Author Topic: Republic wireless 3.0 plans  (Read 3333 times)

frugalnacho

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Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« on: May 24, 2016, 10:22:11 AM »
I just got an email that republic wireless is introducing 3.0 plans, and they sound like a huge step backwards to me.  I was on the $10 plan with no data, and then they introduced the refund plan so I paid $17, and then get a refund so I effectively pay close to $10/mo since I use almost no data.  It was nice to only be paying $10/mo, but also have access to data when I needed it.

The new plans are going to be $15/mo for talk/text and $20/mo for talk/text/1GB data.  My cell phone bill is going to jump 50% and I will lose access to data.  Or it will jump 100% and I will have about 1GB more data than I need. 

I know I will be grand fathered in to paying my current price structure for as long as I have this phone (at least that what it seems like from a cursory glance at the new plans), but I don't know how much longer this phone will last.  Part of the appeal to me was that I could get a reasonably priced smart phone with no contract and have a low bill for my needs (low cell usage, almost no data usage).  I really don't care that my options are limited to 2 phones or so, as long as those phones are reasonable (and I would say my Moto G is satisfactory), so I really don't care about them adding access to the newest and best smart phones.

It does seem a little weird that they basically came right out and said customers who use little to no data are subsidizing those who take advantage of unlimited data, and it's not fair, so here is a pay-what-you-use price structure to refund the data so you literally only pay for what you use.  And now they seem to be screwing over those same customers that use little to no data by jacking their prices up. 

There seems to be mixed reviews over on the RW community with some people praising the new plan, and some criticizing it.  I really don't understand the view of anyone praising the new structure though.  With my phone being over 2 years old and starting to show signs of needing to be replaced, I'm not very happy with the new 3.0 plans that I may eventually be sucked into.  I want my simple phone and my $10/mo plan with the option to use 5MB worth of data per month at cost.  Anyone else have any thoughts on the issue?

Spiffy

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2016, 10:25:02 AM »
I agree. I want my $10 month plan. I hardly use the phone at all. I was about to get another phone from them for my oldest child to use, but now I am looking at other options.

Falke401

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2016, 10:52:11 AM »
I am on the fence with this one.  While the new phones are a great improvement, the plans fall short.  If they kept the refund portion, it would have been another step forward.  Overall, they are still cheaper that most other companies.  The added second carrier is a plus.  I will try to look at it as a percent of income as opposed to percent increase.  I pay about $15 a month now.  Increasing to $20 or $25 after taxes is at most a $10 a month increase.  $120 annual increase is a drop in the bucket.

I am a current Republic customer.  I have been on the fence with switching to Project Fi.  The plans are very similar.  I think the phone selection of Republic will keep me.  I think I can find a Moto X pure for around $250 around July-August and go with that due to the better camera. 

frugalnacho

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2016, 11:10:09 AM »
I am on the fence with this one.  While the new phones are a great improvement, the plans fall short.  If they kept the refund portion, it would have been another step forward.  Overall, they are still cheaper that most other companies.  The added second carrier is a plus.  I will try to look at it as a percent of income as opposed to percent increase.  I pay about $15 a month now.  Increasing to $20 or $25 after taxes is at most a $10 a month increase.  $120 annual increase is a drop in the bucket.

I am a current Republic customer.  I have been on the fence with switching to Project Fi.  The plans are very similar.  I think the phone selection of Republic will keep me.  I think I can find a Moto X pure for around $250 around July-August and go with that due to the better camera.

It's the principle of the matter.  RW was very vocal about the breakage model, and how low data users were subsidizing the high data users.  It was the entire premise of their 2.0 plan - just pay for what you actually use! It's fair and better for everybody (except those people using more than their fair share of data, and fuck those guys, I don't want to (and no one else does either) subsidize those guy's data usage).  Now they are back pedaling and want to force me to purchase 1GB of data even if I only want to use 1MB.  Even if I don't want any data the new base plan is more expensive than I am currently paying (and I currently have access to data if needed - I consider that a good thing).   

While $10/mo, on this one specific item, will probably have a negligible effect on my finances and FIRE date, the cumulative effect of all my $10/mo charges is certainly non-negligible.  I prefer to eliminate unnecessary expenses where ever possible.

I was also under the impression that RW was keeping costs down by only dealing with one supplier and only offering a few phones.  By adding a ton of new phones in the mix it makes things more complicated and more expensive - exactly what I don't want from RW.  I don't really see any advantage to offering a wide variety of phones.

Falke401

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2016, 11:36:10 AM »
One big positive to this is you can bring your own device if it is compatible.  I will not buy a phone from them due to their prices.  I am curious to see how much they will charge for their sim cards and if I can take mine out from my Moto X.  Also, they keep saying July.  Is this July 1 or July 31?  I truly dislike their method of introducing new information.  Just cut the crap and give us the story....

While most at MMM are frugal, a large portion of the population happily throws a LOT of money at cell phones and service.  People demand up to date phones that can run apps, take nice pictures, and stream videos/facebook.  Republic is trying to cater to a larger market and pull at least some light/moderate cell phone users.  I think they are going for the market that is tired of the high prices of the large carriers, but still want a useable phone with modern features. 

frugalnacho

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2016, 11:54:35 AM »
One big positive to this is you can bring your own device if it is compatible.  I will not buy a phone from them due to their prices.  I am curious to see how much they will charge for their sim cards and if I can take mine out from my Moto X.  Also, they keep saying July.  Is this July 1 or July 31?  I truly dislike their method of introducing new information.  Just cut the crap and give us the story....

While most at MMM are frugal, a large portion of the population happily throws a LOT of money at cell phones and service.  People demand up to date phones that can run apps, take nice pictures, and stream videos/facebook.  Republic is trying to cater to a larger market and pull at least some light/moderate cell phone users.  I think they are going for the market that is tired of the high prices of the large carriers, but still want a useable phone with modern features.

I don't see that as a positive.  The phones they offer are already adequate and reasonably priced.  For $150 I can get a phone that satisfies all of my requirements, and it's cheap enough that I don't care that it's tied to RW and can't be transferred.  Since I've only been paying around $10+taxes every month since early 2014 I know I've come out much further ahead than most other cell services. They are trying to cater to more users, but at the expense of providing cheap service to ultra low users like me.  I don't really have a problem with people spending $800 on a phone, or spending insane amounts on data plans, they can spend their own money as foolishly as they want, but it seems like RW is going to placate those people at the low end user's expense. 

I just got the email about it today, but i'm hoping a bunch of other people at RW are in the same position as me as raise a ruckus forcing RW to keep the current 2.0 pricing structure.  I know RW is making money off me because they barely provide anything and I use wifi 90% of the time (and I'm probably in the lowest decile of cell phone usage anyway).  I've had a few issues with my phone and it's battery, and figured my current phone is on borrowed time and was planning to get a new Moto G sometime in the next year (whenever my phone finally fails) and continue on with essentially the same phone and the same pricing structure I am happy with.  It sounds like that may not be an option for me? I hope it is.

WildJager

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2016, 12:12:53 PM »
Frugalnacho, if you haven't done a factory reset on your phone in a while do that before purchasing a new one.  Some of the major software updates didn't transition well without a reset.  My battery was dieing after 8 hours or so, but after doing a reset the battery once again lasts a couple of days.  Plus, it runs much faster again.  Moto G here also, first gen I believe.

I.P. Daley

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2016, 12:25:22 PM »
From a week ago:

Do yourself a favor, and stop listening to their marketing turkeys. All their BYOD offering is (and their "new" plans/phones), is just T-Mobile's WiFi/UMA calling with the phones that support it. It's nothing magical. Only Republic can sell decade old technology that their own hacky hybrid calling poorly emulated for years as some new pioneering feature that they're bringing to market because they "created" the market demand. This is all Google Fi is offering. P'tel offered WiFi/UMA calling on their plans for quite some time before shutting down. Ting offers WiFi/UMA calling on their T-Mobile GSM plans and lets you only pay for what you use (and offers multi-line discounts because of it). Ultra Mobile is also in the works to roll out WiFi/UMA support. Basically, since Google cracked the door open for WiFi/UMA access for T-Mobile MVNOs/wholesalers, nearly every T-Mo MVNO has gained access to it. It's a feature that's even available on T-Mobile's own MetroPCS brand.

Realistically, every time Republic announces "new" features, it's just another stealth rate increase and a mess of smoke and mirrors about what they're actually offering. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: their pricing isn't special, their services aren't unique, and others provide what's offered with far better service and support. "Unlimited" is never infinite (and frequently nowhere near what you actually use - or what they promise), and is usually trotted out only to help make funny math work.

Knowing what their new plans/prices actually are and what they represent makes it far easier to see through the marketing double speak.

It's just even easier to see through it now, because all they're offering is 100% off the shelf T-Mo MVNO service at this point with the new plans. No more smoke and mirrors with their hacky hybrid VoIP system using Sprint and proprietary handsets to dazzle and confuse you on what you're actually paying for.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2016, 12:29:02 PM by I.P. Daley »
Hi, I'm Daley, the Howard Cosell of MVNOs and the Technical Meshugana. I'm also the author of the Frugal Communications Guide and our own Superguide.

Orvell

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2016, 12:27:32 PM »
Just FYI I'm 99% sure you can stay on the Refund Plan with your current RW phone. The new plan applies to their new phones, and is opt-in for current customers on old phones.
I agree the plan is stupid (and long term I won't be sticking with RW), but you don't have to switch to it.
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seathink

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2016, 12:38:35 PM »
Just FYI I'm 99% sure you can stay on the Refund Plan with your current RW phone. The new plan applies to their new phones, and is opt-in for current customers on old phones.
I agree the plan is stupid (and long term I won't be sticking with RW), but you don't have to switch to it.

Yes, we can stay with our plans (and people who never switched to the refund plan can stay with the originals). So maybe get a Moto before July, and replace your phone when the time comes while keeping your plan?
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robartsd

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2016, 12:48:38 PM »
I agree that Republic's 3.0 plan seems to be a step backward from their 2.0 plans; I guess the experiment didn't really work.

When it's time for a new device, shop arround for a new carrier too. We didn't choose Republic for my wife's phone due to two requirements that their devices don't meet: carrier portablility and removalble battery. We ended up with PTel's $25/mo plan until they closed, now we use the MetroPCS $30/mo plan. My own usage is so low that I average about $6/mo on Page Plus Cellualr's pay as you go plan. I use a $80 annual refill most of the time with $10 refills occationally extending the expiration date by 4 months.

Have you read Daley's Frugal Communications Superguide? He provides a lot of good advice on how to shop for telecommuncations service as well as providing a list of recommended carriers.

frugalnacho

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2016, 02:18:28 PM »
Frugalnacho, if you haven't done a factory reset on your phone in a while do that before purchasing a new one.  Some of the major software updates didn't transition well without a reset.  My battery was dieing after 8 hours or so, but after doing a reset the battery once again lasts a couple of days.  Plus, it runs much faster again.  Moto G here also, first gen I believe.

I may try that.  My problem is that the battery is not calibrated properly so it's not accurate.  Sometimes my phone will go from 25% to 2% in a matter of seconds.  That's not a huge deal so long as I have a charger available and charge it regularly (and it's mostly only noticeable when it's nearly dead - which I try not to let it get that far as a matter of habit).  A much bigger issue is that it seemingly randomly won't work with a charger that I know works.  For example I will plug in my phone in, the phone will start charging, I go to bed, and shortly after the phone stops charging.  I've woken up with only a few % left on my phone before which is a hassle, but it's also completely discharged on me before (thankfully it was the weekend), and that is unacceptable to have that ever happen even a single time.  I need 100% reliability that my phone is going to charge and my alarm is going to go off. 

It also is completely out of storage space, and it's not expandable with sd cards like the future generations are, so it's to the point now that I am constantly moving pictures off the phone, and uninstalling the least needed apps to free up space.  It's a hassle and I would like a much larger capacity phone so I don't have to deal with it.

I agree that Republic's 3.0 plan seems to be a step backward from their 2.0 plans; I guess the experiment didn't really work.

When it's time for a new device, shop arround for a new carrier too. We didn't choose Republic for my wife's phone due to two requirements that their devices don't meet: carrier portablility and removalble battery. We ended up with PTel's $25/mo plan until they closed, now we use the MetroPCS $30/mo plan. My own usage is so low that I average about $6/mo on Page Plus Cellualr's pay as you go plan. I use a $80 annual refill most of the time with $10 refills occationally extending the expiration date by 4 months.

Have you read Daley's Frugal Communications Superguide? He provides a lot of good advice on how to shop for telecommuncations service as well as providing a list of recommended carriers.

I have, but that's a lot of information to take in and I get diminishing returns.  I mean RW has been giving me unlimited talk/text for $10/mo, and since 2.0 was put in place I pay practically the same amount since I average only a couple MB per month.  I know I could potentially change providers and pay even less money, but RW made it so easy and convenient, and the price was so reasonable, and the service I experienced was so good, that it's just not been worth the effort to consider anything except RW. 

I'm still not planning to switch right now (i'll just keep chugging along until my phone dies), I just wanted to start a discussion on RW 3.0 since I couldn't find much (and just received the email about it today).

LLCoolDave

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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2016, 09:59:45 AM »
frugalnacho, it looks like you need to replace your battery. I have the moto x 1st gen, which does not have a removable battery. I was having similar issues that you are having. My BIL said to check out youtube and sure enough there were a couple videos on how to change the battery. I spent $15 for a battery and tools to open the phone. I've gotten an extra year of use out of the phone.
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Re: Republic wireless 3.0 plans
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2016, 08:42:10 PM »
.  I want my simple phone and my $10/mo plan with the option to use 5MB worth of data per month at cost.  Anyone else have any thoughts on the issue?

Ting might be a good fit for you. My bill is $11.19 per month. I have text turned off at the account level, and I keep data turned off on my phone but I could turn it on any time I need it. I do fine with Wi-Fi at home and work. I almost always stay under 100 voice minutes.

The first 100MB of data will set you back an additional $3.

https://ting.com/rates

Ting has a BYOD checker so you won't get burned if you buy a used phone.

https://ting.com/byod
FIRE'd on January 4, 2017