Thursday, November 23, 2017

T Mobile is Not a Good Data Service for Sailors and the Company treats Non Americans in Dreadful Fashion

Vero Beach

This year the Budget Committee approved the expense of a cellular data line while we were cruising down the Eastern Seaboard.  We were interested in using the internet to obtain weather information while underway

We chose T Mobile as the rates were good and, according to the office in New Bern NC, coverage was great.

Well ... coverage is not great.  If our boat was actually in a city we had some connection to the T Mobile network but  if we were only 4 miles offshore even of a large centre there was no connection at all.

Our experience is that T Mobile has effectively no coverage in coastal North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia and only spotty coverage in north Florida.  Now that we are in Vero Beach at the municipal marina we have service but only 2 bars.

This was not the phone.  We use two phones including an old Alcatel which has our Canadian service on it.  This second phone uses the AT&T network when we are in the USA.  The second phone almost always had service.  

So our recommendation is not to use T Mobile on the Eastern Seaboard.


This month the local T Mobile office suggested we upgrade to a two line system for old people.  They call it their "Over 55" plan.  We all know what they mean.

The problem was that the local office could not get my credit approved.  Non American ID is unacceptable.  Even my Nexus Card which is issued by the US Federal Government was unacceptable, I assume because they had figured out I was NOT AMERICAN.

At one point T Mobile staff asked if I had ever used any of a list of names instead of my given name.  I had not and have not and answered accordingly.

My credit approval was put in abeyance.  When I called  T Mobile Customer Service to find out why I was hung up on by the staff person.  Calling back and a trifle irritated at this point I was informed that my request had been refused because I had lied in answering the questions about my use of other names.  

So instead of upgrading our service with T Mobile we have switched service to Consumer Cellular.  So far the system is easy, I have four bars of service and I do not have to deal with people who either hate foreigners or are too stupid to know how.

Significant Improvements by US Customs and Border Protection

Vero Beach, FL

Recent experiences with the American Customs and Border Protection Agency leave both The Budget Committee and me impressed.

Staff the Morehead City NC office were helpful and caring in dealing with our needs and in offering advice.

Staff at the Ft Pierce Airport office, which cruisers must visit if they are in Ft Pierce or Vero Beach area, showed the same high degree of knowledge and of attention to getting done what was needed.

We left both offices encouraged and with positive attitudes towards American authorities.  Dealing with another country's rules and regs can be daunting.  Most of us want to follow the rules but the process can still be tension filled.  

Both the Beaufort NC and Ft Pierce FL offices made it easy for us to do what needed to be done.

Thanks guys.