that can be
conveniently controlled through an online personal account manager
that is accessible from any Internet-enabled computer. These advanced
calling features include:
* Call Logs with Click to Dial: A list of all incoming, outgoing
and missed calls for three days, including name, telephone
number, date, time of day, physical location and duration of
the call. Customers can click on calls to have VoiceWing dial
them, or to easily add the caller's information to the
customer's address book.
* Visual Voice Mail: Customers can see their voice mails online,
listen by clicking on them and click a Forward button to send
the audio message by e-mail to as many recipients as the
customer would like.
* Enhanced Call Forwarding: Schedule call forwarding ahead of
time for a specific date and time of day, or as a recurring
event. Customers can quickly re-direct calls to another phone
directly from their personal account manager. E-mail alerts
will remind customers of when a scheduled call-forward is about
to take place.
* Scheduled Callbacks: Schedule important calls in advance
online. Customers' phones will ring at the appointed time, and
they will then be connected to the call.
* Synchronized Personal Address Book: Customers can save
telephone numbers and e-mail addresses of people who have
called, arrange contacts in convenient groups, click on a phone
number to dial it, or send an e-mail directly from their
account manager. Only Verizon eliminates the hassle of creating
and maintaining multiple address books by synchronizing
customers' VoiceWing address books with a variety of other PC
and PDA address books.
* Do Not Disturb: Sends all calls straight to voice mail and only
allows the important ones through. Customers can designate up
to 20 phone numbers to go through.
* Simultaneous Ring: Customers can designate up to three phone
numbers where they'd like calls to ring in addition to their
VoiceWing phone number. The first phone answered will be
connected to the call.
* Back-up Number: Customers can designate another phone, such as
their cell phone or office phone, where their VoiceWing calls
can be automatically routed in case of a power failure or
* Incoming Call Block: Allows customers to block up to 20
telephone numbers and send the calls directly to voice mail.
Customers can easily add or remove numbers they want blocked
either through their online account manager or by entering a
code on their telephone handset.
* Anonymous Call Rejection: Allows customers to refuse calls from
parties who have blocked or restricted their Caller ID
information and to send these calls directly to voice mail.
* Permanent Caller ID Block: Gives VoiceWing customers total
control over who sees their Caller ID information whenever they
make an outbound call. By simply setting up Caller ID Block
online, all calls are anonymous until the VoiceWing customer
disables the feature.
To learn about even more VoiceWing calling features, customers
can visit http://www.verizon.com/voicewing and select "Calling
Features" from the menu. Customers can also order service at this Web
site. If they do, they get their first month of service free.
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 210,000 in four business units: Domestic Telecom
serves customers based in 29 states with wireline telecommunications
services, including broadband and other services. Verizon Wireless
owns and operates the nation's most reliable wireless network, serving
43.8 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
VERIZON'S ONLINE NEWS CENTER: Verizon news releases, executive
speeches and biographies, media contacts, high quality video and
images, and other information are available at Verizon's News Center
on the World Wide Web at http://www.verizon.com/news. To receive news
releases by e-mail, visit the News Center and register for customized
automatic delivery of Verizon news releases.
Web Site: http://www.verizon.com