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CU President Praises Verizon Announcement

June 24, 2003
Contact: Chris Murray (202) 462-6262

Statement by Jim Guest, President of Consumers Union,
praising today’s announcement by Verizon regarding wireless number portability–”They Heard Us Now!”

Today’s announcement by Verizon is a victory for consumers. Cell phone users have been clamoring for the freedom to change wireless carriers without the hassle of losing their wireless phone number. They’ve spoken out through emails, letters, and support of our efforts to head off further delays in number portability. Verizon’s announcement is clearly a response to the consumer outcry. This is a great example of the power of consumers in the marketplace.
Consumers Union has been an outspoken advocate of number portability, because it allows consumers the choice and flexibility they deserve. Verizon’s move only serves to underscore what Consumer Reports engineers have been saying for years: There are no real technical barriers standing in the way of consumers being able to keep their cell phone numbers when they switch providers. The only barrier has been the unwillingness of the carriers to give consumers what they want.
After winning over four years of delays, the wireless carriers have spent recent months waging a last ditch effort in the courts, the Congress and the FCC to once again delay number portability. They’ve been turned back at every step.
Verizon’s announcement will make it hard for the rest of the carriers to keep up their campaign to further delay the November deadline. We applaud Verizon breaking ranks and challenge the other wireless carriers to embrace enhanced competition through number portability by offering better service to customers.

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, is an independent nonprofit testing, educational and information organization serving only the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public and protect consumers.