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FLOWERS DIRECT CHOOSES MCI AS EXCLUSIVE 800 SERVICE PROVIDER

 BOCA RATON, Fla., Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Flowers Direct, a national, long-distance floral delivery service, announced today it has chosen MCI to provide its 800 Service for a three-year period for $3 million.
 Flowers Direct, the only long-distance floral ordering service of its kind, will use MCI's Enhanced Voice Service (EVS) and Enhanced Call Router (ECR) technologies to connect customers directly to local florists via a single 800 number (800-678-7878).
 In making the transition to MCI from AT&T, Flowers Direct has abandoned its existing, nationally advertised 800 number to convert to MCI's 800 Service applications.
 "The benefits of moving to MCI overrode any concern about changing our 800 number," said Donn Flipse, president of Flowers Direct Inc.
 "We chose MCI because MCI people were able to address all our needs in just 30 days," Flipse added.
 "MCI's innovative 800 Service applications and unique billing capabilities best fit Flowers Direct's distinctive approach to serving consumers and florists."
 Using MCI's call routing technology, a Flowers Direct customer who wishes to send a long-distance floral gift can speak directly to the local florist who will be filling the order.
 All that's required is that the customer dial one toll-free 800 number -- 1-800-678-7878. Then, prompted by a voice response unit, the customer enters the ZIP code of the gift recipient. The call is then automatically routed to the local florist nearest the gift recipient, and the florist talks directly to the caller to handle the order.
 "Flowers Direct has seized a competitive advantage by using MCI's advanced 800 Service applications to add value and convenience for its customers by directly linking them with local florists," said Timothy F. Price, president of MCI Business Services.
 "The MCI and Flowers Direct alliance demonstrates the marketing power of 800 applications to serve customers in innovative ways."
 Flowers Direct, Inc., of Boca Raton, provides marketing services and national advertising, delivering a national customer-base to a network of independent, regional and local florists. Since it launched its first national advertising campaign in December 1991, Flowers Direct has received more than 500,000 calls from consumers wanting to have direct contact with a local florist by using the only system of its kind for ordering long distance floral gifts.
 With 1991 revenues of nearly $10 billion, MCI Communications Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: MCIC), headquartered in Washington, is the nation's second-largest long-distance provider and sixth-largest international long-distance carrier.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Fox of MCI Business Services, 800-365-2275, or Sheila King for Flowers Direct, 312-644-5800/
 (MCIC)


CO: MCI Communications Corporation; Flowers Direct, Inc. ST: Florida IN: TLS REA SU:

BN-CF -- AT003 -- 3850 01/12/93 09:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 12, 1993
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