Need a cheap, limited burner phone

In order to solve a very specific problem that no one has been able to help me with, I need a burner phone that is cheap. I only need voice. I’d like a minutes package that is modest and not too onerous on the time limit. I need it to use AT&T or Verizon as RW’s carriers are part of the problem I am solving. A flip phone is fine, modest amount of minutes needed. Privacy is nice, but not essential for this purpose. I don’t want to pay monthly fees, only usage-based fees.
Any recommendations? I find the whole prepaid market confusing and deceitful and need some advice.

I’m curious as to the specific problem.

AT&T Prepaid has a $2 plan that is $2 per day that it is used. No texts or calls on any given day, no charge.

They have a phone like this: https://walmart.com/ip/AT-T-PREPAID-Alcatel-SMARTFLIP-Prepaid-Feature-Phone/395025664 but it is $70. You can actually get a smart phone for significantly less ($25-30)

It’s bizarre. I can’t call one specific number in Sebring, FL on CenturyLink landline. Everyone else I know in my family has no calling problems to that number from Ohio, TN and PA. Other lines in the building are fine and I can call them. I switched RW from T-Mobile to Sprint and improved my cell service locally but didn’t fix this problem.
I get “Call Ended” messages and a fast busy. Redial thirty times, same result. Next day, get a call on second try. It’s almost like CenturyLink doesn’t have enough lines on the gateway to Sebring, FL. CenturyLink is the dominant (only) hard-wire provider in Sebring. I suspect I need a third-tier network engineer at Sprint and a third-tier network engineer at CenturyLink to spend an hour debugging the gateway or some obscure SS7 error and this is never going to happen by my actions, so I have given up. A whole new phone and carrier is my last hope, Obi-wan.
Thanks for listening.

So you’re dialing from your Republic phone and can’t reach this one specific number? Have you put in a ticket to Republic Wireless stating that you can’t reach that number? Generally this is a routing issue that can be solved fairly quickly. Even though you switched the cellular carrier, the call is carried by Republic’s VoIP termination provider, which may have a routing issue with that particular number.

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Yes, I opened a ticket as instructed in this forum right after experiencing the problem one day and they closed it as solved with no information or response and then threatened me with inaction if I tried to re-activate the ticket or if I opened multiple tickets on the same issue. So I think I exhausted my options there.

But it also doesn’t work with T-Mobile or Sprint cell service. Is RW VoIP provider involved in a cellular call?

Yes, if you’re using Republic Wireless as your cellular service provider, it is.

I bought a Tracfone and a minutes card at WalMart and it works fine. I bypassed my “Call Ended” error situation and now I have a burner phone for my Dad and any illegal activity or protesting I might want to do.
A burner is a nice backup for your main phone. Just leave it in the drawer and reactivate it when you lose your smartphone.

Hi @kwe,

This description doesn’t sound like how we typically handle support requests, and it concerned me greatly, so I reviewed your ticket history and I see that there may have been a couple of misunderstandings.

First, a ticket you opened about the issue you’ve described above was erroneously merged into another ticket you had open at the time. When that ticket was merged, it was “closed”, as that’s part of the merging process. The team working the ticket that was open at the time was then tasked with addressing this issue, but failed to do so, and continued to focus on the original issue described in that ticket. That was our Help Team’s mistake, and I’ll review those actions with the team to make them aware that they failed you in this situation.

Next, you replied to a closed ticket. We do have an automation in place that explains to our members that we cannot open new tickets by replying to closed tickets. Here’s why: We’ve seen too many members use an e-mail reply to open a new ticket without understanding that the reply would go to the team that handled the former ticket, and often the new issue is not appropriate for that old team. For example, if your last ticket was a billing question, “Oops, I didn’t mean to add 2 GB of data, can you refund me for one of them?” That would go to a billing team and it would have a low priority, because it’s really not going to matter if the refund is processed immediately or in a day or so. If two months later you replied on that closed ticket, saying, “My phone won’t call or text. It’s completely unusable!” That reply would sit with the billing team in a low-priority queue and might not get seen right away to get the immediate attention it deserves. And once the billing team sees it, they aren’t the right team to troubleshoot calling issues, so they’d have to re-assign it, adding even more time to what needs to be high-urgency ticket.

We were seeing this far too often in our ticket queues, so we created an automation that sends an E-mail when someone replies to a closed ticket, advising them that the ticket is closed and cannot be replied on further, but to please open a new ticket. That message looks something like this:

You have attempted to update a ticket that’s already closed.

If you do need help, please use the Help Wizard to create a new issue. Response times are typically within an hour or two depending on the issue. You will need to log in to create a ticket.

If you cannot log in, you can email us at help@republicwireless.com. This method may take longer for us to respond, and longer to resolve.

If you already have a ticket open, please check in your account portal to update that ticket. Go here to check your current open tickets.

Please understand that more than one ticket about the same problem will slow down responses as we have to merge and close all duplicate tickets.

Thanks for reaching out,
The Help Team

I don’t see this as threatening you with inaction, but I see a couple of outdated links there and clearly this reply left you feeling like we did not want to help you, so I’ll review this with our Director of Support to have it updated.

If you’d like, I can open a ticket on your behalf to have this routing issue looked into. We would need recent examples of failed calls that we could forward to our calling partner. The last time I worked on one of these tickets, I was advised by our calling partner that the issue was with the service provider for the receiving phone, and that the person at the receiving phone would have to request help from their provider, because our call was leaving our system and our partner’s system successfully, but was not being delivered by the receiving provider. So it’s not something our calling partner can always fix, but if they can’t fix it, they can at least track down where the issue is happening and advise further action.

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I’m very glad that my experience isn’t what RW wants and isn’t common. While I understand the admonition not to open multiple tickets on the same subject, I can’t understand why you allowed me to follow-up on a closed ticket if following up on a closed ticket is deprecated. You should fix that.
As for my problem, you can check my call records for any calls between those two numbers and 99% of the log entries will show the “Call Ended” error. I’ve spent $60 more to fix this problem and I am happy to have a backup phone.

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