I first became a Powercom customer 5 years ago when I moved back to the Beaver Dam, Wisconsin area. After years of dealing with phone giants like AT&T; and Verizon and being treated like I wasn’t important to them, I didn’t hesitate to try a family-owned business located right in my home town.
Entering its 22nd year providing phone service throughout Wisconsin, Powercom has been locally owned and operated since it was first founded. And, despite competing against multi-billion dollar corporations manages to thrive because it still provides the one thing they can’t, reliable customer service.
The biggest thing that attracted me to Powercom when I signed up was, when I called them, I had a live person answer the phone and transfer me to the right department. I remember this because, prior to that, I had tried to call AT&T; and sat on hold for 45 minutes before getting someone on the line with me. When I lived out east and had Verizon, that hold time was as much as 90 minutes. I was put on hold with Powercom too, but it was only for about 30 seconds. In fact, the entire sign up process only took about 10 minutes. And, even though I was only a residential customer, I was treated just like I would expect them to treat a $1,000 business account.
From time to time, despite the fact I do like the customer service, I will check out the competition to see if they offer anything better in terms of price. And, so far, Powercom has stayed very competitive. Usually, if AT&T; offers a new package, I can call Powercom up and they always seem to be able to match it and often will be able to undersell it. And, they are the only phone company I’ve found that doesn’t charge me a monthly fee on my long distance, even if I don’t use it for a while.
Out of curiosity, the last time this happened I took the time to ask how a small company can do that despite the obvious added cost of providing the live customer service and the answer amazed me. The rep on the line told me Powercom does very little advertising and relies almost entirely on word-of-mouth to gain new customers. What they save doing that is passed on to the consumer. I remember that every time I see yet another AT&T; ad on the television or get my mailbox stuffed full of their mailers.
For all the good things the company offers, there are some down sides too. Being a smaller company, they still don’t offer some things in this area I might normally be interested in, such as high speed Internet services or voice mail. But, as much as I would like those things, I’ve come to realize the sacrifice is more than worth it.
I’m glad that, in an industry that seems to be slowly turning back into an AT&T; monopoly, I still have the ability to choose a phone company that hasn’t forgotten what’s important.