Despite outlining the struggle I have experienced with T-Mobile and their International Data Pass, the process of adding the package may have gotten worse and Google Fi is not a better answer for the 43% of Americans that use an iPhone. Don’t they read this blog?
Time is Money
I spent Thanksgiving in Manchester, England and later took a trip to the Philippines. I spent no less than three hours of my vacation trying to pay T-Mobile more money. On one particular occasion in England, I spent more than 40 minutes trying to add the same feature I had added the three days prior.
I mentioned this on one of my calls to add the product when I actually had a rep that was aware of the product and he credited me back $20. That amounts to enough to offset two days for two phones. But frankly, I would rather pay the $20 and have the ability to add this product to my plan over a simple text message. Each call I made still consumed at least 18 minutes per call (but on average over 30 minutes).
My time is valuable (so is the rep’s), T-Mobile should be motivated to inform their staff of the product and make it easier to re-activate once it runs out.
It Doesn’t Matter What You Call It
Some commenters mentioned that the product has a different name than I had used. I previously called it Global Pass (which I have used on the phone and seen elsewhere). There is also International Pass, International Data Pass – I have heard a few different names.
It doesn’t matter. The reps still have no idea what I am talking about. I have tried describing it by product characteristics:
- 512 MB
- 24 hours
None of these characteristics seem to help the reps to find the product or select it any faster. It’s as if the concept is new every single time.
App Doesn’t Work, Phone Support Just As Bad
I have tried using the app to add the feature without success. My wife tried to use the website and it locked her out. Phone support remains dismal. I outlined above, the amount of time it takes reps to execute adding the feature and that includes when they can see what was previously added and replicating it.
Google Fi for iPhone Is Not a Solution
While Google Fi is now available for iPhones (welcomed news), not all features are. For example, iMessage is great, but friends that do not use iPhones have limited capabilities when texting iPhone users. Google has not cracked this portion of the service and a few others. One of which includes visual voicemail, meaning I have to call in to get messages left, a real pain when 75% of them tell me about how my auto warranty is expiring (I don’t have one) or that open enrollment is closing.
Further, the service still uses T-Mobile in the US, Google Fi is, in essence, a reseller. That would make the switch a lateral move for domestic calling, an enhancement for global services but a degradation of service that I otherwise regularly use (texting and voicemail).
I will wait for a more complete offering when Google Fi for iPhone leaves Beta and completes some of these product rollouts.
Have you had success/trouble with the T-Mobile International Data plan/Global Pass? Are you an iPhone user with Google Fi? Is there a better option out there?