Loyal to RW, Tempted by Mint Mobile

billing
#1

I’ve been with Republic for five years and have loved the service and value. Between my husband and I, our bill usually comes out to about $45/month for 1GB of data + unlimited talk & text. We are big, big fans of paying for things up front and/or yearly, if and when it’s possible (we love buying our phones up front and paying for car insurance annually, for example). I was talking to a friend (the same friend that referred me to RW five years ago) and telling him how happy I’ve been with the service and cost, and he said he was thinking about switching. I was floored - this guy is super thrifty, and I found it hard to believe that RW could be beat by any other carrier in his mind. Turns out, it’s Mint Mobile. BYOP, $15/mo for not one, but 3GB of data - and the best part? It’s paid annually. $180, one time, gets you 3GB of data per month for a full year. Reviews re:coverage look good, and I’ve never been too bothered by spotty coverage anyways.

Problem is: I love Republic and don’t want to leave. Hey RW: take a page out of Mint’s book! I’m currently saving up to buy myself a Samsung Galaxy S10e, and if an annual plan isn’t an option by the time I’m ready to buy a new phone, I’m very likely to make the switch. I read a few reviews on Mint’s website that indicated the new Mint customer had switched from RW, so I won’t be the first, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the last, either. That’s a very good deal for people trying to save money, which is obviously RW’s target demographic. Please, please make it happen, Republic!

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#2

There has been multiple extensive discussion in regards to Mint already here.
Paying in one large chunk is not appealing or even possible for many folks.
And this IS a contract, no mater how you look at it.
Also, their pricing is deceptive at first glance, you have to pre-pay 1 full year inorder to get the very cheap prices.
Many question the sustainability of Mint.

Biggest factor, coverage. Mint has NO ROAMING whatsoever.
You are stuck to only the native GSM Tmobile coverage.
With RW, you get Talk and Text Roaming abilities, which greatly expands useable coverage.
Also, RW offers the ability to use a CDMA Sprint network on all but a select few of phones, so one has the option to use the best carrier network in their area.

So, be sure you double check native tmobile coverage before you consider switching, and if you travel at all, look at those areas on the maps as well. And look at RootMetrics user made maps for a more real world view of actual coverage.

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#3

Hi @allisonf.gl1rnn and welcome to the Community!

Indeed, Mint Mobile offers attractive pricing if one is willing to pay for an extended period of time up front, which you make clear you are. In addition to the caveats mentioned by @SpeedingCheetah, please know Mint’s trial is limited to 7 days. If you don’t cancel within that seven days and later decide Mint isn’t a good fit, there is no refund for unused service.

What I suggest is giving Mint a thorough workout during its seven day trial without initially transferring your Republic number. That way, if you decide Mint isn’t going to work for you, there is no need to go through the hassle of trying to get your number back to Republic within 7 days.

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#4

Hi @allisonf.gl1rnn,

Thanks for your comments and thoughts.

I’ll let you in on a secret… I’m currently giving Mint a try myself, as part of a little project we do from time to time to better understand our competitors. More than anything, I miss Wi-Fi calling and texting. Mint says it’s available for some phones, but mine isn’t one of them, so I have really been struggling without it, as their coverage is non-existent at my home.

It sounds like more than Mint specifically, what you’re interested in is a bulk prepaid plan that provides a discount. We’ve heard various versions of the same request, and it’s something that has corporate interest. Personally, I’m risk-averse, so the idea of putting a year’s worth of service payments into a phone plan in order to save some money wouldn’t work for me, but it seems there are a lot of people willing to accept the risk of a job transfer or other change in life’s circumstances for the purpose of saving some money this way.

What’s the value of that risk for you? How much money would you want to save on your Republic Wireless plan in order to buy a year’s non-refundable service up front?

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#5

Hi @allisonf.gl1rnn,

Mint needs to take a bunch of pages out of RW’s book to be competitive to those using 1GB of data or less. It’s not worth losing all the benefits, support and flexibility RW has to offer to save $5 a line per month.

If you and your husband stay under 1GB of data per month what’s the sense in each having 3GB of data? If you’re going to start binging on data the Mint $25 12GB data plan is a much better deal and only $5 more that 1GB with RW.

MM does offer attractive plans for those actually using higher amounts of data each month. I tried Mint out a couple of times using a spare phone and the coverage was fine for my use. Their WiFi calling doesn’t work on many phones and you may miss being able to use your phones at times as @southpaw mentioned.

:flight_departure:

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#6

It is something I would consider, depending on how much one actually saved and if their are any cons to such a thing.

As already mentioned, Mint is a downgrade, in my view, from RW, loosing Roaming and Wifi calling/texting on many devices, and lets not forget that I highly doubt that Mints Customer Service and forums are as active and good as RW…all to just save a few $.

The losses are the not worth it to me.

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#7

I have no interest in Mint either, but as I also have no interest in leaving RW anytime soon, I would be interested in opting for a yearly subscription plan too.

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#8

Hi @southpaw ,

The risk, to me, is almost a non-issue. My husband and I have been aggressively paying down debt since we got married and have the ability to pay for a year’s worth of service up front, and since I love RW so much, I have no problem committing to a year, regardless of the risk. That being said, it would be nice to get a small discount for buying in bulk, so to speak. Mint, as I’m sure you know, offers 3 GB of data for $15/mo if you buy 12 months up front, for a total of $180. My husband and I pay $20/mo plus taxes and whatnot for 1 GB each. It would be really nice if Republic could offer a $5/mo discount for a year’s non-refundable service so we could cough up $360 (plus any applicable taxes and fees) once a year (since there are two of us) and be done with it. That being said, I would take any amount! I would even give serious thought to paying my regular monthly rate x12 - that’s how appealing a yearly payment option is to me.

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#9

After what we went through before discovering RW, we would never ever prepay a cell phone company for service a year in advance! Before we switched to RW, we were with Virgin Mobile for years, loved their service, raved about it and recommended it to friends and other family members. Then one day we were unable to get any service at home. Using our computer, we contacted the company by email and were assured we would be up and running in a few hours. Days later, we were told that someone had misaligned one of the antennas on a Sprint tower near our home and that a serviceman would look into it. Long story short we went without home cell service for over a month and finally was told that the antenna was “slightly realigned” at the order of Sprint and would not be changed!
What would we have done if we had prepaid for a year of service? We would have been out that money.
We are also money conscious and try to be clever about saving money, but prepaying for a service a year in advance is what I believe falls into the category called “false economy.”
In addition, having worked for a large corporation, I can assure you that having a customer base of customers with long-term prepay plans creates a disincentive towards the maintenance of quality service. A change in management or pressure from a board of directors can at any time result in so-called “cost-saving measures” which translate into reduced personnel in the service department and/or stinginess in compensation policies which results in highly experienced service personnel moving on and being replaced by less experienced people whom customers rely on to maintain the quality of service received originally.

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#10

I’d be interested in seeing what you find out, will you post it?

Amy B

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#11

Hi @amyb9,

I’m not following the context of what exactly you’d be interested in that I might be finding out?

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#12

You testing out Mint… it’s right below your post. Didn’t we have problems with this the last time? How come I can reply to a post, on the topic post and it’s not recorded on your end?

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#13

There’s no problem with your reply or what it references. I see that you replied to my post about testing Mint, but I’m not sure what you mean by “what I find out.” What kinds of things specifically would you want to see me write about?

I already posted that I miss Wi-Fi calling more than anything. I’ve found that my phone on Mint has worse coverage in my house than my same phone on RW. I think that has to do with the agreements we have with our carriers partners to provide the same coverage their members receive.

Most of the testing is about just providing info to our teams so they can better understand what our Competitors do. For example, what does their account portal look like - are they providing info in their account portal that we don’t provide and maybe should? What kind of marketing E-mails do they send? How often? What’s the porting process like? How is their Community managed? Are these things you’d be interested to know??

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#14

If you can be objective, then the subtle and maybe glaring differences, since there are folks who are migrating over.

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#15

I use Mint Mobile for a phone that RW does not support. I also tether with that phone which Mint specifically allows. I don’t use that phone for calling very often except with Google Voice, so I can’t comment on voice quality. Data quality is fine.

Mint offers very few services. You won’t get the kind of attention you get on these forums. RW, by only allowing certain phones, provides stricter control and frankly, that should mean you’ll have fewer problems but I haven’t had any problems with Mint yet. Since I don’t use the native calling function, the lack of visual voicemail doesn’t bother me.

Also, WiFi calling around the world is qualitatively better with RW than with Google voice. RW has a nice feature in IP calling.

Discount carriers are the same in phones and airlines. The good ones are great values. The others eventually fail. RW is a great value. Mint has not proved itself yet but might be great, too.

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#16

Hi @johnt.an60b0,

Thanks for your comments! What phone are you using with Mint, and would you reconsider Republic Wireless if we supported that phone?

My Choice and Republic Refund subscriptions allow tethering, as well.

1 Like

#17

I use a Unihertz Atom on Mint. That discussion is in the Forums somewhere.

Since the purpose of that phone is to have a rugged, outdoor phone, the plan is somewhat immaterial. I can call out in an emergency. I won’t destroy it in the gym with sweat and it won’t fall out of my pocket while bicycling. It plays well with Audible and Napster and YouTube music. It also makes a satisfactory GoPro type camera.

None of those things are really dependent on a good plan. If someone calls me while I’m listening to an audio book, I’ll stop and talk but sports headphones usually don’t provide good noise cancelling. So the conversation is usually short.

Google voice has all sorts of issues with ringing and notifications. It is really nice to have a number that will ring on multiple phones or devices. But, for the five years I used RW as my primary MVNO, I had fewer problems and better quality. If RW provided that kind of feature (it isn’t a big leap from what you do with IP based telephony today) then I’d consider RW.

Note, I had to switch off RW for my main phone when I was traveling regularly to China and Europe. You’ve solved that problem by letting us swap carriers on the fly. But, the Atom also has dual SIM and I keep a UK SIM in all the time so I can receive calls from there on a local number. The Three global roaming plans really rock compared to anything I’ve seen in the US. China Mobile also has great plans for travelers.

So, there’s more to it than supporting the phone. From a whole product perspective, GV + Unihertz + Mint provide me with what I need, but it is so kludgy only a networking expert can really make it work:)

If you want more product feedback, I’m happy to help.

John

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#18

nathans.muyejm
I can assure you that having a customer base of customers with long-term prepay plans creates a disincentive towards the maintenance of quality service.

That point alone was enough for me. Any month that Republic Wireless were to disappoint me? It is just a click away from moving on. They know it and I also know that fact. Being able to save an insignificant amount of money in my life for a problem that does not now exist, is not even tempting to me. Republic’s service is what shall always keep me as a customer. If I had more Data available? I would not likely use it anyway. If I had an unlimited amount of Brussel sprouts available in my kitchen? Get the point, LOL

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#19

I know some people want to be able to jump ship should RW ever drop the ball, but I’ve been with RW for years and trust that wouldn’t be the case. Some might call that naive, but I’d definitely be interested in a discounted annual price. I’d go for it if it were the cost of 10 months for the whole year (so about 16% off, if my math’s right). That seems to be a standard on my other annual services.

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#20

Perhaps @southpaw could set up a survey to get a feel for how many of the RW subscriber population would be willing to sign up for a year right now?

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