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Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

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Old Dec 25, 18, 8:33 am   -   Wikipost
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Last edit by: Zorak
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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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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:11 pm
  #856  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 370
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
And don't forget to send it to an address where a human will be there to sign for it.
Mine are always left w/o signature on my doorstep.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:11 pm
  #857  
 
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
It's the same rate. I think Zorak was trying to say that if you are outside of US, you should use Hangouts to call instead of your normal phone's dialer because using the phone dialer would be fixed rate of $0.20 per min while using the Hangouts app would be at those listed rate + your data usage (cheaper than $0.20 per min).
This. From the US, Fi users pay the same rate whether dialing direct or using Hangouts. Outside the US, you pay 20c/min to anywhere when dialing direct or the Hangouts rate when using the Hangouts dialer, so unless you're calling somewhere really remote it's not worth it to dial direct.

Also worth noting is that anyone with any carrier can pay the Hangouts rates by signing up for a free Google Voice account. When you're in the US, you can use the GV app to dial around (your phone automatically calls an American number which puts the call through to the overseas recipient) or use Hangouts over data, same price either way. For GV users abroad, it's Hangouts only.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 1:22 pm
  #858  
 
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer View Post
This. From the US, Fi users pay the same rate whether dialing direct or using Hangouts. Outside the US, you pay 20c/min to anywhere when dialing direct or the Hangouts rate when using the Hangouts dialer, so unless you're calling somewhere really remote it's not worth it to dial direct.

Also worth noting is that anyone with any carrier can pay the Hangouts rates by signing up for a free Google Voice account. When you're in the US, you can use the GV app to dial around (your phone automatically calls an American number which puts the call through to the overseas recipient) or use Hangouts over data, same price either way. For GV users abroad, it's Hangouts only.
But be aware that even tho google lists some countries as roaming partners there are other gotcha's for example Thailand is a roaming parnter
BUT THAILAND IS BLOCKED FOR HANGOUTS!!!!
This really got me when phone calling didn't work at all (I couldn't receive or make calls) and support didn't help- planned to use hangouts as a backup BUT when I tried it didn't work and then I found out that it was blocked
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Old Feb 5, 19, 2:15 pm
  #859  
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Originally Posted by Michael Ad View Post
Mine are always left w/o signature on my doorstep.
My Google Fi subscription not only required a signature, but they've set it up so you aren't (easily) allowed to redirect the shipment to a FedEx/Kinko's to sign for it there. I was literally about to abandon Google Fi. I'd ordered 3 Pixels and a SIM for an iPhone, but they made no indication that receiving the package was going to require a signature and that they'd block your ability to pick it up at FedEx. The Carol Stream location is an extremely unhelpful warehouse. (I talked to them.) Google itself is not accessible at all via any form. (Chat was broken and they do not return emails. Phone would have been an unacceptable hold - I'd just walk away from the service before accepting that.) Fedex was responsive but their phone agents said there was nothing they could do if the shipper blocked the option to redirect to a store.

Then someone here suggested I use Fedex's Twitter support. They were very helpful, redirected the shipment to a nearby Kinko's, and I got the phones that night. But even as I was picking them up, the people in the store were like "this is weird...I don't think we were supposed to do this." I'd shown ID and signed for the box at that point, so they were content to let me leave with it.

Now I'm just waiting on the Southwest gift cards. About halfway through my 120 days.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 3:57 am
  #860  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
But be aware that even tho google lists some countries as roaming partners there are other gotcha's for example Thailand is a roaming parnter
BUT THAILAND IS BLOCKED FOR HANGOUTS!!!!
This really got me when phone calling didn't work at all (I couldn't receive or make calls) and support didn't help- planned to use hangouts as a backup BUT when I tried it didn't work and then I found out that it was blocked
There are a couple dozen countries that actually block VoIP, in those cases if they don't block VPNs then you can VPN and then use Hangouts.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 7:22 am
  #861  
 
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Originally Posted by Sintaku View Post
There are a couple dozen countries that actually block VoIP, in those cases if they don't block VPNs then you can VPN and then use Hangouts.
Would that work if you just turn on Google Fi's own VPN in the Fi app? I wonder if Google Fi's VPN will let you use apps like Facebook in China?
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Old Feb 6, 19, 3:08 pm
  #862  
 
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Originally Posted by Sintaku View Post
There are a couple dozen countries that actually block VoIP, in those cases if they don't block VPNs then you can VPN and then use Hangouts.
Thailand does not block voip - skype works fine, and wifi calling on Sprint and Tmobile (even using the same Thai partner as Fi) also work - so in this case it has something to do with Fi. In Thailand using a vpn - not fi's (suggested by another FT) did allow me to use Hangouts albeit at additional cost.
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Old Feb 6, 19, 4:09 pm
  #863  
 
 
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
But be aware that even tho google lists some countries as roaming partners there are other gotcha's for example Thailand is a roaming parnter
BUT THAILAND IS BLOCKED FOR HANGOUTS!!!!
This really got me when phone calling didn't work at all (I couldn't receive or make calls) and support didn't help- planned to use hangouts as a backup BUT when I tried it didn't work and then I found out that it was blocked
I used it 3 weeks ago in Bangkok. It wasn't blocked for me. I was probably on wifi at the time and I don't use fi.

-David
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Old Feb 6, 19, 9:14 pm
  #864  
 
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
I used it 3 weeks ago in Bangkok. It wasn't blocked for me. I was probably on wifi at the time and I don't use fi.

-David
Yes, that's my point. VOIP is NOT blocked by the country but by hangouts (google) !!! I can use skype without problems but not hangouts (without a vpn)
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Old Feb 6, 19, 10:58 pm
  #865  
 
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
Yes, that's my point. VOIP is NOT blocked by the country but by hangouts (google) !!! I can use skype without problems but not hangouts (without a vpn)
yes, I used hangouts to make calls to the USA, but not with fi, and I was likely at the SGS on wifi. My SIM was either t-mobile or true-h.

I think the supposition is that it's somehow being blocked by fi, but that's just a guess. No idea why they would do that. I don't know what other people have experienced.

I can understand why carriers might try to block VOIP ports (they want the call revenue), but it's hard to understand why fi would do it. Maybe it's the carrier they use?

-David
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Old Feb 6, 19, 11:13 pm
  #866  
 
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Originally Posted by LIH Prem View Post
yes, I used hangouts to make calls to the USA, but not with fi, and I was likely at the SGS on wifi. My SIM was either t-mobile or true-h.

I think the supposition is that it's somehow being blocked by fi, but that's just a guess. No idea why they would do that. I don't know what other people have experienced.

I can understand why carriers might try to block VOIP ports (they want the call revenue), but it's hard to understand why fi would do it. Maybe it's the carrier they use?

-David
It actually is buried somewhere on the website with an asterisk saying hangouts is blocked in Thailand - their support blames it on the country but this clearly NOT the case!
Exactly - hangouts with a fi sim was blocked on my phone - but strangely it was ALSO blocked on my computer using condo wifi (maybe b/c I was using chrome and therefor was signed into my google account which knows I have fi?)???? Not sure how google blocked it on my computer - but it did - no problem with skype thankfully (altho one can't call AA on skype - but luckily I didn't need to call them this time)

Last edited by estnet; Feb 6, 19 at 11:23 pm
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Old Feb 7, 19, 3:31 am
  #867  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: USA
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Originally Posted by Need View Post
Would that work if you just turn on Google Fi's own VPN in the Fi app? I wonder if Google Fi's VPN will let you use apps like Facebook in China?
If I remember correctly, when I was in China I had Tmobile and all data gets routed back to the USA. Without a VPN I was able to access websites such as Google when on cellular but not on WiFi.
Need likes this.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 6:25 am
  #868  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Originally Posted by estnet View Post
It actually is buried somewhere on the website with an asterisk saying hangouts is blocked in Thailand - their support blames it on the country but this clearly NOT the case!
Exactly - hangouts with a fi sim was blocked on my phone - but strangely it was ALSO blocked on my computer using condo wifi (maybe b/c I was using chrome and therefor was signed into my google account which knows I have fi?)???? Not sure how google blocked it on my computer - but it did - no problem with skype thankfully (altho one can't call AA on skype - but luckily I didn't need to call them this time)
Probably a Google ban in Thailand since Google owns Hangouts. I read that Thailand had banned Youtube before... maybe even now.. not sure how old the news was from.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:08 am
  #869  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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My $200 service credit just showed up on this month's billing (my 3rd bill from Google Fi). I signed up on 11/27 last year. Now I am just waiting for their BF Price Protection. Instead of Travel Card, I am supposed to get them in service credit.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 11:24 am
  #870  
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I'm one who got the $90 credit.

Since Chat is actually working now (yay!), I chatted with an agent who said I'd get a $200 credit on my 60th day of service for my 1 BYOD line. (I'm on Day 53.) Same agent said I'd also get the information about next steps to process my three Travel Cards for my Pixels on Day 60, even though those three lines have to stay active for 120 days.
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