We regularly see questions from members who have tried to create a Venmo account, set up two-factor authentication with Twitter, subscribe to text alerts from a bank, or in some other way use their Republic Wireless phone number with a third-party app with no success.
No credit check associated with your phone number
In some cases, the third-party service you are trying to do business with refuses to accept a phone number that is not associated with a post-paid mobile phone account. When you set up an account with some phone companies, they run a credit check to determine if you are a reputable customer because they are going to be billing you after you use their service. Republic bills you in advance, so we don’t require a credit check. The IRS and Social Security Administration, for example, will not allow you to use a Republic Wireless phone number as part of the process of proving your identity, since your Republic Phone number lacks the credibility of having passed a credit check.
Short code compatibility
Short codes are those 5- and 6-digit phone numbers companies use to interact with customers. You might be encouraged to text a specific word to a 6-digit number to win a prize, claim a coupon, or sign up for promotions.
Because Republic Wireless is not a post-paid service, short codes that try to collect money from the phone providers are not compatible with our service. While you may be trying to subscribe to a short code for an entirely different purpose, if that same short code can be used to solicit donations or payments, our members will not be able to use that short code. When you send a message to one of these short codes, you’ll usually see an error message indicating that the service you are trying to text “cannot receive messages from Republic Wireless.”
If, however, you try to communicate with a short code and receive no response at all, we may be able to help. It takes time, but sometimes we can work with the short code aggregator to enable text messages with short codes from which you get no response at all. Please let us know about these examples by opening a Help Ticket.
The app or service says your number is not a mobile number
I’ll quote @rolandh , as he gives a great explanation for why some services will refuse to accept Republic Wireless numbers and will tell you your number is a “landline” number or a “VoIP” number.
Republic’s network partner for number hosting is Bandwidth.com. Bandwidth’s network is Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). VoIP is the technology powering the WiFi portion of Republic’s blended WiFi/cell service. Republic’s (and all VoIP) numbers are deemed by the FCC to be wireline (a/k/a landline). The wireless carriers regardless of the technology used for their WiFi calling and/or text messaging host their numbers on their own networks, which are classified as wireless by the FCC. This isn’t changing. At best, the FCC may one day (I’m not counting on that day being in my lifetime) have an epiphany and drop the distinction between wireless and wireline carriers.
I’ll also point out there’s nothing forcing these companies to have a policy restricting registration of numbers with them to those numbers classified as wireless. It’s their choice to do so. The easiest short term solution, requiring no cooperation from the FCC or other regulators whatsoever, would be for those with such policies dropping them.
What can be done?
A short list of known workarounds is maintained in this Tips and Tricks topic
Republic Wireless and our number partner, Bandwidth.com continue to work with these companies to try to encourage them to change their policies. We were recently successful in such a collaboration with Wells Fargo.
Your reports help us, as well. Thank you for letting us know when you encounter services and apps that refuse to accept Republic numbers as valid mobile phone numbers.
Which ones have impacted you?
Please register your feedback in this poll.
A note about this topic:
We’ll be merging some Community posts and topics about services and apps that won’t accept Republic phone numbers into this topic as a matter of Community housekeeping. Doing so helps improve search results for those trying to find answers in our Community. This action will result in some posts in this topic being out of chronological order, and we apologize in advance for any confusion this may cause.