What Is Project Fi, and Is It Worth It?

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Jun 4, 2018
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Avoid Project Fi at all costs. My wife and I both have it and had Nexus 6p’s with microphone issues and have been paying for device protection since day one. They replaced these but improperly moved my device protection to her returned malfunctioning 6p. Now my replacement 6p is stuck in boot loader and the service tech admitted it is malfunctioning and a valid claim, but won’t replace it since their insurance carrier won’t pay for it. I understand the insurance company not paying for something that wasn’t insured, but the fault was on Google for assigning it to the wrong device so they should cover the phone as it was their mistake.

I’ve spoken to 4 tier one techs, one who hung up on me and two who promised to call me back and never did. The tier two and three techs only reply by email if you are lucky. Since the insurance provider, Assurant, won’t cover the phone Google won’t provide a replacement even after admitting the claim is valid and they screwed up moving the device protection. All they would offer is a refund of my $5/mo device protection. So I get $60 when I am owed a $700 phone!?!?

Worst customer service ever. Go ANYWHERE else for your mobile needs.
 
Jun 6, 2018
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BUYER BEWARE! If you're going to travel using this service (which you probably are, as why else buy it)....be warned that they won't help you if you're outside the US. Even as an existing US customer you will be considered international. My device died for no reason 3 weeks after joining Google Fi and I was in Europe. They wouldn't send me a new one, I couldn't even click the link to get a replacement one sent to the US. I had to give my password to a friend in the US, pay for the phone to be overnighted to Europe. And they stuck a hold on my account until they got the broken phone back, which I also had to pay for. So much for international service. TERRIBLE.
 
Jun 14, 2018
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Project Fi user here... Yes the service works fine, but when you trade in a phone that you're paying on you still pay for that phone until it's paid off. Doesn't really make much sense to me... similar to Stephenfeathers "we paid ourselves the refund" story. I traded up to Pixel 2 XL, sent the Nexus 6P back to Google, they credited me $150.00 and I'm STILL PAYING for the device every month? Google stated that I need to pay the device off, wtf? It's like trading in a car and still paying off the original loan. So, unless you plan to buy ONE phone and will not trade up until it's paid off, Project Fi is not worth it... the billing practices are a scam by Google. Avoid this service.
 
Jun 14, 2018
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I think you mean if you're upside down, that portion will roll in when the dealer pays off loan. You don't keep paying on the original loan though.

 

rgd1101

Polypheme
Moderator


yes, probably need to read their fine print on the phone
 
Jun 24, 2018
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Customer service sucks. My Pixel 2 XL crapped out with a black screen of death. I'm paying monthly on it along with my service bill. Google's policy is to replace your dead phone with a used refurbished phone and won't lower the price. So if your phone takes a dive, expect an expensive used phone replacement. There is no negotiating with them on this. You either except this expensive used phone or go without a phone. That's the corner ProjectFi's customer service puts you in.
 

Namisecond

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Jul 16, 2013
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I have been a Google Fi user now for 3 years, and moved my parents over to them 2 years ago, we all had Nexus 5X phones purchased from them.

The first 2 years was pretty good, didn't have very many problems, not that we are particularly heavy or demanding users. However, a few weeks ago, both my and my mother's Nexus 5X experienced the boot loop issue. 2+ year old phone, out of warranty, we'll get new phones, or at least that was what I thought. My mother got the Moto X4 and I used my spare T-Mobile LG G5. That's where the trouble starts.

My Mother's Moto X4 has a weird issue where all sound fades-in over 2-3 seconds. It wouldn't be so bad if most notification alerts are within that 2-3 seconds window. I tinkered around with the settings, but to no avail. It appears to be a known issue and billed as a mandatory "feature". Not much I could do about it. My T-Mobile issued LG G5 works fine...if I don't care that I don't get voicemail notification alerts. Their tech support can't seem to fix the problem and keep blaming it on the "unapproved" phone.

If I had to do it all again, I wouldn't go with Google Fi. As soon as my father's Nexus 5X dies, I'll switch the family over to another MVNO carrier and get different phones.

Unless Google starts offering a much wider range of phones or allowing "unapproved" phones to operate fully on their network, I'm making plans to find another carrier.
 
Dec 15, 2018
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Two happy users both using Pixel 2. We have had good experience in the EU, Norway, Holland, France and Italy with voice and data. Also happy with service in USA, although no experience here west of the Mississippi.
 

colagada

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Jan 7, 2011
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I've worked in and managed call centers. Google FI may (or may not) be U.S. based, but it has "Level Zero" customer support: like the offshore call centers, its customer service representatives are back-trained in keyword research and script recitation. In other words, when you ask a question, they enter whatever keywords they've been trained to listen for; they then read what is on the screen. This is a very primitive level of customer support, and the training generally lasts less than 5 days.


I phoned in to ask "support" how a Verizon phone could use the Google Fi network, when it's built to use Verizon towers. I got various answers from the five people I spoke to, none of which had anything to do with the question I asked. Two of the five told me that there is no "Tier 2" support available by phone. I still don't know how Fi manages to jury-rig Verizon phones to use a different network.

Also, understand that Fi does NOT use either the AT&T or Verizon networks; they use T-Mobile, Sprint, and a regional network known as U.S. Cellular. This means that if you're used to the call clarity and data speeds that Verizon has (and charges well for), you're going to be in for a surprise in most areas.

Fi has been around for well over two years, but it isn't ready for Prime Time yet, in my opinion.
 
Apr 22, 2019
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Does Google FI incur the same Fees, taxes and surcharges as a regular carrier such as Verizon? E.G. Universal service chaged, regulatory charge, state taxes, 911 fee, etc.
 
May 3, 2019
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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.
Well it is really a bad experience while considering other services from Google.
 
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