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SOUTHWESTERN BELL OPERATORS INTRODUCE NOTIFICATION SERVICES IN KANSAS CITY

 SOUTHWESTERN BELL OPERATORS INTRODUCE
 NOTIFICATION SERVICES IN KANSAS CITY
 KANSAS CITY, Mo., June 15 /PRNewswire/ -- For parents who don't always have access to a telephone, Southwestern Bell Telephone operators now can reassure them by calling their children who are home alone.
 Customers in the Kansas City metropolitan area and others in the 816 area code in Missouri also can rely on Southwestern Bell for a friendly wake-up call, a call to check on a loved one or a call to remind an elderly relative to take his or her medication.
 Southwestern Bell is testing these CareRing(SM) services on both sides of the state line in the Kansas City area. These services also will be available to customers in selected cities in the 913 area code in Kansas.
 Southwestern Bell is the first Bell company to offer these types of information services. CareRing services are Southwestern Bell's broadest offering of information services yet. The Bell companies gained the freedom to offer information services through a series of federal court rulings last year.
 "Often today with both parents working, children may be at home alone after school or on summer vacation," said Darla Hedrick, area manager-product management." While parents may want to call and check on their child themselves, they may not always have access to a phone, may not be allowed to use the phone at work or may accidentally forget to call."
 Customers who have elderly or sick relatives or friends have the same kind of need, Hedrick said. "They also can have peace of mind knowing that an operator is checking on their loved ones."
 CareRing also can be used for a wake-up call for an early morning flight or a meeting or a reminder of an important event such as a birthday or an anniversary.
 CareRing is just one of many information services that the Bell companies are introducing across the nation. However, proposed federal legislation, House Bill 5096, threatens to prohibit the offering of these services and many more.
 "CareRing services are good examples of how consumers win when they are offered services of unique value," said Michael Kaufman, executive vice president of Southwestern Bell Telephone. "If House Bill 5096 passes, services like these will be taken away from millions of customers across the country."
 CareRing services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers can order the services as needed -- either one day at a time or monthly by dialing toll-free 800-683-1888. Operators will make the calls within five minutes of the requested time, following instructions as to what action to take if the person being called is or is not reached.
 Although the customer ordering the service may live anywhere in the United States, the customer being called by operators must be a Southwestern Bell customer and live within Southwestern Bell's local service territory, such as the 816 area code in Missouri.
 CareRing services are priced based on whether the application is for checkup or wake-up/reminder calls.
 The usage-based charge for checkup calls is 95 cents per call. The charge for wake-up/reminder calls is 35 cents each.
 Beginning in September, customers will have the option of paying a flat monthly fee based on a specified number of calls per day.
 The monthly fees for checkup calls will range from $20 for one call per day to $54 for three calls per day. The monthly fees for wake- up/reminder calls will range from $8 for one call per day to $16 for three calls per day.
 The biggest difference between CareRing services and other services that may be available is Southwestern Bell's reputation for dependability, Hedrick said.
 "You know you can count on Southwestern Bell to make the calls," she said. "We use 'live' operators to make the calls. They're highly skilled in talking with all sorts of people, asking pertinent questions and dealing with emergencies."
 Also, hearing-impaired customers may take advantage of the CareRing service by calling the Kansas Relay Center at 800-766-3777 or the Missouri Dual Party Relay Center at 800-735-2466.
 Southwestern Bell Telephone started testing its first information service earlier this year in Oklahoma. Called Message Delivery, the service offers customers making operator-handled calls the option of leaving a voice message when they get a busy signal or no answer.
 Also, Southwestern Bell Mobile Systems offers its cellular customers a variety of audiotex services ranging from local news and sports, traffic reports and calendar of events to a sport trivia line. The services are offered in St. Louis, Chicago, Boston, Baltimore and Washington. The company plans to extend these services to other cities, including Kansas City, by the end of the year. So far, traffic information has proven to be the most popular service.
 Southwestern Bell Telephone is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwestern Bell Corp. and provides telecommunications services to more than 9.6 million customers in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.
 -0- 6/15/92
 /CONTACT: Sherry Smith of Southwestern Bell Telephone, 314-247-6771/ CO: Southwestern Bell Telephone ST: Missouri IN: TLS SU: PDT


MM -- SF010 -- 0400 06/15/92 18:34 EDT
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Date:Jun 15, 1992
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