Annual Plan Changes - Maddening experience

@southpaw

RW customers - want to make a change to your annual plan? Be prepared to have to deal with changes for a full 3 months to get to the final plan and billing needed.

Issue:
Current - Annual Clear Choice + 1GB
Want - Annual Clear Choice + no data.

Problem:
You cannot make a change to an annual plan before it rebills. So, you have to stop the annual rebilling, and setup the plan downgrade.
1st Month - Pay for full month you have to pay for the +1 GB and service at full price because you can’t change before renewal.
2nd Month - Pay for full month without data but wait you can’t get the annual plan until after the downgraded service goes into effect. There are no save/confirm annual plan order options available. Only cancel.
3rd Month - Pay for full month without data and select the annual billing method.
4th Month - I have hopes that in fact this month will be billed on the annual plan.

I know the annual plans are renewing now for the first time. But there are 2 issues here. You can’t place a downgrade order to come into effect at renewal, you have to take steps to get back on the annual over 3 months (1/4 of the calendar year). And every helpdesk link attached to the tickets do not line up with the actual screens present in this situation. Ok 3 issues.

Southpaw maybe you can work your magic to prevent other RW customers from going through this maddening ■■■■ that I am in right now. Bless the support line but they could not explain it, gave wrong information, blindly copied youtube links that weren’t even close and then weren’t sure of exactly when I could get the downgraded service back on an annual plan.

We worked through all the steps. 3 months. The annual plan renewal process needs some attention immediately if you want to change the plan options.

joel

@joelb.wilmywood Republic is aware of the awkwardness of the annual plan renewal process, especially when you want to decrease data. But, it should only take 3 months.

1st Month – Pay for month at level you were on with annual plan. Request plan change to 0GB.

2nd Month – 0 Data goes in to effect, request move to annual plan.

3rd Month – Annual Plan begins.

While Republic is aware, at this time they’re dealing with billing system limitations and the ability to do this differently isn’t just a policy change but a development effort.

@louisdi
It is a 3 month endeavor. You cannot choose the annual plan until after the downgraded service goes into play. Thus we have to pay for 3 months of non-annual service because we wanted to make a change.

Annual plan will not take effect until month 4.
Since it is a development effort, I’d be happy with a refund of the costs until they catch up on the back office systems.

I’ve helped a ton of customers with this (I’m one of the folks that helps customer with tickets through the Republic Expert program) and again, it shouldn’t take 4 months. I understand exactly what you’re saying about how it works. If you look at what I described can you tell me what in my timeline doesn’t match what you’re experiencing?

Hi @joelb.wilmywood,

As @louisdi, we are aware there is a need for a streamlined way to change your data amount when renewing annually, both for downgrades and upgrades.

I’m sorry to learn that our Help Team was not able to provide reliable answers to you. I’ll look through your ticket to see what we need to work on there. I’d also be interested to know which Help Center articles have steps that don’t match what you see.

As Louis mentioned, the journey to a downgraded plan when renewing annually takes only 3 months, requiring only 2 “gap” months. I’m not quite following the journey you’ve outlined that shows 4 months. Let me explain it this way:

My billing cycle date is the 5th of each month. Let’s say I was currently subscribed annually with 2 GB of data and wanted to move to 1 GB and renew my annual payment, and that my current annual term ends 6/5/20. Here’s the timeline.

6/5/20: My annual term expires and I am billed for one month of service at the normal rate for Talk, Text and 2 GB of data.
I schedule a plan downgrade, which will take effect on the next billing cycle date.
7/5/20: My plan downgrades to 1 GB takes effect and I am billed for talk, text and 1 GB of data.
I set up Annual Payment.
8/5/20: I am billed for 12 months of service at the 10-month rate for talk, text and 1 GB of data, and my annual term begins.

I think the part I’m not understanding in your journey is what you wrote about the 2nd month:

This is not what we would expect to see, and this is probably where I need to look into your ticket to see what may be going on. Since no one was able to subscribe to the annual payment option prior to May of 2019, I can’t even imagine how you would yet know what you’ll see in your account during that second month. At this point, assuming your annual term ended in early May, you’d still be in the first month where you would select the downgrade. When there is a pending plan change, there is no option to subscribe annually, only to cancel that downgrade, but this is still in Month 1.

This is where things don’t match up on your end and what I see. I do have options to sign up for an annual plan. this is the point with the helpdesk, the videos that don’t mesh with the customer view. Annual options are there but there is no way to confirm the choice. I am thankful the option to auto renew was not checked despite the emails to use the feature.

The other aspect of this is the customer has to login multiple times over the course of months to get things adjusted for the proper plan maintenance. I know RW is working on it but the need is not realistic in today’s self service world.

Have you scheduled your downgrade so that it’s pending for your next billing cycle?

Could you please send me screenshots of what you’re seeing? You can DM them to me if they contain personal information.

The first person who replied to your ticket very clearly did not understand that it is not possible to sign up for the annual plan while a downgrade is pending. She was under the impression they could be done simultaneously and sent links that would not be applicable to someone who is downgrading. I’ll make sure she has a better understanding of the process, and once I see your screenshots, I’ll look for a way to add additional clarity to the documentation so that others with a pending plan change have the right information in front of them.

Yes. We absolutely understand. This is why the improvement is on our developers’ roadmap.

joelb.wilmywood:

I do have options to sign up for an annual plan.

Have you scheduled your downgrade so that it’s pending for your next billing cycle?

YES

joelb.wilmywood:

I do have options to sign up for an annual plan. […] Annual options are there but there is no way to confirm the choice.

Could you please send me screenshots of what you’re seeing? You can DM them to me if they contain personal information.

image.png

That’s the answer. You have to wait until June 21st, when your downgrade completes, in order to make the next plan change.

It’s on the bottom of the screenshot you posted: “You will not be able to change your payment plan until the plan downgrade completes.”

It is very easy to say that is the answer from a screen shots when every help desk email an voice conversation told me differently. 3 different times

RW Customer note - if you want to change your annual plan, be prepared for multiple months and multiple changes you have to make at just the right time. It is not an easy task. And if you need support, make sure what you are being told to do is correct. Don’t assume you did something wrong if the video links sent don’t match what you see when logging into your account.

Hi @joelb.wilmywood,

Thanks for the screenshot, that helps a lot. I didn’t even think the option to switch to Annual was supposed to be presented while there was a pending downgrade, and I think we could make the language less confusing there.

I have let the Help Team member who mistakenly told you that you could go ahead and both downgrade and pay annually know that this is not the case. I’m very sorry that her mistake made this all the more confusing for you.

And, again, we are working on streamlining the process, because, as you’ve noted, we understand that having to take multiple steps across multiple months is not a great way to accomplish an annual plan renewal.

Thank you for the help.

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