Rogers to implement EIR theft deterrent system beginning today

As sad as it is, it should be no surprise to anyone that theft is a pretty regular occurrence in the electronics industry. Though most mobile retailers take plenty of measures to prevent losses, it’s not possible to keep it from happening 100% of the time. When you’re dealing with third-party retailers and authorized dealers it really becomes difficult to keep all inventory safe as the carrier. So, Rogers is allegedly going to begin taking advantage of an EIR, or Equipment Identity Register, which logs reports of stolen mobile devices and keeps them from being used. According to an internal Rogers document courtesy of one of our ninjas, if a phone is stolen and the IMEI is identified, Rogers will input it into the international registry which prevents it from being used on over 40 GSM networks worldwide. Unless you’re in some obscure country that uses a tiny GSM network, consider yourself out of luck if you have a stolen Rogers device in your hands. For Rogers, the days of the five-finger-discount are over. Hit the link for a copy of the internal document detailing the deterrence plan.

EQUIPMENT IDENTITY REGISTER (EIR )PROGRAM

Over the last several months, there have been thefts at Rogers and Fido stores across the country. These incidents have taken place at our corporate stores, our Dealer stores/ 3rd party stores as well as at various shipping and logistics points.

As part of our ongoing loss prevention program, Rogers Wireless and Fido have joined an international equipment registry to block the usage of stolen handset inventory.

On March 6th, 2009, Rogers Communications Inc will introduce the Equipment Identity Register (EIR) as a continuation of our commitment to safety in the workplace and loss prevention.

When a device is stolen from an authorized retailer, its unique non-transferable IMEI will be blocked in the new Rogers database and inputted into the international registry, effectively preventing the usage of the handset on nearly 40 GSM networks worldwide. This will help deter theft and fraud of Rogers/Fido devices from authorized retailers and support our continued efforts to ensure working environments are safe for employees.

A new step in the “Incident Report” process will allow stores and shipping companies to report stolen inventory along with their police reports to the EIR team as part of standard procedure.

As many of these stolen handsets do end up in the hands of unsuspecting customers who may have purchased them from unauthorized venues such as eBay, Craigslist, HowardForums, etc. it is especially important that you become familiar with the processes, positioning, and FAQ’s related to the EIR project. For your convenience, FAQ’s have been included in this communication.

EIR FAQ’s

What is the EIR?
The EIR (Equipment Identity Register) is a network-level response to store, logistic, and 3rd Party handset theft. The EIR is operated by a dedicated team within Rogers Communications in Toronto.

How is the customer impacted by the EIR?
If a customer is in possession of a handset that was reported stolen, regardless of whether or not they are aware, that handset will not work on the Rogers or Fido network, or on the network of over 40 participating carriers world-wide. It is virtually impossible for the EIR to be circumvented.

How does the customer know their handset has been blocked by the EIR?
The customer’s handset will be unable to connect to the network. Depending on the type of handset, it may display “SOS” or “Emergency Calls Only” onscreen.

How does an in-store representative know that a customer’s handset has been blocked by the EIR?
If a customer enters the store with their own hardware and wishes to activate a line, the representative must use a demo SIM in the customer’s hardware prior to starting the activation process. If the handset is unable to connect to the network or displays an “SOS” or “Emergency Calls Only” error message, the handset may have been placed on the EIR.

What happens if a handset fails this test, and is suspected of having been placed on the EIR?
Diplomatic efforts should be made to inquire where the customer purchased their handset, especially if the device appears brand new. Regardless of whether or not the customer is aware, if they purchased it from an unauthorized source such as eBay, Craigslist, HowardForums, etc. and it fails the above test, the device has most likely been reported stolen.

Is there a way to remove a handset from the EIR?
The only circumstance in which a handset’s IMEI would be removed from the EIR is if the customer has legitimate proof of purchase from an authorized seller of Rogers/Fido products listing the handset’s IMEI and date of purchase.

How would the handset be removed from the EIR?
Please refer to the Library, Retail Web, or Sales Central for detailed instruction on removal procedures during business hours by the EIR team.
How does a store handle EIR-related escalations?
EIR related escalations can be fielded by the EIR team between the hours of operation: Monday – Friday 9am – 10pm EST, Weekend and Holidays 10am – 8pm EST
at Rogers: [redacted], Fido : [redacted] FAX: [redacted]
Email: [redacted]
Escalations should only be initiated if the customer has a valid proof of purchase and all processes have been followed.

What does the customer do now that they have an inoperable handset?
All efforts should be made to reduce the impact on unsuspecting customers. Customers are free to keep the handset, though it would be inoperable in Canada. They can donate their handsets to Phones for Food, or recycle them. Existing customers should be directed to the Hardware Upgrade Process. Customers who have entered the store to activate their own hardware, but do not have a wireless account with Rogers or Fido, should be treated as new customers and offered applicable in-market promotions.

What happens if I do not have a demo SIM / I have already activated the customer’s account and find out the handset is inoperable?
Customers who have not left the store and no longer wish to remain customers when informed of the EIR can have their accounts cancelled through DIG as “Activation in Error”. If a customer still wishes to pursue activation, a second line on the BAN should be created, and the customer should purchase new hardware. The rep may then call into ACC/DIG and perform a “Buyer’s Remorse – EIR” cancellation on the original activation, leaving only the new CTN and new hardware active.

What do I tell a customer if their handset was stolen, and they want it on the EIR list?

Customers who have their phones stolen should contact Rogers to have their SIM card blocked immediately. At this point, the EIR is not able to track and block the IMEI of customers’ handsets but it is an important first step in solving the many issues of theft. Customer inclusion is something we are looking at for a phase two development. We have no further details to announce at this time.

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