Dressing up Bad News

Carl Weinschenk

Somebody should talk to Verizon's public relations department.


The company just issued a press release on a survey conducted on its behalf by KRC Research that says 83 percent of consumers "intend to continue using their landline home phone indefinitely."


The alternate and more instructive reading of the release is that 17 percent of its customers plan to get rid of their landline phone service. The amusing part of the story is that the PR department should have sat this one out instead of calling attention to that problematic reality.


This bodes poorly for the carrier. Indeed, the news might be even worse, since the release doesn't clearly state whether those in the 83 percent group say they intend to keep a landline phone in general or Verizon's in particular. The 83 percent could include those who are thinking of leaving for non-Verizon landline VoIP. If so, this release is bad news indeed.


The release also tries to dress up another piece of bad news: It says that 76 percent of landline phone owners use that phone every day. Few people regularly go a whole day without making a call, so it is reasonable to assume that 24 percent of folks are opting for their cell phones over landlines on a regular basis.

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