South County Sound offers personalized service

Year-round on Block Island
Fri, 07/27/2018 - 10:30am

Seventeen years ago, business took Mark Gagnon to Block Island. After that fateful visit he “made the decision to be on the island weekly, year-round,” servicing his customers’ needs, he said.

Gagnon owns and operates South County Sound and Video in Wakefield, an installer of commercial and residential sound and video systems. His company installs satellite television and high-speed satellite internet services, as well as High-Definition surveillance camera systems, WiFi and LAN networks, and new construction wiring. The business began part-time in March of 1998, and has been in full operation since April of 1999.

“We’re just a local business, providing local service with honest, hard working local people here in South County,” said Gagnon.

In April of 2001, Gagnon journeyed to the island on the Block Island Ferry to conduct four DIRECTV installations. During the last installation of the day, his customer, Justin Abrams, asked him why he was in such a rush installing the system. Gagnon said, “I have to catch the last ferry home.” In response, “Justin smiled, and said, ‘You’re not going anywhere; the last ferries were cancelled. I’ll find you a place to stay.’”

Gagnon said that once the installation was completed, Justin sent him to The Hotel Manisses where he struck up a conversation with the front desk clerk, Anthony McDonald. “We talked for a good hour, about Block Island and Jamaica. Once I finally got my room key, Anthony sent me to The Mohegan Café for dinner, where I met Peter Monje, who was bartending that night. Peter and I spent the rest of the evening discussing Block Island and music. The next day, on the ferry ride home, I decided that Block Island was a great place to do business.”

“We love all of our Block Island customers,” said Gagnon. “We've been servicing the island for 17 years, and have no plans to change that. And personally, how cool is it that I get to commute to Block Island, on the ferry, on a regular basis, while a lot of my friends are stuck in highway traffic on Route 95 every day? I am very fortunate to have such a loyal customer base on Block Island.”

What are the advantages of having South County Sound and Video install your sound and audio equipment? “The advantage is service,” said Gagnon. “We maintain a work van on Block Island, every week, year round. And we book appointments on the island, every week, year round. You get to know me and Omorow, who is my Block Island technician. You get to know the office staff, Becca, Maddy, and Sheri. It's the personalized service. Making an appointment and knowing that a technician will be there, not hoping they will be there. And we're both commercial and residential authorized local dealers for AT&T/DIRECTV as well as ViaSat Satellite Internet.”

As for what is entailed in the installation process, Gagnon said, “The first part of the installation process is planning and designing; trying to pin down what the customer’s desires and expectations are for their new system. The second phase is the wiring, the backbone of any system. Third is the actual installation of the system, as well as the calibration and programming. Last is the customer education. The customer needs to be an expert at using their system, so thorough training is essential.”

“With almost 40 years of experience in the audio/video/satellite industry, combined with the local, personalized service, I think we're the right choice,” said Gagnon. “And we are licensed by the State of Rhode Island Telecommunications Systems Contractors.”

Gagnon said that he personally enjoys “living and working in South County, and doing something I've always loved to do: designing and installing sound systems, and video systems — the latest and the greatest, high-performance equipment — the coolest electronic stuff. And 90 percent of my clientele are along the ocean here in Jamestown, Watch Hill, Matunuck, Green Hill, Narragansett, Charlestown, and of course Block Island.”

“I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone on Block Island, for their business and their support,” he said.

South County Sound and Video can be contacted at (401) 789-1700, or found at 

The store is located at 1080 Kingstown Road in Wakefield and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.