What Is Project Fi, and Is It Worth It?

StephenFeather

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Jul 23, 2017
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I was in one of the first beta batches of users to test Project Fi. Bought a full priced Nexus 6. Despite some bumps in the road, the service was stable and engineers answered trouble tickets pretty fast. That was 3 years ago.

After a year, bought my wife a full priced Nexus 5x and moved her from Verizon to ProjectFi.

Since then I upgraded to a Pixel. When everyone else is getting security patches on the 5th of each month, Project Fi pixel users don't get updates until around the week of the 15th of each month.

In June, the Nexus 5x began to bootloop. After 2 days on the phone with tier 1 support, finally got passed up to the next tier. Project Fi offered to replace the Nexus 5x with a rebuilt model. After 2 days with no news on when this replacement would ship, we bought a cheap pay as you go sim, dropped it into an old samsung s3 and forwarded the project fi number to that device while we waited. We finally get a tracking number...that never leaves the warehouse. The Nexus 5x order is then canceled. Another day of calling, 'we have shipping problems'.

After another day, another Supervisor arranges for a full refund of the Nexus 5x. We package it up and ship it to texas. Order a Pixel to put on the wife's fi account. Four weeks after google received the device, the refund has not been posted back to the payment method. Send an email, told 'it will be refunded'.

And this is where the hell begins. The refund of $454.77 is returned across 2 different Visa accounts. Its refunded in 8 payments, the smallest being $2.76.

As soon as the credits are issued, Project Fi then pulled 3 debits from one of the accounts totaling $375.38.

We paid ourselves the refund.

We spent a week trying to talk to someone at Project Fi support who would understand this, got a lot of 'we are so sorry, we understand, we are working on it.

(Eventually the $357.38 shows up as a 'credit' on her account.)

The next Monday I went to the bank and charged back the 3 unauthorized debits as 'fraud' per the recommendation of the Chase security team.

Its been another 2 weeks and this week Project Fi decide to add one of the charge backs as a debt against the Project Fi account, so this months bill is $257.

We are in the middle of a shell game where all they have done is move our money around between various 'accounts'.

Project Fi? Avoid. Engineers are running the books, not accountants. No one is responsible, and communication is mostly done by email.
 

Ryan_350

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Jul 23, 2017
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Project Fi is amazing! Can't say enough great things about the service people are super helpful will never go back to the big 4 carriers awful awful service... Oh and data is no problem me & my wife have Nexus 6ps ( awesome phones) and each have 1 GB of data here's the kicker we use mabye 200mbs wifi @ home and we both work downtown so wifi, wifi everywhere!! And credits on the bill every month again if you're thinking about it pull the trigger! Google is redefining the mobile game.
 

Luis_101

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Aug 6, 2017
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I have been using Project Fi for almost a year and I love it!
I don´t need to gather the patience to deal with customer service, can control my costs really well (usually wont surpass 2gb of data), and when traveling, Fi has been a godsend.

Granted, that this carrier is not for everyone. It just does not make sense for those who use lots of data, or those in T-mobile or Sprint deadspots.


Tip: If you won´t be using Fi for a period of time, you can pause the service in within the app. Fi will not charge you for that period!

[referral code removed ]
 

rgd1101

Polypheme
Moderator


https://fi.google.com/about/faq/#top-faq-5
Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular
 

eryr80

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Sep 2, 2017
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Sadly my experience differs... If you are in the hinterlands of the US you get the fun of watching people with TMobile and Sprint being able to call but Fi does not work.
Of you have a problem customer No Service can only apologize and make vague promises.
Warning consider everything before you use Fi
 

paulvotava

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Sep 2, 2017
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Same here, good if it works, if you have problems like tower switching issues in my case, they leave you hanging for weeks with apologies and no solutions. Stay away!
 

mindling

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Sep 4, 2017
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Project Fi is terrible if you want reliable, seamless communications overseas. It almost never works with local cell carriers, and sometimes works on wi-fi. But I don't have the time when abroad to waste with "FI" drones apologizing and doing very little of value. And besides, how do I communicate with them if my Fi phone doesn't work? They could not replace my Nexus 5P phone, have offered me a refund (I suspect it is their network(s), not the phone. They will not give me a discount to replace the phone, and the new phone is over $650. No thanks.
 

paulvotava

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Sep 2, 2017
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paulvotava

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Sep 2, 2017
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Wow, at least they offered you a phone, the best they would do for me was send a SIM replacement, and wouldn't even expedite it. 10 days later, no SIM. The WORST customer service experience ever.
 

zatexdp

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Sep 8, 2017
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I have been a Fi customer for just over one year. July 2016 until now, September 2017>

I have been very happy with the service. I have used the phone all over Texas and New Mexico, road trip to Wisconsin and back, every where I have been I have had good service. There are a few places in New Mexico that the phone didn't have signal, but neither did my wife's ATT phone.

The only hiccup is the Nexus 5X phone, After 13 months it entered a bootloop death spiral.

One call to Fi and they had another 5X headed my way, no charge. They even shipped the new one next day air.
Excellent customer service.

The network coverage is as good if not better than any ATT service I've had.

Good stuff!
 

wamsley4x4

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Sep 9, 2017
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Friday afternoon my Pixel XL 32gb started saying out of nowhere that the SIM card was not inserted. I had the phone in my pocket, it has never been dropped and always in a case. I have only had it since mid july. I powered off the phone, took out the SIM and reinserted it. Still the problem persists. I take my old Moto Turbo 2 Nano SIM insert it into my Pixel and still nothing happens (This should at least allow for emergency calls even though the SIM isnt active with Verizon anymore). I then take the Project Fi nano SIM and put it in my Turbo 2. It recognizes the card and I can actually make calls via WIFI but not on the actual cell network. So from this I have determined it's probably the phone. I'm actually an electronics technician, troubleshooting stuff like this is a specialty of mine.

So I call Project Fi customer service. They run me through about 10 different steps troubleshooting the software (including a factory reset) to no success. I explain several times that I think it's the phone not the OS. They tell me all I need is a new SIM then, I tell them I think this is not the problem because of my own troubleshooting. They flat out deny to replace the phone and that I have to try the new SIM out first, They'll mail it out and it should arrive Monday. So they want me to wait 4 days with no phone only to get the new SIM and it still not work. I tell them I want it escalated and want a new phone sent out. Finally the rep I speak to agrees it's probably the phone and they'll get a new one out to me. Great news I think but then he tells me they'll need to place a hold on my account for the full amount of the phone until they receive my defective unit. So $750 for 6-10 business days. This isn't going to work for me I tell him. I don't have that amount just sitting in my account for them to hold on to for that amount of time. So they send me over to hardware and the hardware rep offers the Standard Exchange. Standard exchange means I send in the defective unit and then once they get it they'll send me back a new Pixel and I should have it in 6-10 business days.

If I had known how this process went before switching to Project Fi I would have never done so. I switched because I thought it was more cost effective since I don't use tons of data every month. I also had the phone financed through them because I did'nt have $750 to spend on it. I did'nt then and I don't now. I hope I am helping anyone considering switching to Fi so that they don't have to be put through the same thing. In my experience it has not been worth it.

I have been given the options of Standard exchange or Advanced Replacement for my Pixel XL. Advanced replacement would remove $750 from my checking account for too many business days. Standard exchange leaves me without a phone for a minimum of 6 business days. These are unacceptable policies. I will be canceling my Project Fi service as soon as possible and sharing my poor experience in every corner of the internet possible. Google has pleasant CS reps but they don't actually get anything done for customers. I have only had my phone a few months and should not have to spend hours on the phone to end up with no replacement phone within a reasonable time frame. This process should take no more than 48 hours since Google has no physical locations. Thank you for nothing, Google.
 

rudyallan

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Sep 13, 2017
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My experiences with Project Fi are mostly negative. The Nexus is not a good phone. Its slow, under supplied with ram and storage. The camera is of low quality. The data plan also is not good. If you select 2GB per month you will be charged for 2GB even if it goes through you home wifi and never use LTE. If you go above set plan it becomes very very expensive. I have never had a bill under $250 for one person per month. Sometimes $300. The calls are very low quality and "drops" are always happening. Often, there simply is an endless silence when you dial a number. And you get pushed and funneled into having to use all of Googles apps. Their news is particularly slanted and biased. Right after I used Priceline, it started pushing Google flights offers daily. And every time I log into Facebook, the phone starts pushing and placing Google+ reminders everywhere. All these "built in" google push ads and pop ups are very hard to remove or reduce. It simply blocks skype and then hangouts appears within minutes. Its an extremely invasive service which cost more than any other plan I have had and uses a very low quality phone as its only option (Google owns Motorola). Support is mostly empty promises with a lot of "we are sorry". The phone was $700 and that alone makes Project Fi a major regret. I wish I had bought an iPhone and selected T-Mobile or Metro PCS.
 

dan.beilke2

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Sep 14, 2017
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It seems to work all right except in certain remote wooded areas, but those are pretty much dead zones. There are a couple of spots where my wife's Verizon phone gets spotty coverage where I get none.

The thing is that data is getting cheaper and some unlimited plans are coming back. I'm on T-Mobile's towers most of the time so realistically I could just use T-Mobile or a discount carrier and get a better deal.

If I had unlimited data for not much more than I pay right now and got great service in the city I spend 95% of my time, I'd certainly take advantage of it and stream what I wanted to at work instead of listening to the few radio stations that actually that I actually get inside a metal building.

I've had this service for about 2 years and it has been fine. Very good overseas and not much worse than any other carrier here. It saved me a lot of money from Verizon 2 years ago but there are better deals available now.
 

dan.beilke2

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Sep 14, 2017
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An update, they just rolled out a cap on data charges, so if you go over 6 GB in a month, you will only be charged for 6. That is their version of flexible unlimited data. If you use less than 6, you are still just charged $10/gb. I feel like while other carriers have dropped the price of data, Fi is still the same. For me, now that my phone is paid off, my total bill now ranges between 30 and $40/mo.
 

eryr80

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Sep 2, 2017
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I got Project Fi about a year ago when I was working all over the Army Central Command area. Works. Good over there as long as you have internet or a Tmobile or Related tower.
In the US it works good in to mobile (read populated areas) I'm happy with it.. Had a bad phone at first and they handled it like pros. I think the big thing is customer service is awesome. Cost runs about 60 a month more or less
 
Mar 3, 2018
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Nexus 6P purchased was defective just after a year, no help from Google or Huwei. Get extended warranty with Project Fi or don't go with Project Fi as they don't care about their customers.
 
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