Rogers to implement IMEI blocking

According to Rogers, there have been a lot of recent thefts from their corporate stores, 3rd party stores as well as various shipping and logistics points. To prevent future thefts, Rogers is implementing an international equipment registry to block the usage of stolen handset inventory. The system uses your device’s unique IMEI to block the phone and disable it over 40 GSM networks worldwide. This system will probably prevent many device thefts in the long term, but I doubt anyone stealing a BlackBerry knows about IMEI or the new blocking system. It will for sure take the thieves time to figure it out.

What is the EIR?
o 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?
o 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?
o 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?
o 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?
o 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?
o 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?
o 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?
o 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: 866-349-0145, Fido : 866-349-2706 FAX 416-935-5978
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?
o 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?
o 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?
o 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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