Recently I had a chance to give Truphone a weeklong test drive in Europe. The company sent me a new iPhone 5s and a HUAWEI MiFi E5776s-32. When I landed in France the iPhone worked perfectly but the MiFi did not. I called customer service by dialing 707 on a Sunday morning. I did this as I was waiting in line to rent a car. Of course, as I got into the conversation with tech support I was at the front of the line. The Truphone rep offered to call me back. When I got to my destination I finally spoke to support – they called me repeatedly until we connected.
I finally took the SIM out of the MiFi and placed it in a phone and it worked fine. I then swapped SIMs again and the MiFi worked for a few days but was slow to initially connect to the network when turned on. It turns out you need to set the APN to static at www.truphone.com and leave the user name and password blank to get the MiFi to work right. Interestingly, the easy to read manual explains this but I didn’t read it until I got back from my trip. Once I set this up – thanks again to Truphone support, the MiFi worked perfectly.
Between the iPhone and MiFi I was as connected as I am in the states. I had a ton of work to do on the road so I really put these devices through their paces. The network partner Orange worked throughout Cannes, Nice, Juan Les Pines, Monte Carlo and more.
The Truphone phone provided came with two telephone numbers – one for the UK and one for the US. I forwarded my US based phone to the US-based Truphone number so as not to incur international costs which start the moment your phone gets a call and is in voicemail. In other words, had I used my domestic phone in Europe, I would get billed – for every moment the phone is ringing, playing and recording voicemail, etc. Instead, I never turned the domestic phone while I was away. Moreover, I associated the new phone number with iMessage meaning all the texts to my domestic phone came to me internationally with no additional charges.
In the past, I have covered the company’s share plans (video) and expanded telephone number support – it was great to finally put the service through its paces. It works as advertised – perhaps even better.
I really can’t think of any room for improvement. The MiFi lasted close to nine hours, the phone worked well and support was as good as it gets. Moreover, this MiFi unit is likely new for the company as I was told their typical MiFi devices only last a few hours. Of course, you can bring your own device if you like but it is good to know the company provides top-of-the-line alternatives if needed.