Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Travel&Dining > Travel Technology
Reload this Page >

Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Sep 3, 2017, 6:37 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
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.
Print Wikipost

Google Fi: Anyone care to post their experience?

Old Feb 28, 2023, 8:39 pm
  #1411  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Programs: UA 1MM, AA Plat Pro, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Glob, IHG ♢ Amb, Hilton ♢, Hertz Pres
Posts: 6,003
Originally Posted by lsquare
Does anyone here know?

Are there any documented instances where I spend most of my data usage, but few phone calls abroad (aka roaming), and little usage in the US, will I get disconnected? I do fly in and out of the US every one or two months.
If you fly into the US (use the phone will there) within a 3 mo period, you may not get suspended. It really depends how much you use in the US vs outside. If your primary usage is abroad, you will likely be suspended.

To keep my usage low abroad, I use Mobimatter eSIMs there primarily with very limited data usage via Fi.
TravelinSperry is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2023, 9:20 pm
  #1412  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 19,702
Originally Posted by TravelinSperry
If you fly into the US (use the phone will there) within a 3 mo period, you may not get suspended. It really depends how much you use in the US vs outside. If your primary usage is abroad, you will likely be suspended.

To keep my usage low abroad, I use Mobimatter eSIMs there primarily with very limited data usage via Fi.
It is, but surprisingly, I haven't been suspended yet. I've been traveling all over the world since I got Magenta. Even though primary usage is abroad, I've only got one warning via SMS. Overall usage is about 10GB/month. I use other carriers when I need more data. I'm currently in Sydney, Australia and I'm surprised that 256kbps is usable, but barely.
lsquare is offline  
Old Feb 28, 2023, 9:41 pm
  #1413  
fomerly known as LandingGear (not Landing Gear)
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 833
Originally Posted by lsquare
What do you mean?
Well, you can explain all you want about your situation (e.g., a previous post mentioned about how they did not use much data at all during the international trip, but were cut off anyway), but their support folks will rattle out just the if-this-then-that script. They will merely paste the policy, without even bothering to note that the data usage was not unreasonable at all.

Among my many frustrations when I tested during their trial period, this was the worst. I was not able to make calls for a day. The support person searched for whatever he did and gave me this response -- Google Fi is meant for use stateside (not their phrase), not international. You service will be restored once you return to the US.

And the best part, I never left my home during the three days since I activated service.
planes&trains is offline  
Old Mar 1, 2023, 1:14 am
  #1414  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Caesars Diamond, Amex Plat
Posts: 5,807
My sons international access was suspended a few months ago (appropriately as he just couldnt get manage to get a new European SIM card in the alloted/warned time period). He paused the account after moving to a new provider while abroad for the year. Im about to move him into our plan bc way cheaper on the group plan. I know I can keep him paused on my group plan. But will his suspension affect the rest of us?
Stgermainparis is offline  
Old Mar 1, 2023, 4:36 pm
  #1415  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Somewhere in Florida
Posts: 2,550
Originally Posted by lsquare
I'm surprised that 256kbps is usable, but barely.
Take a look at the Opera Mini web browser. It does an amazing job of working on low bandwidth connections.
lsquare likes this.
KRSW is offline  
Old Mar 5, 2023, 1:11 pm
  #1416  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium)
Posts: 1,966
PSA, Google FI now has 5G working on iPhones. All it takes is to be on the latest beta version and FI works great with 5G.

Just switched back to FI today and confirm the following work great:
  • 5G (getting full speed priority data on T-Mobile)
  • Wifi Calling (works great)
  • Google VPN works fine, though I don’t really need it.
Stgermainparis likes this.
LordHamster is offline  
Old Mar 7, 2023, 6:28 am
  #1417  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium)
Posts: 1,966
Speed Test on Google FI on iPhone at local shopping center. Note it says "5G" because the generic carrier bundle Apple released with 16.4 beta doesn't include the branded icons for C-band such as 5G-UC, but it is absolutely at 5G-UC speeds


LordHamster is offline  
Old Mar 7, 2023, 8:51 am
  #1418  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Miami, FL
Programs: UA 1MM, AA Plat Pro, Marriott LT Titanium, Hyatt Glob, IHG ♢ Amb, Hilton ♢, Hertz Pres
Posts: 6,003
So once data is turned off due to being abroad for an extended time, will they turn it back on upon getting back to the US?
TravelinSperry is offline  
Old Mar 7, 2023, 12:35 pm
  #1419  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 52,430
What's the current state of Google Fi customer service? If T-Mobile imposes a stealth rate increase (by discontinuing the auto-pay "discount" ) I may be in a position to switch.

Would mainly be on the Unlimited plan, and just jump to Unlimited Plus a month at a time when I have international travel planned. I had no concern with coverage before - but never could easily reach a human at Google Fi when I needed support. Most of my problems had to do with ordering, receiving, and setting up new phones, which always was a cluster when I was with Fi before.
pinniped is offline  
Old Mar 7, 2023, 7:29 pm
  #1420  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Cleveland, OH
Programs: UA-GS 1MM), Hertz Pres Circle, Starriott Titanium)
Posts: 1,966
Originally Posted by pinniped
What's the current state of Google Fi customer service? If T-Mobile imposes a stealth rate increase (by discontinuing the auto-pay "discount" ) I may be in a position to switch.

Would mainly be on the Unlimited plan, and just jump to Unlimited Plus a month at a time when I have international travel planned. I had no concern with coverage before - but never could easily reach a human at Google Fi when I needed support. Most of my problems had to do with ordering, receiving, and setting up new phones, which always was a cluster when I was with Fi before.
Except in rare instances where I needed to do something special (like port in a number after initial setup to override my current number... or move my fi from one google account to another) I've not had to interact with FI customer service. The overwhelming majority of support issues I see on the Fi Subreddit have to do with ordering phones that show up in empty boxes, trade ins not being accepted or lost, or promo deals not applying.

Bottom line:
  • If you treat FI like a dumb pipe... just a voice/data provider you'll likely be fine as you'll never deal with CS.
  • Don't purchase your device, do trade-ins, or hope for promos via FI. That is a cluster from what I've read.
I always just buy my phones direct from manufacturer outright and never run into these issues.
lsquare and Polytonic like this.
LordHamster is offline  
Old Mar 23, 2023, 10:09 am
  #1421  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: New York
Programs: FlyingBlue, AsiaMiles, Miles&Smiles, United, JetBlue, British Air, Iberia, Qatar, AA, Kris Flyer
Posts: 33
This is a concern for me as well

Originally Posted by TravelinSperry
Been reading on reddit how users are now getting shut down while traveling internationally while using Google Fi. Are people here finding the same thing? I'm outside the US for many months at a time and have been doing this for years while using Google Fi without issue. I do use Fi when I'm in the States too. Has this changed now? Are they policing this more thoroughly?

Fi talks about shutting down data, but SMS and calls will continue to work? If they shut you down while traveling it would be a huge problem not being able to get those 2 factor codes via SMS for banking, etc.
My husband and I are going to be in Japan for about 6 weeks and then fly to France for a month and are trying to decide between Google-Fi and T-Mobile. When we've traveled in Europe we've only bought local SIMS but that meant we had to change our phone number and doing any banking was a problem. Japan is a totally different case since SIMS are expensive and we'll be traveling around a lot in very rural locations. We have iPhones, an original SE and a brand new SE. We don't use a lot of data, both at home and especially when abroad, as long as we have access to wi-fi. I've spoken to the Google-Fi rep who told me that as long as we're abroad for less than 90 days, we're OK and the T-Mobile rep who assured me that as long as our data use is low, we won't be terminated. But my experience is that reps will say what is on the script and not what actually happens. Any experiences with either of these carriers would be helpful especially for iphone users. Thanks!
bukzin likes this.
BklynProf is offline  
Old Mar 23, 2023, 9:53 pm
  #1422  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Caesars Diamond, Amex Plat
Posts: 5,807
Originally Posted by BklynProf
My husband and I are going to be in Japan for about 6 weeks and then fly to France for a month and are trying to decide between Google-Fi and T-Mobile. When we've traveled in Europe we've only bought local SIMS but that meant we had to change our phone number and doing any banking was a problem. Japan is a totally different case since SIMS are expensive and we'll be traveling around a lot in very rural locations. We have iPhones, an original SE and a brand new SE. We don't use a lot of data, both at home and especially when abroad, as long as we have access to wi-fi. I've spoken to the Google-Fi rep who told me that as long as we're abroad for less than 90 days, we're OK and the T-Mobile rep who assured me that as long as our data use is low, we won't be terminated. But my experience is that reps will say what is on the script and not what actually happens. Any experiences with either of these carriers would be helpful especially for iphone users. Thanks!
My sons international service was suspended at 90 days. He got a warning email at 60 days that he had 30 days left.
IMH and lsquare like this.
Stgermainparis is offline  
Old Mar 24, 2023, 10:09 am
  #1423  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: New York
Programs: FlyingBlue, AsiaMiles, Miles&Smiles, United, JetBlue, British Air, Iberia, Qatar, AA, Kris Flyer
Posts: 33
Thanks, that's good to know. At least he got a warning and was allowed the full 90 days. We'll be abroad for 86 days so should be OK.
BklynProf is offline  
Old Mar 24, 2023, 11:39 pm
  #1424  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, MLife Gold, Marriott Gold, HHonors Gold, Caesars Diamond, Amex Plat
Posts: 5,807
Originally Posted by BklynProf
Thanks, that's good to know. At least he got a warning and was allowed the full 90 days. We'll be abroad for 86 days so should be OK.
Yes. He had gotten a local SIM card in Europe but had had so many issues with it that he was still occasionally using the Google Fi service. He paused the Fi account and then used in US for a couple of weeks during a visit. Fi says his international service is still suspended (although he isnt trying to use it, paused right now as he is still living in Europe). Not really sure when they will lift the ban. I mention this for two reasons. First, dont risk getting suspended bc may be a PITA to get it reinstated. And second, does anyone know the process for reinstatement? I assume he must use Fi in US for a while first. I am not sure if we can even see that it is still suspended on his account. I only know bc chatted with Fi.

Also, FWIW, I also looked into T Mobile for him before he left and they seem to have the same terms re using service primarily in US. Not sure what their cut off is though. I dont think Id trust the rep on if low usage youre fine.
bukzin likes this.

Last edited by Stgermainparis; Mar 24, 2023 at 11:47 pm
Stgermainparis is offline  
Old Mar 24, 2023, 11:58 pm
  #1425  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: DL, OZ, AC, AS, AA, BA, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, IHG
Posts: 19,702
Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Yes. He had gotten a local SIM card in Europe but had had so many issues with it that he was still occasionally using the Google Fi service. He paused the Fi account and then used in US for a couple of weeks during a visit. Fi says his international service is still suspended (although he isnt trying to use it, paused right now as he is still living in Europe). Not really sure when they will lift the ban. I mention this for two reasons. First, dont risk getting suspended bc may be a PITA to get it reinstated. And second, does anyone know the process for reinstatement? I assume he must use Fi in US for a while first. I am not sure if we can even see that it is still suspended on his account. I only know bc chatted with Fi.

Also, FWIW, I also looked into T Mobile for him before he left and they seem to have the same terms re using service primarily in US. Not sure what their cut off is though. I dont think Id trust the rep on if low usage youre fine.
TMO is the same thing. I think the worse thing is that your service will be terminated. I would hate to lose my number.
lsquare is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.