I think many cruisiers are excited about the phone
Fi because they advertise "seamless coverage in 147 countries." I certainly was and bought in, along with my wife and son, before starting cruising the Caribbean
. Well the old adage that when something sounds too good to be true it probably is holds true here and I want to offer some words of caution to anyone considering switching to Google
was great for a few months and indeed was seamless as we sailed from island to island, including in Martinique
. Then 2 weeks ago in the middle of cruising with our 2 sons down for christmas
all coverage while in Martinique
. No phone
. my son needed to telecommute from the boat
and I needed to get weather
updates via cellular internet. On the hook we couldn't even contact customer support until we got to a wifi
cafe. When we did they had us do a bunch of interventions from their handbook, but nothing worked and they concluded there was nothing Google could do to restore our service
When we got to Dominica
service resumed but when we arrived in Guadeloupe
(another French island) it was gone again. Again I contacted customer support (not technical support, they don't have any) and they had me do exactly the same interventions which again didn't work
As we sailed past Dominica
again service returned and now back in Martinique there is once again nada and we are here for a month. Google gave me a $20 credit for my troubles.
I just got back from the local digicel office were I bought new SIM cards for my wife and my phones so we can function in this world where phone and internet are essential.
the problem appears to be that Google Fi relies on local carriers and if those carriers go down or stop playing nice with Google then there is nothing Google can do. The customer support person actually told me they "don't have the authority" to contact the local carriers to sort out the problem.
So the whole Fi thing appears to be a house of cards and I suggest waiting before you leap on board (bad mixed metaphor, sorry).
Anyway that's my tale of woe. Anyone with similar experiences?