Trying out other carriers

Regarding the ‘hearsay at best’ line of thought, seems like I should start another thread. Thinking also that a report of my mis-adventures trying to do business with other wireless phone providers might be helpful to some readers here. While I did not try Boost Mobile, other carriers (ting, visible, mint, and verizon) tangled with my mind.

Disclosure: I wanted to go with an iPhone 13 this go-around, so sadly I am no longer a customer with RW as of yesterday. Republic Wireless was gallant regarding porting out my number. Prepaid verizon is truly, shockingly, pitiful with customer service, and a 13 year veteran employee at a verizon store indicated this is not particularly new knowledge, though I think the ripple effects of COVID are at play as well.

My wife is still up in the air, and is ok sticking with southpaw’s excellent colleagues if they choose to be competitive with Tello, (both price and service). We shall see… Here’s hoping DISH will step up and retain the fine employees of Republic Wireless, because it seems they could easily find work with another wireless provider, or some other company that values integrity, hard work and professionalism.

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Interesting, have you had a good experience with Tello support? I have a single phone on Tello and the pricing is great, but I had recent cause to use their support and it was, well, VERY frustrating.

Hey Louisdi . You bring up a good point. My experience with Tello is only a couple weeks old, but compared with the others, it was good. They were not going to let me order from them when I gave our physical address. No hope for service at our remote location. So I chose to give our work address to proceed with getting a SIM card. Given that we are on Viasat satellite service for WiFi at home; After requesting assistance via email, Tello sent instructions how to enable e911 emergency address to hopefully facilitate responders finding us while calling out on a number that appears to be from the Chicago area (we are in New Mexico). I have also talked to (appropriate sounding) humans on the phone with them, to good affect.

Not long ago, on the same day, I tried to do phone banking with our credit union. RW almost always can’t get keypad function to work. I replaced the Tello SIM card back into the Samsung S9 and was able to complete a credit card payment strictly with telephone keypad. What’s more, reception is markedly better in our fringe area. Still not great, but more chances for a text or a continuation of a phone call. Is this because of the uniqueness of RW? Is it because TMobile plays more friendly with Tello? Will TMobile act better with RW in the future? I hope RW can come out of this DISH thing, stronger than ever.

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This doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Tello offers no domestic roaming, Republic does. A Republic GSM SIM vs a Tello SIM should have precisely the same coverage in T-Mobile areas, and the Republic SIM should have coverage in T-Mobile roaming areas where the Tello SIM would have none.

This is likely all a moot point though as unless something changes it appears that Dish will moving to AT&T for the network at some point and based on press reports that is likely to include Republic customers as well.

Wednesday (~5days ago), after waiting 12 days to get a SIM card from Verizon even though Verizon said they ship 2 days, I went to a Verizon store to get activation. The employee was not thrilled to be dealing with a prepaid account activation but was polite. It took almost an hour. He had to wait on hold just like I endured 4 times (lasting in total about 2 and a half hours) but he did get through and after setting up an account later and trouble shooting got phone service. I was reluctant to take a chance on using my original Republic Wireless phone number so got a new number to test it out. On Thursday I went to a different Verizon store (spread the pain, right) to assign my number with the new Verizon account. He was also polite and waited about 15 minutes on hold with Verizon before he decided to try to do it online. This seemed to work after another 15 minutes or so. When the site indicated RW relinquished the number, the agent said to give it time. Website said up to 2 hours. Well, 3 days later still nothing about getting my number again. A few minutes ago I called Verizon. When their computer established that I needed to port my old number, the computer said, “Sorry, we are having technical problems. Good bye.” Then promptly hung up on me.

Be grateful for Republic Wireless customer service.

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Republic is a VoIP carrier, it’s almost always 3 to 7 days, sometimes much longer for a number to transfer.

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Data sample of one, so take it FWIW…but my number transferred to Mint in under an hour.
This was right in the middle of the intermittent service disruptions end of last month, no less.

I just wanted to add my experience over here because every now and then we hear people complaining about number transfers taking too long and somehow RW’s dragging their feet.
RW has absolutely no interest in dragging their feet and as @rolandh explains in his article, everything is so automated with this process, that if everything goes well it is perfectly feasible to get a number transferred fairly quickly.

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The challenge is that the gaining carrier is in charge. Verizon, on their site, says 2-10 days for wireline transfers. They’re one of the worst. T-Mobile on the other hand, is far better at it.

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Well, an hour or so after getting hung up on the phone by Verizon, I used Verizon chat for another attempt to solve the number transfer problem. I was given a phone number for the porting department. The lady said my number was scheduled to change the next day but offered to do it then. She completed it but it did not take. She sent me to the service folks, who sent me to tier 2 service. This guy had a thick accent but when asked pleasantly if he was in the Philippines or India, he told me Verizon doesn’t allow that information to be disclosed. After he suggested various methods, I mentioned that we do not have mobile service at our house but could walk for a few minutes and get on the roof of our shipping container storage unit for tower reception. That seemed to do it. Porting complete; it took 1 hour and 57 minutes on the phone.

Yesterday we got notice that Verizon did credit our PayPal for the initial SIM card order that never came. It is sad to not be with Verizon but interesting to have an iPhone for the first time, and Verizon reception is so much better for our location.

Having been informed by the Republic Wireless forum that my wife’s phone will stop functioning in some months, a few months ago we saw the person who first told us about Republic Wireless. So I asked her if she was still with RW. She replied that her daughter had found Mint, and their family was satisfied with the service. Looking at reviews it seemed legit, but also noted that RW is not on many reviews. Beginning the process on Mint’s website, one is asked for your home address. To Mint’s credit, their mascot (?) a fox was said to be crying because TMobile does not cover our location. Impressed with their honesty, I agreed to provide our email for future notifications.

Remembering that Ting was purchased by DISH, and that they are compatible with iPhones, this resulted in ordering a 2020 iPhone SE from them. It was $50 less than usual and my phone calls with Ting reps went well. This was a few weeks before the launch of iPhone 13. After getting an initial email thanking me for the purchase… nothing for over 5 days. It was a simple matter to cancel the order thankfully. The ripples of COVID causing delays? Perhaps, but it seems proper to notify customers of any delay so I moved on and decided to wait to see if the next new iPhone might have the ceramic technology that is on the front, also on the back.

Tried a website chat with Verizon. Even after speaking about hopes for the new iPhone, their rep was all about trying to talk me into getting an iPhone 12 now; commission driven no doubt. Foolishly, I asked if Verizon would offer a 12 month term, prepaid option at $25 a month. Not going to happen.

Then I tried visible, hoping to get good coverage from Verizon, and trying out their customer service. They will only speak to you via website chat, far as I could tell. After many attempts to get consistent service, their ‘engineers’ said their side was functioning so not their problem dude kind of thing. I believe it was our satellite home WiFi that seems to jump around its location that messed things up, but when visible sent an email to communicate, I was still not able to respond to that email. Only through chat could I get through and it was obvious the human representative was on many lines at once, accidentally typing a response meant for someone else, and most unnervingly, not remembering what I had written 10 minutes earlier. The refund went smoothly, but never got to see if that friends and family price reduction would work just by getting on their forum and linking with strangers to get the discount.

Looking around again, decided to pay about $10 (?) to start service and receive a SIM card from Tello. Fortunately for us, Tello uses normal United States Postal Service to deliver. (They also had the integrity to ask for the home address to see if TMobile had us covered. I had to give my work address before they would proceed with the order) That is good since we live remotely and the private carriers are given to leave packages by the side of the road a mile from where we live. It could be said that I learned some things dealing with visible, but it was a simple matter to explain what was not working, and the Tello rep letting me know what to do. Reception has been decent but not as well as Verizon provides in our area. Looks like the wife will try out Tello using my Samsung S9 purchased from good ole Republic Wireless. We will see how the port of her RW number goes. And I will keep track to see if DISH gets on it so we can be with you all.

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Before requesting the phone number transfer from Republic Wireless to Tello, I emailed Tello about it and they replied promptly that they had previous issues porting in from RW, but that changing the credit card and account name to my wife would be no problem. One evening last week I initiated the process through the Tello website. Next morning I got an email saying to restart the phone. That was it. Success.
I will maintain connection to this forum and hope the best for Republic Wireless, thinking that maybe our return might occur.

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Wife reports better voice quality on Tello than (the old system) RW but our remote home location means no access to Tello cell service there. That has created irregular text service, mostly not being able to download images but not received texts as well.

We will continue to watch this forum and wish all of the Republic Wireless employees and customers the best during this trying time. It can’t be a surprise that delays are occurring with these supply chain issues as well as staffing shortages. It is noble of RW that we are not hearing them make excuses or take an attitude of non-response. Southpaw and crew continues to deserve admiration.

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So sorry to read about the difficulties of too many RW customers. Very much hoping the vast majority are holding fast; that their service meets their needs.

Thanks to this forum, a member mentioned carrier Mobi. Based in Hawaii, they use the Verizon network stateside. I tried every suggestion Tello offered to get reliable texts and text images but still bad and work disruptive to my wife. There were mistakes with Mobi (complicated by transitioning wife’s original phone number during New Year’s Eve and day) but got it sorted out by phone calls with real people working for Mobi. Reception and call quality seems to be as good as my prepaid Verizon account but no hard numbers to cite.

Best wishes to the staff at Republic Wireless. DISH had better not dissolve this forum.

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