15 Apr 2013

A little story about going local

Going Local, tacoma 6 Comments

When I first moved Downtown with some friends in 2005, we quickly identified the UWT Cutter’s Point as an inviting 3rd place. Then there was the Kickstand and Blackwater and slew of other shops that sprung up that we divided our time with. Now I hang out at Anthem, Amocat, Corina and, after 8 years, Cutter’s Point. It’s still there. I even worked as an employee in the shop between farmers’ market seasons for a brief stint in 2010. (I used to manage the Broadway Farmers Market)

The shop is independently owned and the coffee is roasted just over in Gig Harbor. Not too bad. Plus their staff is always so chipper in spite of being a busy shop. The owners, who finally started turning a profit after paying down loans, once told me, “as long as we break even and provide a nice place for people to gather, we’re satisfied.” Wow.

I would hang out there more except their WiFi is slooooow. If you speak internet, their speed has been 1.5 gb down, but actually more like 0.02 gb in speed tests. Slow.

One of the other regulars is the SEO director for Salesforce.com and telecommutes from the shop. We both decided something had to give. We asked the owners about upgrading. Turns out they had no idea how slow it was and were very open.

Being the proactive guy I am, I decided to see if I could help them out. I contacted their current ISP, Integra Telecom (national provider) and then I contacted Rainier Connect (corporate offices 10 blocks from the shop). I got upgrade prices from both and here’s how it all shook out:

Integra

Spent over an hour on hold and spoke to 4 different people in 3 different states. It took them a long time to even identify what services were available to this area and there was a lot of phone tag involved in addition to the hold time.

Rainier Connect

Spent 10 minutes on the phone, total. They emailed me a bid and worked hard to see if they could find a special combination of services that would best suit the shop. A much more pleasant experience.

With all this you might expect the national provider to be the less expensive option, right? Not even close. The net result is that the Downtown Cutter’s Point switched to Rainier Connect, quadrupled their speed (which amounts to 100 times what they were actually getting before) and saved 10%.

Now working from the shop is a dream. I almost never work in the Local Life office because none of our staff or volunteers consistently work out of it. I like being around people! But the internet in most shops is not too great. Cutter’s Point’s was pretty terrible. Now it’s one of the best in town!

If you’d like to check out Rainier Connect, they are running some great deals right now. I’m actually about to switch my home internet to them as well (from another local provider – check out this deal!).

Residential Package: Through May 31 Rainier Connect is offering Internet (12/2 Mbps) plus digital basic phone for $32.99 with no contract and a 3 year price guarantee.

Commercial Package: For new business customers through May 31, they have Internet (30/6 Mbps) plus Digital Choice Phone for $99.95.

Oh, and speaking of going local, Go Local Tacoma and Local Life are hosting the 2nd annual City of Neighborhoods on May 18th. Early bird discount ends Thursday! (had to throw it in there!)

6 Responses to “A little story about going local”

  1. John Rudder says:

    This is a fact! We are very lucky in Tacoma. I have Advanced Stream, also a Click! Network ISP (in fact there are three companies offering this great service). They are faster than Comcast and the prices are lower.
    John

  2. Rhonda says:

    Justin – thanks so much for bringing this to our attention and for the legwork to get it going! We truly had no idea how bad it was, what else can we do to serve Tacoma better? Let me know!

    • Justin says:

      Ya Rhonda, most shops don’t know. It makes sense! What’s so great about you and Steve is that you are very humble and approachable. It’s apparent even in your comment here. Thanks for being such great owners and providing an amazing space for people to enjoy! It was already one of my favorite spots – how much more with the better internet!

  3. Jason Keil says:

    Boom! Rainier Connect just reduced my bill by 50% with great customer service so far! Props to them. And to Justin for aiding in the savings!

  4. Justin says:

    That’s awesome, Jason! LOVE hearing that :)