DENVER – Qwest Communications International Inc. has withdrawn plans to share customer information among its divisions after receiving some complaints.
Chairman and CEO Joseph P. Nacchio said Monday that the Denver-based company will wait until the Federal Communications Commission issues new rules on customer records later this year before developing another plan.
"When many of our customers tell us that they're concerned or don't understand what we're doing, it's time to stop the process and make a change," Nacchio said.
He said Qwest will notify its 12 million local telephone customers that it will not be sharing account information such as phone numbers called and received.
Qwest included notices in December bills telling customers they had 30 days to contact the company if they wanted to keep their information private. The move angered and confused many customers and some regulators in the company's 14-state region because it was not clear whether Qwest would sell the information to outside companies.
Qwest sent out another flier last week to explain that it was planning to share information only with divisions such as Qwest Wireless or Qwest Dex.
Customers trying to opt out of the information sharing program also were frustrated because they were unable to get through to the overloaded toll-free telephone number set up to handle privacy requests.
Less than 4 percent of customers had opted out of the program by Monday.