New toll-free number to provide Y2K help

New toll-free number to provide Y2K help

Consumers can access information about the Y2K problem through a new toll-free information line introduced Thursday by the President's Council on Year 2000 Conversion.

Millennium bug information of interest to consumers in areas such as power, telephones, banking, government programs and household products can be otained by dialing 1-888-USA-4-Y2K.

"This toll-free line is a key part of our ongoing efforts to make available information that will help Americans respond appropriately to the Y2K problem as we move through this year," Council Chair John Koskinen said. "We are committed to providing consumers the latest information on how the problem may or may not affect government services, banks, household appliances, and other things they depend upon in their daily lives."

Government agencies, private companies and industry groups will provide information for the line, which will be supported by the General Services Administration's Federal Information Center (FIC) and the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Pre-recorded information will be available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. Information specialists will staff the line from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

"Consumers who want to know how computers in the Year 2000 will continue to deliver Social Security checks or how airlines will handle the Y2K problem now have a new tool," said Jodie Bernstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

At the end of January, the FIC will activate a fax-on-demand system which will provide callers with printed information on the Y2K problem.