Some time ago, we asked partners to hold back on actively promoting Jump to the new eligible communities, announced on 25 March 2020. As this announcement coincided with New Zealand moving to Level 4 of the COVID-19 lockdown, we were uncertain what impact the lockdown would have and how well our support systems, including modem delivery and the Helpdesk support, would cope. There were also discussions going on between the Ministry of Education and internet service providers about the best way to respond to the temporary shutdown of schools.
Time has now moved on and the Ministry has announced the support it is providing for school students. The demand for new Jump connections has settled to around 100 per day and our systems and processes (DIAA and Skinny Helpdesk) are performing well, despite the extra challenges of the COVID-19 lockdown.
So we are happy for partners to now promote Jump to eligible people in their communities. If you have interest from local media, you may wish to share some of the high level statistics mentioned in my earlier post.
I am sure Alistair Fraser, our Stepping Up/ Jump Ambassador in Whanganui, would be happy for me to share the media release he prepared for local community media. You might also want to refer to Spark’s media release here.
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.
Please continue to advise people in your community signing up for Jump to contact the Skinny Helpdesk for support if they are having trouble setting up their accounts. It could be a faulty modem. During the last four weeks, we have recorded 74 faulty modems (out of nearly 3000 shipped); this can be frustrating for the customers involved, but can be quickly confirmed by a Helpdesk operator. As soon as a Helpdesk operator identifies a faulty modem, they log it in a shared Google Sheet and we swing into action in shipping a replacement (this will take a few days and depending on local courier delays, could take up to a week).
Some Jump customers have also been frustrated in trying to contact the Skinny Helpdesk over the weekend and end up calling you. The Helpdesk hours are:
8am – 7pm Monday to Friday
9am – 5.30pm on Saturdays
Digital only: 9am – 5.30pm on Sundays and Public Holidays (this means customers will not be able to talk to an operator by phone; they will only be able to use the online chat, which won’t help that much if they are having trouble setting up their modems!)
What an incredible achievement for Jump connections over the last four weeks! With your support, we have together processed 2871 applications since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown on 25 March. 2545 of these have come through our home delivery self-service model and 326 have been delivered directly by 48 partners, using a range of innovative contact-less delivery methods. We applaud all 169 Jump partners who are accepting inquiries from their communities and assisting applicants complete the online application form. We know that these people often call you back when they receive their modems to get over-the-phone help in setting them up. We appreciate it if can provide this help but do encourage people to contact the Skinny Helpdesk on 0800 475 4669 if there are issues you can’t easily deal with. This is especially important if it looks like the modem might be faulty, as the Skinny Helpdesk must log this, de-link the modem from the user’s Skinny account and send us (DIAA) a request to issue a replacement modem.
So, well done in helping nearly 3000 new households connect to internet in just one month. Before COVID, we celebrated a successful month when we signed up 300 families in a month. So while most of the world has been shut for the last four weeks, you have demonstrated that not only are you open for business, but that you responded to the shut-down challenge by expanding Jump deliveries ten-fold. Thank you! And of course a special thank-you to the team at the Spark Foundation and Skinny who have made this possible with such a fantastic internet connectivity product.
A quick look at the summary statistics about the people who have benefited from a Jump connection over the last month clearly demonstrates that we are supporting the groups who have been identified as being among the most digitally excluded:
The Spark Foundation and Skinny have announced a 6GB daily data boost for all 6000+ Jump customers that will take effect on 15 April 2020. The data boost will apply between 9am and 3.30pm on every weekday. While this is mainly intended for families with school-aged children, many of whom will be relying on a home internet connection when Term 2 commences on 15 April, the expanded eligibility criteria announced on 25 March means that everyone who has signed up for Jump during the last two to three weeks will also benefit (and of course who signs up over the coming weeks).