Thanks for the feedback. We wanted to offer something that didn’t feel like a commitment, something for those one-time situations that come up sometimes. But that doesn’t mean this has to be our one and only way to offer a Data SIM. Give us some ideas of what parameters would define the perfect Data SIM for your use.
10GB is fine for my use (Wi-Fi hotspot in a camper or wherever else I may want to take it). I wouldn’t like the hassle of remembering to buy a new card and installing it every month (I’m really not sure what to expect for cycle fatigue failure on a SIM card tray/contacts, but I doubt they are designed for much more than a dozen cycles). Right now I use Ting at $10/GB + $6/month device charge, and average use is ~4GB/month.
One more thing. It can’t be a Sprint data SIM (unless Sprint has a plan to add tower backhaul in my area, and I’ve been bugging them for ten years so it seems unlikely). Ting has a promotional price on the Sprint Data SIM/Plan which won’t work for my use case.
I’m trying to understand the value here. The e-mail I received indicated that the regular price is $60 for 10GB (50% off for a limited time.) The “regular” price is actually more than the $5/GB on my phone. And it’s a whole lot more than the Ting $25/30GB hotspot.
I’m looking for a seasonal-use hotspot for my winter home in Florida–3 or 4 months at a time.
We can use our RW phones while we’re there, but I’d like to have a fixed hotspot that can monitor and operate the doorbell and thermostat when we are in NJ. I have a Straighttalk (Verizon) hotspot that costs $10/GB. Coverage is good, but costs add up quickly. Next thought was the Ting deal, but if the data runs out, it stays out until the next month starts. (You can’t recharge mid-month.) The RW data SIM sounds like you’ve been thinking about this, but it’s not fully fleshed out. You don’t have any hotspots in your store, so I would have to use a phone if I was buying from RW. With my arrangement, I’d prefer a dedicated hotspot to a phone. That leaves me searching for a compatible hotspot. Finally, the throwaway SIM wouldn’t work for me–even if it had unlimited data for 30 days. I’m not going to fly down to FL to change the SIM card.
Otherwise, I’ll have to bite the bullet and pay about $70/mo for a full time internet connection and probably year round.
I’m glad to see you thinking it through carefully and letting us know how your needs differ from this offer. It seems we didn’t hit the mark as far as you’re concerned, and the details you gave are very helpful.
Do keep in mind the $30 price, while for a limited time, is good when you buy it. So you could buy several at that price and activate them later, even after they are selling at a higher price in our store.
That clearly still doesn’t get you round trips to Florida to swap them out, though.
If this used the same sim and could just be reloaded, it would be much better. The price is too high for something that expires in 30 days. Either change it to 60 days or don’t put a time limit on it at all. I’m like others that feel that if I paid for 10gb of data then I should be able to use all of that data without some arbitrary expiration date. You already have me as a phone customer. I’d pay $30 for a 5gb plan when I go camping, but $60 is too much for me. As it is, this won’t work for me. Maybe with some improvements, it might be something I’d consider in the future.
I use Google Voice and data only SIMs. This data only SIM, with the option to auto-renew and have the service be manageable in my account page, would be the perfect data SIM to me. Does this data only SIM have the exact same data coverage as Republic’s regular service?
Addendum: I just saw that the regular price is $60, and that $30 is a sale price. If it’s only $30 for one month, with all subsequent months being $60, then I’m out. Thanks anyway.
Republic ran a temporary experiment to learn how people use data only SIMs. This experiment was priced in a specific manner to allow them to gather the data they needed. They then did analysis based on that data, to understand how they could sustainably offer a product in the space. The result of that analysis is the current product. Given that the data only SIM Is unrelated to Republic phone service, if a customer does not find it competitive, they can choose from the myriad other options in the market to find an option more suitable to their needs.
Just because they collected “data” doesn’t mean that their analysis and execution of their new data SIM plan went well. Sure they could see how many people bought the product and how many Gigs were used up, but did they bother to poll/survey people to gather even more info? They could have asked about price, data expiration limits, and if they would like for the plan to auto-renew or not. That’s the kind of data you would not be able to collect just from monitoring usage statistics alone.
I’ve never argued it went well, nor do I have any idea how many they’ve sold, what their goal was or anything else of the sort that would even allow me to gauge if it is going well or terribly.
Having been in similar business for a long time (decades), I can tell you that asking customers about price is largely useless. Costs are what they are. Asking customers about price yields the same thing every time: They want it cheaper, faster, better, regardless of the practicality of such a want. The other part of this is Republic isn’t creating a new market. They know what other providers charge per GB. They know who offers data only service and at what price. They know who has unlimited offerings. The market is rich with data.
Data expiration limits are nothing more than a component of price. People always ask for the same thing, I want it cheap and I want it to never expire. Republic doesn’t have to ask to know that. They also already know that giving the customers what they want here would create a money losing product. The whole data expiration thing was litigated and relitgated at the time of the move from the Refund Plans to the Choice plans.
If they can’t deliver it, why would they ask? You assume that this was a product decision rather than a limitation of a billing system or other such limitation. It’s just not safe to make that assumption.