Lindsay King, the Learning Connections Coordinator at Invercargill City Libraries, and local coordinator for Skinny Jump, is the first Jump partner since the Covid-19 lockdown ended to request a courier sticker and address label to send faulty and returned modems for recycling. So I thought it might be timely to remind everyone of the process for handling returned and faulty Jump modems.
You may recall my earlier post about returning faulty modems. During the last 2 months, we have issued over 3500 Jump modems through our home-delivery process. Not surprisingly, around 4% of these (140) have been identified as ‘faulty’ when customers have reported problems to the Skinny Helpdesk and we have couriered a replacement modem. We included a note with the replacement modem, asking the customer to return the faulty modem to their nearest Jump partner after the Covid-19 lockdown ended.
Now that most partners have their doors open again, I am expecting the people holding faulty modems to return them to you. Please just assign them to your faulty/returns modem box and when you have a box full (5 or 6 modems) please contact us at email@example.com to get a courier sticker and return address label. Please advise the IMEI numbers of the modems you are sending for recycling, so that we can update our records.
Note that this applies to all returned modems; we no longer require you to contact the Skinny Helpdesk to request de-linking, so that the modem can be re-issued.
You are also welcome to send modems directly to the recycler if you prefer, but can you please advise us the IMEI numbers of the modems when you do this. Thank you.
The recycler is:
Sims E-Cycling (NZ) Ltd, 69 Aintree Avenue, Mangere, AUCKLAND Attention: Robert Herbert Phone: 09 275 1501
Things changed on 25 March (not just the Covid-19 lockdown!) with the expansion of the criteria for Jump. When we introduced the home-delivery option (that has now reached nearly 4000 people), we abandoned the Kawa of Care form that we used to update the Jump registers in GDocs and replaced this with a Stepping UP Profile form which is to be used by partners when issuing Jump modems. We also plan to progressively use this for other DIAA digital inclusion programmes, to create a more comprehensive picture of the people who are participating.
For the home-delivery Jump option, we created a new form (Skinny Jump Application Form), based on the Stepping UP profile form, but with some additional contact information, such as a physical address so that we can check Skinny Jump coverage and courier modems to applicants.
For modems issued by partners, we are continuing to update the individual partner Jump register GDocs, using information captured in the Stepping UP profile form, but we are only including name and date information (linked to IMEI and BB numbers). The remaining data is consolidated in a national database where we can analyse the profile of people participating. The advice we received from privacy lawyers was that we were exposing ourselves and our partners to possible privacy breaches by recording participant details in a GDoc that could be easily shared and copied.
Our main reason for maintaining the individual partner GDocs is for stock control purposes, so that we can re-issue modems as required. Partners are welcome to continue to have access to this if they find it helpful.
I think this is a pretty universal position that it is too early for libraries and other public facilities to start issuing Jump modems. Since my last post on the Level 2 restrictions for Jump, our library partners seem to agree that while their facilities are officially open, social distancing, cleaning requirements and in some cases, limitations on the length of time people can stay in the facility, make it simply too difficult for group activities. However, the good news is that everyone seems very happy to keep operating in the same way as the have been for the last 8 weeks, i.e. accepting Jump inquiries from their community and where necessary, assisting with the completion of the online application form. Modems are then couriered directly to applicants’ homes, with a user guide explaining how to set up the Jump modem and open a Skinny account.
So our proposal is that from next week most Jump partner sites listed on the Skinny Jump map will be updated to read:
Contact us during normal business hours to sign up for Jump.
A contact name and normal business telephone number will then replace the personal mobile number of the staff member working from home.
Our proposal is that this will become the default information, but individual partners may choose slight variations to this wording if required. For example, some library staff have approval to continue working from home and managing Jump inquiries by phone. The Partner map information will then read:
Jump classes suspended until further notice. Phone us to sign up for Jump.
We ask all public Jump delivery partners to review the information on the Skinny map and advise us of any changes required (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In Auckland, 31 libraries are opening on 20 May and the other 24 immediately after Queen’s Birthday weekend (2 June).
We expect these updates to be made by Wednesday 20 May.
The extension of the Jump eligibility criteria to other digitally disadvantaged groups such as seniors and people with disabilities, as well as the Covid-19 constraints that we have all had to face during the last seven weeks, has made us think about more flexible options for delivering Jump. Two particular situations have come to light.
- 35 year old Jake takes responsibility for setting up a Jump account for his elderly Mum who lives in another town and has health issues. Jake completes an online application for his Mum but uses his own email address, so that he can check all the details such as the courier address were entered correctly. The home delivery service kicked in and arranged for the modem to be couriered to his Mum. When the modem arrived, Jake proceeded to set up the Skinny account in his Mum’s name but with his own email address so that he could verify the account when the Skinny email arrived. The only thing Jake overlooked was that he would need the modem broadband number and the verification code to set up the account, and as the modem was now some hundreds of kilometres away, he could not easily check this. So he called his mum and asked her for the codes on the base of the modem, but his mum was a bit confused by all the numbers and wasn’t what ones to give him. Lightbulb moment! “Mum, take a photo of the base and rear of the modem and send them to me!” Jake was now able to complete setting up the account. Roll-on 30 days and Jake gets an email from Skinny reminding him that he needs to top up his Mum’s account and renew the $5 plan. Jake’s Mum lives alone and she uses less than 30GB during the first month, so $5 a month is not really a financial burden for Jake. Remembering to top up every month is a bit of a pain for Jake, so he loads $20 onto his Mum’s account; each month $5 will be deducted, as the plan automatically renews. Now how easy is that for Jake and his Mum.
- Leona works for an organisation that provides support to people with disabilities and wants to provide (and pay for) a Jump connection for 10 people in her community. She has already procured 10 Chromebooks to set up a library of devices that people can borrow while under Covid-19 restrictions. The people she wants to support are living at different locations so she opted for the home-delivery service. However, she asked DIAA to provide her with a schedule of the modems allocated with the IMEI and Broadband numbers, as well as the Verification codes. This enabled her to set up individual accounts for each recipient. She also elected to set up a new email and password for each recipient, so that she could initially manage the accounts by paying for the top ups and renewing the Jump plans for each of the 10 people being supported, as required. Her plan is to eventually hand over the accounts to the individuals involved for them to self-manage. To simplify the process of accessing and topping up accounts she selected the Skinny Linked Accounts option. While this was originally intended for parents to manage their children’s Skinny accounts, it can equally be used for managed community situations like the one described above. Another organisation similar to Leona’s is happy to arrange for the delivery of the modems to their constituents, but the process is effectively the same. We are referring to organisations like these as Community Connectors.
A few weeks ago I posted about what might happen to the home-delivery Jump service once we moved to Level 2. I suggested that this really is in your hands as our delivery partners; we hope that you can continue offering assistance with Jump signups and progressively move back to delivering the modems as well. But there is no panic. We realise tomorrow is a new day and for many of you, your first day back in your premises after nearly two months. While I would like to think that Jump signups are on your priority list, I suspect your managers (and their managers) might have other priorities, like managing social distancing and keeping all your surfaces clean. So, as I mentioned in my previous post, we will continue to provide the home delivery option. This means you can continue to help sign people up in your communities and we will courier the modem to them. However, if you are willing to recommence with local modem deliveries, do let us know at email@example.com and we will turn on your auto-restocking trigger.
Just one important thing to remember, if you are issuing the modem, please complete the Stepping UP Profile Form. If you want us to send the modem please complete the Jump Application Form.
We recognise that with the move to Covid-19 level 3 today many Jump partners are starting to think about the impact of moving to level 2. While it is expected that public venues, such as libraries, will be permitted to open under level 2, the one metre distancing rule will make it difficult to offer a full range of services.
Whether or not Jump partners wish to resume offering Jump to their communities under level 2 will be a decision for them to make. We are able to continue to offer the national self-service Jump option as long as it is required, but we also look forward to the day when all partners are able to resume providing the additional face-to-face support that so many people still require.
I had a message from one of our self-service recipients the other day. He said in a brief email “OK, I’ve got the modem. What now?”. While the Skinny Helpdesk is providing this follow up support, we know many people would much prefer to talk with someone they know in their local communities.
First there was the B315, the Jump modem we have all become very familiar with during the last 3 years. These are still flying out the door and will continue to do so until supplies are exhausted (probably within the next 4-6 weeks). DIAA, together with our Stepping UP partner network, is the exclusive distribution channel for this product. Which means we are also the exclusive distribution channel for replacement modems. B315 customers must report any modems they suspect as faulty to the Skinny Helpdesk. The Helpdesk team will attempt to fix any faults remotely, but if not, they will log the modem as ‘faulty’ and this triggers a request to DIAA to ship a replacement. The faulty modems cannot be repaired and customers receiving a replacement modem are requested to return the faulty unit to their nearest Jump delivery partner (when they open up again after the COVID-19 lockdown). They should be added to the recycling box and eventually returned to Sims for recycling.
Welcome to the B618. This device is initially being used as part of the Ministry of Education’s internet support package for students without a home broadband connection. Approximately 3500 of these have been shipped directly from Ingram Micro (Spark’s hardware supplier) to student homes, using a mailing list supplied by the Ministry of Education. As for the B315’s, customers are to report any faults directly to the Skinny Helpdesk. They will be logged and a request issued to DIAA to issue a replacement. Unlike the B315’s, a return courier bag will be sent with the replacement modem. The modems will be returned to DIAA and then forwarded for repair to Telegistics (Spark’s hardware repair company).
We do not expect partners to provide any support, at least at this stage, for the B618 modems. If you receive any inquiries or requests for support from households with these modems, please direct them to the Skinny Helpdesk (0800 475 4669).
The short answer is yes. In fact this has become such a common request during the COVID-19 lockdown that we have added an extra field in the Application Form to cover this situation. Applicants must still enter the address where they intend to use the Jump modem, as we need this to verify that they do have Skinny wireless coverage, but we have added an optional field as a preferred delivery address.
There are many different circumstances where people may choose a different delivery address, but one of the most common has been in rural communities where gates are locked or there is no delivery letter box. To make life easier for the courier, people in these situations have suggested a more accessible address belonging to a family member or friend.
The short answer is yes, but when we receive more than one Jump application from the same email address, this raises a flag in our system for us to investigate further. In a number of cases we have received a separate email from a representative of an organisation checking out that this is OK. For example, one situation involved a small retirement village, and another, special housing for people with disabilities. In both cases, an administrator or support person was preparing the applications on behalf of the people they were caring for. But as the people are living in separate accommodation and will be responsible for managing their own Skinny accounts, we are happy to supply individual modems.
However, when it comes to activating the modems and setting up Skinny accounts, individual emails will be required for each user. This email and password must be accessible by the person who will be responsible for topping up the Jump account each month. Normally this would be the person who is using the Jump service, but we have encountered situations where children are taking responsibility for setting up (and paying for!) Jump internet connections for their elderly parents.
It is not uncommon for more than one Jump request to come from the same physical address. This does raise an alert in our system and we take a close look at why this might be happening. For example, if the request is coming from the same name and email, then we treat this as a duplicate application and simply delete the application. If the application is coming from two different people with the same second name, we suspect this might also be a duplicate and will follow up with a phone call to the family to find out why two modems are required. Almost invariably we have discovered that this is because two people living in the same household have independently applied for a modem, without the other person knowing. So this is easily resolved as well by deleting one of the applications.
The other situation we are encountering is for people or communities sharing a physical address, but with multiple residences. This could be separate accommodation located on the same section or even a family living separately in a caravan (or a tent, as we discovered in one case). Or it could be like a gated community with separate individual dwellings.
In these cases where different people or families are residing at the same address, we accept individual Jump applications.