Has anyone been terminated by Project Fi?

Any long terms Project Fi users cancelled?

Planning on being outside of the US for a year or more and disappointed to just discover their “termination for excessive international roaming” fine print (similar to T-Mobile’s) as follows:

“The Services must be primarily used in the United States and are not intended for extended international use. Further, the Services are designed for use predominantly within our network. If your usage outside our network is excessive, abnormally high, or cause us to incur too much cost, we may, at our option and sole discretion, suspend your Project Fi account, terminate your service, or limit your use of roaming.”

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I haven’t used Project Fi but I also haven’t heard of anyone getting terminated by them either. I’ve been using T-mobile internationally now for almost 2 years but I recently got a warning text so I was planning on switching to Fi once they kicked me off. Maybe go back and forth between Fi and T-mobile?

Thanks for the reply! I assume you may encounter a similar termination scenario, as T-Mobile is a core component of Fi. Hopefully not!

I’m on T-Mobile too. I’ve been international for 8+ months and haven’t gotten a warning yet. Interesting to know that you (woahitsraj) finally did: I’ve been wondering when it’s gong to happen to me. Based on your experience, it seems I have some time.

Regardless, I’ve decided that as great as the T-Mobile plan is, I’m actually tired of only 3G data and no ability to tether. I started looking at Fi myself. It’s complicated for me because I have (and want to keep using) iPhone, yet I know it’s still technically possible (after jumping through hoops).

I biggest issue is the fact that Fi has the same type of usage restrictions as T-Mobile, per Fi’s TOS: I can’t seem to post a URL right now, see attachment). Fi is related to T-Mobile only during usage in the US. Fi’s restriction isn’t related to T-Mobile. It’s just probably the case (as one would expect) that Fi’s contracts with the US carriers is considerably more profitable than the ones they have with other countries’ carriers. (I thought Google is a global company… sigh). I’m actually planning to call Fi’s customer support to find out whether or not they truly enforce their policy.

Aside from that, I’ve been looking at a number of other international SIMs. The best option I’ve come across thus far is: KnowRoarming. Not too great on price, but better than all others I’ve researched. And it’s a truly international solution, including the US.

I’m quite curious to know what others are doing.

I’m glad you pointed that policy out. I have Project FI. Though, the longest I’ve been outside the US using the service was about five or six months. I never had an issue. I don’t think I’m an excessive user of their service. I usually connect to WiFi anyways. When I’m out and about using data, I don’t think I’ve ever used more than 2gb per month. I’ve started to get into the habit of turning off mobile data when I’m connected to WiFi to ensure data is going through WiFi; a Project Fi support staff told me that for SMS and calls, my phone might switch to using cell data if it detects that the cell signal is stronger than the WiFi signal. Anyways, more than six months, I don’t know. I hope it’ll be ok for you though.

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I have been using Project Fi for the past two years, predominantly abroad - I didn’t get any warnings of suspension yet. That said:

  • I have been traveling a lot (ping-ponging between Asia and Europe, not really staying in the same place for more than a few weeks).
  • I have been returning to the US periodically, a few times a year.
  • I’m not a huge spender but use 3-4 GB per mo regularly, my Fi bill for two accounts is usually around $50-80.

I don’t know how those affect the evaluation of whether or not you are an excessive user abroad, but I’m pretty sure something does. I don’t think Project Fi will bother unless you really strain their networks, or clearly e.g. live in a country abroad for two years, rarely leaving it or rarely going to the US at all. In any case YMMV, but I think Project Fi is probably the single best thing that has happened to my Digital Nomad-ish travel convenience in the past years so it’s worth trying out even if you eventually get limited/suspended.

I, too, am yet to see (and actually pretty curious to hear of) anyone who has been limited/suspended by Project Fi and hear what was their usage pattern.

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slsoftworks: thanks for sharing your experience. It’s very useful. I think I’ll give it a try. Few questions:

  1. What kind of bandwidth were you getting throughout Asia? Did you ever feel like you were being throttled? (Fi isn’t supposed to throttle, but who knows what the local carriers may be doing under the covers).

  2. Have you ever used Fi with an iPhone? My understanding is that an activated SIM will work in an iPhone. I’m planning to buy the cheapest Google phone to activate the SIM and then put it in my iPhone. Worst case, I can use the Google phone as a MiFi, but I really want to carry around one device.

  3. Do you happen to know if I can sign up for Fi while abroad? I expect I’ll need to ship it to someone in the US to activate for me and then have it sent to me. Any thoughts on the matter?

I had heard of this possibility and have been a bit worried. So it is good to see some data points here.
I have been on Fi X 2-3 years and traveling abroad 6-7 months out of each year & bouncing through the US during that time. This seems to be fine as with the other posts. Yet my travels will now continue to increase, so I am interested to follow this. Thank you for your post.

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Here’s my 2 cents:

  1. The only throttling/slow data I’ve experienced, was in mainland China where data went to EDGE sometimes, but Fi’s automatic VPN worked a treat so FB, Twitter etc worked fine, just slow. Other SEA countries were fine for me.

  2. You can use the Fi SIM in the iPhone, but you loose some of the calling over WiFi functionality. I have a backup iPhone and have popped it in now and then. There’s lots of posts on the web about this.

  3. I bought a Pixel & Fi SIM online in the US (with a VPN) and had it shipped to New Zealand by a 3rd party where it activated without any problems (Jan 2017). It’s definitely less risky to activate in the US if you can arrange that. But seems like it may work if you’re in a pinch.

Yeah, Charles answered most questions.

The most problems I had was in eastern-europe, it worked pretty flawlessly everywhere else, including SE-Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore - I haven’t been to China with it, yet).

I’m using it in a Pixel, but to my knowledge it works pretty well in an iPhone too. You might want to have a project fi compatible phone with you, with the app, just in case, though.

The phone should activate wherever, I’d be furious if I was on a business trip, trashed my phone and couldn’t activate my subscription in a new phone. In any case, first activation might be a different question, but you have to ship it to the US anyway, so if you can arrange it to be activated there you should be even more safe.

I am not fully retired yet but I travel excessively for work. I find that if I mix it up with wifi calls and whatsapp with people in the US that I don’t even show up on the radar.

I’m gone about 2 weeks a month routinely over the past 2 years on ProjectFi. Including China (I saw that on the thread).

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I don’t know about Project Fi, but I used T-Mobile for about two years almost exclusively outside of the US (mostly in Mexico and Central America). I never heard anything from them about it being a problem.

I gave it up last year, though, when I moved to South East Asia because the monthly cost is just so much more expensive than picking up SIM cards in places. You can get a super cheap SIM card in just about any airport on arrival and the service is probably better. When I had US-based clients or things to do, I just call them from a skype phone number.

That said, I still have my T-Mobile account - I give them $10/mo to hang on to my phone number in case I ever go back to the US.

I found one user report on the Google Fi forums. This couple was terminated after international use for an “extended periods of time”.

This is ridiculous because Fi never advertise international limits. What even are the limits? What is considered an “extended periods of time” on Google Fi?

And if you run into any issues like losing your phone, Google Fi won’t ship a new SIM. Leaving you out of luck, with no calling or data while in a foreign country. What a nightmare.

Google Fi thread: fi/thread/13675468

I just got a notification that my service will be suspended in 30 days for extended usage outside the US. I’ve been outside the US traveling back a couple of times a year for about 2 years.

Hey, wanted to give an update. I’m now going on almost 4 years having t mobile but spending most of my time outside the US. No termination yet but I live mostly in Sweden and use a sim card for data there. I only use my t-mobile US number for texts and occasional data when I’m outside of EU/US