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After six years, SCC ends phone book investigation

Does anyone still use a phone book to look up a number?

Apparently they did in 2004, because more than 350  complaints came rolling in to the State Corporation Commission when a multitude of errors appeared in Verizon telephone books in Virginia.

Now, six years and 80 audits later, the SCC is closing the books on its investigation of the problem, saying the error rate has dropped to negligible levels.

A 2005 staff report concluded the directory errors resulted from a “perfect storm” of events: merging directory operations from two different companies, conversion of computer systems, clumsy listing systems, “and of course human error.”

Under a 2007 settlement, Verizon paid $2 million to upset customers and agreed to pay $50,000 if it failed to meet a 99-percent accuracy rate on any directory. The SCC audited 80 phone books — Verizon paid $100,000 for two lapses.

-By Peter Vieth

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