Local service, local owners and top-quality telecommunications products mean customers of Emporia’s ValuNet have just one complaint: they want it everywhere, right now.
De Ricker, manager of Horizon Plaza, a senior living facility, loves the fact she gets to use ValuNet at work. Unfortunately, she lives so far out in the country, she said, the fiber optic telecommunications company probably won’t ever get to her home where she’d love to have the speedy technology and excellent service that ValuNet offers.
“It’s faster than what we had, which was AT&T for internet, and I like that all of the staff works exceptionally well with the demographics of my building,” Ricker said of her business experience with the company. “Not everyone knows how to deal with the senior community, and their staff is excellent and very respectful. They take their time explaining things.”
In addition, being locally owned was a big plus when Ricker asked ValuNet to work with her on offering packages to the people in her building, many of whom live on low incomes. Company officials came up with a special package for the 100 residents in her building, she said.
Being responsive to business is a big ValuNet plus for Kim Redeker, owner of Sweet Granada. She switched her business to ValuNet in October, using AT&T, internet and a landline telephone, but also putting the business alarm system with them as well.
“One of my first motivators for considering ValuNet was the fact that they’re local,” Redeker said. “Being a small, locally owned business, it was important to me to use what local options I had. The nice bonus to that was finding that I had a local option that was just as cost-effective, with much better service than what I was using.”
Redeker was able to expand the number of lines she had with ValuNet – and still be within her budget on her monthly bill – and add telephone lines. Within weeks, she saw the impact that had on sales.
“We’re able to increase our sales capabilities and so we were able to take more phone calls and therefore take more orders through our key holiday season,” she explained. “So our ValuNet landlines actually helped us make more money.”
The new alarm system set up by ValuNet is protecting Sweet Granada in more ways than one. Last year, Sweet Granada suffered a significant setback when the store’s air conditioning system failed and, as a result, the company lost $10,000 in products, she said. They got it fixed, were assured by the landlord they had then that it would be fine, stocked back up and it happened again.
“It was a huge hit to us last August,” Redeker said. “I went to ValuNet and asked if there was anything I can do to avoid this happening in my new space. They came back to me with this alarm system. It can tie into your phone line and it will tell you if your electricity goes out or if you temperature goes above or below a certain level.”
That kind of peace of mind helps business owners sleep better at night and is an example of ValuNet pushing hard to meet customer needs. For Deb Crowl, the busy administrator of Emporia Child Care, she is thrilled the company meets one of her most basic wishes.
“I love the speed of our fiber Internet,” she said. “We’ve had it at the center for over a year. I feel more productive.”
In addition to a super-fast internet connection and the consistency of the service, Crowl said she has gotten quick answers every time she’s had to call support. And each question, she admitted, was about something she was doing wrong and not a problem with the service.
“Whoever answers the phone can usually answer my question,” Crowl said. “To me that’s very impressive. I’m not moved from person to person and put on hold.”
Along with using internet and telephone services through ValuNet at work, Crowl said she’s a satisfied customer at home too. “I absolutely love it,” she said. “I have the TV and everything. I was just telling someone about it yesterday. I got it in March in time for the March Madness. I’m a big basketball fan. It’s true HD. I felt like I could reach out and pat those guys on the back. It’s awesome.”
Heather Russell is also a customer at her home, where her family particularly enjoys the fact that they can stream movies at fast speeds on ValuNet.
“We were set up with another company,” Russell said. “We were always having trouble with our internet connection. Their customer service was horrible. We wanted to support local companies, so we switched.
“ValuNet’s customer service is phenomenal, and our internet speed is way faster now than what we had,” Russell said. “And it costs us less every month.”