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SOUTHWESTERN BELL TELEPHONE OFFERS CUSTOMERS EXPANDED DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE SERVICE

           SOUTHWESTERN BELL TELEPHONE OFFERS CUSTOMERS
               EXPANDED DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE SERVICE
    ST. LOUIS, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwestern Bell Telephone plans to expand its optional directory assistance services to three more states in 1992.
    Southwestern Bell already offers Directory Assistance Call Completion and Multiple Listing Directory Assistance in Missouri, where if first introduced the services as a trial in late 1989.  It plans to make them available in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas this year and introduce them in Kansas in 1993.
    Southwestern Bell was the first Bell Operating Company to introduce Directory Assistance Call Completion.
    Beginning this month, Texas customers will be able to make one call to a directory assistance operator to get directory information by dialing 411 or 1-411 and have their calls completed in the same step by pressing "1" on their touch-tone telephones.  By staying on the line, customers with rotary dial telephones can have their calls completed by an operator.
    In Texas, in most cases, the charge for Directory Assistance Call Completion is 30 cents.  (Depending upon how the call is billed, such as collect or third number billing calls, and whether an operator handles the call, the charges may be higher.)  If the customer is beyond his or her monthly allowance of three free directory assistance calls or six free directory listing requests, an additional 30-cent charge for the directory assistance listing also applies.
    New technology also will allow customers to get more than the usual two directory listings per call from the directory assistance operator. The expanded service is called Multiple Listing Directory Assistance.
    When calling a directory assistance operator, customers should indicate they are making a multiple listing request.  The operator will provide the directory information in a matter of seconds.
    Because telephone directories are published only once a year, a directory listing may be outdated for several months.  Multiple Listing Directory Assistance gives customers the most current listing information available.
    In Texas, beyond a customer's monthly free-call or listing allowance, the multiple listings are 30 cents for the first two listings and 30 cents for each additional listing.
    For example, a customer calls an operator and requests four telephone listings in Dallas.  The customer would be charged 30 cents for the first two listings and 30 cents each for the third and fourth listing for a total of 90 cents.
    Or, if customers need more than 10 listings, they can reserve time with an operator for $1 per minute with a 15-minute minimum (a $15 charge.)
    Southwestern Bell company handles about 1.3 million directory assistance calls on an average day in its five-state region.
    The company plans to file tariffs with state regulatory commissions to offer the Directory Assistance Call Completion and Multiple Listing Directory Assistance in Oklahoma and Arkansas later this year.
    "These expanded services are the result of extensive modifications to Southwestern Bell's operator services network equipment," said Gary Moser, Southwestern Bell's division manager for operator services. "Using this technology, for the first time, lets a directory assistance operator complete customer calls after providing the requested phone number.  In the past, customers had to hang up after getting the telephone number and redial it to put the call through."
    Southwestern Bell Telephone is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwestern Bell Corporation and provides telecommunications services to more than nine million customers in the five-state region it serves.
    -0-    1/9/92
    /CONTACT:  Sherry Smith of Southwestern Bell, 314-247-6771/
    (SBC) CO:  Southwestern Bell Telephone ST:  Missouri IN:  TLS SU: MA -- NY062 -- 8320 01/09/92 14:59 EST
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 9, 1992
Words:586
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