Written on: 24/06/2013 by SteveSells (1 review written)
I am based in the UK and was visiting USA during June 2013 for vacation. I run my own business and needed to keep in touch almost in real time with events back home making for a seamless interface with my customers. Needed a data SIM for my tablet to keep up to date with email whilst on the move. Ordered the DATA SIM and it arrived very quickly. 0.29USD per MB in the US data seemed very reasonable. What also appealed was 0.39USD for me to use it in the UK too. I thought this could be an on-going solution for home and abroad. I emailed their Customer Services team multiple times asking for clarification on exactly how the charges for data usage work. Finally I was satisfied with what I was being told and took the plunge.
My email is set up on my tablet to connect every 15 minutes and check for new messages.
Having not had any email for about an hour, I decided to check my usage on the rechargeminutes web site (very good web site actually) and discovered to my horror that I was being charged 0.50USD each time my tablet connected to check for email. So, although I had no data usage other than a few bytes logging on and checking for email, I was clocking up $2 an hour in charges. Where I thought does the 0.29USD per MB come in?
I quickly calculated that on this basis over the 22 days I was on vacation, I would clock up $2 * 24 hours * 22 days = $1056 in charges.
My complaint is that I checked and checked again what the costs were. I spelled out exactly how I was planning to use this and asked again and again for confirmation that the charges were 0.29USD per MB. At no point before purchase was I told there was a session charge of 0.50USD. After purchase I found something about session charges on their web site but it wasn't very clear what they meant. That is why I always rely on emailing customer services with what I want to achieve, details of the product I think I need, what I believe it will cost to use and ask for them to confirm.
This product is useless to me and probably to many others where you just want to leave your device checking for email as you would back home.
I requested a refund on 28th May and have yet to receive a response from them. Having given them several weeks to sort this out I have no choice but to write this review to warn others to think about how they intend to use the DATA SIM. I wouldn't normally write a wholly negative review if the supplier does in fact resolve the issue to my satisfaction. I would always make my review balanced and point out the positives like having received a full refund but I am unable to do this in this instance.
I can confirm that if you start up your browser and start surfing away the usage charges do increment above 0.50 USD at the rate of 0.29 USD in the USA and 0.39 in the UK. However, a session will stop if you pause to read a page and then after say a minute you click a further link and move on to another page this will be a new session with another 0.50USD minimum charge. To my mind this is not a very economical way to surf either.
What I did in the end was pop into a T-Mobile store in the US and purchase a PAYG SIM for $10 pre-loaded with 3.5GB of data and valid for one month for a further $35. This worked perfectly. I did this the year before and could not get 3G speeds on T-Mobile's network in the US on my UK spec Samsung Galaxy tab. Unknown to me since then (and hence my reason for looking at GO-SIM), T-Mobile I believe have added another frequency band and this year I got 3G and H+ type speeds (where available of course). This would be my recommended route even if you only use a few hundred MB.
In summary this product is fine if you set up your device to have no automatic connections going on. Apps like Facebook, LinkedIn, email, Twitter are all "pinging" across the internet looking for updates for you and you run the risk of incurring a 0.50USD charge every time any single one of these happen. Turn all these off and only turn on what you need as infrequently as possible (and then off again) and you might find the product useful.
On a positive note I did also buy GO-SIM's US SIM card for my iPhone and I have written a separate and more positive review on that.
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Written by andrewmbaxter