Denver, April 23, 2001 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q), the broadband Internet communications company, announced today the company?s first-quarter 2001 service results in the 14-state local service area were the best in five to seven years for residential and small-business customers. In addition, installation and repair results for residential customers in 2000 were among the best in the industry, according to a new Federal report.
In the first three months of 2001, Qwest has shown continued service improvements in its installations, repairs, and out-of-service response intervals. At the end of March, no customer in six states waited more than 30 days for the installation of their first telephone line. As a result of these improvements, total customer complaints in the first quarter 2001 were about 30 percent fewer than the number reported for the same period last year.
?We have improved service faster than anyone expected,? said Afshin Mohebbi, Qwest president and COO. ?It isn?t easy work, but it is the right thing to do for our customers. We also know we have more work to do. As we continue to invest in our network, our customers will continue to see improvement in their service and new broadband Internet communications services.?
Qwest?s service data at the end of the first-quarter 2001 for residential and small-business customers showed:
- At the end of March, the number of customers who had been waiting more than 30 days for the installation of their first telephone line reached their lowest levels in seven years ? almost 80 percent fewer than March 2000;
- In six states in March no customer waited more than 30 days for the installation of their first telephone line;
- Nearly 99 percent of 5.1 million installation commitments were met on time ? the best results in five years;
- About 96 percent of total repair commitments were met on time ? the best results in five years;
- Repeat repairs within 30 days decreased more than seven percent from first quarter 2000;
- About 89 percent of service outages were repaired in less than 24 hours ? up from 77 percent from a year ago - the best customer service results on record.
These improvements are consistent with the service improvement goals Qwest set for the end of 2001, which included reducing delayed installations for new service and improving installation and repair results. The improvements are also consistent with recently released FCC (Federal Communications Commission) Service Quality Reporting data for 2000 for 12 companies, which showed that among the major communications companies:
- Qwest was third in meeting its installation commitments to residential customers;
- Qwest was second in completing 16.5 million residential installations within one day (on average) of the customer placing the order;
- Qwest was second in taking an average of only 19 hours to fix residential service outages.
Continued progress toward improving service for its retail customers is the reason the company recently announced its ?One Call Solution? customer care for residential customers. This major transformation of Qwest?s customer care operations includes channeling customer calls immediately to service or sales consultants, depending on their needs. More than 600 sales representatives have shifted to new customer care centers in an effort to serve customers faster, more efficiently and with enhanced service expertise.
Improving service for all customers is a critical step in the process of opening its network to competitors so Qwest can re-enter the long-distance business. Qwest?s wholesale customers have also seen consistent quality improvements. In March, 96 percent of all designed service due date commitments were met, an improvement from 88 percent last Fall. The company has also improved the timeliness of wholesale service order processing by 84 percent.
Improving service to wholesale customers is part of Qwest?s plan to gain approval from the FCC to offer long-distance services in the company?s 14-state local service area. Qwest is making rapid progress toward that goal. Competitors in the 14-state local service region now have easy access to 84 percent of Qwest?s customers through equipment they have co-located in Qwest facilities. In addition, the company has completed 75 percent of the more than 50 workshop sessions scheduled with regulators, consumer advocates and competitors to gauge Qwest?s compliance with the checklist that the FCC will use to determine whether to approve Qwest?s applications to offer long-distance service. Qwest expects to finish all the workshops this summer.
Last week, Qwest also announced that it had begun region-wide independent testing of its operational support systems (OSS), a critical checklist item. Thirteen of the states in Qwest?s local service area are participating in the test - the fourteenth state, Arizona, is conducting its own test separately. Both tests should end in mid-summer. Qwest expects to file with the FCC an application for approval to offer long-distance services in one state by late summer and to file applications for the remaining states later in 2001 and in early 2002.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leader in reliable, scalable and secure broadband Internet-based data, voice and image communications for businesses and consumers. The Qwest Macro Capacity® Fiber Network, designed with the newest optical networking equipment for speed and efficiency, spans more than 106,000 miles globally. For more information, please visit the Qwest web site at www.qwest.com.
This release may contain projections and other forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements may differ materially from actual future events or results. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Qwest with the Securities and Exchange Commission, specifically the most recent reports which identify important risk factors that could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, including potential fluctuations in quarterly results, volatility of Qwest's stock price, intense competition in the communications services market, changes in demand for Qwest's products and services, dependence on new product development and acceleration of the deployment of advanced new services, such as broadband data, wireless and video services, which could require substantial expenditure of financial and other resources in excess of contemplated levels, higher than anticipated employee levels, capital expenditures and operating expenses, rapid and significant changes in technology and markets, adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting Qwest's business and delays in Qwest's ability to provide interLATA services within its 14-state local service territory, failure to maintain rights of way, and failure to achieve the projected synergies and financial results expected to result from the acquisition of U S WEST timely or at all and difficulties in combining the operations of Qwest and U S WEST. This release may include analysts' estimates and other information prepared by third parties for which Qwest assumes no responsibility. Qwest undertakes no obligation to review or confirm analysts' expectations or estimates or to release publicly any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
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