I have a different philosophical view on whether or not Republic Wireless’ new plan is expensive. I don’t believe that my approximate bill of $23.50 for unlimited talk, text and 1 gb of data is expensive. Though this costs more than the $17.50 or so I paid with the refund plan for .5gb or so of data, it is still very affordable; I believe many new and old customers will see its value.
Innovation does come at a cost, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for Republic Wireless.
I mostly agree with you. RW has to get new products to market fast, because nobody’s cell phone lasts forever. They make good money selling those phones, it’s an important part of their business. But, the company was built on satisfying VERY price sensitive customers, and they’re clearly moving away from that strategy. RW has to expect that more than a few of their legacy customers are going to be upset by their continuing moves away from the refund plan. This apparent last ditch effort to save Christmas by making their current airtime plan look more attractive will just further irritate legacy (refund) customers that want to replace their aging phones.
I’m sure we both agree the winning strategy in business is the one that makes the most profit. If RW wasn’t making making enough money on those refund plans, which I strongly suspect, they should be brave enough to just come out and tell us. Their past technical arguments for leaving the refund plans seem more hollow now than ever before.
I’m not so sure that RW is doing their best to appeal to both low and high end data users. I suspect they didn’t make much money from those refund plans catered to us tightwads, and are now trying something new they believe may be more profitable. It’s hard to say for sure though, as I’m not privy to what’s going on inside that company.
And I agree with you that I have liked spending around $17.50 with the refund plan over around $23.50 with the clear choice plan. However, I beg to differ that Republic Wireless is moving away from satisfying its most price sensitive customers when its base plan is around $18.50/mo (including taxes). I’m not sure if you know this about me, but I’ve been with Verizon, Straight Talk, Wal-mart Family Mobile, Aio Wireless (which merged into Cricket Wireless), Cricket Wireless, Republic Wireless, and Total Wireless in the past 6-7 years or so. I can say without question that $18.50/mo for unlimited talk and texting is still competitive. When I think of Republic Wireless’ prices, I think of it as a Republic Wireless member, but I also think of it in the larger context of how much I was paying with other carriers as well.
Are you saying that if Republic Wireless offers plan that includes unlimited talk and text and some data that’s over, let’s say, $17.50 (without taxes), Republic Wireless is going to go out of business because the plan isn’t competitive enough?
Yes, I believe Republic Wireless is trying to make money. I want them to make money. If they don’t make money, then I’ll loose out on my Republic Wireless service.
Also, I’ve been happy to put my money into Republic Wireless because I’ve felt like I’ve been supporting a good cause of helping making a company profitable that is not only saving me but others a lot of money. It’s a win win situation in my opinion.
Over the years I’ve also been with a number of cell phone providers, probably as many as you, maybe even more. I’m sure you’ve noticed the deals on phones and service get better and better each year, and like me, I doubt if you would have changed service so many times if you weren’t a bargain hunter. The economists tell us that falling prices for cell phones/service is actually helping limit national inflation. From a consumer standpoint, I love it!
While RW service still seems like a bargain compared to many of their competitors, newcomers like Mintsim and Red Pocket are taking a serious bite out of every other MVNO’s business. To mee, it looks like RW no longer wants to play in that cut-throat space, thus the abandonment of their refund plan. Catering to that lowest end of the business is what RW was founded on, so you have to expect more than a few of RW’s legacy customers to be upset as RW continues to distance themselves from us tightwad customers with this latest pricing plan.
I also want RW to make money, survive and prosper. Maybe I’m just upset because I can clearly see RW is abandoning their past efforts to offer the lowest cost phone service on the market. That said, I also remember Ring Plus, and how little time those unfortunate customers had to port out when Ring Plus died. Perhaps Red Pocket and Mintsim will also eventually fail, and RW will survive. Only time will tell.
It will be interesting to look at the progress of MintSIM and RW one year from now. I think it’s worth pointing out that the “offer for 3 months of free Mint SIM service is only valid from 11/24/17 through 11:59 pm on 12/31/17 and on eligible 3-month Mint SIM service plan purchases made at [Mint Sim’s website].” What will Mintsim be like after their promotional period? 2018 will be interesting, I believe.
I didn’t think much about it before, but you definitely have to consider the prospects for future survival of any MVNO that you deal with, especially if you need your phone for business. That’s gotta be one of the reasons the major carriers can charge significantly more for their service. At the other end of the business I never thought FreedomPop would survive this long, but investors seem to keep throwing money at that company, keeping it alive. Perhaps I misspoke earlier when I said Mintsim and Red Pocket were going after the lowest end of the market. FreedomPop seems to have claimed that space years ago. (grin)
So all you potential RW customers out there, if the potential survival of your cell phone provider is an issue for you, RW might be a better choice for you over Red Pocket, Mintsim, and FreedomPop. You get what you pay for.
Another aspect of all this “phone company potential longevity” issue has to do with RW’s suppliers. They’re entirely dependent upon Google, the cell phone manufactures, and the wireless carriers. That doesn’t give them much flexibility, but it does give them the muscle of some very big companies if they can properly execute their business strategy. Just look at Dell’s ascendancy into the PC market. They started out partnering with Intel and Microsoft, and look how far they have come over the years via good management. They surrendered the dirt cheap, cut-throat PC market to the Asian manufactures years ago. Perhaps RW is just evolving in a similar successful manner. Let us hope so.
Basically what I was saying. I would upgrade my phone if I could keep my refund plan. I want the choice of having the refund plan. It’s a challenge for me to minimize my data usage so I get the biggest refund.
Just because the average data use is 2.4GB doesn’t mean that is the average for Republic users. I would guess that we use less data than average. When I wrote my first comment the vast majority of the comments were from users who wanted to have the refund plans available for new devices. And just browsing the comments now, my assertion that people want the refund plan available for new phones is still true.
First, please know those of us designated Community Ambassadors are not you or your. We’re fellow customers not Republic staff. Such is the nature of a public Internet message board.
To address, the specific point I quoted, I’m quite certain Republic’s accounting team could indeed figure out how to do so. What if the cost of such plans were actually higher than Clear Choice/My Choice. It’s not as crazy as it might sound. Cell data was priced at $15/GB on Republic Refund. It’s $5/GB on My Choice albeit with no refunds but that just might be what makes the $5 price point possible.
There are precisely 24 unique members participating in this discussion. Many but not all would like to see refund plans available for new devices. I would have no objection to that but it’s not a deal breaker for me. I don’t see how Republic might extrapolate the desires of its customers from discussions such as this one alone. I hope (and suspect) they have other means.
IMO the base talk/text price increase to $15 has been the largest distracter of the 3.0 phone plans for the low data users since their introduction last year. I would think getting out of the custom ROM phones would have reduced RW cost and may not justify last years base price increase from the 2.0 plans.
Refunds or lower data increments for the newer 3.0 phone plans will not save a significant amount of money at $5 per GB. When the $5 cost for 1GB of data was introduced last year refunds lost value for the less than 1GB users would have offered less of a member savings. A refund or data increment for 0.5GB would be been only $2.50 versus a $7.50 on the Refund Plan.
Well said, rolandh. It’s impossible to know for sure what customers think of this latest plan unless you have the actual sales numbers. (The public customer requests to bring back the refund plans are disturbing though.) It also seems very scary to me that they’re making such a big change so close to Xmas, which I’m guessing is one of their busiest times of the year. I seriously doubt if their new calling plan was a well planned event. They seem to be in panic mode right now, as they further indicated that handling customer requests will be difficult for a couple days as they internally migrate to the new plan. Making a big change like this should have been done before Thanksgiving. To me this latest change in plans feels like desperation, as if they were falling far short of their holiday sales projections and needed to do something quick. It’s a safe bet that if they don’t buy a certain number of phones from their suppliers that their bargaining position gets more tenuous. But from the outside, it’s really anybody’s guess, because we don’t have any inside information.
I’m also sensitive to the fact that the holidays are a season that everybody should be enjoying, and those people who work hard at Republic are fellow human beings just trying to do their jobs, helping service our cell phone needs. Regardless of the exact cost to customers, providing cell service to the general public is a great service to society. Based on that cover photo on their home web page, RW looks like a very small company, so they all probably have to work extra hard to make things happen.
May you all have a joyous holiday, and a prosperous new year…
You’ve repeated this a number of times. Yet, there is no evidence of this. Help documents, marketing materials, customer emails, billing system changes, etc don’t happen simultaneously “in a panic”. It takes month of planning to get all of those things coordinated and launched. All indications are that this is a well though out, planned release, including months of surveys regarding plan alternatives.
I have the plan where all it needs is a special simm card. Like what I have would like to see the same plan with one of your new phones. So what’s the problem? Not enough money. Thank the Federal reserve for the screwy monetary system we have to suffer under. However, nice service, Very good, Thanks. Bernard
Disappointing and fortunate that this announcement came the day my phone died. I was resisting buying a new phone as I did not want to pay 50% more for the same plan I had. It was almost like forcing me into paying 100% more so I could have 1G data. I was anticipating this announcement would have lowered the cost of text/talk back down to $10, or that the $15 level would at least come with some non wi-fi data. With this announcement and my phone dying, I will be leaving Republic for less expensive pastures. Too bad also that the data increment is 1G. If I could have paid $17.50 for 500MB/talk/txt that might be a little easier pill to swallow and stay with Republic. Or if for $15 I got 250MB of data that would have really been sweet.