My expertise with Google Fi on an iPhone is not off to a superb begin

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When Google introduced that Undertaking Fi was changing into Google Fi, together with the addition of official iPhone help, I used to be intrigued.

I had used Undertaking Fi previously, pausing and resuming service after I wanted a second line. The flexibleness of Google’s service was one thing I appreciated and took full benefit of.

Getting the Google Fi SIM card

When the information broke, I ordered a SIM card, in anticipation of utilizing it in an iPhone XR. The subsequent day, I obtained a monitoring quantity that confirmed the SIM was due for supply a few days later.

Then, the monitoring quantity give up updating, and after one other day or two, it turned obvious FedEx misplaced the package deal. I used Google Fi’s chat help function to see what my choices had been. After being informed I’d have a SIM card overnighted to me, I used to be then informed I must pay $16 for expedited delivery. The misplaced supply wasn’t Google’s fault, nor mine, however I wasn’t going to pay for expedited delivery; it wasn’t even my thought to have it shipped in a single day.

Additionally: Apple’s iPhone XR is not promoting? I went to Finest Purchase to search out out

The customer support consultant finally informed me I must open a help ticket with the intention to have the corporate try to trace down the package deal with FedEx. I agreed to have the ticket opened, and I waited to listen to again from Google. Just a few days later, on a Saturday, I heard again from help. The package deal was misplaced and could not be recovered, and I would wish to order one other SIM card.

I requested if the provide to have a card overnighted totally free was nonetheless accessible. The consultant provided to use a credit score for the delivery charge to my Google Fi account after I activate service, which is a good commerce off, so I ordered the cardboard and it confirmed up on Tuesday, almost three weeks after I positioned the unique order.

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(Picture: Jason Cipriani/ZDNet)

Organising Google Fi

I put in the Google Fi iOS app, signed into my Google account, and adopted the prompts. Organising Google Fi on the iPhone takes somewhat bit of labor, as a result of it’s important to enter the APN settings for Google Fi service. That course of took solely a few minutes, partly as a result of I am comfy with such a job, and since Google’s directions are straightforward to observe.

After restarting the iPhone XR, I obtained two textual content messages from Google Fi, offering me with my Google Fi telephone quantity and welcoming me to the service.

A couple of minutes later, I tried to ship myself an image and a textual content message. The textual content message appeared inside a number of seconds on my major telephone quantity, however the image message by no means arrived. I restarted the iPhone once more and tried to ship one other image message. This time, my iPhone obtained a message, however it wasn’t the image message. As an alternative, it was a block of textual content that reads:

“A number of of the message parts have been deleted by MMS Adaptation. Both the message was too massive or the parts had been unsuitable to your handset.”

Troubleshooting Google Fi

What? I nonetheless do not totally perceive what that message is saying, and subsequent searches have resulted in additional confusion, together with options that embrace utterly resetting my private telephone and setting it up as model new, which I am not going to do, as a result of it is not a problem associated to the telephone I am really utilizing to obtain the message.

I despatched an image message to my Google Fi telephone, and that labored as anticipated. A textual content message went by with out problem as nicely. Including to the confusion, I can ship an image message to a Pixel three XL, and it really works, however solely about half the time.

Additionally: Goodbye iPhone XR: Sign power and dimension carry me again

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(Screenshot: Jason Cipriani/ZDNet)

Google Fi help — or lack thereof

I made a decision to speak with Google Fi help and see if maybe one thing is amiss on the backend and to confirm the APN settings I had entered in the course of the setup course of. I opened the Google Fi app, chosen the help tab, and tapped on Chat. I entered a short description of my problem and tapped submit.

There have been 247 folks within the queue forward of me, and it took over an hour earlier than I obtained a message from my help agent. After messaging backwards and forwards, I used to be informed to verify my Google Fi telephone wasn’t linked to Wi-Fi after I wish to ship an image message and to delete the Google Fi app, restart the telephone, reinstall the app, after which undergo the setup course of once more.

After doing all of that, I nonetheless cannot ship image messages to my private iPhone. My spouse’s iPhone shows the identical message.

Some time later, I obtained an e-mail from the chat help consultant, letting me know there’s a messaging outage, which might be the rationale I am having points, and that all the things needs to be again to regular quickly. As of this writing, my image messaging is not working because it ought to, and I do not know when it is going to.

Google Fi’s greatest weak point

Look, I get that there are sometimes hiccups and points when activating new service. I’ve bought many telephones and handled quite a few activation points in my profession. It occurs!

However my expertise to date reveals the largest weak point of any wi-fi provider that makes an attempt to forgo retail areas and makes use of a direct-to-consumer method as a substitute: Customer support.


Should learn


It took nearly three weeks for me to get a SIM card attributable to a misplaced cargo. If I used to be ready on, say, an AT&T SIM card, a 10-minute drive is all I’d have wanted to make.

When making an attempt to troubleshoot my messaging woes, the chat course of was cumbersome, with lengthy pauses between me offering data and getting a reply from the consultant. It was a two-and-a-half hour course of from the time I first submitted my help chat request till I disconnected and deleted the app.

Google will, hopefully, get the messaging outage sorted and all the things working because it ought to. However I do not want this telephone quantity. I signed up for service with the intention to take a look at and share my expertise, and proper now, I am unable to assist however marvel how a lot endurance somebody (who’s making an attempt to avoid wasting cash) would wish to change to Google Fi.

Earlier and associated protection:

Google’s Undertaking Fi 4G is now accessible on most Android gadgets and iPhone

Google can be altering its 4G knowledge and telephony service title from Undertaking Fi to Google Fi.

Google’s Undertaking Fi provides three new telephones to its lineup

The brand new telephones span the low-end and high-end.