A Farewell Message to RW from a Beta Member with feedback


#1

First I must say I enjoyed my experience with Republic Wireless. Unfortunately, the time has come to transition to another service provider. I would like to leave a little feedback on my experience with RW.

  • Like most, I was excited about the (beta) RW service model - You remember that right? The “Truly Unlimited. Period. For $19” phase. RW PERFECTLY fit a ready & willing, albeit limited, niche. Alas, it was not meant to be
  • Understanding companies are in business to make money, I transitioned and continued with the now grandfathered 3G plan.
  • The initial phone was blah. The second phone was blah. Many of the follow on phones were blah. But you know - that REALLY REALLY DID NOT BOTHER ME. I didn’t then, and still don’t now, need to have the fastest, newest and/or high end smartphone. All I really require is a dependable and serviceable mid-ish grade smartphone that is backed up by reliable service. I was a perfect fit for RW.
  • My assumption is that most (?) of the early RW beta+ members, were MORE THAN WILLING to accept the less than stellar smartphones, speed, and customer service tradeoffs because the price point was right and the company’s service model was promising. Maybe that why there are still members on the beta Defy phone. Maybe thats also why the rebate plans did not have as much participation from beta members as planned. In hindsight, I think the constant tinkering foretold the writing on the wall even then…
  • I would read comments in the community where members would “inquire” about newer and better smartphones. I would also read comments questioning the customer service model. I saw RW reply there were changes coming that would directly affect the questions. Uh oh…I wondered if I was in the happy silent minority or the happy silent majority.
  • Lest we forget, the service model we were sold on is that RW would provide smartphones that would be continually updated with no need to worry about the smartphone becoming obsolete. In other words, RW’s research stated we wouldn’t t need to buy new smartphones nearly as often. I think I remember RW stating that research showed the newest model smartphone was not as important to consumers as price point and a continually updated phone. Is that even close to right? Yet, the model changed. Nevertheless, it was a promising premise and company plan. But, alas, that was not meant to be.
  • Eventually the grandfathered phone died a very slow and very painful death. I went to multiple repair shops attempting to keep it on life support.
  • I had a decision to make.
  • After weighing the plusses and minuses, it simply did not make fiscal sense for me to continue with RW. Bluntly - RW was not price/cost competitive.
  • That sentence was hard to type - RW was not price/cost competitive. From a cost standpoint - RW initially BLEW AWAY ALL COMPETITORS - - Now its not cost competitive.
  • The question Republlic Wireless should do a deep dive and ask is: How did we get here?

En Fin - Its sad to leave RW, but It is time. Technology, company business plans, and consumer preferences change. I wish RW the very best going forward.


#2

Thanks for your feedback @workinitout. We appreciate that you’d take the time to write that up and let us know the thought process behind your departure.

We strongly believe there is more to providing value than just the price point of the plans and the amount of calls/texts/data included. We’re not done, and we’re not standing still. We hear your (and others’) feedback and it is being taken to heart. Even as you move on, please keep an eye on us. I’m hopeful you’ll see something that’ll one day bring you back.


#3

I wish you the best. Sometimes things don’t add up to be cost effective. For me it is! Even with some drawbacks I won’t discuss as they aren’t deal breakers. I can still bend in the wind and not break since the wife is happy with her phone.


#4

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and best wishes going forward.

Everyone’s situation is different. In my situation, RW is still unbeatable

For us it’s mostly about coverage. My wife and I both have Moto G5+ on the 3.0 plan. Hers is a CDMA and mine is GSM. That’s a huge advantage when we travel across the country since we have the combined coverage of 2 major carriers.

We are low data users so our combined monthly bill is about $45.

And the best part is the look on my employer’s face when I turn my $23 portion in for reimbursement: Priceless


#5

Interesting read and I’d just say that it all depends how you use your phone and what you need it to do.

I’m a little surprised that you would say that RW is not price/cost competitive though. Where are you moving to that beats RW on price/cost?

Perhaps if you use more than a couple GB’s of data per month, but if you use less than 2 GB’s of data, I’m not aware of anything that can beat RW. RW’s model has always revolved around WiFi first and minimizing data usage, nothing has changed there.

I just upgraded my hardware from a Moto X2 to a Pixel 2 and I for one was very glad to see RW open up their phone offerings directly or through the BYOP program. Although I do like the lowest possible bill each month, I still like to have the option to purchase a flagship phone. Previously, RW’s phone offerings were very limited and I considered leaving because of this. But that’s no longer the case.

I really enjoyed the 2.0 refund pricing model with my Moto X2. Pay only for the data you use is attractive to me because you never really have to be concerned if one month, you happen to use more data and go slightly over into another GB tier. You don’t end up paying for an entire extra GB, only what you actually use. I never exceeded 1GB per month and the result was my monthly bill including taxes usually came in around $17/mo which is extremely price/cost competitive.

I wish I could have stayed with 2.0 but with the Pixel 2, I had to switch to 3.0 but I’m still operating under a 1GB data plan. So, instead of $17/mo, my monthly bill will probably increase to $23 or $24 per month including taxes. I’m not aware of any other carrier plan that can beat that price/cost. Project Fi comes close since they are the only one currently offering a refund data plan, but they’d still be a few bucks more a month than RW. Project Fi’s drawback is that they historically have had a limited stable of phones that would work on their network, but they’re starting to slowly increase their offerings as well.

I was concerned a little about switching from CDMA only to GSM only and part of the reason I went with the BYOP unlocked Pixel 2 was in case I wanted to switch to Project Fi, which can use both types of networks. But so far, I think my reception at least where I live and travel most frequently is better on GSM than it was on CDMA, so I’m staying with RW since for my use, I do believe they are the low price/cost provider.

Also, I’ve never had an issue with the RW customer service model. For me, it works just fine.


#6

I’ve been following Republic for some time. As remember, the Defy phone originally had a limit on how much cellular data you could use, as the plan was to use WiFi as the main source of data.

As it turned out, folks got the message, the phone tended to get hot under long term usage, and Sprint’s 3G service was horrible. So to Republic’s surprise folks used very little cellular data. As a reward, they removed the limit on cellular data.

I don’t remember Republic stated that. Perhaps I missed it. I do remember Republic stating they would update the Republic software. Which of course did not happen.

I think we can blame or thank TMobile for driving down the cost of cellular data. Unfortunately, Republic is between a rock and a hard spot now.

I do think Republic is competitive for someone who uses less than 1 GB of cellular data a month and does not live in a high cell phone tax state like me. If Republic comes through with a refund plan or can come up with a 250 MB plan for under 15 bucks, including taxes and fees, then they may be able to keep those of us who are currently on the refund plan.

Like you, we have replaced our two Moto phones due to reduced battery life and the fact that Motorola will no longer provide security updates for the two phones.

I’ve placed one phone on the 3.0 plan and I’m evaluating different providers with the other phone.

Hopefully, Republic comes up with a solution that keeps us with them.


#7

I hope so too, I have 2 phones with RW now, and that T-Mobile 55+ plan ($60 tax included for 2 unlimited everything lines) is looking pretty good!
I was one of the initial RW beta customers too from November 11, 2011!


#8

We are looking at them too.

It just find it painful to go from paying about 27 bucks for two phones on the refund plan, including all the taxes and fees we pay in Washington state, to over double that with TMobile.


#9

I understand where you are coming from but eventually you will get new phones and be on the 3.0 plan which will cost you about $50 monthly for 2 phones. Thus the T mobile plan would cost you about $10 more, might or not be worth it depending on whether you would use the extra data and several additional benefits.


#10

As a beta member, and having recently switched to the 3.0 plan, I’ve been thinking about this for a while (and have previously suggested a shared data plan). My new suggestion: give people on the refund plan an extra discount, maybe $3 to $5 per month to bring down the increase in cost to less than the 50% or more that I and others are experiencing. That discount could be for a year or 2 (or until the 4.0 plans come out :blush: ). One way to do that would be for 2.0 customers to be grandfathered with the $10 basic call and text charge.

The extra value of things like Republic Anywhere is real but only goes so far.


#11

Hi @royrose,

I appreciate your suggestion, and that you’re willing to “meet us halfway.” Please let me assure you that many discussions and considerations about ways to provide value take place within the office walls every day. These discussions and considerations must also take into account the numbers of members involved, the costs of doing business, and the long-term sustainability of Republic Wireless as a company. Please know that we do understand that our Beta members, Refund members, and 1.0 Unlimited members are shopping around. These members are important to us, and conversations such as this thread do not go unnoticed.


#12

I am also a Beta/Defy member (currently on a 1.0 plan with a 1st gen Moto G); I’m strongly considering upgrading my phone before the new year - since it gets slow sometimes and I now have to reboot it about once per day now. Otherwise the phone still works great.

Love the plan I’m on (and I almost always only use a few Hundreds of MB per month - not really anywhere near 1GB), but since I will not be able to keep that current 1.0 plan once/if I get a new phone, I’m thus forced to compare and see what other plans might be interesting.

Project Fi is interesting. Don’t know what I will decide just yet…


#13

I just bought 2 new 3.0 phones I am still in my price point with 3 lines. 1 phone is on a $5 plan as a home phone and the other 2 on $20 plans. I used to pay $47 for 3 lines now I will pay $45 + taxes = not much more with 2 awesome phones.


#14

Hi royrose
Well I have to phones on RW Moto5g+ an a nexus 5 x
on the 3.0 plan with 1gb my whole bill with tax is only
43.85 dollars a month. I also have a FI phone an it runs me$22.30-26.50 Depends on how much data I use.
Morris


#15

This is a timely topic! This is my first time on this forum despite being RW beta. I had to wait my turn to get a defy!..lol. It was amazing that RW was going to give us a good plan and guarantee it to never go up for life. To good to be true it seems. I’m still rocking the 1st gen moto x, but it’s on it’s last leg. I just decided on a new phone and came to find that I can’t keep my plan???

I don’t care if it’s because of tmobile, or more expensive office chairs, or solar flares, all I know is that my loyalty isn’t being reciprocated. I chatted with a RW rep a moment ago when I discover that RW is going to give me the shaft for upgrading phones and I got a standard “thank you for your input” line.

Any model that drives out it’s most loyal supporters is a model that will fail. With the increasing number of competitors following suit behind RW, they need to maintain their greatest asset which is loyal members who have been happy with their service and plan and have been spreading the RW message to everyone that’ll listen. It used to be a great deal and I loved turning people on to it.

I really hope that after I do my research into providers/plans that I find something better than what RW is offering me with a 3.0 phone. Here’s what RW might not have factored in, after being here from the very beginning and being fed excuses about why I’m going to have to pay more with a better phone, I’m bitter. I’m willing to pay more per month to do business with a company that I know is going to treat me like a carbon copy consumer than one that made me a partner in ushering in a new cellular era and approach, and then doubled back on me like the scorpion on the frogs back and stung me. [frog]“but I trusted you and now we’re both going to drown. Why?”…[scorpion]“It’s my nature.”

I’ve been poking around in here for about 30min and have seen lapdog residue all over the place. The only thing that makes any sense is that some comments are coming from people on RW bankroll. I’ll never be back to check on this post, or forum, so do you’re worst RW minions.

You’re fired!


#16

How about a model that loses money every month on every customer? That drives the company out of business for sure. The pricing Republic offered was predicated on customers using less data than average because they would use wifi first. On the other hand the pricing attracted those that wanted a cheap way to use a lot of data. Those two things don’t mesh.

Good luck with that. Have you looked at what’s out there? Republic is the opposite of most carriers, communicating with its customers in meaningful ways. Take a look at the forums of other providers and tell me how many employees participate in those forums (and I’m not talking about forum admins that aren’t really connected to the business). Ask the same question to Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, Tracphone, Xifinity, Boost, Cricket, etc etc etc three times and see how many times you get the same answer.

The great thing about Republic is that they’d welcome you back in a heartbeat. I don’t know your use profile, but if you use a couple of GBs or less, they’ll be happy to take you back when your research shows you’ll be paying likely a lot more somewhere else and you’ll be even less than a number over there. If you use more than that, well then, you’re likely not a fit for the Republic model and everyone wishes you the best of luck with your new carrier.


#17

So, on the 3.0 plans your bill would be $20. On the Fi base plan it’ll be $20 plus whatever data you use. Acknowledging that Fi has the carrier switching and internal aspects of their plans, but that you didn’t mention either of those in your note, how is the Fi plan, which for your usage will be more expensive, more attractive?


#18

Fi has the carrier switching and internal aspects of their plans

Those would be the reasons. For the extra like $2-$5 dollars per month, those innovations might be worth it to me. I like to visit national parks especially, and like to travel generally, and having those abilities sound appealing (even if I don’t use them every day).

For context:
My last cell footprint (from the Republic wireless emails) was 0.21 GB; 0.31 GB before that; the month before that was 0.24 GB ; 0.36 GB before that. etc


#19

Thanks for clarifying. I just caught you’re a beta member, so you’re Republic bill would actually be $18. But if you think that the other features may be important, you’re right, Fi can be compelling for low data users with those needs.


#21

Why are you still on 1.0 plans with this amount of usage?
1.0 base cost for a Moto G 1st Gen with data is $25+tax

you should have moved to 2.0 Refund plan years ago (2.5 when they became an option)
on 2.0 you cost would have been $10+$7.50 (for 512 MB of data) +tax (and most states the Tax is only on the base $10) and any unused data would have been Refunded so your total bill would have been about $15, (a $300 saving over 2.5 years)
now if you upgrade to 3.0 you will only need 1 GB so the cost is $20 ($15 base + $7.50 for 1 GB - $2.50 low data user discount) +Tax (in most states only the base $15 is taxable)