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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Sep 3, 2017, 6:37 am
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Last edit by: Zorak
Which countries are supported?

https://support.google.com/fi/answer...intl_countries

Note that in some locations Hangouts (and Gmail) are not available (e.g., China, Russia, Thailand, South Korea, Mexico, Argentina, and more: see link below for full list of excluded countries), so you will need a VPN to access them (or to make VOIP calls via Hangouts Dialer)

https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3205646

Exceptions:

Listed, but no/spotty service:
  • Ukraine (Aug 2018) - no service, all providers listed as "forbidden". Post #660
  • Alaska (Jul 2018) -- had voice service, but inconsistent/spotty data (try forcing Sprint)
  • Peru (Sep 2016) post 341, 360
  • Grand Cayman Island (Jan 2018) post 547

Not listed, *did* have service
  • Belize (Jan 2018) post 547 Belize now appears on the "supported" international list
If you are having trouble connecting, level 1 Fi reps recommend you try the following steps before they will escalate. Try each step in the order listed below to see if it fixes your issue - if not, move on to next step.

1- Reboot phone
2- Toggle "airplane mode" on/off. Wait five seconds after toggling off (it resets phone modem).
3- Try manually connecting to each available network (rather than using the auto select feature).
4- Toggle down from 4g to 3g (removing the recommended 4g option) and then try manually connecting to each available network.
5- Toggle down from 3g to 2g and then try manually connecting to each available network.
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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Dec 19, 2018, 4:06 pm
  #766  
 
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urgent help for Thailand

I was told I couldn't use wifi calling but NOT that hangouts wouldn't work in Thailand.
I learned I could change my outgoing message in the Fi app - but do I call my own number to retrieve messages? and is there any way to see recent calls? Fi is telling me to use their phone app but I can't b/c I have a "compatible" phone which the rep seems to not understand!
So far I have discovered that
1 I need to turn on cellular to see vm
2 vm message (no transcription) says to call a 650 number to retrieve vm
3 when i try calling my number from skype the fi directions say to press* during my vm then pin to access my vm, but this doesn't work
Help -
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Old Dec 19, 2018, 7:32 pm
  #767  
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I’ll have a pixel with me in BKK this weekend if that can help.
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Old Dec 19, 2018, 9:40 pm
  #768  
 
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Maybe you can't get transcribed VM in the phone app, but if you turn on Voicemail Transcripts under your Fi's Voicemail settings, I think you will get a copy of it in your SMS app. I had it on when I first got my phone, I was getting 2 notifications every time I got a voicemail... one from Phone VM app, another from Hangout SMS.
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Old Dec 20, 2018, 8:28 am
  #769  
 
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Originally Posted by Need
Maybe you can't get transcribed VM in the phone app, but if you turn on Voicemail Transcripts under your Fi's Voicemail settings, I think you will get a copy of it in your SMS app. I had it on when I first got my phone, I was getting 2 notifications every time I got a voicemail... one from Phone VM app, another from Hangout SMS.
I may be getting transcribed vm (not sure b/c the only ones I can see are calls i made w/o any message) but I can't listen to vm and the transcription is often inaccurate.
At this point I have to say that support for "compatible" phones is nonexistent and they should be ashamed to be selling a product that simply doesn't work!

Known factors, announced before purchase: non fi phone doesn't automatically switch to best connection, no vpn

What I didn't know - sms didn't work with attached photo (3 phone calls and about 6 hours sort of solved the problem - BUT the real fix was to download a different message app -support didn't know this AND it looks just like my built in one is just a different color but it does work differently)
Absolutely zero knowledge of why their partner carrier is blocking calls from my phone to the US (even tho I got a welcome message saying I can call), rep spent 3 hours asking me the same questions repeatedly (on chat) and made silly suggestions over and over. No ability to talk to anyone else and I can't call support b/c the phone won't let me call the US - not sure if they cal call me (I may try this later)
Escalation is supposed to get back to me - but hasn't so at the moment I'm paying for a service I can't use (except for data which is charged separately).

All in all I'm stuck for a month b/c if I take the sim out I may not be able to use it again (even in the same phone) b/c I've been told it can only be activated in the US and every time the sim is removed (eg to change sd card) it has to be reactivated.
So my conclusion is that fi should NOT have offered the service on "compatible" phones when they were not prepared to do any support and won't/can't fix major issues like I CAN'T USE THE PHONE AS A PHONE - I should have known better than to live on the bleeding edge
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Old Dec 20, 2018, 8:33 am
  #770  
 
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Originally Posted by estnet
I may be getting transcribed vm (not sure b/c the only ones I can see are calls i made w/o any message) but I can't listen to vm and the transcription is often inaccurate.
At this point I have to say that support for "compatible" phones is nonexistent and they should be ashamed to be selling a product that simply doesn't work!

Known factors, announced before purchase: non fi phone doesn't automatically switch to best connection, no vpn

What I didn't know - sms didn't work with attached photo (3 phone calls and about 6 hours sort of solved the problem - BUT the real fix was to download a different message app -support didn't know this AND it looks just like my built in one is just a different color but it does work differently)
Absolutely zero knowledge of why their partner carrier is blocking calls from my phone to the US (even tho I got a welcome message saying I can call), rep spent 3 hours asking me the same questions repeatedly (on chat) and made silly suggestions over and over. No ability to talk to anyone else and I can't call support b/c the phone won't let me call the US - not sure if they cal call me (I may try this later)
Escalation is supposed to get back to me - but hasn't so at the moment I'm paying for a service I can't use (except for data which is charged separately).

All in all I'm stuck for a month b/c if I take the sim out I may not be able to use it again (even in the same phone) b/c I've been told it can only be activated in the US and every time the sim is removed (eg to change sd card) it has to be reactivated.
So my conclusion is that fi should NOT have offered the service on "compatible" phones when they were not prepared to do any support and won't/can't fix major issues like I CAN'T USE THE PHONE AS A PHONE - I should have known better than to live on the bleeding edge

You can absolutely take the sim out without having to re-acitvate. In fact, before they supported iPhone, this is EXACTLY how I got my iPhone to work. I activated on a cheapie moto x4... then moved the sim to my iPhone. For better support, I'd suggest reaching out to DMZiggy over on Reddit's Project FI group. Post this over there and you may get a solution.
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Old Dec 20, 2018, 8:49 am
  #771  
 
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Originally Posted by estnet
I may be getting transcribed vm (not sure b/c the only ones I can see are calls i made w/o any message) but I can't listen to vm and the transcription is often inaccurate.
At this point I have to say that support for "compatible" phones is nonexistent and they should be ashamed to be selling a product that simply doesn't work!

Known factors, announced before purchase: non fi phone doesn't automatically switch to best connection, no vpn

What I didn't know - sms didn't work with attached photo (3 phone calls and about 6 hours sort of solved the problem - BUT the real fix was to download a different message app -support didn't know this AND it looks just like my built in one is just a different color but it does work differently)
Absolutely zero knowledge of why their partner carrier is blocking calls from my phone to the US (even tho I got a welcome message saying I can call), rep spent 3 hours asking me the same questions repeatedly (on chat) and made silly suggestions over and over. No ability to talk to anyone else and I can't call support b/c the phone won't let me call the US - not sure if they cal call me (I may try this later)
Escalation is supposed to get back to me - but hasn't so at the moment I'm paying for a service I can't use (except for data which is charged separately).

All in all I'm stuck for a month b/c if I take the sim out I may not be able to use it again (even in the same phone) b/c I've been told it can only be activated in the US and every time the sim is removed (eg to change sd card) it has to be reactivated.
So my conclusion is that fi should NOT have offered the service on "compatible" phones when they were not prepared to do any support and won't/can't fix major issues like I CAN'T USE THE PHONE AS A PHONE - I should have known better than to live on the bleeding edge
If you just want to call the US, you could just install Hangout Dialer app in addition to your Hangout app. After that, you will have access to a dial pad on your normal Hangout app and you could call any number for US for free. It uses Data only not voice. So it is like WiFi calling if you are on WiFi. If you are on Mobile data, it will use up your Fi data, but cheaper than the 20 cents per min on voice. The only problem is that there is a very slight delay in the voice depending on your connection. Once you installed Hangout Dialer you could also receive phone calls on Hangout instead of your phone app like WiFi calling if you are connected to WiFi.

I have Hangout + Hangout Dialer on my 8" Tablet. It let me use it like a very giant smartphone. Yes it fits in my back jean pocket.

Last edited by Need; Dec 20, 2018 at 8:56 am
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Old Dec 20, 2018, 9:08 am
  #772  
 
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So I saw the reports that international tethering truly won't work on iPhones.

How about using the main voice SIM in an iPad? Any difference there? I'm assuming it's iOS that's the problem, but maybe it's the hardware?
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Old Dec 20, 2018, 5:31 pm
  #773  
 
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Originally Posted by Need
If you just want to call the US, you could just install Hangout Dialer app in addition to your Hangout app. After that, you will have access to a dial pad on your normal Hangout app and you could call any number for US for free. It uses Data only not voice. So it is like WiFi calling if you are on WiFi. If you are on Mobile data, it will use up your Fi data, but cheaper than the 20 cents per min on voice. The only problem is that there is a very slight delay in the voice depending on your connection. Once you installed Hangout Dialer you could also receive phone calls on Hangout instead of your phone app like WiFi calling if you are connected to WiFi.

I have Hangout + Hangout Dialer on my 8" Tablet. It let me use it like a very giant smartphone. Yes it fits in my back jean pocket.
Thanks BUT this is what I was told was the solution by Fi before I left the US HOWEVER they did NOT tell me that Hangouts dialing is DISABLED in Thailand :very mad:
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Old Dec 20, 2018, 6:49 pm
  #774  
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Originally Posted by estnet
Thanks BUT this is what I was told was the solution by Fi before I left the US HOWEVER they did NOT tell me that Hangouts dialing is DISABLED in Thailand :very mad:
This is where VPNs come in very handy. Voice calls are low bandwidth, so all you need is reasonable latency.
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Old Dec 21, 2018, 12:59 am
  #775  
 
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Originally Posted by Zorak
This is where VPNs come in very handy. Voice calls are low bandwidth, so all you need is reasonable latency.
Which would all be fine if I wasn't already paying for a service that I was told would work in multiple conversations with their reps where I emphasized that I spend a lot of time in Thailand!
I'm not sure if this is an android problem, just mine, or????? since Fi reps are clueless
Are there any reliable free or low cost vpn's that I can use without a contract?
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Old Dec 21, 2018, 2:31 am
  #776  
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Tried a few things while in the taxi in BKK today.

iPhone with local SIM:
1) hangouts logged into my google apps account shows voice call option and it works.
2) hangouts logged into the gmail associated with my Fi shows no voice call option.
3) nord vpn enabled, hangouts logged into the gmail associated with my Fi shows voice call option and it works.

Pixel 1 with Google Fi SIM

Hamgouts dialect worked in both cases with no VPN.
LordHamster and Yoshi212 like this.

Last edited by yosithezet; Dec 21, 2018 at 2:37 am
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Old Dec 21, 2018, 3:12 am
  #777  
 
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So if I understand correctly

Hangouts worked with a local sim. but did not work with the Fi sim (which sort of makes sense since Fi doesn't allow hangouts calls in thailand

https://support.google.com/hangouts/...-1545382943851

Also hangouts voice won't work on my computer (when I try to load contacts for voice it just circles forever) so maybe it only works using a local sim???
Next stop - try a VPN or hope Fi responds and throws whatever switch (or whatever they need to do) to activate my number with AIS
Has anyone with an android "compatible" phone eg samsung galaxy (8) been able to call the US from Thailand - since they just opened Fi to these phones a week or so ago maybe nobody else got a sim, activated it, and left for Thailand a few days later (well and expected the service to work as advertised)
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Old Dec 21, 2018, 2:25 pm
  #778  
 
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Originally Posted by estnet
Thanks BUT this is what I was told was the solution by Fi before I left the US HOWEVER they did NOT tell me that Hangouts dialing is DISABLED in Thailand :very mad:
Really?? Wow. Sorry that sucks.
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Old Dec 22, 2018, 11:39 am
  #779  
 
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I have an iPhone XS and having been using Fi in slot A and an ATT eSIM in slot 2. The ability to make foreign calls (even Canada) seems to switch itself off. Once I put the SIM back in my Pixel it works.
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Old Dec 22, 2018, 11:48 am
  #780  
 
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu
I have an iPhone XS and having been using Fi in slot A and an ATT eSIM in slot 2. The ability to make foreign calls (even Canada) seems to switch itself off. Once I put the SIM back in my Pixel it works.
Ah so I have to have another phone to get my phone to work :so sad: but the kicker is the absolute inability of Fi to help or even respond (btw someone else told me something similar about putting his sim into a pixel and then back to get it to work in his iphone )
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