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Rey runs a neighborhood gardening service with his son Felipe. They use the Universal Office for everything from business messages and billing to international calling and money transfer.

"You wouldn't guess by looking at me," says Rey, "but my first name is really Reynaldo - people have been calling me Rey for years. My parents moved to Guadalajara when I was just a little boy, and I lived there while I was growing up. Married my beautiful Ramona there, and had four kids. We moved up here about five years ago, when our middle daughter Carmen was high-school age. She's the brightest star in our heavens, and we wanted her to go to school here.

"My oldest, Felipe, and I started the gardening business as soon as we got here, and it's really taken off. But a couple of years after we got here, Ramona's father took sick and she went back with our two young ones to take care of him. Now they're down there, me and Felipe are here, and Carmen has gone off to Los Angeles to start college. It would be a lot tougher on us without Genie

"Deciding on Genie for the business was easy. It's inexpensive, but it let's us look like a lot bigger company than we are. We can take calls and message at any hour, get them forwarded to us while we're out on jobs, and all of those sorts of things. Felipe had a great idea a couple of months ago - we got a second Genie numbers, one for our business and one for the family and friends so that we could have the one for business with all the messages in English and one with all the messages in Spanish.

"WE also use the Virtual Merchant to take credit card payments from a lot of our customers. That was a lot easier than trying to qualify our business for credit card processing.

"But we also use Genie to make all of our international calls, AND to handle our money between here and Mexico. You see, our Genie account has a toll-free number down in Guadalajara where Ramona is with Abuelito Bernardo. And there's also a local number in Los Angeles, where Carmen is at school. So when her mama wants to talk to Carmen, it's just like a local call.

"For her 19th birthday, I gave Carmen her own GenieCard, and that's been like gold. I can send her money for books or whatever she needs. I do the same with Ramona and the little ones - she has a card too. So I can send her money for groceries and Bernardo's medicine. It doesn't cost a truck full of fees, and I don't have to worry about the exchange rates when I do it.

"It's hard being apart like this, and God willing we'll be together again soon. But for now, while we're apart, we can at least talk to each other without feeling like we've spent our money to do it."



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