MobilityPass claims to offer cellular phone and internet access with a single SIM card in more than 100 countries– they also advertise free incoming calls for many of them. Wanting to provide the best possible support for my clients, they were one of many solutions I brought with us to ensure we could stay connected everywhere. Though it is pretty easy to get a local SIM card in most places, I wanted a single number where we could be reached for the duration of our trip.
I have been meaning to write this review for months. Every time I sit down to author this thing, I find myself overwhelmed by the sheer number of problems I've had with MobilityPass. I could fill ten journal entries with stories about their horrible products and worthless customer service.
As I think about the amount of time I've wasted trying to work with this company, a small inferno rises up in my stomach. Each time I've attempted to finish this, I get to the part where I've never received a single refund from their complete mess of an operation, and quit, refusing to expend any more of my energy on them.
For my sanity, I'm only going to list a few of the issues I've had. Hopefully this will be a sufficient cautionary tale for anyone thinking of using MobilityPass to work from the road.
MobilityPass Doesn't Work in Italy
An error in the configuration of their SIM cards prevented us from using the service anywhere in Italy. Their support team reported that the issue was easily correctable via a text message sent by them. All we had to do was leave Italy so our phone could actually register to a network to receive it!
In the end, their solution was to send a replacement SIM with the fix applied. Coordinating the receipt of a shipment on a trip like this is almost always a massive headache. Thankfully, we managed to get it without too much trouble. Problem solved, right? Not quite.
Our phone didn't work with the replacement card either. After several days, a support rep finally told me the original issue could have been corrected instantly and easily by adjusting a setting on either SIM through the phone. Apparently the original ticket we placed was handled by someone who didn't know this?
Later, I was incensed to learn that the shipment was sent at my cost. Also, their system wasn't capable of allowing us to retain the same phone number with the new card.
MobilityPass Doesn't Work Anywhere
A server failure downed their entire system for a period of weeks. We noticed this while we were in Serbia and Macedonia. When my inquiring support ticket was answered eight days after I submitted it, they informed me that an email had gone out to all customers about the issue. I had received nothing.
When the service was finally "fixed", there were numerous steps required by the user to restore their account to a functional state. Again, they reported that an email had been sent out, and again, I'd received nothing. After following their steps, the service continued to limp along, barely functioning 50% of the time.
Later, I found myself wondering how anyone relying on them to get connected would have ever gotten these fictitious emails anyway!
When MobilityPass Works, It Doesn't Work
When it does work, it doesn't work well. Dropped calls when you have full signal are the norm. So too are ear-piercing squeals, echoes, and garbled voices. My favorite though? Modem handshake noise screaming in over the conversation like you've dialed a fax machine or haven't yet muted the speaker on your new 28000 baud modem. Suddenly, I'm in the fourth grade again.
MobilityPass Has Lots of Hidden Fees
My account is regularly billed for ridiculous un-advertised fees. Stuff like, charging me for incoming calls even when I don't answer the phone! Apparently these go to some sort of web mail? My requests to disable this "feature" and refund my account for the charges have gone unanswered.
MobilityPass offers several different SIM packages, each of them with a different list of countries where you can receive free calls. I was recently charged for an incoming call in Russia which should have been free. The company told me I was using our original SIM from Italy (which I threw away the day we got the replacement), and that incoming calls were not free with it. My requests for a refund have gone unanswered.
When MobilityPass Doesn't Work, You Can't Get Help
Their support team is slow at best, and not so much a team but a collection of people who never communicate with one another. They often reply days or even weeks after you submit a request. Their phone support is little more than a muzak line. Don't call them using your MobilityPass phone either; their endless hold times will certainly cost a fortune – calling the company with it isn't free.
MobilityPass Doesn't Get It
MobilityPass really doesn't seem to understand that the whole point of having a global service like this is to use it in remote places. I have spent more time dealing with their support staff than I have the product itself. If I didn't have other ways of getting connected, getting "support" would have been impossible in many places.
MobilityPass Doesn't Work
MobilityPass may eventually offer a sound, functioning service. However, I would say that during my time using it, it worked properly about 20% of the time. I hope reading this will prevent anyone else from making the same mistake I did: getting billed through the nose being their beta-tester, holding out hope that everything will be okay soon.
GoSim is Great
If you need a single number worldwide, and aren't willing to eat the massive roaming costs from your home provider, get a SIM with the company GoSim. Their service actually works. They were my first choice, and we used them with great success for the first two months of our trip. Unfortunately, their data rates are astronomical compared to MobilityPass, hence our ill-fated switch.
Sadly, our phone, along with our GoSim card was stolen in Estonia. I foolishly didn't get a replacement while we were in Finland, and now we're stuck with MobilityPass again until we reach a country where the postal service is reliable.