Early concerns with the DISH Acquisition & a switch to AT&T

To the Community:

Rather than rush to judgment, I will merely state that I am curious if my fellow users have any concerns regarding this recent acquisition by DISH Network and the plans to forgo our current T-Mobile backbone for AT&T—esp if, like me, you have already prepaid your RW bill for the entire year?

As of this writing, I still see the T-Mobile icon populate moments before the Republic Wireless shows up in the upper left-hand corner of my Google Pixel 5 (albeit very infrequently) so at last check, it appears that the switch has not been made …yet.

I will confess my past experience with AT&T has been abysmal, but if there are no hiccups, I am willing to remain on as an RW enthusiast. I want to go on record as having reservations at this time but will await the outcome.

If it is an epic fail on cellular service, I hope I can get a prorated amount back if need be.
I hope it won’t come to that, but I am modestly concerned with this upcoming switch.

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Hi @rickg.sohqu9

Thanks for sharing your concerns with us, I appreciate the opportunity to discuss them.

You do not need to worry that we’re going to sneak a change by you. We’ve always worked hard to communicate any changes with our members. To do so, we use the e-mail address on your account, so please be sure it is an e-mail address that is receiving e-mail and one that you actually monitor. You’d be surprised how many people sign up for service using a spam-catcher e-mail address, never check it, then fail to see important service announcements or account warnings. :disappointed: If you haven’t seen a monthly invoice from us in a while, now would be a good time to look into that. (We send a zero-balance invoice to those on the Annual Payment option.)

We also communicate with our members right here in Community. If you don’t want to “follow” the #news category in Community you can simply check in now and then and skim that category to see what’s new.

If my assurance that we’re not going to sneak such a change in on you isn’t a comfort to you, please know your SIM card is specific to one cellular network. We can’t move you to another network behind the scenes.

Finally, we’ve always tried very hard to do what’s right for our members. While the Annual Payment option is non-refundable, we understand there would be great dismay if we forced some sort of service change on our members that made their phones unusable and then held them financially responsible for such a change. If you’ve been with us for any amount of time at all, I hope you’ll trust that we treat our members better than that.

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I just switched back to RW after a very brief stint with Mint Mobile. I will soon have to decide if I want to prepay for an entire year.

I had a bad experience with AT&T back when I was living in Silicon Valley. They signed up more customers than what their capacity would allow during business days. Often when someone would call me during a business day, the call would go straight to voice mail without ringing my phone. It was very upsetting, especially when expecting a call from a potential employer… Also, Consumer Reports recently surveyed cell phone customers and they rated AT&T dead last of all of the cellular phone companies. So I am less than excited to learn that AT&T could possibly be the underlying carrier for RW.

It is very early in all of this. DISH continues to have its relationship with T-Mobile for another 5 years. Because of this we don’t know how they’re going to offer coverage, if it is going to be AT&T Primary with T-Mobile as an alternative, or if T-Mobile will be out of equation entirely.

That said, which network is best is highly dependent on location. In my area, where there is T-Mobile coverage, they have the best speeds. However, there are large swaths of area where there is simply no T-Mobile coverage. Yesterday I drove from Ashville NC back home to Ashburn VA. It is a bit under a 7 hour drive. In the car were 4 phones. One on T-Mobile, one on Fi, one of Verizon, one on AT&T. The T-Mobile and Fi phones had no coverage, at all, for over 2 of the hours. For 2 more of the hours they had voice/SMS but no data. The Verizon and AT&T phones had brief moments where coverage blinked out, seconds or minutes, but in general had good coverage the entire 7 hours, being used to stream Netflix.

In my case, I’m incredibly excited for the coverage to be AT&T because that will likely allow me to consolidate some of my service with Republic rather than have it elsewhere for coverage reasons.

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Hey Southpaw!

Just to be clear, I never presumed that Republic would try to sneak anything by a member at any time.

And while I realize that a new SIM card would need to be issued if AT&T became the primary cellular backbone as part of the change, I was merely expressing an early concern based on a few personal experiences and the fact that AT&T still remains dead last in customer service based on recent surveys that have been taken among all major cellular carriers.

So for those reasons, I wanted to put it out there with a hope that, (having prepaid for everything for the year already), my service — which has been impeccable prior to the acquisition — would continue to be so.

Although hope springs eternal, the history with AT&T and the negative press that they’ve received [rightfully] through the years doesn’t bode well as part of a potential or upcoming change to the existing Republic Wireless service that we have all loved and enjoyed.

I hope that clears up any misconception around my posting. I’ve been a loyal Republic Wireless customer for going on 3 years and I’ve promoted RW and referred several people to RW in that 3-year period. I’m hopeful that this acquisition doesn’t upset the otherwise rosy apple cart we’ve all been riding in.

Rick

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For what it’s worth, I don’t think we need to be overly concerned about the quality of AT&T’s customer service per se. The arrangement between DISH and AT&T is wholesale. No Republic member will be dealing directly with AT&T as they don’t deal with T-Mobile today.

Now, if network reliability is one’s concern, that’s a different matter. The reality on network reliability is it is highly dependent upon one’s location. For example, in my area, Verizon’s network (in terms of cell data speed) is essentially useless, yet folks in other areas will swear by Verizon’s network reliability leaving me to swear at it.

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Excellent points on all fronts. And indeed location is a crucial determinant for cellular coverage and consistency.

Since my initial concerns with AT&T coverage was when I was in central Florida and I’m now further south, one can only hope that if RW did need to make a change to AT&T that the service levels are significantly better now. I remain cautiously optimistic at this point.

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To Republic Wireless: Thank you for keeping politics out of this community. Much appreciated.

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Interesting to hear you tried Mint Mobile and came back. Due to some holes in RW’s coverage, two of my sons switched to Mint Mobile. One seems to be satisfied; the other travels all over our state for work and is very dissatisfied with the coverage, which apparently isn’t measuring up to that which their map promises. And, no surprise, their customer service stinks compared to RW’s.

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richardr.t0fm9x)

Yes, I also found Mint Mobile’s coverage to not be very good. When I entered my zip code into their online coverage checker, it said that coverage was only “fair.” That should have raised a red flag with me, but I decided to give them a try anyway. The coverage is fine for my home address, but when I went travelling around the outskirts of the city, I lost the network entirely. Luckily, Mint Mobile has an online form to request a refund, so I got a prompt refund without ever having to interact with customer service.

As Mint uses T-Mobile, and T-Mobile’s “Fair” means “Cell reception outdoors, and occassionially indoors.” with indoors including moving vehicles, I never recommend service in areas with lots of “fair”.

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