Retirees get free domestic long-distance calls for life
By Jeff Smith
Rocky Mountain News

Thursday, June 23, 2005

About 3,500 U S West/Qwest retirees will get free domestic long-distance telephone service for life as a result of a settlement approved Wednesday by an Otero County judge.

The class-action settlement, which also includes a one-time $300 payment to eligible retirees, stems from a March 2004 lawsuit in which Wesley Colvin claimed Qwest breached a long-standing telephone company commitment to provide concessions to retirees.

Colvin's suit, supported by the Association of U S West Retirees, alleged that Qwest in January 2004 improperly terminated the benefits to retirees living outside Qwest's local phone service territory.

The settlement "is a great victory for the retirees," said Mimi Hull, president of the Association of U S West Retirees.  "The association saw a wrong and facilitated in getting it righted."

Qwest spokesman Bob Toevs said the company believed the settlement, tentatively agreed to in April and formally approved Wednesday, "is in the best interest of the retirees and Qwest."

The retirees will get free long-distance from their primary residence only, and the free calls don't apply to international calls.

U S West/Qwest retirees can check for their eligibility under the class-action suit at www.qretireesettlement.com.

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