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MAXroam is officially launched

We bought you the news first a few weeks ago, but now it’s official. Cubic Telecom have officially announced the launch of their much-awaited MAXroam SIM card, which will dramatically reduce costs for people roaming internationally.  MAXroam cuts call charges for both the caller and the call recipient by up to 95% – no matter where they are.  In the first weekend of pre-sale, Cubic Telecom has sold MAXroam SIM cards to consumers in more than 30 different countries around the world from its website at www.maxroam.com.

The MAXroam SIM is the result of years of negotiations with traditional mobile phone companies around the world.  It was designed by a team with extensive knowledge of the mobile market and years of experience in running consumer mobile and wireless networks.

The SIM card allows users to allocate up to fifty local landline numbers from around the world to the user’s phone.  A businessman based in Dublin who travels regularly to the USA and Canada can allocate landline numbers from Dublin, New York and Toronto to his MAXroam SIM, meaning that he can be contacted cheaply and directly by colleagues and customers at any time.  His Canadian customers simply call a Toronto number, and his mobile phone will ring wherever he is.  His Irish colleagues simply call a Dublin number, and get connected straight to him – whether he’s in Dublin, New York, Toronto or elsewhere.

Cubic designed the product for several large markets of consumers who are looking for ways to reduce the cost of international telephony: (1) the growing population of émigrés who buy pre-paid calling cards to call friends and family overseas; (2) travellers who are looking for ways to reduce the costs of roaming on traditional packages; and (3) globally distributed teams – commercial, not-for-profit, and governmental organisations – that are seeking better ways to manage the cost of global calls.

“It’s great that we’ve now reached the stage where we can start selling our MAXroam SIM,” says Pat Phelan, CEO of Cubic Telecom.  “The response from consumers has been massive.  Within a few hours of setting our website into pre-sale mode, we were selling hundreds of SIM cards.  75% of enquiries so far have been from small business owners, and we’ve also had interest from a few Fortune500 companies, as well as many individuals who have family living abroad or spend a lot of time travelling.  This is a great product because it’s not only good for your pocket as the user, it’s also good for those who are calling you from overseas.  There are no more massive bills for calling mobiles across borders with MAXroam in your phone.”

MAXroam, which operates on any unlocked* GSM phone, can be purchased for £20 (EUR29.99) (with an initial £3.50 (EUR5) calling credit) and is available now at www.maxroam.com.

10 replies on “MAXroam is officially launched”

I am having this past week an experience with MAX ROAM. I have mixed feelings. The basic phone calls do work and somewhat smoothly and a nice clear signal.

The MAXROAM user interface and the company’s customer service is awkward, confusing and not customer friendly.

The order was not configured as I requested in the first place. They offered a choice of USA Area Codes for the first number assignment. I choose a west coast area code and they configured with an Georgia area code.

The chip was received in a plain white envelope (not insured – no signature required) and later I find out contrary to their information, the chip was already activated so my 89 Euro value was open to be stolen. For some reason, they activate the chip when they process the order rather than having the client activate after receiving the chip.

Next they advertised local numbers in over 150 countries. So I logged into my account and requested a local number in the country of Latvia. – NON AVAILABLE was the reply.

I complained quite severely and they reacted quite severely!

Its now been well over a week and they have assigned a local Latvia number but in order to make it work, you MUST dial it using the International calling technique which means that you have to dial the countrycode infront of the number.

So If I call to the local Latvian number from abroad it works. If I call the number using Skype, it works.

But, and it is a BIG BUT; the Latvian phone companies will NOT allow you to dial a local Latvian number using the country code first.

So, I have a local Latvian number; but, no one inside of Latvia can call it!

Wow, the MAXROAM management at this point is offering to give me my money back – full credit to my credit card.

Now, I am being the devil again. I want what they advertised!

Will see if the MAXROAM management will live up to their advertising or will leave the “chip on their shoulder” so to speak.

In any way you look at it, the MAXROAM online info is incorrect, misleading and in some cases simply not the way it is.

Oh, yes, my online account still shows incorrect numbers and is missing the FREE credit they offered me for my troubles last week.

As I said in the e-mail that I just sent you Mike we do offer exactly what we advertise. If you look at the FAQ’s on our website it clearly states, and has always stated, the following

How do I make and receive calls?

For all incoming calls just answer you phone as you normally would. For all outgoing calls do the following:

1. Always dial the FULL international phone number, even if dialling a local number. Only country code, area code, local number. Using the “+”or other international access codes (such as “00”) is NOT necessary.
2. After pressing the SEND key, wait 10 seconds. Your phone will ring.
3. Answer it. You’ll hear the ringing of the party you called.
4. When they answer, you’re connected!

This is the way that our system works. If it doesn’t work for you then as we have said in the many emails and calls we have had with you, we are happy to refund your money unconditionally.

Sean:

with all due respect… My problem is not with placing calls.

My problem is that my supposed local number can not be dialed by another party inside of Latvia and your instructions do NOT say that a local number must be dialed using the country code as a prefix.

Latvian fixed line and Latvian mobile carriers will NOT allow a number to be dialed with 371 first

371-788-1932

I am NOT talking about calling myself, I am talking about someone else inside of Latvia trying to call my Latvian number.

Something that seems quite logical to me.

Otherwise why would I want a local number. Its for local people to call me! Right!

Am I missing something?

Sadly the whinging postal workers who want an extra 5 tea breaks during their 3 hour day ensured that me getting my Maxroam SIM last week was going to be nigh on impossible.

So early last week I emailed Maxroam to play the “I heard about you on the famous smstextnews blog” card and to see if there was a way they could work around the postal strike and get me my SIM another way, before I left the country and so I could write a glowing report about the whole service. A guy said he would be in London on Thursday and would bring one with him and arrange to meet me. Bloody fantastic I thought. I never heard from him again.

So on Thursday I quickly emailed the maxroam support team to ask where in the system my order was, simply so I could evaluate whether I was going to be SIM’ed up before I left the country. I have yet to receive a reply to my email.

So if you guys are listening – please process a refund to my credit card.

Anyone got any other cool ideas for cheap calls whilst abroad?

Yours very disappointed
Steve ;-(

@Sean & Mike: I think you’ve both been misunderstood some things….

Sean: Mike isn’t talking about dialling out from his maxroam SIM, he’s talking about people calling him from Latvia.

Mike: I haven’t used MaxRoam but people inside of Latvia shouldn’t have to dial internationally, they should be able to dial it like any other Latvian number. When MaxRoam say “you MUST dial it using the International calling technique” I think you’ll find they are referring to calling out from your maxroam SIM.

Pat and the Cubic team have put together a great product but it seems obvious from the comments here that there is some work to be done in the customer service department.

…..ok after a few further emails from a helpful Chris at Maxroam, they were able to send out a SIM to someone who was about to visit me in Egypt. So via a long route I eventually got my hands on a Maxroam SIM 3 days ago. And boy, do I wish I hadn’t bothered. What a complete waste of space.

Firstly, because it was a replacement I had to have them set me up another account because my existing account was assigned to the original SIM. That’s the SIM that is currently sat in a Royal Mail sack that will eventually be delivered in 2067 along with the BBC news headline “a Mr Procter, aged 99, today received a letter 60 years after it was posted”. But anyway, a small teething issue with their website is not really of concern…

What is of big concern is that after putting the SIM into my Nokia 60300 (unlocked) and having the SIM registered, authenticated, verified, applied and activated, I made a call. Just a quick call to the other phone sat 2 foot away.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

Oh yeah, so I then topped up my account online with £25 remembering it works on a wallet basis.

Ok call numero duo.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

hhmmm. Time for some emails to Chris again. After a series of emails over a period of 2 days, information was slowly eaked out to me that…

1. I shouldn’t write the + plus sign at the start of the number. You know, the symbol that is universally recognised as starting an international phone number. The one we’ve all added to our address book over the past few years as we all begin to roam a bit more. The one that MAxroam now want us to remove. But they don’t want us to revert back to local parlance and begin everything with a zero. No, they want us to just have “447…” or “201634…”. hhmmm. Well I’m no expert on international numbering standards, but this does seem a bit wrong.

2. “Certain manufacturers, in conjunction with network operators, disable a feature required by your MaxRoam SIM to discourage the use of global SIM’s like ours. We are working on a permanent solution to this, which should be released in Q1 2008”. Erm excuse me!!!??? So a new’ish Nokia handset roaming on a Vodafone network hey. Oh silly me for being in such a minority group.

I was then told to go to my handsets roaming menu and use the “Call” option, which I’ve never seen before but I guessed somehow was a sneaky tunnel beneath the blocking features imposed by nokia/vodafone. This would be hideously inconvenient to use every time, but might be acceptable until their Q1 2008 fix came along. But it was not meant to be – this also presented me with an error message.

So I’m afraid folks that I have yet to taste the quality of what is inside the Maxroam tin. Very glossy packaging with great promises. But sadly I can’t even get to the point of making a call. Very very disappointing!!!

Steve

hummm…. I don’t think that MaxRoam can be held responsible for the postal strike…!

I think it’s pretty good that they got the sim to you in Egypt, it shows great customer service.

As for it not workings so well on your phone, well I expect because this is a new business they kinks are being ironed out and I’m sure if they’re willing to try and get a sim to you in Egypt they are very eager to do the best they can for their customers.

I think they may have been surprised with the huge demand they have had and it’s a bit like the free broadband offer from the carphone warehouse where even a huge business with massive resources and experience were swamped by demand for a new’ish product for them.

Pat and his team will sort all of this out shortly I’m sure.

Mark
Mark

Mark,

Postal strike: I didn’t say this was their problem, of course it wasn’t – sorry my rants about the antiquated royal mail got in the way. Getting the sim to me in Egypt: they didn’t; they offered to by DHL for an extra £50 but I didn’t want to pay that so instead they sent it to a friend in the UK who brought it out. So yes in general they have been very helpful to get me a repalcement SIM and Chris has been very helpful in his emails.

But we are skirting round the issue. The real issue is not delivery of SIMs. They could post me a million SIMs but sorry, if you cannot even make a single call, that is not an issue that they can blame on “huge demand”. The service simply does not work. fullstop. If there are such major issues that a Nokia 6300 will not work on a Vodafone network then in my opinion they have launched the service too early – or possibly it should never have been launched in the first place. Nice idea on the blackboard, but to me this sort of service is like selling lightbulbs – they either work or they don’t, there is no half way between. And if they don’t work you take them off the shelves.

steve

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