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GTE CALIFORNIA OFFERS ASSISTANCE TO STORM DISASTER-AREA VICTIMS

 THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- GTE California will transfer telephone service at no charge for customers forced to relocate from disaster areas because of recent storms and flooding, company officials announced today.
 The company will move one customer line to a new location at no charge for disaster victims, as long as the new location is within GTE service territory. GTE also will transfer the service back to its original location until Jan. 18, 1994, again at no charge.
 If a service transfer is not required, the company will offer temporary remote call forwarding at no charge for one telephone number. The offer is available to any flooding or storm victim in disaster areas within GTE service territory.
 "We realize many customers have suffered tremendously from the recent storms," said John Appel, GTE California vice president and general manager. "By providing temporary service transfers or remote call forwarding, GTE can help businesses stay in touch with customers and help families stay in touch with their loved ones.
 "Businesses and residents who relocate because of the floods have many things to worry about," Appel said. "By making this offer, we hope we can make the transition a little easier for the flood victims."
 The storms caused significant problems for many customers throughout GTE's service area. Repairs for some customers will take several days.
 "The storm has caused a lot of isolated problems that have created a backlog of repair requests," Appel said. "GTE technicians have been working virtually around the clock since the heavy rains began. We hope that good weather will prevail, and we are responding aggressively to restore everyone's service."
 Customers who need repair service should call GTE's Repair Answer Center by dialing 611. A repair clerk will assist the customer. The company urges customers to call only once, since repeated calls to check on repair status will only delay the overall repair effort.
 "We apologize to customers who have been inconvenienced, and we will have every customer back in service just as soon as possible," Appel said. "We sincerely appreciate our customers' patience."
 GTE California, based in Thousand Oaks, serves 3.1 million customers in 330 communities, mostly in Southern California.
 -0- 1/20/93
 /CONTACT: Larry Cox or Dan Smith of GTE California, 800-227-5556/


CO: GTE California ST: California IN: TLS SU:

MS-JB -- LA033 -- 7044 01/20/93 15:58 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 20, 1993
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