Sunday, June 30, 2013

My honest review of SOLAVEI

This is my honest review of Solavei MVNO. I am not enrolled in the referral program so you will not be seeing any links to "join Solavei". 

First I will write about the Pros of being enrolled with Solavei. 

  • $49/month Unlimited Talk, Unlimited Text, 4GB of 4G Data* plus tax.
  • AT&T roaming.
  • Referral Program.
  • Uses T-Mobile's towers so you will see about the same data speeds as T-Mobile.
  • Conditional Call Forwarding. You can use Google voicemail with Solavei.
  • Clear data allotment per month.
  • International Texting

Next will be the Cons of Solavei. 

  • Little to no customer support.**
  • No ability to track minutes, texts or data.
  • Wifi tethering prohibited.
  • No support of short codes.***
  • Bill payments are online with credit/debit cards and phone.
  • Customer Support team lies a lot.

Overall review:
Aside from the cons, the actual service is pretty good. Voice is clear, texting works (if you bring your own phone, setting up APNs on Solavei may be difficult) However, due to pretty much non-existent customer service and the lack of short code*** support I can not, personally, justify the price. I would definitely recommend Solavei when they had the call center in the US. But since they changed so many things, including getting outsourced call center, the customer service is lacking entirely. The forums on Solavei is lacking any actual support. Most posts/threads I've seen, Solavei employees respond with assistance however, in most cases when another member asks the OP if it was fixed no response is made. Making me feel that the employees are just saying the issue has been fixed while simply blocking the negative posts. Please keep in mind if you are going to join Solavei, when you join you will be pretty much all on your own. When you call the customer support team by phone, most will not speak clear English and will not know what they are doing because they have not gotten adequate training. And with this they will tend to lie to you in order to make you happy. They also can not tell you where they are located, which is stated in their TOS, which a customer support rep told me he was in California. (he just broke the rules of the TOS and lied to me) Customer support will not be useful, forums isn't robust as you would think. 

There has been some posts on Solavei forums that customer's data has been throttled wrongly. As a member of Solavei you have no ability to check your data usages without using third party data monitoring apps. Which makes me think that Solavei can throttle you wrongly and pretty much get away with it because you have no evidence in the first place to make a counter case. This is a concern for me because THEY (Solavei) have the ability to watch and monitor our data usage but the consumers can not? 

Some people believe that Solavei allows Wifi tethering. That is NOT true. You might use it and get away with it, because they haven't caught you yet. But when you are caught, they have the right to cut you off without refunds of any kind. It is stated in their terms of service agreement. 

I really think that Solavei should advertise that they do NOT support short codes*** T-Mobile pre-paid allows short codes to be used. Solavei's states that the reason they do not support short codes is because short codes are premium texts and they will not be able to determine the amount used by a person. Since prepaid is paying beforehand rather than paying for the accumulated services. Which makes sense yes, but if that was true how could T-Mobile have prepaid with the short code enabled? With this, it seems Solavei is blocking us from using it. I was not able to find a reason for this. 

It has been almost a week since I enrolled. They have a 14 day return policy as stated in their . I will be calling them to request a Remorse Cancellation. According to them I should receive my refund of $70.14**** within 15 days after the request. I have read around that Solavei has a tendency to not stick with their promise. So I will post if I get my refund from them in 16 days from today. The 14 day return policy is the start of enrollment, not activation. It has been about 7 days so I SHOULD get my refund. 

I will also post my experience porting OUT of Solavei when I do port. 

*4G speed for 4GB then throttled to 2G speeds
**Customer Service on Chat & call centers are unhelpful. Forum support varies.
***Facebook, Solavei, Twitter and Google is supported. Only.
****Sim Card Cost: $9.00, 1st Month's Service fee: $49.00, Tax: $12.14

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