A very sad day realizing that there are no more refunds


#1

Member Since: Late 2014
Phone: Moto E4
Plan: Just switched from 2gb to 1gb because there is no longer a refund.

I have been a republic wireless user since 2014, when I got my first smartphone and i was using my Moto x fist generation up until a couple of months ago when it finally died. I had the 2gb refund plan and would usually pay about $20 a month because I am a pretty light data user. I purchased the absolute budget Moto E4 phone and apparently didn’t read or was confused by the new service description and it took me 2 billing cycles to realize that I was no longer receiving a refund and was being charged $31 a month! For the past 45 minutes I’ve been searching through the forum here and I am extremely disappointed that there is no longer a refund option. I just switch my plan to the 1gb option, but I am a bummed because I generally use between .75 and 1.4gb of data, so now I will either have to be switching my plan from time to time or really watching my data usage. I know in the grand scheme of things this is not a huge deal, but I was a diehard Republic fan who has recommended the great service to many people, but now I am going to consider switching to project fi. Even more bad news!, I just checked the project fi website and they have changed their base plan to $20, so they are now even a worse deal than Republic… I guess there are no more deals when it comes to having a decent phone plan with flexibility. That being said, $30 still isn’t atrocious, but there is no longer a really strong incentive to stay with Republic anymore. I hope that management hears these opinions and can find a way to offer refund plans again.
Thanks for the good service over the years!

(Moderator’s note: slight edit for formatting)


#2

Thanks for taking the time to supply feedback @jeffreyh.m6grpy. I’m not a Republic employee, just a fellow customer like you, but I know that Republic Wireless always appreciates good feedback, and does take that in to consideration for future changes. That doesn’t mean the refund plans will return, but that does help Republic know what their customer base looks for and likes.

I think you made the right choice in going with the 1 Gb plan for now. If you do need more data in any given month, a plan upgrade takes effect immediately, so you can have more data that month. Be aware though, that if you do not want the plan change to continue the next month, you will need to schedule a plan downgrade. Those do not take effect until the first day of your next billing period, so you can make that plan change as soon as you new data takes effect.


#3

Good morning, @jeffreyh.m6grpy,

We do know that we have members who are big fans of the refund plans. While we don’t offer them for our new phones, we are constantly looking for different ways to bring additional value to our service. For example we recently added Republic Anywhere to our suite of apps, offering our members the ability to text seamlessly from desktop, laptop, tablet, and even iOS devices - helping them stay connected even if their phone is lost, damaged, or stolen. To make it even better, our developers are busy working to add calling to the Anywhere app.

We continue to look for ways to make sure we’re providing a good value for what you’re paying, thinking beyond the simple math of minutes, texts, and GB per dollar, and looking at the entire member experience.

Thank you for taking the time to write up your feedback.


#4

I share some of your feelings @jeffreyh.m6grpy! I started at Republic several years ago and have a Moto X (2nd Gen). I use wifi as much as possible and generally pay less than $20 consuming under 1.0 GB per month.
I have a Pixel 2 on order so will shortly be switching to the Clear Choice 3.0 pricing plan. No more 2.0 refunds, which I hate to see go away. I just like the concept of paying for what you actually use with no overages.

I want to give RW a chance but have some concerns about having to switch from CDMA network to GSM as CDMA has worked well for where I live and places I’ve traveled to. I’m also curious to see if my data consumption will go up under the 3.0 plan since I will no longer have the ability to turn off data to specific apps.

I went with the unlocked Pixel 2 on purpose so that if things don’t work out well with RW, I can switch to Project Fi and be under a refund plan again. Yes, the RW pricing under 3.0 is competitive with Project Fi’s data tiers but Project Fi also has some other benefits with the ability to switch between the 2 different networks and also on international use.

Hopefully I can stay with RW, but I guess time will tell…


#5

I, too, like the idea of pay as you go. That said, I think you and I may be in the minority on that. Outside of being a Republic member, I’m a longtime Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) user. The VoIP marketplace is populated with companies who price pay as you go and what I’ll refer to as bundles (up to and including “unlimited”). In most cases when advising others, they would likely benefit from a pay as you go solution if they’re willing to analyze actual use. Mostly, I find they prefer not to do so. Therefore, they’re more comfortable with a bundle solution.

You reference consuming under 1 GB per month on Republic’s refund plans. The break even point for data use on Clear Choice is 0.666 GB. In other words, if you use less that 1 GB but more than 0.666 GB on average per month, your bottom line will improve with the Clear Choice model.

Where I live (South Florida) Republic’s GSM partner’s network is superior to that of its CDMA network partner. As a real estate agent might say, it’s all about location, location, location.

It’s more than fair point that Republic 3.0 lacks the ability to restrict cell data use on an app-by-app basis. Your Pixel 2 will include Google’s newish Data saver feature (available on Nougat and Oreo). Data saver is designed to restrict app cell data use when in the background (not on your screen). I find it to be reasonably effective though not as robust as Republic 2.0’s ability to turn cell data on and off via the Republic app. Additionally, some of your fellow members make use of firewall apps like this one:

No doubt, for those with a compatible phone, Project Fi offers some attractive features. My understanding is Fi actually operates on four cellular networks (T-Mobile, Sprint and U.S. Cellular in the U.S, Three in Europe). I’ve seen wide ranging reports as to the relative seamlessness of switching among these networks but it’s an impressive technical accomplishment none the less. Additionally, to the extent it matters, Fi unlike Republic is WiFi last for calling and text messaging. I have other solutions for international use with my Republic phones, however, for a bundled solution, Fi’s offering is more than decent.

We hope so too!


#6

To me, the refund plan was a perfect fit with RW’s wifi calling, encouraging use of wifi and rewarding users for that use. I consider the 3.0 1GB plan to still be a good deal but I do wish RW would come up with some creative (and even fun) way of rewarding people for minimizing data use, maybe a points program that can be used towards accessories or a new phone.

I’ve said this before on the forum, but I would really like to see a shared data plan to compete with the family plans that other carriers are offering.


#7

My average data usage for the past 3 months is just over 408 MB, ranging from a low of 381 MB to a high of 457 MB. So my cost will go up under 3.0. But, it would still be a couple bucks cheaper than Fi’s pricing.

Thanks @rolandh for the NetGuard app tip. Sounds like it could do the trick to restrict data use similar to the Republic app under 2.0…

Fi is WiFi last for calling and texting? I wasn’t aware of that. Wonder why they do it that way?


#8

Probably only Google can answer the why. I do know Fi’s numbers are T-Mobile MDNs (fancy way of saying mobile telephone number). Everything Fi starts out on TMO’s network, then gets routed from there.

Of course, all this talk about WiFi (first or last) is most relevant to voice and text messaging. For data, all smartphones on any network are WiFi first.


#9

Yeah, I’m in a similar boat. I’m on the 0.5 gb refund plan and rarely do I even come close to maxing that at. My bill is usually in the $15±$17 range after refund. If I want a new phone, that’s an additional $5-$7 a month because there isn’t a plan that fiis my usage. I’ve been very happy with RW for the most part, but once my phone dies (or I decide it’s time for something newer,) I’ll start looking elsewhere.


#10

I think you’re still going to be challenged in finding rates that are competitive with the $20 plan. As an example, Cricket Wireless $25 with no data. Fi $20 with no data. Ting 500 minutes/1000 texts/no data i $20. US Mobile 1000min/1000 texts $15 with no data.


#11

Perhaps. But I already have a plan better than all of those that’s being taken away for reasons of which I am highly skeptical. As far as other non-republic plans go, I could get freedompop for $80 a year, 1 gig per month data, unlimited text and minutes. I haven’t moved to that because I can’t port my number and I don’t know enough about their service to feel comfortable moving to them.


#12

I’m very confident in saying that you’ll likely have the experience that most people have with Freedompop, which is an awful one. Their prices are what they are for a reason. Having tried them I can tell you the complaints found online are valid. They regularly tack on hidden charges. They subscribe you to services in the fine print that you don’t want. Their call quality is awful. Etc Etc. Save yourself the heartache, there are great alternatives if you’re looking for something else, Freedompop isn’t one of those.


#13

Trust your intuition! Likewise, I’ve dabbled with FreedomPop. As anything other than something for playing around with, do yourself a favor and just say no.


#14

I’m a phone nut, and have spare “toy” phones that I just play with all the time as a hobby. I have FreedomPop on 3 of them. I keep those lines on their free plans for the times that Xfinity internet goes out on me at home and I use their data to check on the status, etc. But boy, I’d never be able to leave the house with one of those phones and feel confident in the ability to make or receive calls. If you have a spare phone that’s able to use their service, you could try it out for yourself with a new number, and jump through all the hoops to get their free plan to see how it works for you, like I did.


#15

What about Mint Mobile. They seem to have competitive pricing.


#16

The prices they over advertise are introductory price. They do not do monthly plans, but 3, 6, 12 months plans.
Only if you buy 1yr at a time($180 for 2gb plan) do you get to keep that equivalent monthly price…which is a good chunk of money,
Not every one can afford that large sum in one shot upfront.
And 1GB Add on Data cost $10.
(I would rather go to Google Project Fi at that point.)

Mint also has no Roaming ability.
And videos is reduced to low res (480) yuck.