piCOS Help Center

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

On this page you will find the most frequently asked questions about mobile tracking. The Help Center offers you the opportunity to get the most rapid and expert assistance in the clarification of issues surrounding the access and the implementation of mobile tracking.

Registration and additional information

Which mobile service providers are supported?

The following service provider networks are supported: Vodafone, E-Plus, T-Mobile und O2. This includes the following service providing firms:

1&1, AOL, Arcor, Ay Yıldız, BASE, BILDmobil, BITel, Blau, callMobile, Cellway, Congstar, Conrad, debitel, debitel-light, CHE Mobil AG, debitel-light, Deutsche Elbkom, Drillisch Alphatel, eBay, EDEKA Mobil, Ensercom, EWE TEL, fioon, First Mobile, Fonic (LIDL), freenetMobile, Gelsen-Net, Gruner + Jahr, HanseNet, HFO Telecom, Hit Mobile, htp, Jamba!, ja!mobil, Kandy Mobile AG, klarmobil, Kulturkirche mobil, Lekkerland, maXXim, McSIM, MEDION, Milleni.com, M-net, mobilcom, Mox Telecom, mp3mobile Net Cologne, nordCom, Ortel Mobile, osnatel, outmobile, PPAYBACK, Penny mobile, Phone House, PLUSKOM, primacall, ProNet, PAM mobile (emals PTT mobile), qiwani mobil, Quelle, REWE, RTLmobil, Schlecker, schwarzfunk, Simply, simyo, smobil, solomo GmbH, Spreefone, StarMoney,Südkurier, sunsim, Sven, T-Mobile, Talk Greener GmbH, Talkline, Tangens, Tchibo, Telco, TelDaFax, telebinder, Teleos, telesim, TeleSon, Televersa, TOGGO mobile, TouristMobile, uboot, Versatel, Victorvox, VIVA, Volkswagen TeleCom, vybemobile, Weltbild

Service providers using Vistream (in the E-Plus network) do not support the secured unlocking SMS.

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How do I activate my account and unlock my mobile phone for tracking?

With the successful registration for the tracking service you are send an welcome e-mail. Click the link contained in the e-mail or copy and past it into your internet browser to confirm your registration. With that link an Internet page will open containing further information how to unlock your mobile phone for the tracking service. Before your first time login to the tracking service your mobile phone must be unlocked:

Independent of the used networks you need to send the SMS text:

LBS ICOS ON to the short dialing number 72927!

The text send is not case-sensitive. You may also send lbs icos on.

Attention: If your mobile phone is in the Vodafone network you must send an additional text:
EIN LBS2WEB to the short dialing number 22600!

Attention: If your mobile phone is in the D1/T-Mobile network you must send an additional text:
+LBS2WEB to the short dialing number 27637

The costs for sending the texts depend on your contract with the service provider. You are sending a standard text — this is not premium text. There will be a success text in return for each text you send.

Now you may login to the tracking service using your chosen username and password.

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I may not login (Problems with unlocking the phone via SMS)

If there is a problem sending the unlock SMS text most often the number of the abbreviated number service provider is not correctly set in your mobile phone. It is possible, too, that you are having a contract with a third party service provider for T-Mobile (D1), Vodafone (D2), O2 oder E-Plus that does not correctly support abbreviated number services. In the latter case note down the set number of the abbreviated number service before going on with the next step – so you may reset the number after unlocking your mobile phone.

Please consult your mobile phone’s user manuel and look up how to change the abbreviated number service. Make shure you have a backup of or noted down the current service number – you will need to restore that number after unlocking the mobile phone.

The current numbers of abbreviated number services are listed on this website : http://www.telespiegel.de/html/sms-kurzmitteilungszentralen.html The abbreviated number services numbers for the main service providers are as follows:

  • T-Mobile (D1): +491710760000
  • Vodafone (D2): +491722270000
  • E-Plus: +491770610000
  • O2: +491760000443

Attention
Please be cautios when sending the text „LBS ICOS ON“ that your mobile phone’s T9 word-completion does not mess up the text. The capital letter „i“ in „ICOS“ must not be the letter „L“.

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Positive unlocking SMS, but still locked out (Vodafone)

In this case mostly in the contract you signed with your service provider the the consent for using location based services was not given. Normally that consent is a default with new contracts, except there is an explicit denial from the contractor. If this consent is e.g. missing with Vodafone even a successful unlocking does not really allow a location based service to do the tracking.

If you are having an online account e.g. with Vodafone you may login on the Vodafone website and find this detail in your personal section in the contract details. For Vodafone it is known that you may change your consent for location based services. To do so go to www.vodafone.de → private → MyVodafone-Login → Manage Services → Location. Check the box with your consent and save the settings.

Attention

If there is no online service available with your service provider you can change your settings using the hotline-service.

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Usage instructions

How do I recharge credits?

Online-Vendors

You may buy vouchers with a value of 5, 10, 25 and 50€. Please login to the tracking service and click the button [Buy Voucher] to see a list of accredited vendors.

Public vending machines at railroad stations and at shopping centres

The e-loading stations are open for business 24h a day. To find the nearest vending machine visit amppay.de.

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How do I find a stolen phone?

We may only help you if you registered and unlocked your mobile phone for the tracking service prior it was stolen or lost. It is not possible to track a mobile phone’s location if it was not registered and unlocked for tracking with our service.

The BUND DEUTSCHER KRIMINALBEAMTER (BDK) advises:

Register any of your mobile phones! As the tracking service has no contract obligations and no monthly costs there is only the costs for the unlocking texts to be send and in the emergency case you will be abled to track the device. This is risk prevention at almost no cost. It enables you to give detailed information to your local police station about the last known location of your mobile phone to have a higher chance catching the thief(s) within little time. Using this method multiple successfull thief-hunts are reported, already.

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Does the tracking work outside Germany?

Due to technical reasons our tracking service is restricted to the area of Germany — as there is no roaming for mobile phone tracking. Though lately the bigger carriers start expanding their network’s capabilities in the other countries, too. So it may happen that Vodafone or T-Mobile will deliver valid results within some countries of the EU – but without any level of guarantee.

The other way around: You may track your mobile phone from any point on the globe. It only needs to be within Germany, switched on, registered with the service and unlocked for it.

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Is it possible to track an offline phone?

A mobile phone can only be tracked if it is switched on and connected to the cellphone network.

Attention
Some network providers such as Vodafone will deliver the last known location of your mobile phone in case it is switched off or not connected to the network.

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How do I change my password?

To change your password click on the link „My Settings“. Here you will find the option to change your password. Clicking „Change“ will open up a possibility to enter a new password.

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How do I change my registered phone number?

As each account may only be assigned with a single mobile phone you will have to register your new mobile phone with a new account. It is valid to re-use the allready used e-mail-address for registering the new mobile phone, but you will have to assign a different login name for the new account.

If you are unregistering your old account be aware that any credits active for the account will be lost.

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How do I register additional phones for my account?

As there is the limit of a single mobile phone for an account you will need to register an account for each mobile phone. In this process you may use the same e-mail for each of your phones, but you will have to choose a unique account name for each phone.

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How do I change my registered e-mail-address?

If your e-mail-adress has changed you will need to re-register your mobile phone with the new address. The process is the same as registering a new phone. As the phone was allready registered before you will have to unregister your existing account. Please keep in mind, that any existing credits will be lost if you unregister your old account.

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How do I change the map?

You have the choice between to different maps:

  • Interactive Map — the interactive map is working with Web 2.0 technologies and offers enhanced comfort functions. The downside is: This does not work with all current (mobile) internet browsers.
  • Classic Map — the classic map is based on time-tested server technologies offering I broader support for all current (mobile) internet browsers.

You may select the map of your choice through your user settings:

  1. Click the link „Meine Daten“
  2. Select the map of your liking
  3. Submit your changes

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How do I sign out?

You may unregister your account at any time you like to.

To unregister your account please login to the tracking service and click the link „Meine Daten“ to open the settings page and click on the link „Registrierung Löschen“. Your account will be unregistered emediately. Please be aware that any open credits on the account will be lost when unregistering the account and can not be regained.

The following steps are necessary to recall the unlock for our location based service. To do that send a text (SMS) to 72927 containing „LBS ICOS OFF„. You will receive a confirmation text (SMS).

For Vodafone customer there might be a problem regarding the abbreviated number service. In that case there will be no confirmation text received. In this particular case consult your mobile phone’s user manual and find out on how to change the service number, note down the current number and then change it to +491722270333 — now send the text quoted above. After receiving the confirmation text undo the change of the servicce number – this is important.

If you are not abled to unregister your account we may do that for you in a manual process. Thatfor we will need a copy of your mobile phone contract or a telephone bill with your name and e-mail on it to identify you as the legit owner of the mobile phone. Send the documents to using a fax-machine or postal services:

Address:

Intervista AG
– Support Handy-Ortung –
Berliner Straße 111

D-14467 Potsdam

Fax:
+49-(0)331-8170698

E-Mail:

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Troubleshooting

I get an error message that cookies are not accepted

There seems to be a restriction within you Internet Browser. A potential source a the security setting at a too high level.

Microsoft Internet Explorer:
Go to „Extras“, „Internet Options“ and select the tab „Security“. Set the security level to medium.

Firefox:
Go to „Extras“, „Preferences“ and search for the privacy settings and allow cookies to be set.

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The Microsoft Internet Explorer does not show the map

If you login to the service and do not see a map while using IE7 assure that all security settings of the IE for all zones are set to the default level. To do so click Extras → Internet Options → Security → Reset all Zones to Default.
To assure that mixed zone content — this is legit for the map — is displayed properly open the security settings (as descriped above), select the Internet Zone, click on the button to adjust settings and select „Allow mixed contents“ in the opened dialog. Confirm the changes. After applying the changes you will be asked if you wish to allow mixed content on the page after reloading it. Confirm this pressing the button YES to see the map.

Further information about changing security settings in Microsoft IE you may find at WinTotal (german).

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The Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 does not show the map

If you login to the service and do not see a map while using IE8 assure that all security settings of the IE for all zones are set to the default level. To do so click Extras → Internet Options → Security → Reset all Zones to Default.

To assure that mixed zone content — this is legit for the map — is displayed properly open the security settings (as descriped above), select the Internet Zone, click on the button to adjust settings and select „Allow mixed contents“ in the opened dialog. Confirm the changes. After applying the changes you will be asked if you wish to allow mixed content on the page after reloading it. Confirm this pressing the button YES to see the map.

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T-Mobile: No tracking possible, although the phone is unlocked

T-Mobile lately changed the way its tracking system works. Alongside existing unlocks for location based services where deleted. If you are recognising problems with the tracking service we recommend you to resend the unlocking text (SMS) „+LBS2WEB“ using the abbriviated dialing service number 27637.

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Technical Background

Tracking precision

The tracking service is getting the mobile phone’s position from the network service operators and does a visualisation of the geo-coordinates.
This means that the data is coming directly from your network provider and is as precise as it can be, but limited to the quality of the operator’s network. The tracking precision is influenced through many different environmental and physical factors, such as the size of the network’s cells, shadowing effects, distance times, absorbation, reflections, echoes etc.

If for example your mobile phone is directly in an area of mobile phone cell’s intersections, depending on reflections of movable object within this area too, the phone may jump between the cells and register randomly to one and another cell.

In general the tracking precision is better in urban centres where there is a higher density of cellular antennas, whereas in rural areas the tracking precission will decline down to rough directoral estimations where there are no overlapping radio cells.

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Tracking reports on the mobile phone

If there are any tracking results send to your mobile phone depends on the settings choosen, the contract with the network provider and the capability of the provider itself. In addition tracking texts may be send to your mobile phone.

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Why do I get texts after tracking attempts?

This event is a matter of preparations from the service providers to act upon coming (now valid) changes of the telecommunication law.
The service providers are required by law to inform the owner of the mobile device whenever a tracking event happened. That is done through senden a text containing the information that the device was tracked and which service was used to do so.

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Manual clearing for tracking T-Mobile phones

Why is there no SMS clearing?

From now on there is only a manual clearing process for T-Mobile. We are deeply sorry, but T-Mobile (Germany) has decided to do so and switch of SMS clearing over night.

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How does the manual clearing work?

After your successful registration on the website you will receive an email with the affirmation link. Clicking the link will authenticate the email-address as belonging to you.

Attached to the email you will find a PDF document. Please fill all fields on all three pages in clear, readable letters and sign each form. It is important that you provide a proper, unused AMPpay pin code. Information on buying an AMPpay voucher pin you will find within the email and on the registration page.

When done send the form back to us using fax, email or mail. We will send you a confirmation email when the clearance is done.

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How long will the clearing process take?

In most cases the clearance will be done within 2 to 3 working days (Mo-Fr). Under some special situations it may take longer.

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Does it have extra costs?

The manual clearance process has additional costs of 5EUR.

This may be payed using an AMPpay voucher pin entered in the form. Information on availability can be found on the registration page and within the email.

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