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MICHIGAN CUSTOMERS TO BE FIRST IN MIDWEST TO SEE CALLER'S NAME BEFORE PICKING UP PHONE

 DETROIT, June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A new Michigan Bell service available July 1 will give consumers greater privacy and control of their telephones and help reduce unwanted calls.
 Caller ID with Name makes it easier for customers to identify callers before they pick up the phone. On a display unit that's purchased separately, customers will be able to see the name and phone number of the home or business where the call is originating.
 Caller ID with Name operates much like its forerunner, Caller ID, which the company began offering last March.
 Phil Jones, Michigan Bell media director, said: "By knowing more about who's calling, our customers will have a better idea who in the household the call is for, which calls are important to answer and even which unanswered calls they want to return -- because some display units keep a record of missed calls."
 Jones said the ability to screen calls more accurately also will give family members who are home alone an added sense of security. Customer complaints to Michigan Bell about annoying, harassing and obscene calls have dropped by one-fourth since Caller ID service was introduced last March.
 "Caller ID with Name should be especially helpful for people with latch-key children, for the elderly and for those who don't remember numbers easily," said Jones.
 "Businesses will find Caller ID with Name service useful for answering customer calls with personalized greetings," he added. "It also will help reduce fraud by allowing businesses to verify the name and telephone number of customers placing orders."
 Names and phone numbers will be displayed in two ways. Residential listings will appear much as they do in local Ameritech White Pages Plus(R) directories, with the last name first -- up to 15 characters. For example, Janet Robinson would appear as "Robinson, Janet" -- followed by the caller's phone number.
 Names of businesses longer than 15 characters will be abbreviated, according to a set of standard abbreviations. For example, Michigan Bell Telephone Company will be display "MI BELL TEL CO."
 Callers will still have the option of blocking the display of their names and phone numbers by pressing Star 67 (or 1-1-6-7 on rotary phones) before placing the call. Per-call blocking is free and requires no sign-up.
 As it did in planning Caller ID service, Michigan Bell drew on recommendations from a consumer advisory panel that talked with consumer, law enforcement, public service and senior citizen organizations in formulating a recommendation for implementing Caller ID with Name service.
 "The consumer advisory panel agreed that Caller ID with Name provided with free per-call-blocking continues to meet the needs of the vast majority of telephone users," said Jones.
 Customers throughout the 313 area code will receive inserts in their monthly telephone bills notifying them of Caller ID with Name service, as well as instructions on how to block their phone numbers each time they place a call. Michigan Bell will mail special information with instructions to customers with non-published numbers and to crisis intervention agencies -- such as spouse-abuse and runaway shelters.
 Caller ID with Name will cost $8.50 a month. A $7.50 connection fee will be waived during an introductory 60-day period.
 Customers ordering the new service have the choice of obtaining a display device through Michigan Bell at an introductory discounted price through an independent vendor.
 Customers should check the compatibility of existing equipment with the new service -- through either their equipment vendor or Michigan Bell.
 Caller ID with Name will be available initially to nearly 600,000 customers in the Detroit metropolitan area and to about 1 million customers by year's end.
 Jones said the service will be available throughout the 313 area by the end of next year and to 80 percent of customers statewide by the end of 1996.
 Residential customers can obtain additional information about the service by calling toll-free 1-800-334-6611.
 -0- 6/10/93
 /CONTACT: Phil Jones, 313-223-7194, Dean Hovey, 313-223-7197, or Dave Ellis, 313-223-7192, all of Michigan Bell/


CO: Michigan Bell ST: Michigan IN: TLS SU: PDT

DH -- DE011 -- 0597 06/10/93 11:48 EST
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Date:Jun 10, 1993
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