Warning Before Buying a Reconditioned Republic Wireless Phone

What phone do you have?
Moto G5S Plus
What plan are you on?
My Choice +1GB
Does your plan include data, or just talk & text?

Issue Description

I bought a Republic Wireless reconditioned Moto G5S Plus on the Republic Wireless web site. I knew all the reconditioned phones had only a mere 14-day warranty and that should have been my first red flag “buyer beware” clue.

The phone completely died 1 month after I bought it. It did not even power up. I tried different known good USB chargers and wires so that was not the issue. I also did hard resets by holding both the down volume and power button simultaneously as per the Motorola web site instructions. But the screen remained off.

Finally I brought it to uBreak-iFix, a phone repair chain in the area. The tech said that the Moto batteries are only good for about 2 years and sometimes longer, and that my reconditioned phone must have had a 2-year old used up battery. In order to replace the battery, he would have to remove the screen which may also break in the process so he advised me to just buy a new phone. I asked him what phones have batteries that are easier for technicians to replace. He said, “Not Motorolas.”

I personally wouldn’t but a reconditioned phone from Republic. Not because I believe that what they’re selling is any different than buying any other not new phone (which I’ve done many times) but because I don’t find the discount to be nearly steep enough to justify not having a warranty. I would rather buy a phone off Swappa or eBay, pay a heck of a lot less and essentially end up with the same sort of coverage because in my mind, 14 days isn’t much more protection than the protection against DOA devices you get from these sites.

As the phone is 2 years old, this would be true. That being said, the symptoms you describe aren’t consistent with a battery failure. They rarely just die suddenly and instead the failure usually begins with a decline in battery life that gets worse and worse before the battery finally fails.

Actually, this answer is really “almost no phones”. The trend for the last several years has been to seal phone in a way that makes battery replacement extremely difficult. Community members have created a chart here that shows the phones that have replaceable batteries: Detailed Supported Phone Features

Edited to Add: The phones that are Republic compatible and have removable battery are: Moto E4, Moto E5 Play, Moto G4 Play, Samsung J3 (2016), Samsung J3 (2018), Samsung J7 (2017)

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First, I have heard nothing but bad thinks about those store from the co-workers and other friends I have that have taken their phones and/or tablets there to get fixed.
Greatly recommend CPR (Cell Phone Repair) over uBreak-iFix.

My mothers Moto E4 has a removable battery…and despite being 2yrs old or so, still gets plenty of battery life, lasts all day for her, and she take many many pictures too. I think Moto has at least one current model that still has a removable battery still.

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I got the same song and dance from uBreakifix when I took my Pixel in. I told them that I could break it myself for free, and I was paying them to assume that risk. We were not able to do business. You might just try the replacement yourself for the money involved.

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My Moto x pure was a bear to replace the battery ended up damaging the battery to board cable had to replace. Cost me 60 bucks.

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