77 of 82 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Hidden fees, false claims, and questionable signal quality.
I am just a causal user, not one the oil roughnecks on the tundra or the high-flying mountain climbers on the summit of K2. I live up here in Missoula, and a couple times of year I enjoy spending time back in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and a couple weeks a year at our timeshare in Los Cabos.
I bought the phone so that I can stay connected to the office [only when I need to], check and see how my kids are doing, and to do some email and web when needed. Fair enough.
I called Globalstar and asked them if they have service in Montana and Mexico. Funny, the Customer Care Rep. answered the question with an emphatic yes, before I even had the chance to finish the sentence. Were they even listening? I'm not so sure, and here's why.
I agree the phone service is not cheap - I had to pay $1.39/minute for roaming fees on top of my $49.95 monthly plan just to use it in Mexico. But when I signed up for service, I was told that I would get xxx number of minutes to use anywhere I want. I wasn't told that Mexico is not included in my minute package, and that was a surprise when I first saw my bill.
In terms of quality, the phone has worked "fair" to date. On some occasions, it has been nice to pick up the phone, make my call, and move on to other things. I just wish that was always the case. More often, I have to wait a lot to get my 3 bars. It's been very frustrating when the call drops, and the voice on the other end vanishes. Hello?.? It was an embarrassment when I gave my 1700 phone to my boss (I'll protect his identity) when we were down in Cabos together. I said, sure go ahead and use my Globalstar phone to call back home - you'll love it. He spent about 10 minutes standing waiting for a signal, and I am standing there sweating.
He didn't make his call.
Back in Montana Globalstar gave me another problem. I know the service has gotten better, but I also know that that is an overstatement.
Since gaps in service and dropped calls are a way of life on Globalstar, I always have to use Globalstar's Call Times Report to see when is the best time of the day that I can make calls on my phone from outside the Bob Marshall here in Montana. I printed the report, took it with me, and had a heck of a time still making calls that week. I followed the report to the T, and it still did not work. I called Globalstar Tech Support and asked them why the Call Tool did not work. The rep then asked me, "are you in a mountainous area, or out in the open"? I found that mildly amusing, since I stated I was from Western Montana, trying to use the phone next door to Glacier National Park. The Globalstar rep., responded by saying, "well I am sorry but the Call Tool does not take into account mountains or other obstructions to the sky". That's why I bought the phone to begin with. And, why have such a tool if it cannot emulate real world scenarios?
The long and short is, the phone and customer support has always given me trouble. When I bought the phone, I was told that there are "monthly service plans", so I signed up for them. It was implied that I can use the phone on a monthly basis. Turns out, all plans require a 12 month contract (even on monthly plans), and if I did terminate service prior to the contract term, I have to pay an early termination penalty. So now I am stuck with this phone and service, and have to wait until my 1-year contract is up before I unload on it.
In short, I am weary of Globalstar's blind statements that "service is better now", etc. Truthfulness and full disclosure don't seem to be a part of their nomenclature.
It's now Saturday and I want to talk to someone at Globalstar and put this all to rest, but I just got a recording that Customer Support is closed up on the weekends. Is anyone there or does anyone care?
Would anyone like to buy a used Globalstar phone? It's in very good condition, and has been hardly used..