Premature Verizon Mailers Anger AT&T

Verizon mailers sent to long-distance telephone prospects in New Jersey have riled AT&T, which complained that Verizon was marketing to consumers in the state prior to receiving regulatory permission to operate there, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

In May, Verizon sent mailers to 4,000 consumers in New Jersey, which the company told the Federal Communications Commission was due to a mistake by its direct mail provider. Then, earlier this month, Verizon included inserts touting its long-distance service in bills to 500,000 of its basic telephone customers in the state, which Verizon again said was an accident.

AT&T asked the FCC to suspend or reject Verizon's pending application to provide long-distance service in New Jersey due to the premature mailing. Verizon responded that the confusion created by the mailers hurt it more than its competitor and that it should not be punished.

Verizon later sent follow-up letters to consumers who had received the mailers and inserts alerting them that the company was not yet authorized to provide long-distance service in New Jersey, according to the Journal.

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