I’ve been a happy Google Fi customer for about a year, but I’ve just run into three pretty major problems with Fi that I wanted to share. Here’s how that happened.
I lost my phone last week along with the Google (Project) Fi SIM in it, and wanted to order a replacement SIM. Surprise…
1. You can’t ship yourself a Google Fi SIM outside the US!
What about customers who lose their phones while traveling? Google doesn’t seem to care. You need to force a friend to proxy the SIM for you, or have a mail forwarding service further delay things while you’re without a SIM.
It’s worse than that though. While digging around the Google Fi site, I found this in the Terms of Service (under “Using the Services”):
Despite advertising extensive international coverage (and actually working outside the US), …
2. “Extended” Fi use outside the US breaks the terms of service
The Services are offered only to residents of the United States. The Services must be primarily used in the United States and are not intended for extended international use. Further, the Services are designed for use predominantly within our network. If your usage outside our network is excessive, abnormally high, or cause us to incur too much cost, we may, at our option and sole discretion, suspend your Google Fi account, terminate your service, or limit your use of roaming.
This isn’t just a piece of legal fine print. People’s accounts have been terminated by Google for “extended” use of Fi outside the US. Here’s one story:
But anyway, I had a data-only SIM as a backup, so I thought I’d just use that for my Internet needs. Here’s another nasty surprise:
3. Google Fi doesn’t support tethering from data-only SIMs!
As in, tethering doesn’t work. I’ve tried, from an unlocked rooted Android phone. No tethering.