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.
A few partners discovered that a recent shipment of Jump modems had not been provisioned for Skinny Jump. They did the right thing and completed the Modem Returns forms – this raised the alarm in Skinny and initiated an investigation with the modem supplier, Ingram Micro. They discovered 200 modems had been shipped without being provisioned for Jump. This has now been fixed, so you can proceed in issuing these modems.
I am aware of at least one modem that might have actually been issued – it didn’t have the 30GB loaded. I have been advised that this modem should also be OK now.
We know that Jump delivery partners don’t like to turn customers away empty handed. But working with a wireless service like Skinny Jump, this regrettably is a fact of life. The Skinny Jump service uses the Spark cellphone towers and there are limits on how many customers can be connected to any single tower (this is because wireless services operate within a limited radio frequency spectrum). You can find more information on the Jump website.
The impact of this is that if too many customers are connected to the same tower, the service degrades for everyone, and this gets the service provider into trouble with the Government regulator, the Commerce Commission. Customers connecting to any internet service can expect a reasonable quality of service and providers like Spark and Skinny are held accountable.
So what does this mean for you as a Jump partner – if the Skinny Jump addresses checker says ‘no coverage’, you are not permitted to issue a Jump modem. We have had examples of where customers claim to have contacted the Skinny Helpdesk and have been advised to contact their nearest partner to get a Jump modem, even when the address checker says ‘no’. This is a mistake and we alert Skinny to any such incidents – please ask your customer for the name of the Skinny Help Desk agent and day they received this advice and then forward this to us at firstname.lastname@example.org . The Skinny Helpdesk team have access to the same address checker that you do, so there shouldn’t be any confusion, but at times we know there is.
The good news is that the capacity on cell towers is changing all the time – there are updates every night. Not only is Spark continuing to invest in expanding the capacity of their towers, connections also become possible when existing customers leave. So that is why we encourage partners to complete an online application whenever you have to turn a customer away. Not only do we double check the coverage availability, but we also hold the applicant on file in case we become aware of a future upgrade.
Skinny is also helping by providing all partners with a flyer to give to customers explaining the capacity issue. You can expect these to arrive during the next week. We have also scheduled two partner webinars where the Skinny team will explain this issue and answer any questions.
Make sure you or someone from your team joins one of these webinars, to be held on 2 and 6 August. You can register here: https://diaa.arlo.co/w/upcoming/cat-11-partner-webinars/
We invite all our Stepping UP delivery partners to complete a brief online feedback survey.
In collaboration with our Stepping UP partners, we have been actively promoting the digital banking classes for the last 24 months – ever since Kiwibank first announced that they were withdrawing cheque services and closing some branches. Since then, other banks have followed this lead, and now cheques, and an increasing number of local bank branches, are history.
For the last two years, Kiwibank has supported a nationwide tour by DORA, our mobile digital classroom, and working with local partners, over 2500 people have been able to participate in a 2-hour class. TSB has also provided support for digital banking classes in Taranaki during the last 3 months and many partners are now offering digital banking classes on a regular basis.
Kiwibank has extended their support for a further 12 months and we welcome expressions of interest from partners to host a visit from DORA. Please use the Feedback Survey to provide any comments on your experiences to date in offering digital banking classes and any suggestions for reaching even more people in your community.
We have received reports from some partners about a possible misuse of the SIM cards in customers’ Jump modems. Some customers are turning up claiming that they have lost their SIM card or inquiring if the modems have one. It appears that a few people are removing the SIM card from the Jump modem and using it in other devices, believing this to be a way to ‘purchase’ low cost data for their phones.
This is expressly forbidden in the Jump terms and conditions. An alert will be sent to Skinny whenever a Jump SIM is used in any device other that B315 or B618 Jump modem and the SIM card will be blocked. So anyone attempting to do this will quickly discover that the device with the Jump SIM no longer works.
If partners suspect that any of your Jump customers are doing this, you should not issue a replacement modem.
InternetNZ is seeking participants from digitally excluded groups to engage in a current research initiative focusing on Digital Identity. One of these groups is seniors (aged 65+).
Many Stepping UP partners are actively engaged in delivering programmes for seniors, whether this be Skinny Jump, Better Digital Futures for Seniors or the new Appy Seniors initiative. We are seeking your assistance in inviting seniors in your community to engage with this research.
All that is required at this stage is for seniors to complete a short online questionnaire; Internet will then select a diverse group of participants to engage in a 60-minute interview. This could be in-person (if the seniors are based in Wellington or Hutt City) or by Zoom. All participants invited to participate in the 60-minute interview will receive a $50 Prezzy card.
Please share the following link with any seniors participating in your current digital literacy programmes as a starting point:
Since January 2021, partners have become familiar with the larger B618 Skinny Jump modem. Skinny has now uncovered another 1000 B315 modems lurking in their store and these will be distributed shortly. Don’t be surprised when these start to arrive. This is not a mistake; the B315s work just as well. Over 1000 Skinny Jump modems are being distributed every month, so before you know it we will be back to the now familiar B618s.
Most B618 modems being returned by Spark and Skinny customers are still in excellent working condition but some are slightly discoloured or have minor scratches. The ones being returned by Jump customers are still usually in pristine condition, since we have only been using them for six months. The Skinny team is reluctant to send these for recycling and we totally agree. So if you see any Jump modems arrive that don’t look brand new, just give yourself a pat on the back every time you issue one, knowing that you are helping reduce e-waste pollution in our environment.
We have just been advised by the Spark Foundation that they have extended their offer of free 15GB data each month to all Jump customers*. This was introduced to help Jump families maintain their internet connections. We know there are a number of families who make the tough choice between $5 for 30GB broadband and purchasing other essential items. The 15GB free each month means they are able to stay connected and make life a little easier by accessing services online during the times they can’t afford to purchase a Jump plan.
*The 15GB topup is not available for sponsored customers who receive 150GB each month such as students supported by the Ministry of Education or families on special programmes supported by CIENA or the Red Cross.
We received advice late last night that the address checker and Jump App are operational. The Jump team at Spark asked us to send their apologies for any inconvenience caused by this outage.