Telestial Inc. reviews

Telestial Inc. reviews

Very low
2.1
from 0 - 10
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Not worth even ONE star

Bought 2 Sim cards in 2012 prior to a planned trip to Machu Picchu. Unfortunately health concerns came up and we could not go. Kept putting extra $$ on both SIM cards so when we did go on foreign travel I could still use them.We are going to New Zealand this month, March 2014, and tried my SIM cards, both had been kept up SIM card 1 had $90 on it (I thought), ans SIM card 2 had $19.75 (I had sent one text to another phone using SIM2. Well, lo and behold, SIM1 had $0 on it when I asked for account balance (ZERO!!). SIM2 had the $19.75 I expected. I tried feedback, and their feedback page refuses to recognize the "unscrambled" letters they use to make sure I wasn't a spammer.. tried for over 20 minutes!! Lousy company, buy a phone when you get off the plane in whatever country you are traveling to.. that's what I'm doing this time.. (Incidentally, their phones included in the package deals are crap, mine didn't work, so I purchased one from Hong Kong and used the SIM cards in it.
Plaaned a trip
Telestial Inc.

Reply from Telestial Inc.

Hello James,

Unfortunately your balance expired due to inactivity. If there is no activity for a total of 6 months, your balance expires. You can get your balance back by recharging a minimum of $30.00 through customer service at anytime.

-Telestial Team
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Good for calling....horrible for data!!!

The calling rates are reasonable and data rates look reasonable but they charge in increments of 1MB and they always round up no matter how much data you use!!! So if you send a small 10-20kb e-mail or text message you are being charged $0.50 in a country like Japan. It could be more, depending on which country you're in!!! So far, according to Telestial, I've used 43MB of data in 48 hours and I've never accessed the internet, plus background data on the phone is turned off. Each one of these data charges is in 1000kb increments even though the actual data used is less than 1% of that!!! They should calculate data usage daily...not every second! Bad on you Telestial! Especially when you are advertising great rates! Using real calculations I'm being charged $2.50/MB, not your advertised $0.49/MB.
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Don't even bother....

Be warned any reviews giving this company 5 stars must have been written by the company and/or whoever they paid to do so. Poor customer service, card fails to work 90 percent of the time in countries that you would expect it to work, including the US. For every call that I was able to make it took more than 10 attempts prior to do doing so and even days, text messaging was even worse. This crappy service caused me to be stranded in airports because I could not make calls out. Good luck getting a refund for the poor services rendered, I have been trying and they refuse to do so or even issue a credit. They will also deactivate the SIM card even though there is a balance on it if you have not made a text or call within 6 months and to reactivate they want you to pay them $30 or buy another card and only then will they transfer the money back. I have a huge problem with this since I am not sure why they would deactivate and keep your money BUT if you spend more money with them then suddenly your card is activated and good again with the same balance as before.
Before I purchased this card I honestly thought It would have been too expensive to use the local country SIM's now wished I had spent the money purchasing a SIM card for the countries that I was going to and using it since this has turned out to be more expensive and the biggest mistake ever getting this card!!!!
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Cannot rely on this sim card to work in countries they say it works in

While the sim card does work in some countries I visited, it didn't work in Cambodia (where, until Telestial updated their website for phone compliance as a result of my complaint, it was supposed to work) and Nepal, where it didn't work in the 2 cities I visited, the capital Kathmandu and the 5th largest city, Bharatpur. Customer service was polite enough by email, but I would have to go through multiple debugging procedures with their technicians over the course of 48 hours, none of which I particularly had time for. Bottom line - I cannot rely on their list of countries this card is supposed to work in, and plan to use my ATT sim in the future (which worked everywhere I went).
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Unsatisfactory customer service.

Although I have dealt with this company in the past without issue my recent experience was terrible. We purchased a phone for an extended trip to Asia for our son. Two and a half weeks into the trip the battery died and would not recharge. He contacted the company and they shipped him a new battery. It took 10 days for him to receive it. They shipped it without any tracking capability so they could not say where it was or why it had not arrived. When I called and asked why the order was not rushed or traceable I was told "we are a big company and they would charge us more for that". I also work for a large company and we rush things everyday if appropriate for a warranty situation. Her statement was completely ridiculous. They shipped it at the absolute bottom cost they could. In the meantime my 19 year old son was 7000 miles from home, by himself in a foreign country, with no way to contact anyone other than email.
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Why pay a high premium in advance for something that doesn't work???

I paid a significant premium ($49) for a pre-paid Italy SIM Card (TIM) in February for my trip in May -- that only has 5 Euro credit on it. The reason that I paid the large additional amount compared to purchasing in Italy is that I needed to meet a Villa Owner upon arrival who had to drive quite a distance to meet me and transfer the Villa key -- it was imperative she could reach me (or me reach her) to arrange a time as soon as I arrived in Italy. I wanted the peace of mind to have the TIM
card registered and working when I hit the ground. I followed all the advance registration instructions – filled out the paperwork, emailed scans of my passport, etc. and was assured by the customer service rep it would work when I arrived on Sunday the 12th of May. Well, wrong!!!!

The card would not work and we couldn’t find a TIM store at all that evening. Two Tabacchi stores couldn't help us either with the card we had purchased-- they could sell us a new one easy enough and for the same price as the credit on it but I'd already provided the phone number to every contact for my trip. As a result, I had to wait 2 hours for the Villa Owner to arrive (after I had traveled 21 hours, mind you) because I couldn’t get her called until I finally bought an International Phone Card and was able to call her. All of this shouldn’t have happened since I invested $50 to avoid this very scenario. Finally, I went to a neighboring town the next day to work with a TIM store to get the card registered. I shouldn’t have had to do this and it cost me quite a cab fare, not to mention the delay, frustration, etc. I've contacted the company for a refund and received an e-mail back that they "would review and get back to me", however it's been 8 days and I've heard nothing further. Very, very disappointed!

People -- trust me on this: I know you, like me, want peace of mind and are tempted to pre-purchase a card but just WAIT until you get overseas to purchase a SIM card-- it's much cheaper, more reliable and easier!
__________________________________________________________________
Update - still unresolved. I've filed a complaint with the BBB (by the way - this company has an "F" rating with them). Here is a timeline of the events attempting to resolve my claim: 5/26 (day returned from Italy) - I sent e-mail message outlining complaint. 5/26 - Mike from Telestial Customer Service sent me an e-mail "I have gone ahead and forwarded a report of your issue to our refund department to see if they would be willing to credit a portion of your purchase for the inconvenience. Once they review the claim and make a decision, you will be contacted via this email address about the resolution." 6/3 - I sent a follow-up message inquiring as to status. 6/4 - Aya from Telestial Customer Service sends me a message "We write in reference to your refund request, report [53465]. We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused. Your refund request has been approved upon return. Please send us the complete original packaging, including all components, quoting the Return Number [53465]. Incomplete packages may result in delay in the processing of your request." 6/5 - I sent letter, SIM card and all original packaging to company as requested at my own expense. 7/2 - I sent follow-up e-mail requesting status. 7/2 - Karen from Telestial Customer Service sent e-mail stating "You should be hearing back from us by the end of the week." 7/6 - I did not hear back from them by end of week so I sent a follow-up e-mail requesting status and expressing continued disappointment for unethical and unprofessional conduct. 7/8 - Adelmar from Telestial Customer Service sends e-mail "We wish to advise that your refund request has been approved. However, your order is over 90 days old. We will have to send out a refund check to you. Can you please advise a mailing address where to send it to?" 7/8 - I send the mailing address which I'd already provided with the package I returned. 7/21 - I follow-up via e-mail AGAIN inquiring about the promised refund. 7/22 - File BBB Complaint.
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Zero customer service

I purchased a TIM sim from Telestial so that I would have a phone number ready for use when I arrived in Italy. To my frustration, the sim would not allow me to make outgoing calls. I contacted Telestial via a Skype connection, and was told to find a TIM store to have it fixed. Had to spend several hours tracking down a TIM store in Venice, Italy.

When they examined the sim, they found that it had been activated, but the €15 credit Telestial was supposed to have supplied was never applied to the account. I wound up having to buy a recharge card to get the sim going.

Repeated emails to Telestial result in promises of a refund (of the full price of the sim, or of the missing €15 credit, I still don't know), but they've been stringing me along for over a week.

You pay a premium price for the convenience of having an activated phone number ready to use when you hit the ground, but that's certainly NOT what you receive.
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DID NOT WORK! Would not provide refund.

Telestial is awful. I ordered the service and the SIM card I received never worked. I tried first in the US. No Dice. Called tech support. After hours talking with them and no resolution, they refused to send me a new card BEFORE I LEFT! Told me to wait until I arrived at my destination and if it did not work, they would issue me a refund. When I arrived at my destination, it did not work. I called tech support again....went through 2 more hours on the phone and then they agreed to send me a refund. The tech support specifically said, "there is no point in returning the SIM card. We know it doesn't work. Just throw it away." One month later, I received an email from Telestial saying that they did not refund my money "because I did not return the SIM card with the original packing." What the **** do they need the SIM card back for? They can look at the time used on the SIM that I was never able to connect. They can look at time used and see I was never able to connect. And even if I did return the SIM card, what the hell do the need the clear bubble packaging back? Nothing I can do now. I guess I can try to cancel it on my CC. Total rip off and waste of time.

The killer of it all, they could have sent me a new card BEFORE I LEFT and it would have cost them the amount of postage and nothing more. Instead, they tied up hours of my time and tech support to resolve nothing (even at $10/hr + taxes and benefits it had to have cost them $75-$100 hours in employee time). Just think about how much money they wasted on their employees when the simplest and least costly solution would be to send me a card the same day I reported it was bad.
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Do NOT waste your money.

I wish I had read some of the reviews before buying and depending on a telestial phone for a recent two-week trip to the Mediterranean. The phone did NOT work in Rome,
Alexandria, Cairo, Turkey or Athens. You usually get the message "Limited Service Available" which means NO SERVICE AVAILABLE. And customer service is worse than the phone. They chided me for not calling customer service when I had a problem. How can you call customer service when your phone doesn't work? They do NOT stand by their phone (no refund). My wife and I were depending on this phone to keep in contact with her 87 year old father who lives alone. Very frustrated, upset and angry.
Telestial Inc.

Reply from Telestial Inc.

Dear Mike,

We are sorry to hear about the issues you had using our service.

When a customer is having issues abroad, we always hope to be able to communicate with them via our customer service lines or email accounts to be able to try and resolve the issue so that it doesn't continuously interfere with the remainder of your trip. We understand people don't always have access to these alternative services while traveling, but when there is documentation of an issue prior to a complaint, it is a little easier to know that all necessary steps have been taken to resolve the issue.

We understand your frustration about your inability to use this service successfully while abroad and apologize for any inconvenience it caused.

If you would be willing to contact our customer service line directly or even send us an email with your account details, we should be able to take a second look at your refund request and see if there is anything we can arrange that would try to resolve the issue.

Please call our customer service line directly or send an email with your account details and issue to support@telestial.com and we will gladly review your issue again.

Kind Regards,

Mike
Customer Service Representative
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Don't do it and don't even think about it

Sim arrived quickly. Sim didn't work in Singapore till I got on plane to come home. It worked in Australia but cost me a load of money. They let you use credit and then you get a bill One of my callers from UK did not realize you had to enter the UK dialling code 0044 and was just calling the sim card number. This meant I had to pay for the call, which is exactly what I was trying to avoid. When I called Customer Service to find out what was going on I had to pay for that call too. No one in Australia would call me because they didn't fancy the idea of paying for an international mobile call. I knew it wasn't going to work in Malaysia as they bar all sim cards except their own. NOt a cheap option by any means. Next time I will buy sim card in Australia.I wanted one in advance because several companies we made booking with wanted a mobile from me. When My son laughs at something I do I know I am going to be in trouble, He is still laughing!!! It hurts
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Very Unreliable

The pay as you go SIM sounds like a great product - you have both a US and UK phone number. The problem is that connecting a call is very unreliable (inbound / outbound). Texting is even more unreliable. Customer service had no idea how to resolve the problem - "what do you want me to do?". How about make it work! They could not make it work so I'm getting a refund (I hope).
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TERRIBLE PRODUCT AND EVEN WORSE CUSTOMER SERVICE

The positive reviews here r obviously from the company themselves. NOTHING about this product is positive. Misleading advertising of call rates and services. They charge u for a call even if the other person never picks up (and it doesn't go to voice mail or anything). On top of that they charge u a lot to call customer service from this phone so u have to find another way to call them when u have a problem.
I wanted the phone just for emergencies while backpacking alone in Eastern Europe. But like another reviewer when I did need to use it (as I was stranded without accommodation) the phone never dialed me back. This happenned on the 3 occasions when I really needed it. I kept trying and trying and trying. The next thing you know I'm out of credit. I had been charged every time I dialed the number even though the phone never even rang. By the time I was able to get on skype a week later and call customer service to demand my credit back they told me "Too bad, you should have called us earlier". I had to argue with them for half an hour for them to reinstate my credit. Disgusting!
You think because its free to receive calls it will be useful for your family to call and check on you. Think again. Countless times my family called me and either got some other person and other times my phone never rang. I would be holding the phone in my hand waiitng for their call and it never rang. This was useless to me.
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Pretty Useless

I ordered the Passport Plus for my 6-month adventure to Europe. The card is advertised that it works in 70+ countries. I bought it because it listed all the countries I was going to visit.

But I'm just going to cut straight to the point here. Making phone calls flat out didn't work once I left England (not even the whole of the U.K.). Once I was in Scotland and nearly every single of the other 17 countries I visited, making a phone call was impossible. I would dial the number, wait for the call back, but nothing would come. I would then try the number again and would get the message 'Call Not Allowed.'

This can be quite a pain in the ass frankly when you're someone is supposed to pick you up at a train station and you can't get a hold of them. The only thing that seemed to work from time to time was texting, but when you're calling a landline, obviously this doesn't work.

So after a six month trip in first world countries, I whole-heartedly can not recommend this company.
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lousy customer service

FedEx lost my phone and telestial did nothing to help. BelievedFedex left my phoneoutin the rain and was deliveredwhen it was not, someone was ot home when Fedex stated they left phone on doorstep. believed Fedex even though Fedex told me that their driver had not responded to their calls for information on the delivery. Stay away from these people.
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Convenience!!

My wife and I bought two of the Quad packs from this site, they arrived as described with very good documentation. A small booklet, we carried everywhere in Europe that guided us on how to use the service!

Everything was ready to go before we left and we could give our friends a US number to call us on even when we were in Europe.

We had a small issue with the network in Estonia, called the 24 hour customer service and they fixed the problem over the phone!!

I'd recommend to family and friends.
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Saved me heaps of Money!

I am surprised about the other negative reviews on this site about Telestial, my experience was totally the opposite. Quick delivery, SIM card (I bought Passport Plus) came with clear documentation and a handy "pocket guide" I was able to carry with me at all times in my wallet. The "callback" is a bit odd but easy enough. I spoke to customer support once and they were helpful.

I spent around $150 and spoke a lot, out of curiosity I checked what my AT&T plan would have charge me for all the minutes I talked, and my jaw dropped, I would have paid over $500!!!!

I highly recommend Telestial and its products....
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too bad they don't have a negative 5 star rating

They sent me a crappy packaged sim card- must have gotten wet or something cause it stuck to the backing. The Pin and PUK numbers were obliterated and when I tried to return it they kept me on hold for 20 minutes and then said too bad.. guess it's buyer beware. I'm out $47 for a crappy non-usable sim card. Don't buy from this company
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Useless Service/Poor Explanation of Offering

This company claims to provide a single phone number you can use across Europe. It is n't so. The SIM chip did not work in the first phone I tried, and technical support calls used up all of the "Free" time on the chip, and didn't help anyway. You have to buy in $30 increments so they get to "keep " a lot of unused time. "YOU DIAL A NUMBER AND THEY RING YOU BACK" . No where in their literature did they tell you that . It was useless. I had an emergency at work and I wound up being unable to be reached on my telestial phone number. In my opinion, buy and unlocked phone and use local chips purchased at a phone store with a phone card, and you will be better off. This company is horrible in both customer support and service actually provided.
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Misleading Website, Quick Delivery

Shipping was prompt and the setup was not difficult. I would not say the website was absolutely intuitive. I did have to click around a bit when it came to logging into the correct place as there seems to be several ways to login. What I am most displeased with (outside of the 10 minute hold time for support) is the misinformation on the web page prior to purchasing. The web page states that there is a charge to forward phone calls, but leads one to believe not if the phone is home and turned off: "Perfect for the business traveler, the Passport Plus features free call forwarding when you are home and the Passport Plus SIM card is not in use." Unfortunately, for me, this was one of the main reasons I chose Telestial over some others. They did offer to accept a return, but I do not have the time to deal with it now.
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Dishonest business practices, horrible customer service

Telestial is horrible.
I see many recommendations for telestial. I want to share our story so others won't share our fate. Our daughter purchased a Motorola v600i with Passport Plus plan from Telestial for use on a trip as an intern in Uganda working on TB research. She chose this phone after careful consideration because she would need the phone in London for a few days, then Dubai and then Uganda. She worked on line and with calls to the company who assured her the phone would work in Uganda.

She arrived to find her cell phone did not work. On Sunday morning we called Telestial in Boston (since she can't call) and, with our daughter on chat (sporadic internet service), worked through a number of proposed solutions, none of which worked. The support person said a technician was required The call never occurred, nor did they call me as the additional point of contact to say the call would not happen.

Once I called the company back, they said the technician really would call so we set up a chat near a phone in an office with somewhat regular phone service. They called back to say that, despite their website stating they carried service in Uganda and multiple assurances from their phone reps that they carried service in Uganda, it seems they actually don't. Her phone is useless. o

I called Telestial to see about the refund and it was denied by management (with no contact to us), who refuses to discuss issues with customers. The only way to get a refund is to pay international shipping charges from Uganda, and wait for the phone to arrive back in US, if it ever does. Telestial recommends not sending from Uganda.

So, a young woman is stranded in Uganda with no working cell phone due to false advertising and a poor customer support network. All calls and help were generated and coordinated by us. Telestial takes no ownership of the problem they created and are keeping hundreds of dollars hostage, nor do they want to see an equitable or appropriate outcome to a bad situation.

I strongl

Telestial Inc. Details

About this company

Telestial.com - SIM card, SIM cards, International GSM Prepaid SIM cards, local SIM card, roaming SIM cards, and unlocked GSM World cell phones for a variety of destinations such as Italy, France, UK, United Kingdom, Greece, Russia, Spain, South Africa, United States, Canada, Mexico, Egypt, India, Australia, New Zealand etc

Visit Telestial Inc.

Contact information

We live here: United States

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