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/// MCI 800 COLLECT SERVICE AR InfoFile
MCI has announced 1-800-COLLECT, a new way for consumers to make
collect calls. Beginning today, children, students, men and women in the
armed services, travelers, truckers -- everyone who takes advantage of long
distance collect calling -- will be able to save their parents and loved
ones up to 44 percent (vs. AT&T operator-dialed rates) on collect calls
they make from any phone in America and Puerto Rico. Americans now make 1
billion collect calls each year, spending more than $3 billion.
"Until MCI's 1-800-COLLECT, collect calling lagged far behind advances
made in other products and services in the long distance marketplace," said
Gerald H. Taylor, president of MCI Consumer Markets. "Reversing the
charges, which dates back to the 1890s, is one of the oldest services
available. Contemporary collect callers have been stuck with some very
When the consumer makes a "0+" collect call today, the person he or
she is calling is charged by the long distance provider of the phone from
which the call is placed. Demand has been suppressed due to complicated
dialing schemes, high prices and the absence of any true competition.
"In a world where consumers usually make choices about services,
collect callers are simply left out," Taylor continued.
To use the new service, callers simply dial 1-800-COLLECT
(1-800-265-5328) to reach an operator who will connect the call. Neither
the caller nor the
recipient needs to be an MCI customer. 1-800-COLLECT is made possible
through billing arrangements with local telephone companies and MCI's
proprietary ISN (Intelligent Service Network), a specialized
software-controlled network for MCI's Calling Card and Operator Services.
The ISN enables MCI to provide the customized call handling and network
routing for 1-800-COLLECT calls. The network efficiency provided by the ISN
is passed on to consumers in the form of lower rates.
MCI launches today a multi-media national advertising campaign to
introduce 1-800-COLLECT. Advertising will appear on network and cable
television, in print publications and outdoor media throughout the United
CONTACT: Kate Fralin or Su-Lin Cheng of MCI, 1-800-436-9749