Beginning this week, residential customers of General Telephone Co. who make more than five calls to directory assistance a month must pay 25 cents per call.
According to Tom Leweck, public affairs director for the company, about 80% of customers in the area will not be affected because they do not usually make more than five directory assistance--or 411--calls a month. The new charges will also be applied to business lines that make more than two directory-assisted calls per line.
But Leweck says the charge will not be levied on pay-phone users or to blind customers using their home telephones.
Leweck said the new rate system is designed to charge those customers who use directory assistance the most. "It has been thought by all that (the service) has been free, but it cost $25 million this year and the cost was passed on through other services," Leweck said.
He added that the new rates would save the company about $10 million because of the reduced number of directory-assisted calls and the new income from the charges.