“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.

Privacy Statement Updated

As from today, the privacy statements on the Jump Application Form and the Stepping UP Profile Form have been updated.  They now read:

All the information you have provided in this Application/Profile Form will remain confidential to Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa, and our programme delivery partners such as Skinny. For example, we will provide Skinny (Spark New Zealand Trading Limited) with your phone number so they can ring you about your service. You will not be identified in any reports prepared for other parties. We will only use aggregated data, e.g. 25% of Jump users identify as seniors.

The information will also be held by Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa for 7 years. You can request access to, and correction of, the personal information we hold about you by contacting us at jump@diaa.nz. But if you have any privacy concerns or feel your privacy has been compromised in some way, please let us know by contacting the Digital Inclusion Alliance Aotearoa Trust at info@diaa.nz.

By submitting this Application/Profile Form, you acknowledge that you have read and understood this privacy information.

The new wording in the first paragraph is to more explicit about who we might share contact details with.  This has arisen because Spark’s legal advisers felt the permissions we had were not explicit enough to allow us to share contact information with Spark/Skinny.  The Spark Foundation is keen to understand why people stop using Jump and whether there are any barriers preventing ongoing use.  They would not allow us to share contact information captured in our two forms – the Application Form (for Jump self-service) and the Profile Form (for Jump partner-assisted setups) – because of possible ambiguity in the privacy statement.  As a result, we (DIAA) have been contacting Jump customers to find out what is working well and whether there are any barriers limiting or preventing their ongoing use.

With the new permissions, Spark and/or Skinny staff will be able to make contact directly to provide any further support that might be required.

Can a Jump modem be linked to an existing Skinny Phone account?

Partners who have been around a while will recall that once upon a time it was possible for an existing Skinny phone customer to log into their account and ‘add’ the Jump modem, so that they could use the same email and password to log in to their Jump account as their phone account.  This made good sense to everyone.

However on 25 March 2020, when Jump 2.0 was launched, this feature was removed.  No-one quite knows why, but this appears to have been an unintended casualty of other improvements.

The bottom line now is that it is simply not possible to ‘add’ a Skinny Jump modem to an existing Skinny phone customer’s account.  The customer must use two different emails for the two services.  How dumb is that, I hear you say (and some have already said), and we agree and so do our friends at the Spark Foundation.

This has been formally raised with the Skinny technical team and they have agreed to review this.  That’s the good news.  Today we learnt that this mightn’t happen until the end of 2020.  So there’s nothing you or we can do in the meantime.  Just grin and bear it and think nice thoughts about all the good things that Jump does provide.

 

 

Jump Modems – Delivery Options

I am getting frequent questions about whether the home delivery self-service option is still available for Skinny Jump.  The short answer is “yes”, but please read on so that I can explain the ‘but‘.

All Jump inquiries are directed to a delivery partner organisation and our preference (from both a support and financial perspective) is for people to front up to a local partner.  There are now 196 publicly listed locations where people can go to get a Skinny Jump modem and new locations are being added every week.

The advantages are manifold:

(1) Partners are able more easily to assess the eligibility of the applicants;

(2) Partners are able to assist applicants set up their Skinny accounts, making sure they have a working email (and one they can remember the password for!);

(3) Partners are able to explain what customers can do with 30GB data and how they are limited to five plan renewals (total of 150GB) a month;

(4) Partners are able to explain the top up/ plan renewal process, so that customers feel confident about doing this when their first month’s internet expires;

(5) Partners are welcome to engage interpreters for customers who have English as a second language, and claim back costs from DIAA;

(6) Partners are able to offer opportunities for new internet users to participate in scheduled Stepping UP or Better Digital Futures digital literacy classes;

(7) Partners are able to develop a relationship with the customer, so that they are encouraged to return for other library services.

BUT, if for any reason the customer finds it difficult to get to a Jump partner, e.g. they could live a long way away or may have physical disabilities that prevent them from travelling, partners are welcome to use the online application form.  Note that the Application Form has been amended to require the name of the person making the referral and their organisation.  Applicants must also give a reason why they can’t visit a Jump partner.

Good news stories

We are on the lookout for good news stories.  We publish these in our Annual Report and they provide incredibly important feedback to our funders.  So, we are seeking your help in identifying some good news stories – anything from the last 12 months, for any of our programmes – Stepping UP, DORA and Digital Banking, Digital Wellbeing and of course, Jump.  Our particular focus is to profile some individuals who have participated in one of our digital inclusion programmes and who is willing to share their story (and a photograph).

With the extension of the Jump criteria on 25 March 2020 to include more groups of digitally excluded people, we are particularly interested in a diversity of stories from different digitally excluded groups:

  • Māori
  • Pacific Peoples
  • People in social housing
  • families with low incomes
  • People in rural communities
  • Unemployed people
  • People with low literacy skills
  • People with disabilities
  • Migrants and refugees
  • Offenders and ex-offenders
  • Seniors

We have a journalist who is helping us and she is happy to interview people directly, but we need your help with introductions please.  Please email me,  laurence@diaa.nz ,with any suggestions.

Does Skinny sign customers up for Jump?

No, Skinny does not sign customers up for Jump.  The only way someone can sign up for Jump is through you, our DIAA partner network.  This is the case, whether you are providing the modem (and completing the Stepping UP Profile Form) or just helping an applicant complete the Online Application Form. Now some internet-savvy people (often the children of the applicants, we suspect) have been able to find the online application form on our Stepping UP website and have completed this without talking to a partner.  But we haven’t made this particularly easy to find, so much so that we had a library partner asking us last week where he could find the Application Form, as he had a customer to sign up.

We do ask everyone completing the Application Form to tell us how they found out about Jump, but that doesn’t tell us which partner is helping them sign up.

We do want to keep encouraging applicants to signup through a partner;  partners are so important in explaining both the opportunities and constraints of Skinny Jump.  This is particularly important for people who simply see Jump as a low cost internet service (which it is), without understanding the costs of switching from an existing internet service and the need to top up every 30GB.  We contact anyone who says they already have an internet connection to understand why they want to switch, and while there are often perfectly legitimate reasons, we have found a number of situations where this is not in their best interests, so we do want applicants to make informed choices.

The absolute limit of 150GB a month needs to be clearly explained, as there is no option to ‘purchase’ extra data once the 150GB limit (5 top ups) is reached.  Jump customers who reach this limit simply have to wait until the next month to reinstate their internet service.  A few angry customers contacted the Skinny Helpdesk when they reached this limit during the first month of the new Skinny Jump service. The Helpdesk staff will respectfully suggest to these callers that they consider other plans, as they have no discretion to go above the 150GB.

Some customers also have an internet package bundled with their phone account and they need to do their sums before swapping to Jump.  In one recent case, the caller had a phone and internet package costing about $85 a month; they didn’t understand that most of this cost was for their fixed phone line, but when they did their sums realised there wouldn’t be that much saving in moving to Jump and in addition they would have the ‘inconvenience’ of having to keep topping up and renewing their Jump plan.  So in the end they decided that the $5/month saving was simply not worth the trouble of switching.

 

 

Invercargill onto it!

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 jump@diaa.nz  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

 

Jump Data boost to end on 16 June

With the closure of schools during the level 3 and 4 Covid-19 lockdown, Skinny applied a free 6GB data boost every week day during school hours to all Jump accounts.  So while this was primarily targeted at families with school children, everyone with a Jump connection has benefited.

Now that schools are open again, the need for this data boost has reduced, and as a result, Tuesday 16 June will be the last day for the free 6GB.

All Jump customers will receive an email notifying them of this by 9 June 2020.

Managing Jump accounts for whānau and small groups in managed communities

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.