When I visited Scotland recently to visit my family I realised I had to make arrangements for internet access while I was there. I am a self-confessed internet addict, and my parents are not online.

I considered a few options: I could use my Canadian cellphone provider and pay for the roaming charges; I could rent a cellphone in the UK or I could use a service like Tep and rent a wifi device, allowing me to get online with my iPad as well. Two major providers in this area appear to be X.Com Global and Tep Wireless In the end I decided to check out Tep Wireless. I went online and verified that coverage was provided in the area of Scotland I was visiting – it was. For around $60 Canadian I arranged for one week’s unlimited wireless internet access.

Reviews of Tep Global seemed to be either glowing or shockingly bad, with the device not being delivered a significant cause of concern. I was rather relieved when my mother rang me to say that the device had been delivered on schedule a day or two before my arrival.

When I arrived on the Sunday evening I powered up the device only to have it display SMS only. Hmmm. After many, many, many attempts I finally got through to Tep support. Some basic troubleshooting was done, but I was still unable to get online. The Tep agent advised that a replacement device would be sent to me.

By the Wednesday I had not received any device or any further contact from Tep. Once again I attempted to contact them and it took from 9.30 am to 5pm to have my call actually answered. I was informed that there was no record of any new device being shipped to me. By this time, of course, it was already half way through my trip and any device sent now would barely arrive in time for me to use before I returned it. When I inquired about a full refund, I was informed that it was not Tep’s policy to issue refunds in such circumstances, only a credit note. Despite my insistence that this was unacceptable to me, he refused to budge.

However, he did some more troubleshooting and he was able to get me online. This lasted three hours until the device once again dropped the connection and showed SMS only.

At this point, I simply returned the device and demanded a full refund as well as repayment of the $1200 I had run up in roaming charges. I am still waiting for any response or refund from Tep.

So if you are considering Tep, perhaps you will be lucky and experience no issues at all. However, please consider this review and all other reviews out there before making a booking.

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