Great Plains Communications Residential Blog

Keeping Your Family Connected

Author: GreatPlainsComm (page 3 of 70)

I’m Dreaming of a Wifi Christmas

The turkey leftovers are finally starting to dwindle. You swap recipes for Amazon wish lists and smile at the thought of 2-day shipping. You notice Disney’s The Santa Clause trilogy is coming to Netflix December 12 and set a reminder in your calendar. The Internet has become a helping hand through the holidays. From Cyber Monday deals you can do in your pajamas, to streaming a crackling fireplace on your television because it has become a tradition the kids look forward to each year. The more we lean on that helping hand, the more bandwidth we demand and higher speeds are needed.

Make sure all your electronic devices operate smoothly this Christmas season by adding Great Plains Communications high-speed Internet service. In addition to receiving the top speeds in your area, we’ll include an Amazon gift card and FREE installation! Bundle your service to earn the maximum gift card benefit!

 

Not sure what speed is right for your family?

Click Here to take our interactive test.

 

Call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Some restrictions apply, residential customers only. Services must be maintained for 6 months. Failure to do so will result in an early termination fee equal to the amount of the gift card received. Speeds and availability may vary by location.

*Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal

Stay Secure this Cyber Monday

People often associate chaos and risk with Black Friday and not so much Cyber Monday. Rather than mobs running through aisles, they picture themselves safe on their couch with a blanket and cup of coffee. What people don’t understand is that all Cyber Monday has done is take the craziness of Black Friday and opened it up to the World Wide Web. Great Plains Communications wants to provide tips to protect yourself when shopping online.

The three tips we will cover are:

  • How to spot fake shopping websites
  • Keep your software updated
  • A credit card is safer to use than a debit card

 

Fake Websites

With targeted ads and pop-ups, it can seem as if the best deals are right in front of our faces. But even a secure looking ad or link could take you to a fake shopping website. From there, your computer could either be infected the moment you arrive or by malicious links within. However, where you want to be the most careful is during the checkout process. Below we have listed some giveaways that will help spot a fake website.

  • Is it a strange URL like the one in the graphic above?
  • Are they selling an odd selection of products? For example, you went to the website for the dress you saw in the ad but see they also sell computer parts.
  • Does the copy have an abundance of grammar and spelling errors? Most companies will have a copywriter whose job is to expertly write intros and product descriptions.
  • Is the customer service contact email a little off? For example, it would not be ebaysupport@support.com but support@ebay.com. Don’t get tricked by familiar terms.
  • Are the prices too good to be true? Is the website trying to sell an iPhone X for $100? It is probably a scam.

 

Software Updates

Having out-of-date versions or unpatched software is like having a target for malware, leaving you vulnerable to exploit kits. At the least, make sure to have your browser updated when shopping online. This will ensure your cookies and cache are more secure against data leaks.

We are all guilty of rolling our eyes at the little update bubble. It’s time consuming and most of the time the changes are behind the scenes so we write them off as insignificant. But it is the information behind the scenes that is keeping your data protected.

 

Credit Card vs. Debit Card

The main advantage to using a credit card versus a debit card is that a credit card has better consumer protection. In the case that someone did obtain your information, you wouldn’t be liable for fraudulent transactions. With a debit card, depending on when you report the missing card or fraudulent transactions, you could be on the hook for the entire amount. No matter what kind of card you use, it is always smart to monitor your accounts after online shopping.

Easy Thanksgiving Party Tips

We have shared some of our favorite Thanksgiving recipes, but there is a lot more that goes into hosting than just the food. Our cable channel, HGTV has some useful tips to keep in mind when pulling everything together before the big day.

 

How to Check a Propane Tank Level

Are you planning to fry your bird? Don’t get stuck with an empty stomach due to an empty propane tank. All you need is some hot water and a little science to find your propane level.

 

5 Ways to Fold a Napkin

An easy way to add simple elegance to any table is by folding the napkins. Check out these creative folds that are sure to impress your guests.

 

How to Make Velvet Pumpkins

While you could really use any fabric you want, these velvet pumpkins are a super simple way to add a little pop of color to your tablescape this Thanksgiving.

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn about what services we offer in your area, please call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Employee Highlight – Melissa Fuchser

Melissa (Left Side) with her twin sister Megan

On November 4, 2017 Melissa Fuchser celebrated five years with Great Plains Communications. Originally from Gordon, NE, Melissa is the Supervisor of the Chadron, NE Customer Response Center.

The Chadron office was part of the Charter acquisition that was completed in 2005. Great Plains Communications (GPC) acquired not only Chadron, but also Rushville, Gordon, Oconto, Broken Bow, and several smaller towns. Along with the long-term lease of the office space in Chadron, it was staffed with two customer service representatives who became GPC employees. From that time, the local staff has grown to three reps and a supervisor, Melissa Fuchser.

Only ever really working in customer service, Melissa explained that she “really enjoys actually helping customers, whether it’s solving an issue over the phone or just providing more knowledge – I get a sense of accomplishment which is really self-satisfying.” When asked what about working for Great Plains Communications is different from past customer services jobs she answered, “We are Nebraska based! Being from one of the towns we service, there are people/customers I grew up with and have known my whole life.”

When Melissa isn’t working, she enjoys all the outdoor activities Western Nebraska has to offer; from visiting Chadron State Park and Toadstool Geologic Park with her boyfriend Brandon, to fishing and hunting for arrowheads and morel mushrooms. She also enjoys time with her two “fur babies,” Bo and Alex, her fluffy cats.

I love the friendships that I have developed at GPC, everyone is so nice and I love putting a face to the name,” Melissa said. “I also really enjoy the fact that I have been able to grow in my position here and expand my knowledge of the Telecommunications industry and customer service.”

Veterans Day and Operation Homefront

Back for the second year, Great Plains Communications is raising money for Operation Homefront. Starting on Veterans Day (November 11, 2017), we will share the graphic below on our Facebook page and will donate $1 for every like with a maximum of $1,000.

With the mission, “Build strong, stable, and secure military families so they can thrive in the communities that they’ve worked so hard to protect,” Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization serving America’s military families. They strive to provide RELIEF through Critical Financial Assistance and transitional housing programs, which covers things from utility payments to food assistance or auto insurance. They look to provide RESILIENCY through permanent housing and caregiver support services, including two deeded houses to local Nebraska families this year. And they offer RECURRING FAMILY SUPPORT programs and services, including backpack programs and their current partnership with Dollar Tree. Operation Homefront is in the process of providing holiday toys to military/veteran families across Nebraska through their partnership with Dollar Tree. The collection continues through December 7th at each of their store locations.

We are excited and honored to highlight an organization such as Operation Homefront for a second year. If you would like to learn more about them or current needs (e.g. provide a holiday meal for a military or wounded veteran family) go to http://www.operationhomefront.org/.

2 Weeks Out – Thanksgiving 2017

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is two weeks (and two days) away? We can’t. The holidays can be stressful. Maybe you are planning a menu for the one time a year your extended family will gather around the table. It could be a Friendsgiving this weekend and you are looking for a creative appetizer to impress. No matter how you celebrate Thanksgiving, it most likely includes food and loved ones. Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, Food Network and highlighted some of our favorite tips to help keep stress out of the recipe this year.

6 Sanity Saving Thanksgiving Tips

This quick 46 second video crushes some common issues such as lack of roasting rack, fridge space, and how to transport warm dishes like gravy.

Last-Minute Thanksgiving Apps

Remember that creative and delicious don’t have to mean expensive or complicated. The creative aspect could be how you serve a classic dish such as this butternut squash soup. Make it a shooter with a couple garnishes and your guests will appreciate the portability.

Freeze-Ahead Thanksgiving Feast

All of these dishes can be frozen up to 2 weeks, which means you could get some prep done this weekend and relieve some of the headache that comes with lack of counter space and stovetop burners the day of Thanksgiving.

 

If you are not currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer but would like to learn about what services we offer in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Don’t Forget to Set Your Clocks Back!

 

Don’t forget to turn your clocks back an hour this Sunday, November 5, 2017! It is a common misconception that daylight saving time was created in the aid of farmers, to allow an extra hour of sunlight to work their fields. But Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, the History Channel to bring you the real reason we “fall back” and “spring forward”.

We adjust our clocks twice a year due to energy conservation and an attempt to match daylight hours to times when the majority of people are awake, dating back to 1895. According to the History Channel, “the first real experiments with daylight saving time began during World War I,” on April 30, 1916. In an effort to conserve electricity needed for war effort, Germany and Austria enforced a one-hour clock shift. The United States later adopted daylight saving in 1918.

2017 Halloween Safety Tips

Carved pumpkins line the sidewalk, patiently waiting to greet your little Darth Vaders, unicorns and pirates alike, lighting the way through the festive night. The doorbell rings and an assortment of candy fills each bucket and bag. We are less than a week away, and there is more to plan than what shoes will look best and if there are enough treats to go around. Great Plains Communications wants to make sure everyone has a safe Halloween with some tips from Safe Kids Worldwide.

Have a Safe Walking Plan: Children’s excitement level is often escalated on Halloween as they see the sweet potential in each house, no matter if it is across the street or down the block. Help them to remember to look left, right, and left once more before holding the hand of an adult and crossing the street. Also, don’t forget to put down any electronic devices as you cross, and choose spots further away from the street to stop and take pictures.

Find Creative Ways to Add Safety Precautions to Costumes: Have your kids use fun metallic stickers or reflective tape on their candy bags, it could be a fun way to personalize their goodies and help them be seen by passing drivers. Glow sticks could be another fun way to brighten up the nighttime walk!

Be a Cautious Driver: Just because you are not in costume, does not mean you are not a large factor in Halloween safety. As a driver, make sure to eliminate any distractions inside the car and be especially alert in residential areas. Allow extra time to look for kids between parked cars and at intersections. Typical trick-or-treating hours are between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., so buckle up and stay alert for all the little witches and skeletons walking the streets.

For more tips, check out the Safe Kids Worldwide website and remember that Great Plains Communications hopes you have a fun and safe Halloween! Let us know what creative safety tricks your family uses each year in the comments section on our Facebook page.

Our Favorite Food Network Halloween Crafts

There is still time for some Halloween crafts and Great Plains Communications has found some of our favorites from our cable channel, Food Network.

Gingerbread house decorating is a classic Christmas activity, but what if that gingerbread house was turned into a haunted house? Watch this example from the Food Network, then build your own spooky creations.

 

With just a few ingredients that many have around the house already, you can make this glow-in-the-dark goo for the kids to enjoy or even to add some fun surprises to your Halloween party.

 

Speaking of a party, add the flavor of fall to your next gathering with this pumpkin keg and bourbon-apple punch.

 

Lastly, you can’t pass up the simplicity of this no-churn pumpkin pie ice cream. And don’t worry crust lovers, this recipe layers the baked crust throughout the ice cream for the full pumpkin pie experience.

 

Watch for more delicious recipes on Food Network. If you aren’t currently a Great Plains Communications cable customer and would like to learn what services we offer in your area, call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483.

Tribal Lifeline Awareness

Once again, Great Plains Communications is helping raise awareness about one of the Universal Service Funds’ varied programs to help provide affordable telecommunications services to Americans. This time it is the Tribal Lifeline Program, which provides discounted telephone services for those living on Tribal lands.

Those who live on Tribal lands are eligible to receive many additional benefits through the FCC’s Lifeline Program. According to the FCC website, eligible telephone subscribers on Tribal lands may receive basic local phone service for as little as $1 a month. Link-Up provides eligible consumers with a one-time initial hook-up discount of up to %50.

Eligible subscribers include those who have participated in:

  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly Food Stamps)
  • Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations
  • Tribally-Administered Temporary Assistance for Needy Families
  • Head Start (those meeting income-qualifying standard)
  • Medicaid
  • Supplemental Security Income
  • Federal Housing Assistance

We know how important having a landline can be for the safety and convenience of your family, particularly in rural Nebraska. Further eligibility information about the Tribal Lifeline Program can be found at http://transition.fcc.gov/indians/financialassistance.html. If you have any questions, we encourage you to call our Customer Response Center at 1-855-853-1483 for more information.

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