Those who signed up early for Project Fi, the wireless service that Google announced back in April earlier this year, now have a way of tracking the status of the invites they requested. Indeed, the tech giant has just deployed a new online tool right there on the Project Fi sign up page -- the prospective Project Fi subscribers were notified about the tool via email just recently.
But alas -- for many customers, the new page does not display a timeframe yet, which is perhaps the most crucial thing for those who can not wait to try Google's cellular service. Several users did report timeframes (showing "3 to 4 weeks" or "4 to 8 weeks") appearing on the page, but for a good many, they are just seeing a message that reads: "We're still determining your status. Check back here for updates."
Disgruntled potential customers of Google's wireless service have already taken to Twitter, sending tweets to the support account of Project Fi repeatedly requesting for any update or explanation regarding the lack of any timeframe.
Intriguingly, some of those who reported not seeing any timeframes on the web page include users who signed up earliest for Project Fi. It is possible that invites are not issued based on a first come first served basis. Google may be using an entirely different set of criteria in determining which prospective user gets to have his invite processed first. When one thinks about it, there could be a lot of factors that help decide when a person gets his invite. Google could be looking at a user's zip code and the current quality of the wireless coverage for that user's location. After all, Project Fi is using a special SIM card that lets a Nexus 6 mobile device operate on existing networks by T-Mobile and Sprint.
Still, users may remember that in May earlier this year, Google did send an email message to potential subscribers of Project Fi, telling them that the company should be able to complete its rollout of its invites before the end of the summer. It even mentioned that an online tool could soon be launched in order to help customers track their invites. Well, the online tool is already here. But instead of being any help to specific customers, it has become a cause for complaints, albeit minor ones.
However, Google should be able to work around this issue, and on the whole, it should not dampen people's enthusiasm for the company's newly introduced wireless service. Project Fi is being positioned by Google as a zero contract mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with plans that start at $20 a month and already includes unlimited calls and unlimited text messaging, as well as support for Wi-Fi tethering. Customers then pay for the data they use at a flat rate of $10 per gigabyte. On top of that, customers will also get credit for unused data at month's end.
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