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Payment Options and New Processing Fee

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 No Comments

Tired of writing checks? Want to help the planet?

Register for paperless billing and auto pay; never write a check again and avoid fees! By receiving your bills electronically, you’ll save paper and help planet earth!

Your registration automatically enters you in a drawing for an iPad 32 GB! New registrations for both online paperless billing and auto pay (checking/savings), will also receive a $5 account credit for three months.

Register online at billpay.hcc.net, or if you’d prefer complete and return an enrollment form.

Payment Options and New Processing Fee

Hood Canal Communications is always searching for new ways to improve efficiency and the customer experience. In January an upgraded and mobile responsive online ebill platform was released. It features a more user-friendly interface and the ability to store multiple credit or debit cards for onetime payments. The menu also prominently features the option to setup automatic payments from bank accounts.

$1.99 Phone Payment Processing Fee 6/1/17

Additionally, Hood Canal Communications accepts credit or debit card, cash, and check payments in both offices. Some customers choose to make credit or debit card payments over the phone. While these calls are important at times they increase call volume and hold times.

In order to improve the customer experience and allow customer service representatives to focus on troubleshooting, billing, new services, etc customers are being encouraged to make card payments online at billpay.hcc.net.  As a result, beginning June 1, 2017 a processing fee of $1.99 is being added to any credit or debit card payments made with a customer service representative over the phone. Currently, representatives are advising any customer paying by phone that the processing fee will begin in June.

New Western Washington Area Code and Ten Digit Dialing

Posted on: April 25th, 2017 No Comments

New Western Washington Area Code and 10-Digit Local Dialing for 360, 206, 253 and 425 Area Codes

Get ready to change the way you dial local calls!

What is an area code overlay?
An overlay is the addition of a new area code to the same geographic region as an existing area code. This is done because the existing area does not have enough telephone numbers left to meet customer demands.

When will the new area code be introduced?
The new 564 area code will begin to be assigned to new telephone lines or services beginning on August 28, 2017. You will not be assigned the 564 area code unless you order new telephone service.

What will remain the same?
• Your current telephone number, including area code, will not change.
• The price of a call, coverage area, or other rates and services will not change.
• A local call now will remain a local call, even when dialed with 10 digits.
• To place a long distance call, continue to dial 11 digits (1 + area code + telephone number)
• You still dial three digits to reach 911.
• If 211, 311, 411, 511, 611, 711 or 811 are available in your community, you still dial three digits.

Who will be affected?
All western Washington area codes are affected. The new 564 area code will initially be introduced as an overlay to the 360 area code region and then expanded to the 206, 253, and 425 area codes as additional telephone numbers become necessary.

What will be the new dialing procedure for Western Washington?
The new dialing procedure requires callers in the western Washington area codes (206, 253, 360, 425, and 564) to dial the area code plus the seven-digit telephone number, for example, 360-XXX-XXXX. Local calls will continue to be local, even though 10-digit dialing will be required.

When will the dialing change begin?
The new dialing procedures will begin July 29, 2017. After that day, you must dial 10-digits as described above for all local calls. After July 29, if you do not use the new dialing procedure, your call will not be completed and a recording will instruct you to hang up and dial again.

What will you need to do?
In addition to changing your dialing procedure, all services, automatic dialing equipment, or other types of equip- ment that are programmed to dial a seven-digit number must be reprogrammed to 10-digit dialing. Examples include: stored contact lists in telephones, PBXs, fax machines, internet dial-up numbers, speed dialers, call forwarding settings, voicemail services, etc. Important safety and security equipment, such as medical alert devices, safety alarm security systems and gates, ankle monitors or other similar equipment must be programmed to use 10-digit dialing. Many systems operate on 10-digit dialing by default but some older equipment may still use seven digits. Please contact your medical alert or security provider if you don’t know whether your equipment needs to be reprogrammed to accommodate 10-digit dialing. In addition, your website, business stationery, advertising materi- als, printed checks, contact information, and personal or pet ID tags should be checked to ensure the area code is included.

Who may you contact with questions?
If you have questions regarding information provided in this notice, please call Hood Canal Communications at 360-898-2481 or visit, hcc.net. You may also contact the Utilities and Transportation Commission at 1-888-333-9882, consumer@utc.wa.gov, or visit www.utc.wa.gov/overlay.

 

ISP Privacy Rule Concerns

Posted on: April 7th, 2017 No Comments

Due to the recent repeal of the broadband privacy rules- HCC wants to remind customers that they never sell or market HCC customer information.

The change in law does not affect the way Hood Canal Communications does business. HCC only keeps track of detailed customer usage information as required by law and only releases that information to law enforcement agencies with a court order. HCC has never collected usage information for marketing, sales, profit, or any purpose other than legal requirements or protection of HCC networks. Below is an excerpt from HCC’s Internet Terms of Service page.

HCC DOES NOT COLLECT, STORE OR USE TRAFFIC INFORMATION TO PROFILE ITS CUSTOMERS IN ORDER TO SELL ADDITIONAL SERVICES TO THEM OR FOR NON-NETWORK MANAGEMENT PURPOSES.

 

April Employee Spotlight

Posted on: April 5th, 2017 No Comments

Congratulations to our April Employees of the month Brianne Francisco and Lorenzo Determan!  Read below to learn why they are being recognized by their peers.

Brianne is a favorite employee with all of the HCC departments.  Her positive attitude is infectious and her customers appreciate her excellent service.  Recently she has volunteered to take on extra work helping out co-workers with projects, phone calls, etc.  She even went the extra mile and picked up garbage near the Shelton office.

Lorenzo always has a positive attitude and is willing to take on any task.  He came to HCC just 11 months ago without a background in telecommunications or cable, which have a steep learning curve.  He is a quick learner and takes on even tedious tasks in a professional manner.  His coworkers are pleased that he’s learning fiber installs and

Congratulations to Spencer Jones (16 years), Kyle Johnston (9 years), Brandon West (5 years), Gwil Wiley (4 years), and Josh Heideman (1 year) on their work anniversaries in April.  Happy HCC-iversary team!

AWE TV Goes Dark

Posted on: March 21st, 2017 No Comments

Herring Networks, the owner of AWE TV (channel 337 and 220 in HD) has notified Hood Canal Communications that they are terminating their service with HCC on March 31, 2017.  Customers may consider Travel, channel 50, as an alternative outlet of travel related programming.

Unfortunately due to the lack of lead time Hood Canal Communications was not able to provide advance notification to cable subscribers. We apologize for the short notice.

March Employee Spotlight

Posted on: March 3rd, 2017 No Comments

Congratulations to our March Employees of the month Jeannie Dragt and Dan Dahl! Learn why their peers are recognizing below.

In just five months Dan has proven himself to be an invaluable addition to the HCC team. His work ethic, willing attitude, and expertise in performing maintenance and repair on our HFC plant makes him a tremendous asset. His efforts benefit his co-workers and customers directly by reducing system issues!

Jeannie is the gem of our tech support team. Her tenacious approach to trouble shooting means that customers get their problems solved. Even if an issue is particularly difficult and hard to isolate Jeannie sticks with it to get it resolved- all with a smile! Her assistance with escalated support issues after hours is greatly appreciated by her teammates as well.

Congratulations to Mikey Marshall on 2 years at HCC in March.  Happy HCC-iversary!

 

Lineup Changes- Fox Business and ESPN Classic

Posted on: March 1st, 2017 No Comments

Fox Business Network is heading to HCC basic cable. The network is moving from Preferred cable channel 343 down to channel 70 on April 5. Basic cable customers will be able to enjoy programming like: Countdown to the Closing Bell, Lou Dobbs Tonight, and more.

ESPN Classic is evolving to an exclusively TV Everywhere service on April 5.   HCC cable subscribers will be able to view over 600 hours of archived content from all of their favorite sports via the watchTVeverywhere.com platform. Sign up today at hcc.net/wtve.

Spring Sun Outages

Posted on: February 27th, 2017 No Comments

What are sun outages and how do they affect HCC cable customers? In both the spring and fall, the sun passes behind certain communications satellites once per day.  During this time, the energy from the sun will overpower the signal from the satellite, causing loss of signal, tiling and no reception at all on several channels. This can last 2 to 3 weeks and causes channels to go black for a brief period of time.  Initially, outages will be gradual and slight, and can last 15-20 minutes at peak times.  On your television you may see the error messages, “one moment please, this channel will be available shortly,” error code SOAOO, or “no signal” during the time of an outage. Unfortunately, there is nothing that we can do to prevent sun outages from occurring.  All cable and satellite companies are affected by this semi-annual occurrence.  We apologize for this programming interruption.

Watch the brief video below, from another cable operator, that explains sun outages simply.

Copyright: abidal / 123RF Stock Photo

Office Closure- Presidents Day

Posted on: February 8th, 2017 No Comments

Our offices will be closed on Monday, February 20, for Presidents Day. This national holiday was originally meant to recognize President George Washington’s Birthday, but is now viewed as a day to honor all U.S. presidents past and present.

Malware, Adware, Pop-ups, Oh My!

Posted on: February 1st, 2017 No Comments

malware-artYou may have heard about, or even been the victim of, the very intrusive computer pop-up that appears to magically know who your internet service provider is. These pop-ups may say something like: “Attention Hood Canal Communications Customer, your computer has been compromised.” These pop-ups tend to be very difficult to close. Tech support has received an increased number of phone calls lately about this particular problem.

Malware and Adware can take many forms. They can be sneaky, hiding out on your hard drive and jumping out when you least expect them. Other times, they are more apparent with the fake pop-up warnings. Sometimes, they come right out and speak to you. One kind of pop-up features a person telling you that your computer is infected and you need to hurry up and take action to resolve it. The person will continue to speak until you reboot your computer.

The source of these pop-ups is often downloading free software, games, movies, and music. Always remember, there is truly nothing out there in cyberspace that is completely free. Many of the free programs bring unwanted friends, like malware or adware, with them. They can appear in the form of pop-ups and even slow down your computer.

You may wonder how these pop-ups know who your internet service provider is. Every internet service provider utilizes their own block of IP addresses. These IP addresses are assigned to the device you use to access the internet (the modem or router). Just like you can identify the town a person is calling from by their phone number, scammers can identify who your internet service provider is by the IP address you are using.

So what can you do? If you have a pop-up that says not to restart your computer, don’t believe it! The only way to get that pop-up to go away is to restart your computer. It is also suggested that you download and run Malwarebytes Free, which is available from malwarebytes.org. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact HCC support, they are happy to help!

One last word on scams – tech support continues to receive reports from customers that they are getting cold calls allegedly from Microsoft. The caller claims that their computer is infected with viruses. Do not allow these scammers access to your computer! They will create issues on your computer and then try to charge you to fix the problems they just created. Always stop and think, would Microsoft really call people out of the blue?

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact HCC tech support at 360.898.4357 or support@hcc.net.

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