Signing up. extra letters stuck in because some eager beaver stuck 15 character validation on this field

i tried to sign up for a plan with you today. Couldn’t find a link to do that, couldn’t find help except something about a green button that I couldn’t see. Tried the chat but it was just a robot that couldn’t answer the simplest question. I could buy the phone allright, but getting the actual plan was hard for some reason. Then, no phone number and no live chat, only a brainless robot with AI capabilities equal to a Commodore 64? I don’t think so.

A friend of mine has a plan from you, so I thought I’d try it. You make it a little too much like work to actually buy something from you. And I’m actually in IT.

Just FYI. I just called Cricket Wireless. They’re in the neighborhood, answered the phone right away and provided me with all the information I need. Yeah, they’re 10 bucks more. Oh well, I’m paying 105 with ATT right now. 30 bucks is a walk in the park.

Keep this in mind. Barebones customer service is okay, I guess, if you’re making money, but you have to let the potential customer actually buy something.

Thanks and good luck,

Hi @fritzdekatt,

Sorry you weren’t able to get the help you needed. Our Live Chat operators are real people. The only 'bot we use is a “while you’re waiting” option with our Expert program. I’m sorry whoever answered you didn’t answer in a way you could recognize as human, I’ll take a look at your interaction to see what might be improved there.

The character lengths on our shopping cart fields are usually tied to credit card validation. We’ve found if we allow longer fields, the credit card approval bombs out.

You don’t sign up for a plan until you activate the phone.

There are lots of members here in our Community willing to answer questions day and night. Please let us know if there’s anything else we can answer for you.

Edited to add: It’s been pointed out to me that the reference you made to 15 characters is here in Community when creating a title. You are correct, we do intentionally encourage descriptive titles since not all of our users are familiar with troubleshooting by forum.


The Plan is selected when the phone is activated. I feel bad that you tried and failed to purchase a plan in advance, something I find intuitive. Perhaps RW will clarify this.


I figured you must be able to get a plan in advance, without buying a phone, because there are options to use your own phone. Therefore the two options must be selected independently. Well, that’s what I get for thinking.

Thank you for your kind response.


Just in case Cricket doesn’t work out for you this is how BYOD works:

  1. Verify you have a compatible phone.
  2. Buy a SIM (free right now)
  3. Install Republic Wireless app on phone.
  4. Install SIM
  5. Begin activation.
    You can then select a plan.

If you could take a moment and provide the path/steps to re-create the discovery of your initial ‘failure’, some of us users can work with the Republic team (Southpaw and others) to see if the process could be made a bit easier for future users.

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That seems clear enough. They should get you to write instructions on the web site. I haven’t gone to the Cricket store yet, but they take my IPhone 6. Still, I was looking forward to getting a Galaxy S9 (waiting for the price to drop so I might just get an S8 instead). Even though you have no number or chat, this customer service seems quick and very courteous.

I appreciate your time and trouble.


I went through all the steps multiple times (just because I wasn’t sure I’d buy the phone from you so I visited some local stores to compare offerings), but I started with “Start with our plans” on the main page. Then ‘View coverage’. The locator identified my location and I went to “Shop”. I ordered the Galaxy S8 (your price was cheaper than BestBuy), and I was going to finish the transaction, except I didn’t see where to go to sign up for a plan. The second time around, I registered so I could login and view my details, thinking there might be an option enabled if I registered, but I saw nothing.

At that point I thought how dumb it would be to have a phone delivered without a carrier or a predetermined plan. I read your activation instructions, but I didn’t see anything about signing up for the plan. I figured your company would want some bona fides of some kind. On my side, I would have wanted some guarantee that I wouldn’t have some kind of hassle after I bought a 700 dollar phone. I’m a veteran of Verizon and ATT and both of them have been known to get tangled up in paperwork in the course of an activation so I wanted my ducks in a row.

I went through the same process again after signing up and logging in. Oddly, it kept my phone order from the first time before I logged in. I could still order a phone but saw no details about buying a plan, though the actual details of the plan were perfectly clear. I guess if I could make a suggestion it would be to say something about not needing to buy a plan before activation (even though I myself would still be leery about that). Maybe it’s there somewhere but I read a lot of stuff on your site over the past several days and I didn’t see it.

A gentleman named Bill has already sent me a couple of messages with an explanation as to what I should do if I decided to sign up. So I can’t fault the customer support, even if it’s by mail or forum. The robot chat thing is really, really dumb though.

Thank you so much for your help. I hope my experience helps the next guy figure this out.



Hi @fritzdekatt,

Just for clarity, when you post on our Member Community, you’re talking mostly to our members - customers who help one another. @billg and @jben are customers who know our service, our phones, and our policies very well.

I’m the only person who has replied to you so far who is a staff member.

Your topic in Community is publicly visible, even when you reply by E-mail. So everyone can see the instructions @billg sent you.

I want to explain again that we don’t have a robot chat thing. Live customer service agents operate our chat service. Were you by any chance searching for help here:

That is a search tool that provides links to our knowledgebase documentation.

Did your friend who told you about Republic Wireless offer you his referral code?

Wow, that was a great explanation of what you experienced. Your reasoning is perfectly logical.

I’m not an RW employee. I’ve been an RW customer for more than 5 years. Like Ben, I’m retired from the IT industry and hang around for something to do. RW is truly a great small company and I’m sure @southpaw will bring this up at a meeting in the near future.

Well, that’s a dedicated bunch of customers, I guess.

And that was the box I was typing into. I saw something saying you offered chat, but I saw no identifiable chat box. So I tried the one pictured. On the Mac with Safari I didn’t see the callout box on the lower right that says “Questions about switching?”. I’m going to assume that would take me to customer service. I know customer service chat is mentioned on your site. I just couldn’t find it and the knowledge base couldn’t lead me to it. I see the “Questions” box in Firefox on Windows 7 (the computer I’m on now).

My friend didn’t give me a referral code. He just mentions to people that he’s saving a bundle on cell phone service.

Thanks again


Yes Republic does have a bunch of dedicated customers, primarily because they are treated fairly and offered a good service at a very competitive price.
I had to laugh when you referenced the Commador 64 … they actually came out 15+ years after I started with IBM :slight_smile:

  • Not sure what phone you settled on but Detailed Supported Phone Features provides a reference of those sold/sup[ported by Republic. so if you ever want to come back and give Republic and it’s community a chance in the future, we could always use the help
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Yo, you’ve got some “seasoned” (not to say “old”) geeks here. I work with tykes that view Windows NT as the dawn of the computer age. You doubtless recall the PDP-11 like it was last week’s IPhone release.

Of course, you guys didn’t pay any attention to the PDPs. You were surely enamored of the S/360, and the glories of the infinite punch card deck. Remember how much fun it was to get them mixed up and spend the weekend resorting them?

I am on the fence about the phone at the moment. I’m unhappy with the idea of giving up my IPhone, but if I had to switch, I’d opt right now for the Galaxy Note 8, which is around the price of a new S/360 (not quite as heavy). So the company (me) is doing a cost-benefit analysis before any such purchase. I know I could use a stylus with the S8, but the software’s supposed to be better (more integrated) on the Note. If I go to another carrier, I’m keeping my old IPhone 6 plus.

Obviously, RW has some dedicated customers. I doubt ATT could buy loyalty like that.

Thanks for the information. I’ll keep my options open for a bit.



I’m glad I have not been viewed as a total idiot, which is what I started feeling like after going through this dance a few times.

I guess you’ve found your calling in terms of retirement hobbies. But, I can’t imagine an IT guy looking for something to do. When I retire (I’m already retirement age), I’m going to start fixing all the routers and blade servers in my basement that I haven’t gotten around to. Three days after I finish at the ripe old age of 87, a great ■■■ of Mercy will ■■■■ me up into the clouds before I start on the pile of Pentium II laptops. They call that “Retirement Planning”.

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Yep, that sounds familiar. I’ve still got a couple of small parts from the the first computer I worked on back in 1958. Ben might be this communities first and only octogenarian.

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