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SOUTHWESTERN BELL OFFERS SMALL BUSINESSES "BIZSAVER;" SERVICES AT ABOUT 30 PERCENT SAVINGS, FREE INSTALLATION

 SOUTHWESTERN BELL OFFERS SMALL BUSINESSES "BIZSAVER;"
 SERVICES AT ABOUT 30 PERCENT SAVINGS, FREE INSTALLATION
 LITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- For a spanking new small business in Arkansas, the check list for getting ready to set up shop used to look like this: Rent space, hire and train employees, purchase and stock merchandise and buy advertising.
 But starting this month, that check list also can include something new: ordering a set of phone services from Southwestern Bell Telephone (NYSE: SBC).
 Southwestern Bell is now offering small businesses in Arkansas a group of optional services called BizSaver (SM). BizSaver features value pricing--about 30 percent off the individual services' regular monthly rates with free installation on the optional services.
 "BizSaver includes our most popular services," says Jim Carter, Southwestern Bell's small business services planning manager. "With this family of services, a new business can charge out of the starting gate."
 BizSaver is designed for businesses which have one telephone line. The package includes Touch-tone, the customer's choice of two of the five Call Management Services and Personalized Ring (SM) service.
 Call Management Services are Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Three- Way Calling, Speed Calling 8 and Speed Calling 30.
 Personalized Ring lets customers have up to three different rings on the same phone line. Each has its own distinctive ring.
 Carter says the services give customers better management over their phone service.
 "For example, with Personalized Ring, they'll have easy identification of incoming calls before the phone is answered. And they'll do all this while saving $84.80 in the first year."
 Southwestern Bell received approval from the Arkansas Public Service Commission for a one-year tariff for BizSaver. It's believed to be the first offering of its kind by a major telephone company in the United States.
 Here's how BizSaver, is priced: When customers purchase the set of services, they'll receive a monthly $5.40 credit.
 The actual savings depends on the services selected. For example, if customers choose BizSaver with Call Forwarding, Speed Calling 30, Touch-tone and Personalized Ring, they'll pay $13.95 (a $19.35 value) and save 28 percent over their separate prices.
 If customers select BizSaver with Three-Way Calling, Speed Calling 8, Personalized Ring and Touch-tone, they'll pay $10.95 (a $16.35 value) and save 33 percent.
 Customers purchasing BizSaver receive an installation waiver on all services (a $20 value). Businesses pay regular monthly rates for the telephone line and its installation.
 First year total savings for a business purchasing BizSaver is $84.80 ($20 in installation waivers and $64.80 total monthly credits). Rates are effective as long as the customer has BizSaver service.
 Southwestern Bell is selling BizSaver in areas in Arkansas where the company has introduced Personalized Ring service. That's most of the state and includes Arkansas' largest city, Little Rock.
 BizSaver was based on suggestions from customers, primarily those on Southwestern Bell's Small Business Advisory Panel. This 12-member board, which meets quarterly, had suggested Southwestern Bell work to group services in a "startup kit" for new businesses.
 "Our small business customers have told us they aren't necessarily telecommunications experts and they want us to make it easier to select services which might help their businesses," says Carter.
 "They also have said they would like a special service group with special pricing and with options on what services can be in that group," he adds. "BizSaver Offers all this to our customers."
 In addition to BizSaver and the Small Business Advisory Panel, Carter says Southwestern Bell is demonstrating its commitment to help small businesses through:
 -- SmartFile (SM) offer (a packet of free booklets featuring tips for small businesses),
 -- "The Winning Edge" (a promotions campaign to show how individual phone services can help small businesses), and involvement with regional economic development commissions and local small business groups.
 "Through all these projects, we help small businesses, but we also help Southwestern Bell," he explains. "Small business is very big business at Southwestern Bell. It contributes about one-half of our business sales. Small business also is the fastest-growing business segment in the United States. It's easy to see, if small businesses succeed, we succeed."
 There are about 670,000 small businesses with 850,000 locations in Southwestern Bell Telephone's five states. The company defines small businesses as customers with one to six telephone lines at a single location.
 Southwestern Bell decided to offer BizSaver in Arkansas first because of the large number of small businesses. Arkansas has about 36,000 small businesses which have one telephone line. That's the highest percentage in the company's five states.
 Following an analysis of customer reaction during the yearlong test in Arkansas, Southwestern Bell determine an introduction schedule for BizSaver service in the other four states it serves.
 St. Louis-based Southwestern Bell Telephone Company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwestern Bell Corporation and provides telecommunications services to more than 1 million business customers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
 Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. trademarks BizSaver (SM) is a pending service mark. Personalized Ring (SM) is a pending service mark. SmartFile (SM) is a pending service mark.
 -0- 6/8/92
 /CONTACT: Scott Hilgeman of Southwestern Bell Telephone 314-247-4613/
 (SBC) CO: Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. ST: Arkansas IN: TLS SU: PDT


AH -- NY059 -- 7996 06/08/92 14:08 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 8, 1992
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