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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 19-04-2016, 18:56

Schuster, Piranha is a good option. I have been quite satisfied with their service. I recently used it for 3 weeks when I was in Nigeria last month. Now, I only use it for the call forwarding service. By forwarding my AT&T line to Piranha, and then forwarding piranha to my local Nigeria mobile. The rates were pretty good as well.


Phones: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, Samsung Galaxy A50, ASUS zenfone 3,
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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schuster (Offline)
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Default 19-04-2016, 20:02

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman View Post
Schuster, Piranha is a good option. I have been quite satisfied with their service. I recently used it for 3 weeks when I was in Nigeria last month. Now, I only use it for the call forwarding service. By forwarding my AT&T line to Piranha, and then forwarding piranha to my local Nigeria mobile. The rates were pretty good as well.
I see that Piranha is a UK company, although they have a USA support number.
I am in the USA - do you know where US customers have their billing charges originating? (i.e. will an automatic top-up appear to be an international transaction to the bank's fraud monitoring detectors).

On that note, I also see USA-based patriot-sim which seems to be using Piranha's infrastructure and the essence of their web design. I see no reviews on them anywhere, and their web site does not indicate that they offer automatic top-up.
   
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Bossman (Offline)
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Default 19-04-2016, 20:07

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Originally Posted by schuster View Post
do you know where US customers have their billing charges originating? (i.e. will an automatic top-up appear to be an international transaction to the bank's fraud monitoring detectors).
As I recollect, topups are recorded as an international charge. Also, my call charges/balance show up in UK Pounds


Phones: Xiaomi Mi Mix 2, Samsung Galaxy A50, ASUS zenfone 3,
Sim cards: AT&T (Contract), 3 UK, Piranha Mobile
   
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rfranzq (Offline)
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Default 19-04-2016, 21:15

Quote:
Originally Posted by schuster View Post
....... need some confidence in the arrangements I have made.
I do have an original Mobal SIM that is still active; however, it is expensive and I do not like the changes they are making to their service model in general. It remains for emergencies only..........
As suggested I am looking at Truphone and Piranha from the standpoint of reliability, ease of use, long expiration period for prepaid credit and SIM, ability to top-up automatically, and perform account maintenance on a trip without data access.
I have both Truphone and Piranha for a few years now.
I have not used them outside of the USA.
They seem to be pretty stable:
unlike the apparent flakiness of your two current options.

I would strongly encourage both if 'confidence' is highly valued.
Also, no doubt if you go to a number of countries one will have a better rate than the other.


====================

Quote:
Originally Posted by schuster View Post
I see that Piranha is a UK company, although they have a USA support number.
I am in the USA - do you know where US customers have their billing charges originating? (i.e. will an automatic top-up appear to be an international transaction to the bank's fraud monitoring detectors).
I believe if you set your currency on Piranha's website that you will be charged in dollars for your purchase I just checked and it is possible to choose a top up in US dollars [though the drop down box shows pounds with US equivalent--$14.31] In the past only Capital One credit cards did NOT charge a currency conversion fee though it is better now. Check with your issuer. Also you should warn your credit card company if you are traveling out of the country anyway. The ones I have allow you to do it online at their websites. If not call and tell them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by schuster View Post
On that note, I also see USA-based patriot-sim which seems to be using Piranha's infrastructure and the essence of their web design. I see no reviews on them anywhere, and their web site does not indicate that they offer automatic top-up.
I am going to guess that 'patriot-sim' is a white-label of Piranha.
[I guess that I will be coming back here to update after looking at the site.]
I am back. Not even a white label. And this is at the bottom of the website:

Quote:
Part of Piranha Mobile Ltd Group
Additional information:
Piranha's rates for USA to USA calling are cheaper.
I was able to send an SMS to my Piranha phone number from P-SIM's website.
Address is a UPS store.

Last edited by rfranzq; 19-04-2016 at 21:45.. Reason: additional information
   
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schuster (Offline)
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Default 19-04-2016, 21:28

Thanks for the considered comments ... all quite helpful.
   
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schuster (Offline)
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Default 30-04-2016, 00:36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bossman View Post
As I recollect, topups are recorded as an international charge. Also, my call charges/balance show up in UK Pounds
I ordered a Piranha SIM. My initial experience with the payment processor was not encouraging.

I first tried my American Express card and kept getting a "no route found" error until I realized that they didn't accept AMEX. Piranha customer service confirmed this.

So I tried MasterCard with the currency set to USD. Same error.

Blecch. Based upon a tip I saw in a FlyerTalk forum discussion on Piranha, I did the transaction with the currency set to GBP and it went through on the same card that failed with USD. Naturally that shows up as an international charge.

With things all that flaky and unpredictable as all that, I wonder if I could ever rely upon auto top-up with this arrangement. Maybe I'll just load a big amount onto the account before I travel, and have alternates.

All that said, my Telna SIM still works. I can't access the online account management anymore, but oddly the STK menu lets me check my balance, and the account seems to be frozen in time. It shows the last amount I paid in September on my last European trip.

Has anyone currently using a Telna SIM, gotten billed for usage since December?
   
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schuster (Offline)
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Default 30-04-2016, 01:14

Tonight I decided to re-check the status of the new "telna mobile" (in name only) web site to see if they had finally added my SIM account. I couldn't log in, and attempts to reset my password using my registered email address or cell phone number failed as not found. Dum, de dum dum.

Just for fun, I clicked on the link for iroam, which is G3's prepaid cellular roaming service, and astonishingly was able to log in. When I checked my account profile, I found my SIM card listed as active and associated with my old telna phone number! There is no usage or billing information, so I picked up the phone and called iroam customer service (866-454-7626).

A sheepish but helpful rep told me that they were in the process of migrating telna mobile accounts but had no billing information transferred over, so that customers need to add a credit card again. While access is through the iroam website, the telna cards are not part of the iroam prepaid service; they assured me that it would remain a separate postpaid product line as before.

I asked about the future status of the telna wifi calling ... sorry, that's not iroam, that's G3 proper and we have no information on that. Funny, I don't see anything about that on the G3 web site.

I got as far as the screen to enter the credit card number (VISA and MC allowed, AMEX listed but cannot be selected) and logged off to think about it.

All FYI. What a mess.

Last edited by schuster; 30-04-2016 at 01:46..
   
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DRNewcomb (Offline)
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Default 16-05-2016, 01:01

My Telna SIM still registers on T-Mobile (US), so that at least is hopeful.
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schuster (Offline)
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Default 12-06-2016, 13:21

Just returned from a trip to Canada (I'm in the US) with my telna and Piranha SIMs running side by side in a dual-sim phone.
Some quick observations.

Both SIMs functioned for voice calls. I did not use any data services. Piranha roamed on Rogers, and telna on Telus. Voice quality on Piranha was definitely poorer, to the point where I had to use telna to access an automated credit card voice response system because Piranha did not transmit the touch tones I used to enter my credit card number reliably.

Both had issues with SMS to recipients on Verizon USA. Texts took hours or days to be transmitted, and often were repeated many times - to the point where the recipient decided to simply turn off the phone for the night; such was the annoyance. Never received a single text in response from either SIM.

The iroam web site now contains call records for all the test calls I was making on the telna SIM since January. If I use the SIM toolkit function to check balance, I see that there is a NEGATIVE balance corresponding to the last payment I made when telna was still operating. This number got smaller as I used the account, so it seems that my last telna payment is now on the account as a credit balance.

The Piranha web site also has my call records but there are so many extraneous things going on there (callback SMS - no charge) that it is really difficult to figure out what is going on with their billing. On the plus side, after a week of use I was probably charged a total of 1 - 1.50 GBP, so why complain.

Travelling again soon to Europe. Since telna works, and I appear to have a credit balance, it's going along.
   
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schuster (Offline)
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Default 12-07-2016, 20:36

Just received two telna-related emails.
One was a welcome note from G3 Telecom congratulating me on selecting them as my long-distance carrier (!) and requesting that I post a favorable review.
The second is an "order confirmation" from iroam in which they tried to bill me 17.99 for "airtime credit" - I had entered a VAN as my credit card and it was rejected by their billing system.

Last I checked (see above) I had a CREDIT BALANCE on this account. Both in email and on the phone, telna had assured me that the account would remain postpay as before. Well duh ... what's this charge for "airtime credit"?? iroam web site is as non-functional as before.

I'm about to call and cancel.
   
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