HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) today approved a petition by Verizon Pennsylvania Inc. and Verizon North Retain Co. to annually provide paper copies of residential white pages directories to customers who request to receive them.
The Commission voted 5-0 to make paper copies of residential white page directories available by request only as of Jan. 1, 2011. Verizon will continue to provide residential listing information through its website and CD-ROM. The paper copies will continue to be available to those customers who request them at no charge.
Under the plan, Verizon will significantly reduce the nearly 12 million yearly paper copies of the white pages directories. The company called the plan an “environmentally-friendly” initiative. Information contained in the “consumer guide pages” and governmental listing (blue) pages of the yellow pages directory will still be distributed to all customers.
The Commission’s decision does not involve a change in or waiver of Commission regulations. As such, it does not have any effects upon existing interconnection agreements or other contractual arrangements between the Verizon Companies and other telecommunications utilities where the distribution of Verizon white page directories may be implicated.
The Commission required Verizon to provide adequate customer notice about the change in service as well as the options available to customers who wish to continue to receive paper copies of residential white pages directories. In addition, the Commission is requiring Verizon to continue its Chapter 64 obligations of providing information regarding customer billing and termination procedures.
The Commission opened a comment period on the proposal on Sept. 22, 2010. The state’s Office of Consumer Advocate filed comments generally in favor of the plan, but requested certain conditions. Verizon addressed those conditions in separate comments filed with the Commission. The company is to consult with the PUC to develop appropriate language for customer notice and bill inserts.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities to ensure safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protect the public interest; educate consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; further economic development; and foster new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
For recent news releases, audio of select Commission proceedings or more information about the PUC, visit our website at www.puc.state.pa.us.
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Docket no. P-2010-2198820