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BUSINESS TIMES

HD: Verizon prospers, but complaints nag

A year ago, Verizon was a name freshly minted by corporate imagemakers to brand a company created from the merger of local phone providers GTE and Bell Atlantic.

Since then, Verizon has accomplished something extraordinary: It has prospered as a traditional phone company even as trendy telecom startups fell apart. Fed by the cash flow from its local phone operations in Florida and 30 other states, Verizon has nurtured both its wireless and long-distance businesses.

But the outcome of this megamerger hasn't been as clear-cut for employees and customers, including those in the Tampa Bay area.

Verizon has up to 15,000 fewer employees on its national payroll than nine months ago, although cuts in some Florida operations have been been offset by hiring in other areas.

And strong reviews in national customer satisfaction surveys are clouded by an upsurge in consumer complaints recorded by Florida regulators. In Business Times.

Find relief from the heat online with Web sites ranging from summertime getaways to weather watching and from barbecue to stretchy ice cream. In Tech Times.

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