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Old 22-10-2018, 15:23   #1
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Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

We found out on the weekend that one of the layers in our risk mitigation strategy - the sim card for our handheld satphone - had been disable months ago and we had not been notified by our airtime provider. If you have, or think you have, a Iridium Emergency Annual Plan we recommend you check with your airtime provider. Iridium changed the plan and rather than the common-sense solution of waiting until annual contracts had expired and then simply charging the new higher price, they simply cancelled the cards with minimal notice (or in our case, no notice).


Note this is not the regular plan with a considerable number of minutes but rather a lower cost per year but expensive per minute plan we use for our ditch bag satphone.


https://sv-fluenta.blogspot.com/2018...ency-plan.html
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Old 22-10-2018, 15:52   #2
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

Isn't this what happened to rebel heart as well
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Old 22-10-2018, 16:10   #3
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

Generalized lesson.

Regularly fire-drill all safety systems, never assume will be good to go for any length of time untested or at least inspected.

From my ICT days.

You don't have good backups / offsite systems unless you actually run realistic restore scenarios.
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Old 22-10-2018, 18:14   #4
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
Isn't this what happened to rebel heart as well

Yes. As we were with Rebel Heart in Mexico and left to cross to French Polynesia a few week after them so this was close to home. That same year we know two boats that had the same thing happen to them.
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Old 22-10-2018, 18:17   #5
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Generalized lesson.

Regularly fire-drill all safety systems, never assume will be good to go for any length of time untested or at least inspected.

From my ICT days.

You don't have good backups / offsite systems unless you actually run realistic restore scenarios.

Coming from an aviation background I totally agree. We tested the system ironically a few weeks before it was shut off and then four months later.
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Old 22-10-2018, 20:58   #6
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

So did they really not contact you or was the information you gave them out of date? It's just hard to believe that these providers don't send out some type of notification.
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Old 22-10-2018, 21:21   #7
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

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So did they really not contact you or was the information you gave them out of date? It's just hard to believe that these providers don't send out some type of notification.

They say they sent out emails in March. As I mentioned in the blog we have two emails on our account with them. One is an internet based email and the other is sailmail. Neither account received the email they said they sent out nor did they send an old fashioned letter to our billing address as a back up. Possible that the spam filter may have eaten the gmail email but the sailmail one should not have.


We also have a Iridium Go account with them and they successfully send our monthly bill to both email accounts without fail. Also, when I tested the Iridium Handheld before departure in June, at $US7.00 a minute, they had no problem sending me emails for those bills too.
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Old 23-10-2018, 15:00   #8
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

Is the OP saying Iridium canceled the plan? Or the reseller? And gave no credit for the remaining time, or simply stopped ongoing bills?

IIRC the Rebel Heart problem was with a provider, and anyone can pretty much hang up a shingle, open a pretty web site, and claim to be a solid business. Sadly, even the solid ones seem unable to use telephones or email correctly. (For instance, just how damn hard is it to set "Delivery receipt? Read receipt?" so you get confirmation when and if your email has or hasn't actually REACHED anyone? And then there's text messaging. Even the best carriers often have 8 hour delays in delivering messages, sometimes weeks more than that. Folks how know how to make a phone call, or set up a tickler file, KNOW that just dropping something in the mail is what process servers call "sewer service". You might as well drop it in the sewer if you don't get an acknowledgement of what you tried to do.
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Old 23-10-2018, 16:31   #9
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

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Is the OP saying Iridium canceled the plan? Or the reseller? And gave no credit for the remaining time, or simply stopped ongoing bills?

IIRC the Rebel Heart problem was with a provider, and anyone can pretty much hang up a shingle, open a pretty web site, and claim to be a solid business. Sadly, even the solid ones seem unable to use telephones or email correctly. (For instance, just how damn hard is it to set "Delivery receipt? Read receipt?" so you get confirmation when and if your email has or hasn't actually REACHED anyone? And then there's text messaging. Even the best carriers often have 8 hour delays in delivering messages, sometimes weeks more than that. Folks how know how to make a phone call, or set up a tickler file, KNOW that just dropping something in the mail is what process servers call "sewer service". You might as well drop it in the sewer if you don't get an acknowledgement of what you tried to do.

I tried to explain in more detail in the blog but to clarify:


- Our airtime provider stated that Iridium cancelled the plan we were on eff June.

- The airtime provider says they emailed us back in March but we did not get the email on either our internet based email or our at-sea Sailmail address. They manage to send our billing statements to both accounts quite successfully every month.

- No letter was sent to the billing address on file. This would have provided a backup to emails
- The airtime provider was very organised with a webpage to migrate users from the old plan with various options. We just did not know about it.
- By finding out this late only though the check of our safety equipment it makes it hard to get the SIM card out to us in Fiji before we need to migrate north to avoid cyclone season. The trip north to the Marshall Is is almost 2000nm so nice to have all the layers of our emergency comms plan in place. If we had known months earlier this would be just another logistics hassle but manageable.

- I have a SIM card being shipped out so we will see if it arrives in time.
- I have been told the billing department is determining what credit I will receive. It was a prepay for the calendar year and post pay for minutes. We never use that phone other than to test it. We did get our bill in early June when we tested the phone before departing NZ. Apparently they will give us some credit but curious to see how generous they are.


Hope that clarifies.
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Old 23-10-2018, 22:36   #10
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

No problem, ask the NSA for a copy of the mail server logs to prove whether an email actually was or wasn't sent to you.(G)

It would be interesting to hear directly from iridium as to whether they actually did cancel an existing plan, and if so, whether the provider actually had any right to sell annual service on a plan that was not actually guaranteed to be available for a year.

I've seen really great companies drop the ball. Sometimes they really step up afterwards, sometimes....In any case, have a safe passage.
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Old 24-10-2018, 15:29   #11
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Re: Cautionary-tale-iridium-emergency-plan

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No problem, ask the NSA for a copy of the mail server logs to prove whether an email actually was or wasn't sent to you.(G)

It would be interesting to hear directly from iridium as to whether they actually did cancel an existing plan, and if so, whether the provider actually had any right to sell annual service on a plan that was not actually guaranteed to be available for a year.

I've seen really great companies drop the ball. Sometimes they really step up afterwards, sometimes....In any case, have a safe passage.

Now that the US Government considers a Canada a security threat I will not even mention the NSA on-line. Oops. (https://thehill.com/opinion/national...-united-states)



Yes, anyone and any company can drop the ball - I have certainly made enough mistakes over the years - but it will be interesting to see how they step up. Not a great start so far as I found out they sent the new sim card USPS vice by courier to us in Fiji.
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