As at this morning (Tuesday 8 March) we have 280 families waiting for their Jump Modem to be delivered by courier. Our last courier deliveries were on 23 February 2022, so anyone who has applied since then will still be waiting.
We are expecting 100 of these to be on the courier this week, but the others are unlikely to be sent until next week.
This is a direct result of the modem shortage discussed in my earlier post. When modems don’t arrive after soon after online application forms are completed, people do start to call partners to find out what’s going on.
Partners are welcome to get in touch with Shelley on 0800 463422 and she can check the status of the delivery.
Our goal with online applications is to ship modems the day after the application is received, but of course we can’t do this when we don’t have any stocks! So if customers do call, please kindly explain that things are taking a bit longer than usual.
Many partners are noticing a delay in the supply of Skinny Jump modems and we apologise for this. Our goal is for partners to never run out of modems, but this is proving challenging when supply chains become constrained.
There are currently two contributing factors:
(1) Ingram Micro (the supplier of Jump modems) is currently operating at 60% of its capacity due to staff shortages (as a direct result of Covid self-isolating requirements);
(2) New Zealand distributors of computer products (including Jump modems) are also being impacted by global chip shortages.
At this stage, we are facing 2-week delays from the time orders are placed until they are shipped by Ingram. We do have large numbers of modems being held by partners, some of whom appear to be inactive, so we are making efforts to redistribute these as an immediate measure.
Today, we have applied a major refresh of the Jump partner details that appear on the Skinny Jump website when customers go searching for a nearby partner.
In August 2021, we changed most of the contact information to indicate that Jump delivery partners were temporarily closed because of the Covid-19 lockdowns; customers were advised to contact Jump partners by phone for assistance when applying for Jump modems that would then be sent by courier. Since 18 August, we have couriered 1264 modems to families using this process. What is amazing is that during the same lockdown period, partners have managed to distribute a total of 1734 modems. So that’s 3000 more households connected to affordable internet.
So while some partners continue to face challenges in distributing modems, most have opened again and are offering limited services within the Covid-19 guidelines. As a result we have decided to revert most partners (except Auckland libraries) to the standard wording for Jump connections:
Contact us during normal business hours to sign up for Jump
Auckland customers will continue to be directed to the special call centre number (09 977 1415).
All partners continue to have the choice of issuing modems themselves or assisting customers complete an online application form. As we move to the traffic light system, we expect that most partners will be able to resume issuing modems, and we will return to the position we were in before the latest series of lockdowns with 90% of all modems being issued by partners.
This is by far the best delivery model as partners are able to provide local support for customers connecting to the internet for the first time.
Please check the listing for your venue on the Skinny Jump website by typing in a local address or zoom in on the map to find your venue. If you would like any details changed, please contact us at email@example.com
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.
One of our partners alerted us to a problem she was having with our Jump online order form; I alluded to this in a previous post, but have now had the opportunity to investigate further.
As I suspected this is a case of Google trying to be helpful, but not for the reason I thought. This is a new feature Google introduced into their forms from 3 August 2021, so this is the first time we have noticed this.
If you are signed into a Google account when you access our Jump application form the form will automatically add in your email address and start automatically saving your responses as a draft for 30 days. You can find more information about this feature here. The purpose of this is that you can return to the form anytime within 30 days to complete the form without having to repeat information that you have already entered.
This is not a feature that is required for our form and, as the form owner, we are supposed to be able to turn this feature off. But I have checked this out and we don’t have the option, possible because the form was created before 3 August 2021. Maybe a bit more googling will find a workaround.
But in the meantime, I think we will just have to live with it. The concern expressed by our partner was that her personal email address would somehow be included in the form responses and shared with the family requesting the Jump modem (who do get a copy of the application form when completed).
We have no evidence that this is happening; the feature appears limited to saving a draft of the form in the identified google account. However if you have any concerns about this please use a different browser, one that is not linked to your google account, or open an incognito window (ctl+shift+n).
One of our Jump partners asked whether we are able to courier modems during the Level 4 lockdown, or whether we had to wait until we move to a lower level. The answer is a definite YES. We (DIAA) are recognised as an essential service provider during Covid lockdowns, as is anyone supplying Jump modems, and we can all continue to operate. Since the latest Covid-19 lockdown was announced on Tuesday 17 August, we have continued to courier modems ordered through our online ‘self-service’ application form.
One partner has reported a problem using our online form where Google was trying to be helpful and auto-filled the form with her details rather than the customer. If I have this right, this can only happen if you enter your own email address in the form – this field is not intended to be the Jump partner’s email but the email of the customer applying for service. If you do get some unwanted auto-filling, try refreshing your browser to get a blank form.
A copy of the form is then sent to this email (for the customer to verify that the details are correct) as well as to us to arrange for a modem to be sent. The modem will be couriered by mid-day on the next workday and should generally arrive the following day.
Our courier partner (NZ Post) has advised that there could be some delays as a result of the surge in the volumes of courier packages during Covid lockdowns; we found that this was the case in the main centres during the 2020 lockdowns, especially Auckland and Wellington.
With the country returning to a Level 4 lockdown today, all Jump partners will have to suspend the delivery of Jump modems to their communities. However the online ‘self-service’ option remains available. This involves completing an online application form that can be found here. You can also find this form on our Stepping Up website – go to ‘Jump’ in the top menu bar and select ‘Get Jump’; scroll to the bottom of the page and you will find a link to the self-service form.
We hope that most partners will be able to continue supporting their communities by accepting applications by telephone and submitting the application form on behalf of their customers. This worked really well during the Level 4 lockdowns in 2020 and as a result, thousands of households were able to connect to the internet at a time when their physical movements were severely constrained.
We acknowledge this is not as good an option as face-to-face delivery, where you can help your customers set up their Skinny accounts, but it can still be a lifeline for households without the internet.
I have just received the green light to say that the troublesome modems that had not been provisioned for Skinny Jump should be alright to issue now. The only problems could be with any modems from the batch that were actually issued. The Skinny team is trying to identify any, but partners may also be aware of these. The problem is that the whole batch was reset and this could cause problems for any modems already in use. This will probably mean they have to start the registration process again.
The Skinny team has asked me to pass on their apologies for this disruption – they are just as keen as we are to try and prevent his happening again.
A message from one of our Jump partners today:
“I had a lady come in wanting a Skinny Jump this morning. I asked whether there was broadband at the property and she said no, so I proceeded to check her address with the Skinny Jump address checker. It said it was unavailable and when I explained this she said that she knew coverage was available there because there was already a Jump modem. I asked why she was wanting another Skinny Jump modem if there was already one there and she said that it was for one person and they weren’t going to top up for others. She then asked me to check other addresses – which returned the same ‘no availability’ result, so I wasn’t able to proceed, but she said she would return again. Wasn’t happy she couldn’t get a modem today and was starting to become slightly argumentative. Is it reasonable for there to be more than one Skinny Jump modem at a property? Is this going against the spirit of the programme? Just thought I should get the official party line on this.“
Two issues here – ‘no coverage’ and ‘more than one Jump modem at the same address’. These are issues many partners encounter.
(1) Skinny address checker indicates ‘no coverage’ but customers insist it works for their neighbours, or in the case above, at the same address. All partners will soon be receiving a pack of ‘no coverage’ explanatory flyers to give to customers who don’t understand the limitations of wireless connections (and that is pretty much everyone except radio engineers!). We also encourage someone from every Jump partner to attend one of the two special webinars next week (on 2 and 6 August, where this issue is being discussed by the Spark Foundation team. You can register here: https://diaa.arlo.co/w/upcoming/cat-11-partner-webinars/
(2) More than one modem at the same address: while the goal for Skinny Jump is to provide internet connectivity for households that can’t afford a fixed line connection, we do recognise that many houses often have more than one family or people who live quite independently of each other, e.g. a landlord and tenant. There are also many situations where people are living in flats, motels, camping grounds, etc. that share the same physical address. So sharing the same address is not enough to disqualify an applicant. There is no technical reason why two or more modems cannot be located at the same address (although when it gets to seven, as has happened, we do investigate to find out the reason). Partners have the discretion to refuse a customer if you suspect someone is abusing the opportunity, but you can supply more than one modem to the same address if you believe the reasons are genuine.
Wow – we live in fast changing times! I have now been advised that last night’s fix to provision the 200 modems for Jump was applied incorrectly and these were provisioned for Skinny mobile!!! So please hold fire on issuing these, probably for another 24 hours.