Communications Group Customers to get More Services

SEPTEMBER 10, 2003 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Answer USA, a tele-messaging company based in Auburn, recently acquired a competitor, the Syracuse-based Communications Group.

Communications Group customers will see an increase in the service and options including the ability to receive messages via a text pager, an email, a fax, a text message on a cell phone, or a text message on a PDA. Answer USA customers already have these features and will not notice any change in their service.

The tele-messaging industry has expanded tremendously over the past few decades. What was once an industry that just answered phones and took messages for business people and medical professionals who were unavailable, has become an industry that serves a plethora of needs from voice mail and paging to cellular phone service and call centers used by businesses to survey existing clients or prospect for new customers.

“Existing customers will see a continued focus on service, unlike some of the operations that have been sold recently where the service has declined as customers were handled out of remote facilities,” Answer USA President Gard McLean said. “The fact that we are keeping the Syracuse operation open, as well as the Auburn location is significantly different than most acquisitions where the acquiring company just buys the account base and then handles clients from a remote location.”

Including employees from the Communications Group, Answer USA now employs 33 people. No employees were laid off as a result of the acquisition which became effective Sept. 2.

“Our employees are vital to our success,” McLean said. “They are the front line for our clients and their professionalism and skills are highly polished.”

The additional features for the Communications Group clients will become available after all new equipment is installed at the Syracuse location. The equipment will be an upgrade for the Communications Group.

After the installation, both locations will have duplicate equipment including Uninterruptable Power Supply’s and generators which are utilized during power outages. This is important for clients who are dependent upon the service during emergency situations such as physicians. Clients also will have the ability to receive summary reports of messages on an hourly, daily, weekly or other basis, via fax or email.

With about 4,000 tele-messaging companies in the country, this acquisition brings Answer USA, with a customer base of about 900, to the top third in terms of size.

While the acquisition does not increase the existing coverage area of all Upstate New York, the Syracuse location will provide a significant advantage for future expansion. Answer USA has customers from Rochester to Herkimer and Watertown to Binghamton. Communications Group customers were primarily from Onondaga County.

“We pride ourselves at being the best in the business and depend heavily on employee and customer feedback to continually improve our service or processes,” Answer USA Vice President Ray Schremp said. “Today’s customers are very sophisticated and expect good customer service as the norm. We deliver exceptional customer service and go beyond the normal standard to exceed the customer’s highest expectation.”

Answer USA is comprised of five divisions: Finger Lakes Answering Service, Finger Lakes Call Center, Finger Lakes Paging Center and Finger Lakes Message Center, and the newly acquired Communications Group. For more information, contact Answer USA at 255-9125.

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