Are you having to turn Jump customers away?

Many of our partners have reported an increase in the number of Jump applicants that they are having to turn away. My earlier post refers to this. Earlier today, the Spark Foundation team provided a Zoom briefing for partners in the areas most affected – Kaitaia, Whitianga, Coromandel, Huntly, Te Aroha, Greerton Tauranga, Fairfield Hamilton, Otorohanga, Palmerston North, Patea, Shannon, Picton, Kaikoura, Riverton and Otara. Their advice to partners in these areas (referred to as “stop sell” areas) is to remove any Jump promotional posters. We will update the information on the Skinny website about partners in these areas to alert any customers that they might not be able to get service at the moment. The situation is quite fluid and could change from week to week, so if any customers do request service in these areas, it could still be worthwhile doing an address check on the Skinny website. Our advice in my previous post was to ask any customers who do not appear to have coverage to complete our online application form so that we can double check for coverage as well as update our database on areas where there are coverage issues.

Our records are showing a much larger number of partners in areas other than the ones noted above are also having to turn some customers away. This depends very much on the particular cell tower they are connected to and even on the same cell tower, which of the three sectors the household is in (each sector covers 120 degrees – see photo above).

Our advice is the same – always check for coverage using the Skinny Jump address checker and for customers who can’t get service, ask them to complete an online application form. However it is important to manage customer expectations; completing the online application form is unlikely to change anything immediately, but does help us understand where there is demand for Jump. We will be reporting this to the government agencies responsible for broadband infrastructure and hopefully this will influence their investment priorities.

We also send the following message to the applicant:

Thank you for your recent application for a Skinny Jump internet connection. We have double checked coverage at your location and unfortunately, Skinny cannot currently provide wireless broadband service at your address. This may be because of limited network capacity in your area. Skinny wants to make sure that their Skinny Mobile and Skinny Broadband (including Jump) customers get the best service possible and this includes not overloading the cell towers near you. Skinny is constantly adding new capacity to their network, so please try the Jump address checker again in the near future and if you do have coverage please contact your nearest Jump partner again to sign up. We are sorry that we are not able to help you on this occasion.

“Broadband Compare” results can be confusing

Many partners encourage customers to use the Broadband Compare website to look for alternative internet options at their address when the Skinny checker indicates that Jump 4G service is not available. They are then surprised to find that Broadband Compare suggests that Skinny 4G plans are available at their customer’s location. We are seeking clarification from the teams at both Spark and Broadband Compare to understand how frequently the Skinny 4G data is updated, as this could be a possible explanation.

Jump coverage checker says “no”

Partners may have noticed that the message below is popping up more frequently these days in the Skinny Jump address checker.

This may be because of limited or no coverage, or increasingly, this is to prevent overloading on individual cellphone towers. There can also be a problem if the address is not recognised by the Jump address checker; the checker only works with recognised addresses, so you must select the address from the pull-down list. And if it doesn’t recognise 24A Brandon Street, try just 24 Brandon Street. The same is true for addresses beginning with Flat 1; you might need to delete ‘Flat 1’ to get an exact match for the address checker to work.

Unfortunately, when the address checker does indicate there is no coverage, you are going to have to say “no” to your customer and not provide them with a Jump modem. However, we would like to encourage you to assist your customer complete an online Jump application form. This will give us the opportunity to double check the coverage issues in your area and follow up with Skinny and Spark to see what options might be possible. If we can’t find a satisfactory solution we will advise the customer accordingly. We have included a new question in the Application Form seeking the customer’s permission to hold their Application on file so that we can check from time to time if Skinny coverage is available.