My own Republic Savings story - poor service

I realize no one will probably read this (and it may even be quickly deleted), but it’s rather cathartic. So here goes, …

I’m keeping all the money I’ve saved using Republic Wireless so I can go get decent cell phone service. Maybe if I can endure the pathetic service a bit longer I can afford to buy REAL cell phone service for a bit. You know (or maybe you don’t) but it’s the kind where calls aren’t regularly dropped. Sure the texting works - more often than not - but calls? Not so much. Then again, with the high cost of REAL cell phone service, maybe I’ll return to the stone age before we had smart (??) phones. (The only thing smart is the fact RW figured out a way so I get ripped off each month for nearly non-existent service.)

How bad is it? Well, I call my wife and the call immediately goes to voice mail. On those rare times when the call goes through, it drops very quickly. Others can call her with no problems. I can call others and quite often it works. Not always, but quite often. RW phone “service” is TERRIBLE!!!

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Hi @barryr.1g13wt,

Welcome to our Member Community!

I’m not going to delete your post, however, since it’s not in the spirit of the giveaway, I’ve moved it to its own topic.

I’m saddened to see that you’ve experienced such poor service during your time with Republic Wireless. Also saddened to see that, given this is your first topic in Community, you’ve never tried troubleshooting with the Community. Some of the issues you’ve described are things we’re familiar with here. For example, calls going straight to voicemail when you’re on Wi-Fi suggest that your cell coverage is not good and your phone is losing the Wi-Fi connection.

We have Community members who are willing to troubleshoot with you. They can’t reach out and fix the issues for you, but they’ll gladly walk you through troubleshooting and solutions if you’re willing to give it a try.

I also don’t see any recent Help Tickets from you. Perhaps you’ve tried before to get help and have given up. That saddens me as well, especially that you’d endure issues believing that Republic Wireless has “figured out a way so I get ripped off each month for nearly non-existent service.” This is by no means our intent.

I’ve taken a look at your coverage situation, and one thing I’d like to try is replacing your current SIM cards with different SIM cards, providing coverage with a different cellular partner. I think you’ll see an improvement. I’m away from the office this week and have a commitment that requires me to leave my computer in just a moment, but I’ll get that shipment taken care of later this afternoon at no cost to you.

Beyond that, would you be willing to tell us more about your Wi-Fi network so our Community might be able to help with some of the other issues you’ve described? If so, I’ll ask one that one of our Ambassadors or Experts move this topic to our #problems area so our Community can really dive into the troubleshooting.

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I guess moving my post out of view is the next best thing to deleting it. Can’t say I’m surprised.

No, I’ve not asked for help with this problem. No, it’s not the first time this identical problem has happened, either. How often do I need to have the same problem fixed anyway? Annually? Monthly? Weekly? I just figured my wife had re-loaded the Spousal Call Denial app (and it’s very effective, indeed) after the last time I experienced this problem. That time, my wife’s phone was blamed as it didn’t have the latest software update. Funny thing is, mine were the only calls dropped by her phone then as well. BTW, that time my phone DID have the latest software update. Curiously enough, none of my other calls are dropped - just the ones to my wife. I guess I’ll file this under “Things that make you go ‘Hmm…’.”

Thanks for your offer to help. I imagine after all my snarky ranting you’ll understand when I say I’m not holding my breath that this will either fix the problem or if it does, will be a long-term fix. The evidence certainly indicates otherwise.

Good morning, @barryr.1g13wt,

Since you’re new to our Community, it’s understandable that you would mistakenly think that moving your post from the monthly savings topic to its own topic and then offering to move it into the Problem Solving category would be equivalent to moving it “out of view”, but you’d be wrong. The way this Community is configured, the Problem Solving category has higher visibility than the General Discussions. And the more often replies happen, the higher the post sits in the “latest” list. So moving it to Problem Solving and then staying engaged in actually solving the problems will give your words the most visibilty, short of making it a banner post and, yeah, that’s not happening.

Troubleshooting a technical device requires trying things to see if they work. When our technicians research an issue, they begin with some basics, like making sure that the phones have the latest software. Some of the phones we support have some really nasty issues on old software, like one particular phone which can actually become completely unusable as a phone if the software is not updated from its earliest Android build. The technicians would be foolhardy to troubleshoot an issue on a phone with out-of-date software.

If updating the software seems to solve the issue, it could just be a matter of time before the issue happens again, meaning the problem was improved but not solved. Or something different could cause the same symptoms, meaning the problem was solved, but yes, we now have an identical-looking problem to deal with.

So I would hope the answer to how often you have to have the same problem fixed becomes “never” but in order to get there, we have to actually fix this problem.

I suppose I can understand the level of snark, it’s a clue to me that there’s something here we really need to work on because you’ve put up with it for far too long. Besides, I’m a fan of snark and enjoy deploying it as well.

I was just reading back through your Help Tickets trying to understand the issue you had before, and it appears someone sent you at least one replacement SIM card in the past. Did you ever receive it, and if so, did you try it?

I haven’t shipped anything yet, as I’m still awaiting your reply to my personal message (not publicly-visible) to confirm your address. Don’t reply with your address in this topic, this is publicly visible. But I’d also like to know what happened with that previous SIM shipment, if you tried it before and things were worse, then it’s hardly worth trying it again.

Can you tell us more about the calls to your wife that are dropped? For example, is she usually on Wi-Fi when it happens, or on cell? And likewise, where is your phone when it happens?

Calls going straight to voicemail are something to do with the receiving phone. There’s nothing the calling phone can do to cause that. So if that’s the most common symptom of the issue, we’d need to focus on her phone.
Calls being dropped mid-conversation could be either phone, so we’d need to look at lots of factors about both phones to figure that one out. Narrowing down whether it happens most often on Wi-Fi or cell can help us know where to troubleshoot.

This isn’t likely to be a one-and-done, problem-solved, type of conversation. I’m not offering to push a magic button and fix the barry-to-wife calling problem. I’m offering to come alongside, bringing some valuable expertise from our Community members, and troubleshoot with you until we figure it out. But for that, I’ll need your cooperation.

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m away from the office this week, on vacation, fulfilling a volunteer commitment, but I’ll check back in for your answers about the previous SIM card and the answer I need in the personal message about the address, later today. I also look forward to some answers about the phones’ locations (Wi-Fi or cell) when this seems to happen most.

I’ll go ahead and move the topic to our Problem Solving category because, despite the snark, it seems you really want to get this fixed, and I’m hoping you’ll give us a chance to figure this out.

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I had a similar problem. Voice calls became almost completely useless. I dealt with it for a long time because I don’t use my phone that much, but when I was no longer able to use my phone for the few times I needed to make a call, I decided to cancel. Maybe a different SIM card would’ve helped, but I’m not sure why they wouldn’t have sent the correct one in the first place. Maybe there were changes in coverage for certain companies that effected our service, but I think Republic should’ve been proactive with the solution rather than relying on customers being unhappy with the service and complaining and/or leaving.

Interestingly, Republic does do this. They have at times reached out to large swaths of customers at the same time, sending them new SIMs to improve their coverage. Unfortunately, they can only do this when there are vast areas where coverage changes/improvements make this practical. The issue is that coverage is hyper local. We may have the same ZIP code but on my side of town I have terrific coverage, at the bank, at home and at the coffee shop, while on your end of town you can barely make a call. To this day the data used to generate maps won’t provide that level of hyper local detail that would allow Republic to be more proactive. So, they do indeed rely on a customer reaching out to them to let them know that there’s something wrong so that they can help fix it.

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Is Republic able to track any type of information regarding signal quality and/or dropped calls for it’s customers?

Republic doesn’t own a cellular network. For its maps, it relies mostly on data provided by its cellular network partners. There are many reasons signal quality on a particular phone might fluctuate including something as mundane as bad weather.

As for dropped calls, not unless Republic were actively monitoring each call. I for one would consider doing that in any circumstance other than trying to fix a specific issue I was having to be an invasion of my privacy.

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So the only way they can track this is through customer feedback and/or the carriers they use?

Are the carriers they use able to prioritize calls from its own customers vs. Republic and similar companies’ customers? Is it possible with the rise of competition from companies like Republic, that the carriers are now dropping the priority of these phone calls resulting in such bad reception?

Pretty much, yes. Republic has never disclosed exactly how many customers it has (privately held companies typically don’t disclose such things) but estimates number in the hundreds of thousands.

I’m not minimizing the impact of bad service on individual customers, however, I think it’s fair to say the overwhelming majority do not experience such issues. In my experience, when individual customers are experiencing bad service, Republic wants to do all it can to change that.

Network owners might choose to do so, though when done this most often involves use of cellular data rather than voice or text messaging. As far as Republic’s customers specifically, Republic has stated in the past its customers receive the same priority as those of the network owners it partners with themselves.

There are many variables involved when one is suffering from inadequate service. As counter intuitive as it might seem in the age of big data, absent a known service outage, it remains necessary to troubleshoot cases of poor service quality individually.

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Thanks for your helpful responses. I actually really like the idea of Republic Wireless and felt I was getting my money’s worth the majority of the time. One problem with relying on customer feedback and complaints is the fact that for the most part, Republic is No Contracts. So a customer who has terrible voice call quality would just leave because of how easy and cheap it is and not necessarily give any useful feedback. If I had realized that the Annual Payment Option was in fact a non-refundable contract, I would’ve contacted support and tried to sort it out, but I made the incorrect assumption that Republic was still truly No Contracts and switched to ATT Pre-Paid. I am using the same phone and have no problems with reception or delays in texts. It’s $10 more a month which I hate, but at least I have a fully functional phone plan. By the way my reception problems happened pretty much everywhere. Big cities, small towns, tons of areas where the Coverage Map show coverage. Even if I made a phone call to someone in the same room as me.

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