An updated Modem Return form is being introduced from the start of business tomorrow (Wednesday 20 April). This replaces the three previous forms used by delivery partners for modem returns, i.e.
(1) Skinny Jump Account Delinking & Modem Reprovisioning – Delivery Sites & Care Use Only – originally developed for modems that were returned mainly because they were no longer required and could be remotely de-linked from customers’ accounts and rest, ready for re-issue.
(2) Faulty Jump Modem returns – originally developed for modems that had been remotely tested by Skinny and customers were advised that the unit was faulty and should be returned to a nearby Jump partner. We have recently consolidated this form with the standard Delinking Form above.
(3) MOE Modem Activation and Returns – originally developed for modems issued by the Ministry of Education.
The new consolidated form is to be used by Jump Delivery Partners when they receive any Jump modem returned by a customer or if they require a particular Jump modem to be re-provisioned for any other reason. The Skinny Care Team may also use this form when a customer reports they have a modem but there is no coverage or capacity at their address.
The purpose of this new consolidated form is: (1) to make it easy for Delivery Partners to get a modem de-linked from a customer account and then reset in a timely manner, so that it can be re-issued. This form provides a direct communication channel to the Skinny Support Team who are responsible for delinking any Skinny Jump accounts and resetting modems. Jump Delivery Partners should never call the Skinny Care Team on the customer 0800 number, as this Helpdesk team is not able to delink accounts or reset modems.
(2) to recognise modems issued as part of a special Jump Plan – MOE, CIENA or RED CROSS – and ensure these are recovered or correctly re-provisioned.
(3) to record customer details for the collection of unwanted modems or at locations where there is no network coverage or capacity.
The information provided in this form authorises the Skinny Support Team to delink an account and reset the modem. Faulty or defaced modems that are not suitable for re-issue are to be marked as “faulty” in the form and this triggers a response from the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa (DIAA) team to send a courier bag to recover the modem for repair or recycling.
Once the modem is reset, an advice note is sent to the Delivery Partner at the partner email entered at the end of the form.
We are looking for a Jump delivery partner to join a small working group to brainstorm and test some ideas for recovering unused Jump modems.
Our original Jump distribution model was based on library systems that lend books (and other things) for limited periods. Our proposal was for Jump customers to keep their modems for as long as they like, but return them to their nearest delivery partner if they become faulty or if they are no longer required. The modems could then be repaired or simply reset and reissued to another customer.
This has been fairly successful with over 1500 modems being returned for repair or reuse during the last 15 months.
However, our records indicate that many customers do not bother to return the modem when they no longer need it and we are looking for new ways to encourage this.
While we are seeking someone who is currently actively involved in handling recovered Jump modems and who is able to participate in the working group during April, we welcome ideas and suggestions from all partners.
During lockdown, we are couriering replacement modems from our Wellington base together with a courier bag for the return of the faulty unit.
The process works like this: the Jump customer contacts the Skinny Care Team on 0800 475 4669 if they have a suspected problem with their modem. The Care Team may be able resolve this remotely, but if they can’t they will refer the customer to our (DIAA) 0800 number (0800 463 422) for Shelley to arrange a replacement.
Shelley takes on the role that Jump partners would normally provide, getting details of the modem (IMEI Number), customer’s name and physical address. She then completes the online Modem Return form to ensure the old modem is delinked from the customer’s account and arranges for a new modem to be sent.
By the time the modem arrives (typically within 2-3 working days), the Skinny Support Team will have actioned the de-linking request and the customer can proceed to set up a new account.
If the customer has a credit balance on their old account, they must contact the Skinny Care team again, after they have their new modem and new Skinny account set up, to arrange for the credit balance to be transferred.
If a customer contacts you, as a Jump partner, directly rather than contacting the Skinny Care Team you are welcome to follow the same steps as Shelley, i.e. capture the contact details for the customer and the IMEI number of the faulty modem, email these to firstname.lastname@example.org, and complete a Modem Return Form.
Hopefully, this time it’s good news! This morning, the Spark Foundation team advised that all pipeline modems (i.e. ones you have received from Ingram Micro during the last few weeks) have now been checked and provisioned for Jump. There are only 12 modems that have been issued to customers that have not been correctly provisioned; the Skinny team is contacting these customers individually to sort this out.
If any partners do receive a returned modem (they will only be B618s) that has been issued during the last few weeks and is causing problems for customers, please use the Returned Modems form to get it reset and provisioned correctly.
Please contact us immediately on email@example.com if you discover any further modems that have not been provisioned for Jump. Please provide the IMEI number of the modem concerned. Thank you.
It is clear from an analysis of the ‘faulty modem’ and ‘returned modem’ forms that there are different interpretations of these terms, so here’s my attempt to explain this more clearly.
REUSE: When a modem is returned by a customer, our first objective is to get the modem reset remotely so that it can be reused. So provided the modem:
(1) has not been reported as faulty; or
(2) is not physically defaced or damaged; and
(3) has all its bits (modem, power supply and ethernet cable)
this should be treated as a Modem Return. By completing the Modem Return form, the modem will be reset remotely and become available for re-issue (reuse). You will receive an email confirmation when the modem is reasdy for re-issue, or with other instructions from the Skinny Support Team. This normally happens the same day.
REPAIR: This is what we want to happen when a modem is faulty, and the Skinny Care Team has advised the customer to return the modem to a Jump partner and get a replacement. In this case, Partners should complete a Faulty Jump Modem Returns Form. Our objective is to send the faulty modem for repair; completing the form will result in a courier bag or label being sent to Jump partners for the return of the modem (as an aside, we know some of you have been waiting for some time for the courier bag/label to arrive; we aim to clear the backlog within the next week).
RECYCLE: This is perhaps where most of the misunderstandings are occurring. We are using the term ‘recycle’ to mean that the modems will be disassembled and the various materials separated and then sent for the manufacture of new products. ‘Recycle’ should not be confused with ‘Reuse’. Very old modems or ones that have been physically damaged or defaced, or ones that have parts missing are most likely to be assigned to your recycle box. When you have 5 or 6 modems ready for recycling, get in touch with Shelley (firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0800 463 422) and she will send you a courier label for the Jump recycler.
Now that is hopefully a bit clearer, a huge thank you to the partners who are following the new modem return processes. Since 5 January 2021, 250 modem return forms have been completed – that’s over $30,000 worth of modems that are able to stay in use. We have also received just under 100 Faulty Modem forms; we have assessed 68% of these as ‘faulty’. The other 32% are either suitable for reuse (and the Return Modem form should have been used) or should be assigned to the recycling box.
We were advised today that the issue concerning modems received by partners in the last week not being provisioned for Jump has been resolved. As we suspected, a mistake had been made by Ingram Micro and modems were distributed without being provisioned for Jump.
The problem has not only been fixed for future shipments but all modems shipped without being provisioned for Jump have now been updated remotely.
However, the Spark Foundation has asked us to contact customers who received a B618 modem from an Ingram direct shipment on 15 and 16 March to make sure they can see the Jump dashboard with the initial 30GB of data. We will refer details of anyone who can not see the Jump dashboard (as opposed to the Skinny one) back to the Foundation for them to manually load the initial 30GB.
If you have modems returned because of this issue,please use the modem returns process to get them delinked and reset.
Sally Ann Hardwick from Helensville Library raised an interesting point this morning and this made me realise that others might also be confused. Sally had read by blog posts from earlier this week (made my day to know that someone reads them!) and she was following my specific instructions by requesting a Sims courier label to return modems for recycling that had been returned prior to 5 January 2021 (the new procedures date for ‘modem returns’).
However, when I discovered that the returned modem had only been issued on 30 November 2020, I thought this should be managed under our new ‘de-link and reset’ procedures rather than sent for recycling.
So, I think there is a need to revise my instructions to provide more flexibility:
(1) Any returned modems that you are holding (whether they were returned before or after 5 January) and look to be in an OK condition – with packaging, power supply and ethernet cable – should be treated as potentially available for re-issue. You should use the Modems Return form to get the modem de-linked and reset, ready for re-issue.
(2) Any returned modems that are dirty, defaced or have missing parts should be treated as faulty, and you should use the Faulty Modems form.
Thank you to Jo Cocker from Te Manawa Library in Massey Auckland, who was the first to discover a glitch with the new faulty modem process that took effect yesterday. The tiny URL for the Faulty Modem form was linking to an old version of the form; needless to say, this has been fixed. But we do appreciate this sort of feedback. As one of our famous Wellington retailers (LV Martin) used to say “It’s the putting right that counts!”.
So, to summarise the new process:
Customers must contact the Skinny Helpdesk Care Team (0800 475 4669) if they suspect their modem is faulty; the Care Team will attempt to resolve the fault remotely, but if they can’t, they will advise the customer to return their faulty modem to a nearby Jump partner and pick up a replacement. The Care team will also initiate an internal Skinny process to de-link the faulty modem from the customer’s account (this means that by the time the customer arrives at a Jump partner to get a replacement modem, the modem will already be de-linked and the customer can use their same email to set up a new Skinny account with the new modem).
For customers who for any reason are unable to visit a Jump partner, e.g. rural location, disability or otherwise house-bound, the Skinny Care Team will log the fault report with DIAA and we will send a return courier bag and replacement modem to them.
Customers must use the same email address to set up a new Skinny account and they will then be able to transfer any unused credit balance on their old account to their new account. Note that customers can only use the same email address after the faulty modem has been de-linked, which is why this process is now automatically initiated by the Skinny Care Team when the fault is first reported.
There should be no need for partners to email the Skinny Support Team (email@example.com) to make a request for modem de-linking.
All faulty Jump modems (B315s and B618s) are now to be returned to Telegistics, where efforts will be made to repair them; those that cannot be repaired will be sent to Sims for recycling.
When DIAA receives a completed Faulty Jump Modem Returns form, we will send a pre-addressed courier label to the Jump Partner for sending the modem to Telegistics. Our goal is to send Telegistics courier labels at least weekly, so if you have more than one faulty return in any week, you can box them and send them together (the courier costs of sending 5 or 6 in a box is less than sending a single modem in a satchel).
If partners are holding any B315s for recycling, that you received before 5 January 2021, these can still be sent to Sims for recycling. Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send you a Sims label.
Any questions or clarifications about the new process, please contact us at email@example.com
Some partners are still uncertain about the process for de-linking Jump modems.
When does a modem need to be de-linked?
There are three particular situations when a Jump modem needs to be de-linked from a customer’s Skinny account:
(1) A faulty modem is returned to a partner and a replacement modem is issued. Customers should contact the Skinny Helpdesk whenever they have a faulty modem and if the fault cannot be fixed, the Skinny Care Team will ask the customer to return the modem to a nearby partner and get a replacement. At the same time the Skinny Care Team will issue a request to the Skinny Support Team to de-link the modem from the customer’s Skinny account. If the modem is not de-linked, the customer will not be able to use any credit remaining on their Skinny account; they would have to set up a new Skinny account with a different email address and would lose any balance on their old account. This will become obvious to partners when trying to set up the replacement modem. To get the modem de-linked, partners must email the Skinny Support Team on: firstname.lastname@example.org . Customers must also call the Help desk (Care Team) to get their replacement modem linked to their existing account.
NOTE the difference between the Skinny Care Team and Skinny Support Team. The Care Team is contacted by telephone (0800 475 4669) and the Support Team by email only email@example.com . The Care Team is not authorised to de-link accounts; all requests for de-linking are handled by the Support Team.
(2) An error is made during the setup process and the modem needs to be re-set before it can be re-issued. Partners should email the Skinny Support Team firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for the modem to be de-linked and reset.
(3) A modem is returned in good condition by a customer who does not want it anymore. Since February 2020, our advice has been to put all returned modems (faulty or otherwise) in a recycling box. However, some partners have continued with the previous process, which was to contact the Skinny Support Team email@example.com and ask for the modem to be de-linked from the previous customer’s account and reset for re-issue ($5/30GB preloaded). We expect to return to this process in 2021, so if this is already working for you, keep on trucking!
Partners are reminded that all returned B315 Skinny Jump modems – whether these are faulty or are simply not required any more – are to be withdrawn from circulation and added to a recycling box. When you have five or six modems (whatever fits in the box), you should email us (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the IMEI numbers of the withdrawn modems and we will send you a courier sticker and address label for an approved recycler. We have been advised by the Spark Foundation that the effort involved in trying to repair and reset these modems is simply not justified and that replacement modems should be supplied, if required. Partners must ensure that a new Stepping UP Profile form is completed if a replacement modem is issued.
However, should a customer return a B618 modem, these are to be returned for repair and re-use. Customers should not be returning these to you, but it appears that some do. The only people receiving B618 modems at this stage are families with school children, who have been identified as part of the Covid-19 response by their school or the Ministry of Education as households without broadband internet. If their modem is faulty or no longer required they must contact the Skinny Helpdesk on 0800 475 4669 in the first instance. A return courier bag will then be sent directly to them.
Partners who do end up with a B618 modem should follow the same procedure – report the returned modem to the Skinny Helpdesk and this will result in a return courier bag being sent to you.