My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: How to Register your SIM Card and get the PUK1 and access Digicel’s Phone Calling Records

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

How to Register your SIM Card and get the PUK1 and access Digicel’s Phone Calling Records


Let’s face it; losing your Mobile Phone is the worst experience to go through, especially if it had a lot of valuable contact and information stored on your Phone. Custom- fitted to you, its theft is even harder to bear, especially if the event was a violent one and giving up the Phone was the result of being faced with a choice between your life and the Phone.

So now you sit dejected from either case. Quick action reminds you to call Digicel Customer Care or LIME Customer Care (as LIME is popular still!!) in order to have the SIM Card barred. A quick call to 100 reveals yet another stumbling block to the already frustrating process: you have to verify your Account.

Neither Digicel nor LIME Customer Care cannot bar your Mobile Phone unless they can verify your Account, which allows them access to various layers or Databases, referred to in common terminology by Digicel Customer Care Agents as GUI (Graphic User Interfaces). Thus

Verification: WHOAMI

For Digicel Customer Care Agents, their system uses GUI’s of their Internal Ericsson-powered Switch Core Systems to check on aspects of your Account.

Examples of Databases that Digicel Customer Care Agents have to access include:

  1. MINSAT GUI – Allows Digicel Customer Care Agents to view Account settings in the Ericsson Switch that indicate the status of your Phone
  2. DWS GUI – Allows Digicel Customer Care Agents to view calling records for the Customer accounts as well as other transactions that took place on the Account

In the case of Digicel, verification can be done by using one of three (3) types of information requested by the Digicel Customer Care Agent in the following order:

1.      PUK1 (Phone Unlock Key)
2.      Month and Year of SIM Card Activation
3.      Full confirmation of Registration Information

These pieces of information are chosen to verify a SIM Card and the associated Prepaid or Postpaid Account as they’re unique to the Account, which is made up of the SIM Card, the associated Phone Number and the Customer. Having a copy of the PUK1 in the event that you need to have it for verification or unblocking your Phone after initially being blocked is essential knowledge for Digicel customer!

The first two pieces of information which reside on the letter you received when you purchased your SIM Card or Mobile Phone from Digicel are rarely kept by anyone nearby. Usually it’s trussed away in a drawer or among travel documents, as it’s the kind of thing you rarely pull out and walk around with. But from Digicel’s point of view, the letter is the equivalent of a Driver’s License or TRN (Tax Registration Number); you have to present it in order for them to access the various GUI’s and thus assist the customer.

The Case for LIME is a bit different. LIME Customer Care Agents are a little more lax, requiring that you merely prove you’re the Phone’s owner by using either of the following:

1.      Verify the last three (3) numbers that you called from your lost or stolen Mobile Phone
2.      Full confirmation of Registration Information

They don’t use the same information as Digicel, as the rational is that anyone can possess these documents and claim to be you. Only the true user of the Phone, LIME reasons, would know the last three (3) numbers they called off the top of their head in order to verify that the Mobile Phone is theirs. As argued above, the PUK1 and the Month and Year of SIM Card Activation merely identify the SIM Card, not the true owner of the Mobile Phone.

Thus, for both Telecom Providers, only the Full confirmation of Registration Information can truly verify that the SIM Card, Phone instrument and Mobile Phone number associated with both the SIM Card and the Mobile Phone belong to the person on the call with the Customer Care Agent

Why Registering is important: Absolute Verification of Ownership

But if your house has been turned upside (literally!) or worse one of the circumstances that has resulted in you calling may have been that your house has been gutted by fire, this is the last thing that you want to hear. Thus a workaround does indeed exist by way of the last form of verification: Full confirmation of Registration Information

This form of verification is not oft used, oweing to its tedious nature, as the Digicel Customer Care Agent has to verify every stitch of information on the first try with the subscriber. Failure means that you cannot access the Account. Additionally most subscribers are not registered, necessitating that you have to get the Mobile Phone SIM Card registered at your nearest Digicel Dealer.

But a not-so-often exploited loophole exists in the system. If you have Government of Jamaica Identification i.e. TRN (Tax Registration Number), Driver’s License, Passport, Voter’s ID, you can register the SIM Card over the Phone without having to verify.

This works off the logic that as the possessor of the SIM Card has no real absolute methods existing to prove that they had purchased it as once the SIM Card holder registers the SIM Card it becomes theirs. This as it is common for the ownership of SIM Cards, which are identified by the PUK1, to change. The month and Year of SIM Card Activation merely identifies when the SIM Card accessed the GSM Network and is also unique to the SIM Card and its associated Phone Number.

For these above reason, the need to have PUK1 or Month and Year of SIM Card Activation to register the Mobile Phone with while calling 100 is not necessary, as neither of these forms of verification identifies the owner of SIM Card but merely the SIM Card itself.

LIME’s method of asking the caller to recall the first three (3) numbers called from the Mobile Phones is a little better, prone only to the Customer Care Agent being duped into giving out information dues to the Caller having access to the Mobile Phone i.e. he’s lying.

Thus confirmation of the full Registration information identifies the owner of the SIM Card, Mobile Phone as associated with the Mobile Phone number. The other forms of verification only verify the SIM Card as being a valid member of the Telecom Provider’s Network and as such can be anyone who just happens to have the SIM Card at the time.

Registering your SIM Card and Mobile Phone

The same is true if you visit the Dealer Store for either Digicel or LIME.

The Digicel or LIME Customer Care Agents, (Face-to-Face Customer Care is their internal nickname!) only want GOJ (Government of Jamaica) ID, not the SIM Card letter, as they need no verification to verify that it’s your SIM Card, just merely that you register it using a valid GOJ ID.

To register your SIM Card you’ll need:

1.      First and Last Name
2.      Birth Certificate (if you can’t remember your date of Birth)
3.      GOJ Identification i.e. TRN (Tax Registration Number), Driver’s License, Passport, Voter’s ID
4.      Physical Address
5.      Email Address
6.      Alternative Phone Number
7.      Pen and Paper to record all this information

Then you call Digicel or LIME Customer Care at 100 on your Mobile Phone. Whichever Network you call, Customer Care Agent will then assist you by accessing the Prepaid Registration GUI and updating your registration information for your SIM Card using the above information you’ll supply to them over the Phone. Make sure to keep a written copy of the information that you used to register your Digicel Prepaid Account.

Then from that point on you’re registered. You can then use this registration information to call back Digicel Customer Care at 100 to access:

1.      Details of your Account
2.      Make queries about which numbers you had called, albeit Customer Care cannot tell you Phone numbers
3.      Have Voicemail service fixed if any problems arise
4.      Have your Plans checked in case of problems e.g. Blackberry Plans, International Calling Plans VIP Talk and VIP Text Plans, etc.
5.      Request your PUK1
6.      Bar the Mobile Phone

Thank you for making it Digicel Customer Care and LIME Customer Care.

Do have a pleasant day!
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