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SCANFONE TRIAL OFFERS SHOPPING AND BILL PAYING FROM HOME

 SCANFONE TRIAL OFFERS SHOPPING AND BILL PAYING FROM HOME
 DETROIT, Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Michigan Bell and Ameritech


announced today a trial with US Order of Herndon, Va., to promote US Order's ScanFone(TM) service to Detroit-area consumers.
 ScanFone is an electronic bill paying and home shopping service. Equipped with a light pen for scanning bar codes, a 16-character LED display panel and a magnetic-stripe credit card reader, ScanFone also doubles as an ordinary telephone and Caller ID unit.
 Developed by US Order, the ScanFone enhanced telephone is designed to ease hectic schedules, reduce the costs associated with shopping and paying bills -- gas, stamps, envelopes and checks -- and save time.
 "We're pleased to be the first telephone company in the nation to promote US Order's unique integrated home shopping and bill paying service," said Laird Spencer, Michigan Bell director of marketing and business development. "ScanFone will give our customers even more control over their everyday lives -- and it doesn't require a computer!"
 US Order's CEO and Chairman William F. Gorog called ScanFone "the ultimate home management system." Comparing the system with such time- savers as the microwave oven, voice mail and the automatic teller machine, Gorog said ScanFone "will change the way people manage household jobs."
 Customers subscribing to ScanFone service will receive electronic bill payment service, home grocery shopping via Kroger Shoppers Express and access to more than 100,000 items through many popular mail order catalogs, including Crate and Barrel, Barnes & Noble, PC Flowers and Chef's Catalog.
 "In the future, consumers may be able to use their ScanFone for banking services such as balance inquiry and funds transfer, pharmacy home delivery and restaurant orders," said Gorog.
 ScanFone's monthly $11.95 fee (plus tax) includes the ScanFone unit, shopping catalogs and personal bill payment lists which allow customers to pay up to 30 bills each month electronically at no additional charge.
 "The small monthly cost of the ScanFone service is more than offset by the cost of gasoline, postage, and bank charges for checks, not to mention time," said Gorog.
 To pay bills, US Order will issue customers a personal payment list with a special bar code for each monthly bill, which may include credit cards, utilities, mortgages and installment loans. To make a payment, the customer scans the bar code for the company, verifies it on the character display panel, enters the amount to be paid on the key pad and scans the date of payment.
 Once the transaction is sent, bills are paid on the dates specified, and the user's account is debited accordingly. The customer's monthly bank statement provides a detailed itemization of each bill payment.
 Mike Czajka, Kroger senior advertising assistant, said ScanFone shoppers can order groceries electronically from a Kroger Shoppers Express bar-coded catalog with more than 6,500 items. Orders are packed by a professional Kroger shopper, and ScanFone subscribers can elect to have groceries delivered to their doors for an additional $9.95 per delivery, or bagged and ready for pick-up for a $5.95 fee -- both through Kroger Shoppers Express.
 Kroger Shoppers Express guarantees 100 percent customer satisfaction, or customers will receive a replacement or refund. Grocery ordering will be available initially in the metropolitan Detroit and Ann Arbor-Ypsilanti areas.
 ScanFone subscribers also can shop from a multitude of mail order catalogs, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, without having to "hold" for order takers or give out credit card numbers over the phone. Each item and quantity in the catalogs is matched with a bar code the user scans with the light pen. The LED panel confirms each selection and provides an approximate total for purchased items.
 Calls to ScanFone are local in the Detroit LATA, roughly equivalent to the 313 area code. Michigan Bell customers who live outside the 313 area code may subscribe to ScanFone but will incur some long-distance charges when using ScanFone services.
 Bell's Spencer noted that Michigan Bell's involvement is the result of a court order that allows Bell entry into electronic information services and state legislation that lets the company introduce new services faster than ever before and price services more flexibly.
 In addition to direct mail, newspaper and television advertisements, in-store demonstrations and supermarket circulars will give customers a chance to learn firsthand about ScanFone.
 Customers can order US Order's ScanFone toll-free by calling 1-800-876-2099. ScanFone units will be shipped via Federal Express Delivery. Each ScanFone comes with a 90-day money-back guarantee. No other equipment is required. There is no set-up fee and no minimum service requirement. ScanFone installation is as easy as plugging the unit into a regular AC electrical outlet and any home phone jack.
 Michigan Bell, one of five Bell companies owned by Chicago-based Ameritech, provides advanced voice, data and video services to 3.5 million Michigan customers.
 One of the world's leading information companies, Ameritech also is a principal in several international businesses including Telecom Corporation of New Zealand.
 US Order is the only company offering a patented home ordering and bill payment system. US Order is an affiliate of WorldCorp.
 The Kroger Company is the nation's largest supermarket chain, operating 77 stores in Michigan and more than 1,200 nationwide.
 Shoppers Express Inc. is the nation's leading supermarket and drugstore shop-by-phone delivery service network and operates in over 50 markets nationwide.
 -0- 9/24/92
 /CONTACT: Phil Jones, 313-223-7194, or Dean Hovey, 313-223-7197, both of Michigan Bell; or Linda Abrams of US Order, 212-715-1504/
 (AIT WOA KR) CO: Michigan Bell; Ameritech; US Order; Kroger Company;
 Shoppers Express, Inc. ST: Michigan IN: TLS SU: PDT


ML -- DE003 -- 2981 09/24/92 10:03 EDT
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Date:Sep 24, 1992
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