Holafly, a provider of travel eSIM service, claims to offer 'Unlimited' data plans. But does this truly translate to unthrottled mobile internet access with their eSIM?
In order to get to the bottom of this, I turned to social media to investigate what users have experienced and shared about their Holafly eSIM.
This post delves into some intriguing findings from social media (Twitterverse to be more specific) concerning not only Holafly's 'unlimited' claim but also speed, customer service, and hotspot functionality.
Seemingly common speed concerns
Quite a number of tweets on Twitter highlight issues such as slow connections, throttling, and dropped speeds with Holafly eSIM.
Some users reported that their eSIM initially functioned well, but the connection speed quickly deteriorated.
Interestingly, many of these cases appear to have occurred in European countries, such as Spain. It's not clear whether this is merely a coincidence, but it's worth considering.
The sheer volume of tweets discussing speed-related problems strongly indicates that users may face speed restrictions at some point. Can't confirm anything but it's definitely possible.
Here's an example of a tweet that mentions 'throttling', which refers to significantly reduced speeds imposed by the mobile network provider.
Several tweets even include speed test results to showcase the issue.
When it comes to mobile / cellular data, "unlimited data" might be too good to be true. It's plausible that the speed could decrease (restricted) after consuming a certain amount of data, as suggested by the tweet below.
Experiencing a speed drop after using only 2GB of data is far from the idea of unlimited. Personally, I'd prefer purchasing a 5GB or 10GB plan to avoid the potential frustration of significantly reduced speeds. It would be a modern traveler's nightmare to face such issues during a trip.
Poor customer support? Maybe
We can all agree that dealing with a glitch is highly frustrating, especially when the provider struggles to respond or provide help in a timely manner. Most people, myself included, have faced such situations at least a couple of times.
And it's even more frustrating when the problem involves mobile data while traveling, as some Holafly customers have shared on social media...
Given Holafly's popularity in Spanish-speaking countries, numerous complaints can be found in Spanish.
I have an incident and I have tried to contact you by mail, by chat on the web, by WhatsApp even by phone (which does not seem to work) and nothing at all for hours...
It is the third time that I try to contact you, your customer service is terrible. I am in Egypt, with a data card from you, and there is no way it will work. You answer the chat and WhatsApp every thousand hours.
There are also several English tweets spelling out disappointing customer support experiences.
Although Holafly claims to offer 24/7 support through online chat, WhatsApp, and email, some users suggest that these channels may not always be reliable.
While I hope (and believe) their support is generally available when needed, it's essential to recognize the multiple complaints regarding their customer service.
Fact: No Hotspot / Tethering Allowed
As this user expresses, it's incredibly inconvenient to discover that hotspot doesn't work when you assumed it would. The truth is, many of Holafly's eSIMs do not permit tethering.
The fact that Holafly prohibits Personal Hotspot / Internet sharing with their 'unlimited' data eSIM suggests that what they call 'Unlimited' may not be true unlimited.
It's reasonable to assume that this restriction is in place to prevent users from excessively consuming data across multiple devices. But again, it's just my guess / observation.
Those plans were initially not advertised as 'unlimited'
It seems that during the first half of 2022, Holafly updated their data plans and began promoting some (or most, I should say) of their plans as offering 'Unlimited' data.
Evidence of this change can be found in older blog posts, such as this article from travel with bender featuring Holafly.
This update also reveals that Holafly eSIM did support tethering at first. However, they apparently disabled it when they started marketing many of their plans as unlimited data.
Refunds could be a lengthy process
There have been complaints from some users about the refund process taking too long.
Or, in more unfortunate cases, having their refunds rejected.
It's difficult to determine if these cases are rare exceptions or just the tip of the iceberg.
Nonetheless, some travel eSIM providers like Maya Mobile offer a money-back guarantee that could be a safer alternative.
Although it remains unclear whether network throttling or speed restrictions actually exist for Holafly eSIM and, if they do, under which circumstances they occur, it's important to recognize that 'unlimited' data in the context of prepaid mobile data using a cellular network is generally not truly unlimited. If you want to understand more about this, search for 'Fair Usage Policy' to delve into the specifics.
Keep in mind that the overview provided here represents one perspective on Holafly eSIM and serves as a reminder that the experience might be less than what you expect.
Of course, there are customers who have been satisfied with their eSIM experience, but as the saying goes; "Where there's smoke, there's fire," right?
All I can say is that I wouldn't personally recommend choosing Holafly eSIM for your next trip solely based on their 'Unlimited' data claim.
You could potentially end up spending more money or, even worse, valuable time (which is precious when traveling) trying to resolve issues with their eSIMs.
'Unlimited' data doesn't mean constant high (or normal) speed
The practice of attracting customers with the enticing 'Unlimited' label is often seen in mobile internet services. While it's not technically incorrect, as you might still be able to use data at a significantly slower speed, some people find this approach deceptive.
I personally hope that companies abandon this deceptive language / terminology and instead promote data plans with specific GB limits (unless it's genuinely unlimited data, of course).
Anyway, please do your own research and choose wisely.
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