I am posting
this out of sheer frustration with Iridium
and as a warning to other Go owners of a problem that Iridium
seems to be trying to keep secret.
Halfway across on our recent passage
from Aus to Fiji
it became apparent that we were suddenly no longer receiving incoming SMS messages. SMS is our preferred communication with family
and friends and we normally send a daily status update, to which we usually receive replies. We became suspicious when we stopped receiving any replies to our messages and email
Comms confirmed that messages had been sent to us but not received.
On arrival in Fiji
I raised a ticket with Satphone store in the US who are our iridium airtime supplier. This is the response I received:-
As per Iridium...
There currently isn’t a fix to the problem, however, there is a workaround "a permanent fix is still being worked on". The customer will need to remove their SIM card from the GO equipment and place into an Iridium handset and delete the Inbox,Outbox,Draft boxes and then place the SIM back into the GO device. If the customer is not able to do this, then you will need to send them a new SIM card."
Obviously that is an entirely unsatisfactory situation, although I appreciate it is an iridium fault not SatPhoneStore. I would expect at the least that your and iridium support frequent questions etc. would highlight the problem rather than let your customers discover it at their peril. Also obviously we and most other iridium go owners would not have a handset. Iridium and you as their agent are effectively in breach of contract
as my plan states that there is "unlimited text messages". I would expect some form of compensation.
I need to know:-
Why has this happened? Is it because the message boxes have become too full?
Will it therefore happen again in the future after we have again filled our message boxes?
"We have not taken away the customers “unlimited text messages” as sold to him. He can still originate an unlimited # of SMS from his GO device and receive an unlimited number. The problem lies in the receiving end and it is in the works to find a permanent fix to the problem, however, until that time we have provided a work around to be able to continue to receive messages."
Again an unsatisfactory response. If the "receiving end" cannot receive unlimited text messages and the airtime contract
is for the "receiving end" then Iridium is obviously not supplying the service
as per contract. There is no workaround when I am at sea on my yacht as I do not own an iridium handset.
My previous questions remain unanswered. I need information so I can manage the issue. By not supplying that information Iridium is making matters far worse. Please can you answer:-
If I can access a handset and clear the messages, how many messages will it take to cause the problem again?
I await their reply with little hope at the moment, based on their previous. It appears to me that they may have a major issue that they are trying to sweep under the carpet. In the meantime cruisers out there could be hit by this, potentially in emergency
situations or at least with more serious consequences than the confusion and frustration we have had.
Although iridium appear to be avoiding publishing the exact nature of the problem my opinion at the moment is as follows:-
The iridium handsets appear to use message boxes stored on the SIM card. I think these message boxes have a maximum of 30 messages in total, then the handset will delete the oldest message to make way for a new one.
The incoming iridium go messages are filling up this 30 message quota on the SIM card but the GO does not delete the oldest, so incoming messages stop working. If this is true then even if you borrow a mates handset to delete the sim messages it will full up again in just 30 messages time?
I would love to hear from other Go users who may have had this problem or who have not and can thus prove or disprove my above theory.