86 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on May 28, 2011
I bought this sim card for international travel since I wanted to be able to give people one number for emergencies prior to a trip rather than getting sim cards in other countries with different numbers. I tested it in the US with a call to/from US numbers and to/from a friend in Turkey. First stop was the UK. There was a glitch with checking voice mail but it turned out to be how my phone was set up not Telestial - don't know why I didn't think to try it in the US. Next stop Turkey. Nothing seemed to be working - no incoming or outgoing calls/texts. My friend suggested checking the carrier and we switched the phone to TurkCell which is the prime carrier in Turkey rather than the carrier automatically selected through the phone. Problem solved and great reception everywhere although it is a bit strange to have a callback when you place a call. This may be the solution to the problem mentioned by other reviewers where their phone is not working in a country - try a different carrier - under Settings on your phone go to Network Selection then select Manual to see if other carriers are available to try. Back in the US again - worked great with the automatic carrier selection. Rates charged matched exactly what was listed on Telestial's website. Incoming calls and text were free and outbound call rates billed matched the rates given. I only used the UK number, not the US number since most of my calls were to/from Europe not the US and the phone was for emergencies and quick calls only. Regular communication was through the internet. In 3 weeks of travel the charge was $9.08 for a total of 15 inbound/outbound calls/texts. Note that even if your call is only 20 seconds, you are charged in full 1 minute increments. Check the rates to determine if the Passport or Passport-Lite option is best for your use. I'll be using this sim card for future travels.
122 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2011
First of all, I wrote a review last week, and now it has disappeared. So I a back to write another review. Do not buy this product! It is a complete waste of money. Your final bill after shipping will be close to $50.00.
When I received the sim card I turned it on in the US. I did not have any problem. The packaging included a note stating if you write a review you will receive a $10.00 credit. So many of the reviews are when the person first received the sim card. I wrote a review and promptly received a $10.00 calling credit. Now for the real story. The card does not work in England or France. I tried in vain to use the card and only got a message that the service was unavailable. I paid for internet service in France and wrote an email to the company. They promptly replied and gave me a set of instructions. The card still did not work. They told me to call a toll free number.
The reason I spend $50.00 on this card (including the shipping) is so I could have an easy inexpensive way to phone the US. Please save your money on this product and research other options. Also, read the other reviews and research WHO wrote them. Many of the 5 star reviews come from people who only reviewed this one product or maybe two products. And they were written around the same time.
Amazon should be ashamed to sell such a poor product....and why did my first review disappear???? I'll keep writing them if they keep removing them. This is not a good product!
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on April 9, 2012
I've used this card in 13 countries on 3 different continents and it has worked great every single time. Word to the wise: Test this card out BEFORE you leave the states. Play with it at home so you can get a feel for how it works before you're stranded overseas.
Pop the card in your phone in the US, and call a line to make sure you can figure out how to dial. Also, dial the US and the Global number to make sure the phone rings when you call it. If you do all these steps, when you travel and run into a problem, you know it's due to the configuration on the phone and not the actual sim card.
The only problem you'll run into is finding an authorized network (sometimes you'll get a prohibited network error message over-seas). Before you go on your trip play with the phone that you'll be using and make sure you understand how to go in, search for available networks, and connect to them. Ask a friend, go in to your carrier store, whatever it takes, but make sure you know how to do this before you leave the states.
Once you figure out a network to connect to, this card works like a charm for voice/text. Never got picture messaging to work. You may have to occasionally cycle power on your phone if the sim card acts up.
- Read the insructions for the sim card before you go
- Play with the Sim Card in the US. Play with searching for and connecting to networks on the phone you're going to take with you.
- You may have to use the *128 option to get the phone to dial (read the manual)
- Use the rate finder before you go to understand all the fees. Understand that there is a connection fee PER CALL, for both incoming & outgoing calls that varies per country
- I DO NOT recommend this phone for data use. The 100k mininum charging increments will burn holes in your pocket.
This SIM has been my card of choice for the last 3 years. I use it for voice, and use my smartphone from the states for data (cheaper to use VZW/AT&Ts data roaming plan).
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 18, 2011
I will NEVER use Telestial again. I purchased a Passport SIM, tested it in the states. When I arrive in Indonesia, it did not work. Customer service was non existent. The only way I could actually talk to a live person was to put the SIM back in and request a wireless recharge, then zero out to customer service. I missed two business calls and now have to take another taxi to buy another pre-paid SIM.
I have NEVER experienced worse customer service in my life. DO NOT USE TELESTIAL!!!!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2011
This is my 2nd attempt to review this product, as my last review disappeared for some reason.
First, you should know that when I received this SIM card, there was a paper note in my order that offered up $10 worth of phone credit for immediately writing a positive review here on Amazon (I won't be bought so cheaply).
More importantly, this SIM card barely worked for us in Europe. Apparently, you can attempt to get your cell phone to register with various carriers depending on the pre-fix for the SIM password. We traveled to several countries: In Germany, we mostly got the card to work after attempting various prefixes (0 through 8) on the SIM password. In Austria and The Netherlands, the phone wouldn't work at all--it just rebooted every time it got a signal. I called customer service, and they said it would take 4-5 days before their engineers could work on the problem. Useless--I'd be back home by then.
- Test calls in the US work just fine (where I totally don't need this product).
- Text messages never worked
- Voicemail notifications sometimes came through, but mostly didn't
- Every call we were able to actually make in Europe, it took at least a few tries to connect.
- I bought this card because I wanted an actual phone number to leave with family and petsitters before we left the U.S. Otherwise, I would have been better off buying a prepaid SIM card in Europe. Next time, that's just what I'll do.
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2011
I travel a lot internationally and finding SIM's, English instructions and knowing how to use them always seems to be a challenge. I even use Dual SIM phones just to keep a US SIM as a backup. You never know what to expect when you are buying something for use in another country. I have to admit, Telestial has simple, coherent, zero hassle and well documented instructions and customer service. Card works perfectly, web site is simple and clean, customer service was awesome (I checked it out before I left) This was the best buy for my trips so far and I am normally a very critical person.
I read the instructions which were written in plain English, checked out the website which was simple and easy to use, called them intentionally to see how much of a hassle it would be when in another country (I made a call to my Italy office from the US, and from Italy I generated a call to their Italian customer service number at 9:00PM EST which is 3:00am Italy time)No issues at all. I asked a few questions and all were answered with clarity. I decided to add minutes to my SIM through the website just so it could be done as an auto-recharge (which can be started or stopped by dialing a free three digit number.
There may be cheaper rates per minute (by a few pennies), but the hassle free factor with this SIM made it worth it. Also Free incoming calls and texts makes up for any price differences. I tested those as well and then checked my card balance on their website. They had up to the minute call records and no charges showed which is what is should be.
Only thing that you would want to know is you wouldn't want to buy Personal Business Cards with the US number on it as it expires after 2 months of inactivity. Telestial will automatically issue a new US number the next time the SIM is used in the US for free, and they do offer a way to keep the US number permanent for $.50/mo. The UK number is permanent so I'm good with that.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 25, 2011
I bought this item for two reasons: (1) US number (in addition to UK number), and (2) free incoming SMS.
It was a bit more complex than first appearance:
(1) The US number is only assigned after you activate the SIM card (with the UK number). This is not written anywhere in the included instructions. After you activate, you will receive an SMS with the US number.
(2) You will pay $0.10 per SMS sent to the US number. To be fair, this was in the small print on the provider website. I just didn't notice it before purchasing. An email option would be nice.
To clarify the procedure for (1), I did try calling their support number. After 10 minutes on hold, the call was just dropped. I ended up figuring it out on my own, but it was not the most convincing experience. I have yet to try it out on my foreign travel. My opinions may change, and this review may be updated....
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2014
Purchase could not make or receive calls in Germany, Switzerland, and at times in Austria. Customer Service department was unable to resolved issue and would give me the run around.
I would not buy SIM card from Telestial again. Suggest you contact USA carrier and get their service for traveling to Europe to avoid the issues I had.
It is a waste of money and time. Invest in another SIM card.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2011
Just returned from a 7 day trip to Ireland. Happy overall with the SIM card. One thing to be aware of is read the instructions before use! You basically have to dial the number first to activate it and than a few seconds later you will get a call back that will connect you to the number. Sounds confusing but it isn't and worked great......but read the instructions first!!
Received my product in a timely manner and adding minutes was a breeze online.
Worked all through Ireland with no difficulty. We also called back to the States on our US number with no problems and than had our family call us in Ireland on our US number and worked great. Definitely recommend this product. Only gave it 4 stars with the call activation above but would still buy this product!
17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2011
This is my experience with 2 of these sim cards. The card came with $10 credit. However, shortly after trying to use the cards, 30 minutes worth of credit, which is practically the entire $10 was deducted when the minutes were in fact not used. I had to go through the trouble of calling customer service to get a refund. This happened with both sim cards. Customer support told me that it was not a glitch....so I don't know what it was but it's an inconvenience to have to call to get a refund when traveling overseas.
I received a refund for the 30 minutes which I didn't use; however, I never received a refund on charges for 7 minutes which I was charged for when I attempted to and unsuccessfully checked the voice mail. After dialing to listen to the voice mail, I heard nothing and hung up the phone. I tried checking the voice mail a few times and was never successful. The end result was that I was charged for 7 minutes of usage, which I never got a refund for.
Beware of getting charged for minutes that you may not have actually used. After deducting the credit, which resulted in a negative balance (and I don't know how it's even possible to get a negative balance), I received about 10 text messages saying that my balance had fallen to -$2.24 and that I needed to recharge my minutes.
A note about receiving a text message.....it was delayed for about a day.
A note on sending out text messages.....it was never received.
On the positive.....very clear sound reception and you can recharge your minutes right from your phone....but after all the hassle that I had to go through...I'll just find another global sim card to save from future headaches while traveling overseas.
This was my second bad experience with telestial sim cards. My last experience involved buying a sim card for a specific country. The card didn't work when I arrived in that country, and I ended up having to buy a local sim card at my destination. Again, very inconvenient when traveling overseas....and the whole point of purchasing the sim card in the first place was to not have to spend time purchasing a sim card overseas.
Just very frustrated about my recent experience and want to share it to save someone else from undergoing such frustrations.