Love Republic, but trying other providers

#1

I want to start off by saying that I love Republic and have since I initially joined nearly 4 years ago. I loved the Republic Refund plan I was on with my Motorola Moto X2 for two years. I had 0.5GB of refundable data that I generally only used half of, so my bill was anywhere from $12-15/month.

I was sad when I got my new phone and had to change to a more expensive plan, but I did it because I love Republic and know that it gives plenty of support. During the time that I have been with Republic, I got married and my wife has an iPhone. She is still on the same plan as her parents, but we are considering getting our own plan together.

I have researched many other providers and most that are of comparable price to Republic are either more expensive or have trade-offs. Google Fi is more expensive. Mint Mobile makes you pay all at once, doesn’t have roaming, and has worse customer service. Red Pocket doesn’t seem to have roaming.

I am leaving Republic for the time being so I can test out Red Pocket Mobile. It allows you to choose which provider you go off of (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, or Verizon) and has plans of similar price to Republic. I chose their $15/month plan that gives 1000 minutes, unlimited text, and 1 GB data and I chose to use AT&T’s towers because that’s the company my wife’s plan is with. I had some problems porting my number over, but I was able to use their chat functionality on their website. I was helped quickly and the person seemed very knowledgeable.

I’m sorry for the long-winded post, but I would love to suggest a couple of things that would make it easier for people to join/stay with Republic. I know that there is some kind of issue with bringing iPhones to Republic, but it would make it so easy to invite my friends to Republic if it offered iPhone support. I also wish there was a way to lower the price for the service a little. I know that Republic needs to make money to keep this awesome service running and improving, but if we could do extended period plans or plans with 0.5GB increments of data, I think that could lower the cost for the user. I felt sad when Republic forced me to get more data if I wanted any at all. This from a company that is all about reducing our cellular footprint.

All that being said, I still love Republic and will probably come back after trying out other options. I hope that what I brought up doesn’t offend anyone or get brushed off to the side. I love the feeling of being part of a community here at Republic and will miss it. If you have any questions about my research or decision, feel free to ask.

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#2

Hi @stanleyd.yp9wxq,

Congratulations on your marriage!

Thanks for the feedback, and we’re sorry to see you go. We do constantly keep the pricing in mind - in fact, when we launched our new plans in July of 2016, plan prices were higher than they are today; we dropped the pricing as much as we possibly could in December of 2017.

We appreciate your reminder that there are so many people who enjoy iPhones and might also enjoy Republic Wireless. Our developers continue to explore possible ways to make that happen. We also have quality content here in our Community and our help center to help iPhone users make the move to Android. I’m not sure which is the more difficult bridge to cross!

Please do keep us in mind as you explore other options. We’ll continue to look for ways to bring additional value to our plans. For example, as you pointed out - other carriers don’t offer voice and text roaming. We think that is an additional value, like Wi-Fi calling, that we offer for a competitive price. We hope to see you back again sometime in the near future.

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#3

I made the move about a 2 months ago and haven’t looked back. Red Pocket or Mint will bet you what you need for more. I too share some concerns with the price, but for the value RW provides, I was alright with the increase. The one thing I never understood is why RW never gave some unlimited 3g speeds. That really killed me. I was on the gig plan and I get 5 days from my new bill and I have to pay another $5 for data I’ll most likely never use. And lastly, calling over WIFI, which unless you were home on 5GHz, never worked well. I would constantly switch off of WIFI because of constant complaints from friends.

I finally made the move and so far so good. I do miss wifi texting from time to time, but I can get over that. My signal is significantly better as I was able to switch to AT&T, which appears to be light years from Sprint and TMobile because my phone server awful at my job with RW. AT&T I can now use the phone in the elevator. And mobile download speeds are great.

I’ll always keep an eye RW because if they can get the plans and carrier choices together, I’ll come back.

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#4

You mention that you had a choice of the big 4 carriers and you chose AT&T because that’s what your wife uses. My wife and I travel together often and when we were both on the Sprint network (with RW) we would both lose service at the same time. My wife is still on Sprint with her legacy RW 1.0 phone but I am now on the Magenta network with my new RW 3.0 phone, and now when she loses Sprint service when we are travelling, I often still have service on the Magenta network, and vice versa. So what I’m trying to say is that I think it’s better that my wife and I are using different cell towers because now when we travel I find that it’s much less frequent that we find ourselves both without cell service.

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#5

That is a great point that you bring up. I thought of the same thing before deciding on going with the AT&T towers. I chose to do that because my wife is satisfied with her current service, as was I with the T-Mobile service, and I wanted to do a test run of the AT&T service for her. I may end up changing the towers my service goes off of if we decide to have both of us on Red Pocket.

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#6

When my wife needed a new phone, we had to abandon the “refund plan” and I was somewhat bummed. But she is now on the " My Choice Talk & Text" (1 gig) and it only costs $20/month so I feel this is a pretty good deal.

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#7

I’m somewhat familiar with Red Pocket and it does sound like you’ve done your due diligence there. In addition to the metered minutes on the plan you’re trialing at Red Pocket, I believe you’ll find WiFi calling is not an option with Red Pocket on AT&T’s network. In fact, AT&T itself is just beginning to rollout WiFi calling to its own prepaid customers. Depending on cellular coverage, lack of WiFi calling may or may not present a challenge. WiFi calling is likely available with Red Pocket on capable phones if using Verizon or T-Mobile’s network.

Also, unless something has changed, Red Pocket’s support is based in the Philippines. There’s nothing wrong with that. Quality customer service, in my opinion is far more dependent on the people delivering that service than their location or the means used to deliver service (chat as opposed to phone for example). I mention it only because some folks prefer U.S. based support.

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#8

I noticed that they do offer WiFi calling for compatible phones when using the T-Mobile network, but my phone does not appear to be one of those. I feel like the WiFi calling feature is amazing when it works correctly, but mine rarely did. I usually ended up turning off WiFi when making a call if I knew that I would be walking in and out of WiFi range because it struggled to switch back and forth. I will miss the WiFi texting ability and Republic Anywhere though. I have found those to be extremely helpful when without service or when my phone dies.
Overseas service and support teams don’t bother me, so long as they can provide the help needed.

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#9

I am in a similar situation I have been happy with my daughters service with Cricket & there is alot more for phone choices there. My issue is that when I switched to Republic many years ago I had to switch phone numbers as Republic wouldn’t port my number. The number Republic gave me isn’t considered a cell number so I can’t port it to another carrier. I feel trapped as I would need to get a new number yet again. I generally like my service but after I purchased my last phone in august I had to switch plans & am not saving . This phone is possessed - opens apps on it's own, takes 30 pics I don't want etc. There are so few phone choices & I don't want to spend for a new one again.

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#10

All numbers when on Republic, whether gotten from Republic, or brought to Republic are classified as wireline by the FCC, however, that does not mean they can’t be ported. There is only one cellular carrier that refuses these numbers, you guessed it, Cricket. There is no reason at all for them to do so. Their parent company AT&T takes the numbers just fine. As does every single one of their competitors from the big guys to the smaller players. So, You’re not trapped by Republic, you’re trapped by Cricket. They clearly aren’t that interested in doing what’s right for their customers. That alone would make me wary of doing business with them. That being said, there is a workaround, though it takes some work. A fellow customer documents that here: http://republic-wireless.wikia.com/wiki/Transferring_a_Republic_Number_to_a_Service_Provider_That_Refuses_Landlines

Is this a Moto G4? If so, this is an unfortunately common failure. There is some advice to controlling this issue here: Reduce occurrence of Moto G4 Ghost/Phantom Touch using MacroDroid

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#11

I appreciate this discussion as I am also planning a move from Republic. Mostly because I was using a lot of data while on a long road trip for Google Maps directions. When I passed my 1G limit my data shut off and it appears that I could only make emergency phone calls (911). I tried to purchase additional data but the Republic app refused to allow the purchase unless I was in WiFi - which is basically out of the question in the middle of North Texas plains.

This lock down of the phone when data limits are reached is simply unacceptable. Luckily my phone still gave me a rough look of the directions to my destination, without details and of course no ability to search for anything in the map, and I was able to make my way for the next 4 hours until I got closer to home and didn’t need directions anymore.

Now I may find that all carriers are going to do something ridiculous, and perhaps dangerous in certain situations, like that but now I’m motivated to go find out.

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#12

Hi @randya.hifpvw,

I’m sorry to hear of the experience. For what it’s worth, what you describe isn’t the way Republic intends for things to work. By design, one should be able to add cell data even if there is no available WIFi.

The fact your phone was telling you it would only make 911 calls suggests the issue was coverage generally. Were cellular coverage available, your phone would make and receive calls and send and receive text messages regardless of the absence of cell data.

If this is an area you travel in frequently, you might want to check Republic’s coverage there for your phone. If you’re willing to share brand, model and generation of the phone in question, we can provide more insight.

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#13

In addition to what Roland mentions above, you can save yourself what you’re spending on data by downloading the Google Maps to the phone while still on wifi. Then, while out and about the phone will only use data for traffic updates, which are extremely small. With the maps downloaded you could likely drive 24x7 all month long and not come close to using 1GB of data.

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#14

the Republic app refused to allow the purchase unless I was in WiFi - which is basically out of the question in the middle of North Texas plains.

Another option would have been to pull into any McDonalds; they all have free WiFi for their customers.

But it sounds like it was a coverage issue anyway; you wouldn’t have done any better if you were a Verizon or AT&T customer.

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#15

I have found that Mickey D’s is generally a very good hotspot provider. Rarely do I have a laggy connection or glitches getting connected (not never, but rarely.). I have also had fair-to-good hotspot connections from AT&T stores – not an endorsement, just a mention. In my general vicinity I have been able to get good connections from the parking lots of Pizza Hut and US Cellular stores. I haven’t tested the semi-local Dairy Queen (They may not offer Wi-Fi, the one nearest to where I used to live didn’t) nor – one of my daughter’s favorites Taco Bell. I have used TB Wi-FI at other locations and had good results, including updating Google maps for off-line storage and use.) YMMV

P.S. Don’t forget Starbuck’s!

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#16

Great tip Louisdi! While my phone is maxed out on storage my Wife’s new Moto G6 has plenty.

Question: In this mode with the maps downloaded can it give turn by turn instructions?

Thanks.

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#17

Indeed. It operates in every way exactly the same as it previously did, other than the fact that it uses the local maps rather than downloading them throughout the trip.

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#18

Beautiful! Thanks a gigabit.

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#19

I, too, feel RW is a great deal, especially when I am frequently near wifi. Unfortunately for me, my office and travels take me where T-mobile network has gaps. I have to leave for better coverage, but not for a better plan. Maybe some day in the future things will change again.

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#20

Hi @paulebob,

Did you know we also offer coverage with Sprint? I’d be glad to send you a SIM card if you’d like to give us another try.

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