(EDIT: My journey to activation is still underway. I’ll be post more thoughts and updates as things go along. I’ll also be providing a summary/conclusions/positives/negatives once all my lines are settled on a RW 5.0 plan.)
Activation… Or not quite yet…
So before I provide my feedback, please understand this. I’m trail-blazing. I’m hopping on the new plans knowing that there’s going to be pain. I’m providing this feedback so that others can know what to expect at this point in time and also so that Republic can know what’s good and bad. The intent isn’t to whine. The intent isn’t to ask for help. Republic is probably already aware of some of the issues and has them on a to-do list. The intent of this post is to provide intelligent, actionable feedback so that future RW activations go smoother.
So I attempted to active all four of my phones, taking them from two old Republic Accounts to two new Republic Accounts.
- Activation failed
- I called customer service, after a VERY SHORT wait time I was connected to a PERSON based in the US that fluently and clearly speaks my language, English
- I’m told that I’m stuck in an “activation loop”
- A ticket has been submitted to the “back office” and this is a known issue with activations currently, according to the representative
- I have been able to insert my old SIM cards and I’m back up and running on all my phones
- At some point when the activation is successful my old SIMs will stop working and I’ll need to swap them out
- The service representative wasn’t able to give a time frame for activation, but she was very polite about it
- I taught my 69 year old mother how to swap her SIM card out. She got to learn a new skill!
- The activation steps described are counter-intuitive
- Having to enter “Apt” for the apartment line and “1” for the apartment is very odd (per the instructions)
- After completing the activation steps the website says that it’s underway and should be done in a few minutes. However, this is false and no further feedback is given that the process has failed. When activation fails or does not complete within 15-30 minutes, an email should be generated saying what the next steps are
- These are the instructions I’m complaining about: https://help.republicwireless.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005636388-How-to-Activate-a-Cell-Phone-or-SIM-Card
- The phone rep said a ticket was opened for me and that an email would be generated for it, I have not received that email
- The APN setup instructions are going to be IMPOSSIBLE for the target audience of “older folks” to follow. I would highly recommend that RW find some kind of way to automate it. I’m capable of following those instructions, but even for me, an IT systems engineer, it is a frustrating and error-prone process
- The APN setup instruction field names do not match what my phone, which is on Android 12, has.
- The APN setup field name orders are different from what is in my Android 12 phone
- The APN setup instructions don’t accurately describe how to get to the appropriate menu to set that up on my Android 12 phone
- These are the instructions I’m complaining about: https://help.republicwireless.com/hc/en-us/articles/4413675019543-Finish-Setting-Up-Your-Phone-s-APN-Settings
My phones are working on my old SIMs. Customer support is aware of my 5.0 activation problems. I’m fine for now
Somewhere out there Republic Wireless staff are working some long, painful hours on a holiday weekend. To those folks, I say thank you. You’re appreciated.