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.
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
Some families with school-aged children have discovered that the Ministry of Education is offering 150GB free internet each month for six months. The Spark Foundation is also offering a free 6GB data boost each school day between 9am and 3.30pm.
So the question has been raised about whether or not families who have signed up for Jump before the Ministry tabled their offer get access to the free 150GB offer as well. These families do get the free 6GB daily boost.
This is a fair enough question and one that is currently being discussed between the Ministry of Education and the Spark Foundation. The current position is that families who have signed up through us do not get the free 150GB, but this might change, as early as next week.
We have to be clear though, we did advise schools who were scrambling to get internet connections for their students over the last five weeks to consider waiting until the Ministry made its offer, but those who preferred not to wait were welcome to connect through our service.
The Skinny team has reported an overnight technical glitch with the Jump top up limit not renewing as we move into May. By 9am, 84 people had already called the Helpdesk about this. Skinny is working to fix this. Just in case you receive any inquiries.
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.
A question this morning from a family in Covid-19 lockdown with 3 school-aged children. They have no broadband at their temporary accommodation and are unsure about when they will be able to return to their home or when their children can return to school. They are currently using their mobile phone as a hotspot for internet connectivity, but are finding this very expensive.
The answer is yes; they are eligible for Jump. When they return to their home, they need to contact the Skinny Helpdesk to advise a change of address if they wish to continue using Jump.
This is not much different to families in emergency accommodation, who for the last three years have been able to connect to Jump while they are in temporary accommodation and take their Jump modem with them when they move to a more permanent location (assuming of course their new address is in a Skinny Jump coverage area).
The Jump eligibility criteria make it very clear that Jump is for households without a broadband internet connection. But this doesn’t stop people applying and putting forward their case. In most cases we have accepted their application. The scenarios we have accepted and those we have declined are summarised below. Most of the 60 (2%) we have declined are because of no Skinny wireless coverage.
- A senior on a fixed income is struggling to maintain the cost of an ‘on account’ service.
- An unemployed person can’t afford to keep a fixed line service.
- I am in a self-contained 2-bedroom sleep-out without access to the internet.
- Person living in rural community, referred by Health Services Provider, has the internet, but it’s too expensive.
- My brother had a Skinny jump modem, but he no longer resides here.
- Rural broadband is unreliable and insufficient for work and online learning for kids.
- I only have access the the internet from my smartphone.
- The other property with owners on site has internet, but I do not and cannot use their internet.
- A rural family has a capped Vodafone service that is unreliable and stops working when the cap is reached. Requires a supplementary service for a high school student.
- Wifi can not be installed in my Nana’s retirement village under current lockdown conditions. Jump is so much more affordable.
- We are moving out of Mum’s house next week.
- Previously had Jump modem, but modem lost in burglary.
- There is a paid WiFi service in our accommodation but it is cost prohibitive at $100 per month.
- Very inconsistent ADSL; not suitable for our needs.
- Existing provider disconnected 4 months ago because of overdue fees.
- My current internet connection cannot sustain work conference calls.
- Broadband connection is very slow and unreliable. It is not possible for 3 high school children and teacher to use for work/schooling.
- I am unable to afford my next internet bill and will be disconnected before the end of the month.
- Unable to afford data to join class.
- We live in a camping ground.
- Social housing tenant paying $129 per month for internet which she is struggling to maintain.
- I am currently in a motel and not sure where we will end up after the lockdown.
- I am in temporary emergency housing; the signal from the tower provides a very poor signal in my cabin.
- A teacher working from home requires extra data to teach from home.
- A migrant worker with an internet connection, but wanting a separate connection for his kids ‘to get online learning’.
- Outside Skinny wireless coverage area.
For anyone wanting to switch from an existing service it is important that they understand the full impact of making the change, i.e.
- Will they face any costs in terminating their existing connection; there could be an early termination fee if they are on a fixed term contract? Make sure they have contacted their existing provider to understand these costs, e.g. as a minimum there is likely to be a requirement for one month’s notice.
- Do they fully understand the extra effort involved in managing a prepay account requiring regular top-ups?
- Do they understand the data cap (150GB per month) that applies to Jump connections?