Due to a Bell Atlantic Corp. error, 12,000 area Sprint Corp. customers had no long-distance charges on their January bills.
The missing charges will be applied to customers' February bills.
Bell Atlantic spokesman Harry Mitchell said a data-processing mistake caused the problem. He said the problem was unrelated to another data error that caused 350,000 AT&T Corp. customers to get tardy bills for December and January calls.
"We pride ourselves on providing the service our customers deserve. We didn't do so in this case. We apologize to Sprint and to the affected customers," Mitchell said.
Bell Atlantic is sending out letters this week to notify customers of the error.
Sprint Corp. spokesman Steve Lunceford said, "Data-processing errors do happen. We understand that."
Mitchell said the mistake affected almost $395,000 worth of long-distance calls made in December and early January by residences and businesses in the 410 area code, which covers Baltimore and eastern Maryland.
He said only six customers have called Bell Atlantic to complain.
Pub Date: 2/11/98