A Customer Once Again

I had been a customer of Dish Network’s satellite TV service for many years before switching to a streaming service about 2 years ago. I have a generally positive view of Dish. I liked their equipment and service and their customer service was always friendly and helpful. The service cost less than cable TV, but more than streaming services, which is why I ultimately made the switch. I was a customer of Republic Wireless at the time that Dish Network took over, so I became a Dish customer once again. I read that the target market for RW is now the over 55 population. (I see that the site has that demographic prominently featured). I am not there yet, but I do like the added toll-free customer service phone number. I have not used it, but I like the fact that it is there. I also like the Member Community Board. Getting quick answers to questions from the “experts” is very helpful.

I am very much looking forward to Dish building out its own cell network, with the spectrum it has purchased, for added competition and also because satellite TV is a declining business. I purchased a year of cell service last fall so I am not going anywhere anytime soon. To the contrary, I would like to stay with Dish for the long term. I can’t think of another cell company I would rather be with than RW.

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Like you, I have had Dish satellite in the past but switched to streaming services years ago. Our current preference is Sling, a Dish property, which is growing in subscribers–unlike satellite. When Republic initially said that there would be discounts for customers with Dish television, I was hoping they would include Sling. Why not? It’s the one Dish business that’s growing. When the 5.0 plans were announced on Dec 14, the Dish promotion packages were briefly shown in the drop down menu when logged into a legacy account. These packages offered Dish satellite customers $5 off for single line and $10 off for two-line packages. I should have saved a screen shot, because later that day the promotions were removed from public visibility. No mention of Sling.

I agree that the 55+ community is the current target for RW as evidenced in both their graphics and packages. To compete in this market, it would be nice to have a prominent partner. Consumer Cellular offers discounts to AARP members. T-Mobile provides a basic Netflix package. Republic is uniquely positioned to offer a Sling discount since it is within the same Dish family. It would help if RW paid closer attention to the senior market. The biggest surprise to me was that none of the 5.0 phones included the iPhone. I’m in the 70+ age group and ALL of our close friends and family members are using iPhones. Now that RW is no longer pushing the VOIP technology for WiFi calling, I would think that iPhone support would be a priority.

As mobile providers build out their 5G networks there will be increasing interest in fixed mobile services that compete with cable TV. We see that now with T-Mobile and Verizon, and would expect Dish to be thinking the same way. Replace the cable with a wireless gateway and economical video streaming to the home. It all ties together with mobile phones. First, cell phones replaced copper landlines. Next cell providers will replace cable TV services.

Despite the awful rollout of the 5.0 plans–a marketing and engineering failure on all counts–I still think there’s a bright future for Republic and Dish, especially if they can hang on to the excellent customer support team lead by people like @southpaw.

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One possibility is they don’t currently feel the need. As you observe, Sling TV is growing. To use an analogy, have you tried buying or leasing a car lately. Historically, automobile manufacturers use discounts to move product. These days with demand far outstripping supply, there is no need for them to do so.

The fact they were out there briefly then removed demonstrates things can change. I have no information on whether a Republic/Sling bundle might be offered but do not rule out the possibility in the due course of time.

There is more to iPhone support than moving away from Republic’s proprietary VoIP based WiFi calling. There is also the need to reach an agreement with Apple. Unlike on Android, it is Apple that largely controls what network features are supported on iPhone via a “carrier bundle”. Again, I have no inside information on the matter but it would surprise me if DISH didn’t, at least, try to reach future agreement with Apple.

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Since you guys brought up TV providers…

I stream all my entertainment.

When are we going to get a la carte TV? I don’t subscribe to any satellite or cable TV service…I would use perhaps a dozen channels at most. When will we able able to choose individual channels, and not subsidize the other 80/120/300 channels through cable and satellite services. Even with Sling, I only used a handful of channels.

I know this is off topic…

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