Neil Robinson is a director at Sealy UK, a beds and mattresses business based in North Cumbria. He works from home in a rural village two days a week. His wife also works from home, on a separate business.
Sealy UK - Business Case Study Video Transcript
My name's Neil Robinson. I'm the sales and marketing director for Sealy UK. And we're part of the biggest bedding operation in the world. Well, I live in a traditional rural location, really it's in the middle of nowhere. So we've got all of the usual problems in terms of broadband, and indeed, telephone access. And because I'm about one and a half hours from the main office, it did mean spending the majority of the week on the road. So the beauty of Vonage and the fast fiber broadband that we have is for the first time, I can do effectively anything I would normally do in the office without the journey. Makes my time far more effective.
The great thing about Vonage is its good value for money. So for a couple a pound extra a month you get effectively unlimited mobile to mobile calls. You can also select individual countries. So I've got the luxury of being able to phone on the mobile, through the Vonage line. I can phone North Carolina, and my wife's business partners are in Austria. Prior to this, we were spending literally hundreds of pounds a month on phone calls. Now the call charges through Vonage is so modest I don't even put them through on business expenses.
Out here in the back of the yard, mobile phone signals are limited to say the least. Most people here communicate normally by smoke signals. So being able to route your mobile through your phone means you can still keep in contact on mobile, but it comes up through the Vonage line. There's no engineer, there's no pre-programming, there's nothing else you need to do with your phone or your computer. It is literally a plug and play system, which for a neanderthal like me is a huge benefit. I struggle to see any weakness in the package. So I think if you were to give Vonage stars for overall service quality, it'd have to give them five out of five.
The problem – no choice but traditional, expensive phone lines
As his home was in the countryside, Neil found that his only phone options were traditional mass-market phone line providers such as Tiscali or BT, which were costly and troublesome; "every time I had a problem I would be put on hold for at least half an hour", Neil explains.
The solution - Vonage's simple 'plug and play' service
This all changed when fibre-optic broadband was installed in the area in 2013. Vonage was recommended to Neil as a cost-effective, simple phone service and he joined almost immediately. "It didn't make sense to carry on with a company like BT or Virgin, when Vonage is so easy to use - you just plug and play. It was perfect for me and my wife as we aren't always based in an office, and before we were paying huge amounts, especially when we had to speak to someone abroad."
"There's actually a growing network of Vonage users in our village, and a few businesses that I work with are looking at swapping now that I've spoken to them about it. It just makes sense for a small business."
The results - a straight-forward service he can rely on
"It really couldn't be better," Neil goes on. "It's straight-forward, there are no wires or terminals - it just does what it says on the tin - and the costs are remarkably cheap compared to traditional phone lines."
And he doesn't just take advantage of it at home; he has taken his Vonage box on holiday twice. "Like all businesses these days, you can't go on holiday without needing to take a phone call or two, or listen to voice messages. We went to southern Spain recently, plugged it in and were good to go".