DENVER, November 21, 2002 ? Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE:Q) announced today that several company-wide initiatives unveiled last month are producing immediate results. Efforts to dramatically improve the customer service Qwest provides to residential and wireless customers began on October 6.
Qwest?s new service focus already has improved the consumer experience and uses new technology to provide additional consumer service options. Several initiatives are ahead of schedule, including the opening of the customer solution center in Des Moines, Iowa; and enhancements to Qwest?s web site. A customizable section of the Qwest web site now offers consumers extensive online capabilities, and improved access to personal account information. In addition, on November 23, Qwest will extend its hours to provide consumers with service availability on Saturdays.
As part of Qwest?s commitment to improved service, the company pledged to provide details of all ongoing service efforts. Notable results to date include:
- A new automated e-care solution called MyQwest became available in October, offering residential and wireless customers a customizable section of the Qwest web site to manage their accounts. MyQwest provides new online services, including the ability to check wireless minutes used, review monthly bills, buy products and receive notification of order status. Today, there are nearly 350,000 customers using MyQwest e-care solutions within Qwest.com and an average of 3,000 new consumers sign up each day. Additional e-care improvements will be announced in December.
- Qwest is taking its commitment to customer service seriously by reducing outside vendors by a total of 17 percent and shifting customer support to internal resources. To that end, the Qwest Customer Solution Center opened November 5. The purpose of this center, which employs more than 240 people, is to resolve questions about more complex services in one phone call. Consumers with multiple services work directly with a customer care representative who has more extensive training in bundled services, including DSL and wireless.
- Qwest is launching new Saturday hours for consumer sales, customer care and El Centro, a Spanish language sales and care center, on November 23, 2002. These Saturday hours are in addition to existing Saturday hours at the Credit Management Center, where customers can make bill payments. These call centers will now be open on Saturdays from 7:00 a.m. ? 3:00 p.m. (MST), meeting the goal of answering consumer calls between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in all of Qwest?s local service area time zones.
- In addition, Qwest has reduced telemarketing calls by 30 percent overall, including during the dinner hours, from 6:00 ? 8:00 p.m. As part of Qwest?s tighter telemarketing quality standards and training, customers will receive fewer calls from Qwest.
?Customer service is the highest priority at Qwest, and we are holding ourselves accountable for implementing these initiatives within an aggressive time frame,? said Annette Jacobs, president of Qwest consumer markets group. ?Just 45 days after announcing our commitment to the Spirit of Service initiatives, we?ve seen some great improvements. We?ll continue to improve and update consumers on our progress.?
Additional customer service initiatives will be implemented within the coming months to improve interactions with consumers, making it easier for them to do business with Qwest. To ensure the right focus on service, the sales compensation plan will be realigned to strike a better balance between sales and service. Then, each customer will receive a welcome call following a sale to ensure they are fully satisfied with their purchase. The company will release additional consumer customer data that measures its performance early in the first quarter of 2003.
Qwest Communications International Inc. (NYSE: Q) is a leading provider of voice, video and data services to more than 25 million customers. The company?s 53,000-plus employees are committed to the ?Spirit of Service? and providing world-class services that exceed customers? expectations for quality, value and reliability. 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 us 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 but not limited to: the duration and extent of the current economic downturn in our 14-state local service area, including its effect on our customers and suppliers; the effects of our anticipated restatement of historical financial statements including delays in or restrictions on our ability to access the capital markets or other adverse effects to our business and financial position; our substantial indebtedness, and our inability to complete any efforts to de-lever our balance sheet through asset sales or other transactions; any adverse outcome of the SEC's current investigation into our accounting policies, practices and procedures; any adverse outcome of the current investigation by the U.S. Attorney's office in Denver into certain matters relating to us; adverse results of increased review and scrutiny by Congress, regulatory authorities, media and others (including any internal analyses) of financial reporting issues and practices or otherwise; the failure of our chief executive and chief financial officers to provide certain certifications relating to certain public filings; rapid and significant changes in technology and markets; any adverse developments in commercial disputes or legal proceedings, including any adverse outcome of current or future legal proceedings related to matters that are the subject of governmental investigations, and, to the extent not covered by insurance, if any, our inability to satisfy any resulting obligations from funds available to us, if any; our future ability to provide interLATA services within our 14-state local service area; potential fluctuations in quarterly results; volatility of our stock price; intense competition in the markets in which we compete; changes in demand for our 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; adverse changes in the regulatory or legislative environment affecting our business; and changes in the outcome of future events from the assumed outcome included in our significant accounting policies.
The information contained in this release is a statement of Qwest's present intention, belief or expectation and is based upon, among other things, the existing regulatory environment, industry conditions, market conditions and prices, the economy in general and Qwest's assumptions. Qwest may change its intention, belief or expectation, at any time and without notice, based upon any changes in such factors, in Qwest's assumptions or otherwise. The cautionary statements contained or referred to in this release should be considered in connection with any subsequent written or oral forward-looking statements that Qwest or persons acting on its behalf may issue. 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.
By including any information in this release, Qwest does not necessarily acknowledge that disclosure of such information is required by applicable law or that the information is material.
The Qwest logo is a registered trademark of, and CyberCenter is a service mark of, Qwest Communications International Inc. in the U.S. and certain other countries.