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Verizon Pays for Bright House "Gifts"

Customers in Tampa Bay, Florida, might have been aggravated during their efforts to switch their phone service from Verizon to Bright House Networks, but now they�re being paid for their inconvenience.

The cable provider has sent $100 Visa gift cards to about 1,500 digital phone customers to reward them for their patience. The thank you gifts � funded with cash from a settlement with Verizon � arrived in customer�s mailboxes in October.

When Bright House launched its product in 2004, the cable operator estimated that 24 percent of new phone customers acquired in June and August that year rescinded their phone order from the cable company when Verizon informed them they�d have to drop their digital-subscriber-line Internet connections, too.

Verizon agreed to transfer numbers over to Bright House in 2005 without tying the transaction to other products, but then billing problems arose. Some digital-phone customers continued to receive long-distance bills from Verizon. �In some instances, the bills represented significant dollars,� said Bright House Networks spokeswoman Kena Lewis. Bright House Networks decided to pay the bills on behalf of its phone customers and then pursued a settlement with Verizon.

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