Verizon to Hawaii Telcom transition hitching along

Given the combination of weather-related trouble calls and the transition off of Verizon’s business support systems, many customers calling into Hawaiian Telcom’s technical support and repair centers earlier this week experienced unusually long hold times and periodic busy signals due to a high volume of calls seeking live support, states a press release issued by the company.

The company has added additional staff, revised its interactive voice response system to provide more information, and reconfigured the call-routing within its repair and tech support centers to serve all customers more efficiently.

As a result of these changes, access to customer representatives has improved. Also, as a result of better weather conditions this week, the volume of repair calls has declined as the week has progressed.

Most calls to the tech support center have been requests for help in configuring e-mail management software, such as Outlook Express. In addition to live tech support, detailed instructions and information are available online at support.

hawaiiantel.net.

Also, the company’s Web page, www.hawaiiantel.com has been updated to provide more detailed information.

“The majority of our customers have felt no impact from the transition, but we sincerely apologize to every customer who has been inconvenienced in any way,” said CEO of Hawaiian Telcom Mike Ruley, in the release. “I want to thank customers for their patience and for the support they have shown for this effort to bring Hawaiian Telcom back home.

We still have more changes and probable disruptions ahead of us, but I’m confident that customers will appreciate the superior service we can deliver once tills transition is complete.

“I also want to thank our employees who are working literally around the clock to make this transition as painless as possible for our customers,” Ruley said. “The frustrations of this transition will be temporary.” Hawaiian Telcom completed the network services phase of its transition off Verizon’s business support systems last Saturday. Verizon had been providing a wide range of information technology systems and support since early 2005 when Hawaiian Telcom acquired Verizon’s Hawai’i operations.

Last weekend, 650,000 access lines, hundreds of thousands of long distance customers, tens of thousands of high-speed Internet customers, E911 service, Directory Assistance and other network services were successfully transferred from Verizon to Hawaiian Telcom’s control.

The company has identified pockets of limited network services issues in subsequent days.

The business support systems phase of the transition has been ongoing this week. A massive download of customer data from Verizon’s systems has proceeded on or ahead of schedule and is essentially complete. Hawaiian Telcom is in the process of converting and uploading this data into its new business support platforms.

The company is deploying more than 80 business support and customer service systems. The various elements of this data transfer process are generally on or ahead of schedule.

Before the actual transition, the company conducted three “dress rehearsals” of this data transfer to do a preliminary identification and correction of irregularities. With the actual data transfer this week, the company will test for stability and accuracy before putting a new system in production.

In total, the company is deploying more than 80 business support systems. Given the complexity and breadth of this phase of Hawaiian Telcom’s transition, the company anticipates that some errors will still occur. This likely would mean delays in customer service, new installations and service changes, which could extend beyond next week. The company has contingency plans in place to minimize the inconvenience to customers.

During the data transfer this week, Hawaiian Telcom is in a “quiet” period, with reduced provisioning of service orders.

The company is completing repairs and taking orders and service-change requests, and most new installations and service activity will resume the week of April 10. This quiet period will ensure the accuracy and consistency of customer data during the data transfer process.

Next week, the company will begin processing this backlog of orders and service-change requests placed the week of April 3 in addition to orders and change requests that come in next week during the normal course of business.

Customer billing is now handled here in Hawai’i instead of being processed through Verizon’s centers on the mainland, states the press release. Billing dates will remain the same, but invoices will have a new look with more detailed and easy-tounderstand information.

The company has performed extensive advance audits and testing of the billing system to ensure accuracy. Hawaiian Telcom’s locally based billing team will be monitoring the billing system conversion for any anomalies and will have the ability to make any adjustments necessary and to mitigate any customer impact.

Online bill payment has returned. This feature was temporarily suspended as of the May 2, 2005, acquisition. After customers receive their first new bill and account number, they will be able to sign up for online bill payment through the company’s Web site at www.

hawaiiantel.com.

Hawaiian Telcom operates four major customer contact centers: I Business Solutions Center, which handles business requests.

Hours of Operation: Monday Friday; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone: 643-4411 I Consumer Sales & Solutions Center, which handles residential requests.

Hours of Operation: Monday Friday; 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Phone: 643-3456 (Sales); 6433343 (Billing) » Enhanced CARE (eCARE), which handles residential and business landline repair Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day.

Contact Number: 611 »Integrated Care (iCARE), which handles tech support, and Internet/DSL and long-distance repair Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day.

Contact Number: 643-4DSL (643-4375)

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