Republic Wireless Review – Saving Me Money Every Month
It’s been some time since I updated this Republic Wireless review, but there have been some major changes with their service. Good changes if you ask me.
You see, I tried out Republic Wireless a few years ago when they had just two phones, then I left for Cricket Wireless. I came back when they introduced their new refund plans, but then broke my phone and left again. Now I’m back, happy, and will stay awhile.
Yes, I’m like a yo-yo cell service user. Just come along for the ride!
The big downfall of Republic is they used to only have a few phones that you had to get through them. I had the Moto X and loved it. Unfortunately, I dropped it on the side and it shattered the screen. Since I run my business from my phone when out, I needed a phone. The worst part was it was on a weekend. So, I headed over to Best Buy, bought a cheap Moto G (awesome budget phone) and got setup back on Cricket in less than an hour.
I was sad that I had to leave Republic Wireless again, but I had to have a working phone. So, when they told me they were introducing their new plans with a BYOP program (Bring Your Own Phone), I knew it was time to go back. I’m excited to be back and I only spend $20 per month for my service with the Moto Z Play phone, which I love. I was even able to call and text when in Jamaica!
Since I’ve been back for a few months, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on their service, their phone selection, and their technology. I think you’ll love Republic Wireless if you’re looking to pay less and enjoy good service. I know I’ve been good since coming back and now I don’t have to worry about a new phone, since I can just go purchase one!
*This is an update from my original Republic Wireless review as they have changed their plans and their phone selection. You can use the buttons below to skip to different sections.
About Republic How Does it Work? Phones Plans Coverage Customer Service
Republic Wireless is what I like to call a “disrupter!” They came in a stagnant industry and decided to change the way we call each other. Instead of diving into contracts, getting subsidized phones, and paying well over $100 per line, we now can enjoy hybrid wireless calling for much less. You pay thousands per year just for the the luxury of owning and using a cell phone with the main carriers.
Carriers have finally taken note that people want to save more money and not be in contracts and are taking Republic Wireless’ lead in trying to provide lower cost service for those who don’t like to be nickled and dimed. I’m one of them and I’m sticking with Republic here. They changed the game and others are just following along.
The high price of wireless has changed and Republic Wireless is bringing their innovative approach along for the ride. Here is my Republic Wireless review and what I love about this company.
What is Republic Wireless All About?
Bandwidth.com was the innovator behind Republic Wireless until this year (2017) when they were spun off as an independent company. This will now allow them to manage their technology and innovation much better, which is great for consumers. They are a IP telephony company that works with creating the ability to call over the internet. Republic was born based on a need of something different in the wireless industry, so they set out to create their product. Their service has changed the game considerably. Right now, you can start out for just $15 per month with no contract. Try that on the big carriers. It won’t happen!
Below I describe how their system functions. It’s not what you might expect from other carriers. You don’t just sign up, get a phone, and enjoy your high priced service. This uses sweet technology to save you money on a regular basis. Take that wireless industry!
How Does Republic Wireless Calling Work?
Republic uses what they call Adaptive Coverage with Bonded Calling. Their words, not mine!
What does this even mean?
Here’s what they have to say about it…
We don’t just use cell towers for calls and texts. Our Adaptive Coverage™ technology, with Bonded Calling™ and included voice roaming, will automatically blend your calls over available WiFi and your phone’s 3G and 4G LTE* cellular data networks together for more, low cost, coverage in places cell can’t always reach – like your basement or garage.
So, basically, their system blends the two technologies (cell and WiFi) to ensure you have a smooth call no matter where you are. If you have WiFi that is unstable, it can blend in the cell towers to make sure your call doesn’t get dropped.
I can tell you their service has gotten much better since I joined a few years ago.
When Republic Wireless first came out, they had some issues with how calls where handled. Since their service is based on using WiFi when it is available, people would come across dropped calls. Why?
If a person was making a phone call when in their house and on their WiFi, the call would be good. If they decided to leave the house to get into the car, then their WiFi would drop off. When this happened, the call they were on would drop. Republic Wireless knew about this issue before they released their service, so they created a “fix”. When you left WiFi or came back near WiFi, a call you were on would drop. Once the drop occurred, you phone would automatically redial the other phone to resume the call. This was a problem for many.
Republic Wireless took notice of these issues and have come a long way from those days. They have some of the clearest calling on WiFi, sometimes better than when on the cell network. Their call handling hand off is pretty seamless (little drag) and you don’t have to worry about the call dropping.
Their seamless call switching is why they require you to buy their phones. They have modified them heavily in order to do this switching. You can’t bring your own phone to Republic Wireless. It won’t work. Sorry friends. If you want to bring your own phone, then check out these discount cell carriers.
Republic Wireless does the phone thing a little differently than many of the other carriers out there. You can’t bring you own phone to Republic. For those people, like me, who own an unlocked phone, you will have to pay for a new phone from Republic. It’s how the cookie crumbles. The reason they do this is because they have customized the phones to work with their hybrid calling model. Other phones don’t do this and don’t do it well even with apps. This is why it’s necessary for a new phone.
Republic Wireless currently offers 11 phones, all Android based. And to answer your question..
Does Republic Wireless support Apple iPhones…No, not at this time.
Here is a screenshot of their current phone selection on their site.
If you don’t like the image above, then here is the current list of Republic Wireless phones (based on price – lowest to highest):
- Moto G Play (4th Generation)
- Huawei Ascend 5W
- Samsung Galaxy J3
- Moto G (4th Generation)
- Moto X Pure Edition
- Nexus 5X by LG
- Moto Z Play
- Nexus 6P by Huawei
- Moto Z
- Samsung Galaxy S7
- Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
You can have your own, unlocked phone for as little as $149 or go with the very nice S7 Edge for almost $800. Just depends on your budget and the features you want on your phone.
Can You Bring Your Own Phone?
This is the big kicker with Republic Wireless, you now can bring your own phone (sort of). They used to only sell locked phones due to their software setup, but now they just have an app, which allows you to find a good deal on a phone and bring it. They do have a list of the phones they can support at this time, but it’s growing. You can check that list here. You can also see them below…
This is a huge win for Republic in my opinion. Their customers (me included) have been asking and asking to get this functionality and they delivered. Now I don’t have to worry about breaking my phone and not having anything to cover me. I can go buy a new one (unlocked of course) and put my sim card back in to set it up. That gives me the flexibility I need to run my business and personal life.
I’ve even seen they have a few pop-up kiosks in a few states that allow you to try out and purchase phones to use. These are just starting out, but that is a good thing to see. People want to try out the service and phone before buying, so this could be big for Republic.
Next stop…getting iPhones to work on Republic. They just need Apple to let them do it.
Republic Wireless Plans
Ok, I am sure this is the information that you are looking for. How much does Republic Wireless cost? Well, now I am going to go over their plans now.
For the longest time, Republic only had a few plans, then they moved to refund plans (which I think were awesome), but now have moved to plans that fit their model better. Their new pricing allows them to have two different networks and offer new phones and their bring your own phone program. While some might like the old refund plans, these are good too.
Here are the current Republic Wireless plans:
As you can see, Republic offers six (6) plans for you to choose from. They range from $15/month (no cell data) to $90/month for 10GB of cell data. I’m using the $20 per month plan as I work around WiFi all day long and rarely use over 500mb of cell data per month. They key to these plans is realizing you can typically use less data than you think due to WiFi usage. Having said that, these plans might not work for everyone.
I’m very happy with only paying $20 per month. It’s cheaper than my old Verizon bill that was $75 and cheaper than Cricket that was $35 per month.
Republic Wireless Coverage
Everyone always asks about the cell phone coverage for any carrier. Now, as I stated previously, Republic Wireless has their hybrid approach. They expect you to use WiFi and when you are doing that, then you don’t have to worry about coverage, just good WiFi signal. You will always be able to make and receive calls when you are on WiFi. When you are not on WiFi, Republic Wireless pushes you to the Sprint or T-Mobile network. Yes, you get to have the option of two networks to see which one has the strongest signal where you’re located. You can check out the coverage map to see if you will have service.
Republic has revamped their customer service quite a bit. They used to only have public forums (what they call their community) for customers to give and receive answers to questions. Truth be told, this didn’t turn me off on their service in the beginning. I know it did for others.
They have since introduced help desk tickets, which are answered quite quickly in my testing. They even have live chat for you to jump on. While they are not as active on chat, they are there during business hours to help. I’ve even seen them available late at night when I needed something.
Customer service is very important to me and I’m not afraid to tell a company when they’ve done me wrong. Twitter and other social media channels are a blessing for that. Want to get a quick response? Share your bad experience on social media!
Republic heard the voices telling them about their service level in the beginning. It was a sticking point for many, but they have worked on it, increasing their forms of contact and providing better answers to problems.
My Overall Thoughts on Republic Wireless
You can see that Republic is offering a new solution to a tired wireless game. I was sick of paying so much money each month that I switched to a lower cost carrier. While I have left and come back a few times, it shows they have a special spot in my money saving heart. Republic Wireless offers me a chance to save the most money each month while still having good cell service. That’s all I can ask for.
Are they without issues? No.
Could they improve their selection of phones and where to buy them? Yes.
Republic Wireless is not all rainbows and butterflies, but they do answer my need for functional cell service at a low price. That’s all I can ask for. They also treat me like a person, not a number or contract. I support companies like that, which is why I support Republic.
If you’re looking to reduce your monthly cell phone service costs, then please check out Republic Wireless. They are one of my recommended resources because they provide something awesome and they really do save you money. Couple those savings with a nice 14-day money back guarantee, what do you have to lose?
When my Verizon contract expired in August, I moved to RW. It just killed me to be paying $1320/yr for cell service when I work from home with a mandatory landline. The only drawback was the lack of picture texts (MMS) on the Defy XT, but I decided that it wasn’t worth the $88/month MORE that I was paying for Verizon v. RW. Delighted to hear the new phone has it 🙂
Glad to hear that you moved from Verizon’s high prices. Yes, the new Moto X has the MMS feature along with the seamless call transfer.
I have Republic Wireless and the phone works pretty well. I just ordered the MOTO X and I cannot wait!
I had the Defy. You might consider the Moto X if you can swing it. The defy is a very limiting device. The Moto X is incredible and the combination with Republic is unbeatable.
I’ve had the Moto x for three weeks. Best phone I’ve ever had.
If I had the Defy XT, I would switch. The cost of the new phone is definitely worth it.
I am sure you are excited. That should be a big improvement.
Thanks for the review Grayson. Looks like a potential option once we leave Verizon next year!
They seem to only get better with age. If you love Verizon, then you can just switch to Page Plus.
I would likely go with Republic Wireless if I ever became unhappy with Walmart Family Mobile. It seems like a great alternative to some of the standard expensive plans out there.
I really like their hybrid approach. As shown by some reviewers, they can get service without paying much in foreign countries because they are using WiFi.
I’m going to have to look more into this. Everytime I see a post like that I say I’m going to and I never seem to find the time. But if I can save that kind of money it’s well worth my time to seriously consider moving to a new company. I’m with Verizon and I’m happy with everything (except for the price, which is insane compared to plans like this!).
I have a Republic Moto X and love it! It is especially great to be able to make and receive calls overseas, at hotels/airports/etc which have wifi, as if I were here in the U.S.!
Thanks for the comment Conway. Glad you are enjoying it!
Verizon has great service. No one can deny them that, but their prices have gotten out of hand. There are many options for you, so all you have to do it pick!
I love the side options becoming available for cell phones. RW seems like a great idea, but I’m happy with my little, old school cricket! Anyway, thanks for the great review!
Have you seen if Cricket has gotten better? They were bought by AT&T earlier this year, so now they have 4G LTE capability.
Wish I had a way to get better wifi at more of the places I am throughout the day. Also wish it wasn’t sprint for the fall back. This will be something to keep an eye on though, and see how the service evolves. Would like to see a bring your own phone option too
I wouldn’t think there would be a BYOP option in the future. Republic Wireless takes time to change the phone to make it work with their hybrid technology. Not sure if an app could do that for you.
I am out of contract on AT&T and will be switching to something else, soon. I was thinking of Republic Wireless and may give it a try, especially with the money-back guarantee.
I have had Republic for the last year and it’s an awesome service.
Thanks for sharing your experience David!
It can’t hurt. You have the 30 day guarantee and that would be enough for me.
I have a FreedomPop phone that portends to give free talk, text, and data over Sprint, but you are limited to 200 talk minutes, 500 texts, and 500 MB data per month. The phone is a refurbished HTC EVO model that is a couple years old. The battery life is terrible and reception while in Kona, HI, was also terrible and made the phone useless. FreedomPop setn a new battery that is also terrible. The phone cost $99. I consider it a learning experience fee. I also have a dumb phone from tracfone. It is on T-Mobile. It works pretty well, and I only paid an annual charge of $100 for both phone and 1,100 minutes. I keep it in the center console of my truck for roadside assistance calling. I have to recharge the minutes before the year is up to not lose any minutes, but that will cost less than $80 for another year. It works for me.
Whatever works for you is good Bryce. I have heard of FreedomPop, but never really looked much into it.
I switched from Virgin Mobile’s $25 300 minutes with unlimited text and data. I already knew the limitations of the Sprint Network in my area, but with the wifi I can easily make calls from home AND I don’t have to reload early like I sometimes did with only 300 minutes. The customer service is way better even though it’s all done via email. At least I can understand an email as it doesn’t have an impossible to decipher accent. Their online forum is so helpful you probably won’t ever have to contact customer service. I am so happy with Republic.
Glad to hear it Lacey. You probably have better service now since it runs off WiFi when available. Thanks for stopping by!
I switched from ATT a month ago and I couldn’t be happier. Service and price are unbeatable.
Glad to hear it is working out for you Beth!
Thanks for the review! I’ve decided to get out of my Verizon contract and switch to Republic wireless at the end of January. I am so over overpaying for phone service.
Republic is a different model. Their tech support is through their online community and via email. My experience has been that the Moto X with Republic Wireless is the way to go.
As long as you have good Sprint coverage where you live, you should be good to go!
I switched to Republic Wireless a few months back from Verizon. They were killing me with the monthly charges. Around $120 a month. Verizon does have the best 4G coverage. I won’t deny that. I got the Republic plan for $25 a month. Unlimited calls, text and data with 3G. It doesn’t have the 4G on my plan. It takes a few seconds longer for the internet to load compared to Verizon. But for $100 a month savings its well worth it. If you get the 4G with Republic remember you might not have use of it except in large cities. Im completely happy with the plan I have. I have no dropped calls. It works great. Get the Moto X phone and not the Defy (it sucks). The Moto X rocks. Yes, you will have to pay $299 for the phone upfront but it pays for itself in a few months. Do the math and figure out your yearly cost compared with your current plan. I have a link that you can use to save $19 for the first month. Yes, it helps me with my bill too when you do. I won’t lie. For Christmas bonus my boss decided to let most of us go and I am unemployed. If you don’t like Republic, there is no contract. Just switch back. It is a great company. Here is the link. Cut and paste if it needed. Thanks!! http://referrals.republicwireless.com/a/clk/1ymPvN
Thank you for your review of Republic Wireless. I am sorry to hear about the “gift” your boss gave. I wish you the best of luck in the new year Steve.
I have been Republic Wireless for a month now and love them!! I pay $25 a month for unlimited talk, text, and 3G data. You can get unlimited everything including 4G data for $40 a month or you can switch to the $10 a month plan and you get unlimited talk and text anywhere but only can use data on WiFi but you can switch you plan 2 times a month from your phone and the rates are prorated so you only get charged for the days you use that plan!! The Moto X is an awesome phone!! I actually like it better than my iPhone 5 because the phone itself has features that the iPhone does not have (twist your wrist and the camera starts and its a better camera than the iPhone, it knows when your driving and reads you texts, and active notifications are very nice too). I highly recommend this service and phone.
Thank you for your comment Jeff. I am sure others will find it useful!
Everybody whines and moans about sprint coverage. I had Verizon for 10 years, switched to sprint (saved $60/month) and haven’t really noticed much of a difference. Being critical of Republic for Sprint is weak… I have a Republic phone for backup – great phone, great price.
Everyone whines about their coverage because it’s no where near as good as Verizon or AT&T. Yes, Sprint does fine in some places, but many places they just don’t have good coverage. This is supported by the yearly consumer surveys and their consistent place near or at the bottom. Now, your claim for me being weak about being critical of Republic for Sprint is unfounded. Did you read the review? I have them 4.5 stars out of 5. Having Sprint as the backbone for their service is going to knock them down a bit. It’s just the nature of the cell service game. I have tried and tested every single network out there and reviewed them. Sprint’s network is not as strong. That results in the drop in stars. Calling me weak based on actual consumer feedback from hundreds of people I have received is not cool.
Republic Wireless is great. We use it and it works very well. One key difference is that Republic uses the full Sprint network, with many other MVNO’s like Virgin, they only use the PCS network, which doesn’t do too much outside of urban areas. Thanks for the review!
Thanks for the clarification on the networks that Sprint MVNOs use.
Ive got a long history of bad luck over charged phone related services.
I was using voice stream in Vegas almost 25yrs ago and still have the Motorola microtac ultra light elite.
For $900+ the phone’s loaded features were vibration, and 1.5 minutes of internal record time like an answer machine built in.
Allowing one short message to be stored, if you didnt check it and erase it you couldn’t store anymore!
And the monthly service cost around $200 dollars, and sucked in vegas due to over loaded systems.
Im glad to of lived long enough to experience rates becoming reasonable?
But phone service providers are notorious for screwing over customers! I live for the time I can make and receive calls for no charge close to the magic jack deal.
But even they are always digging up ways to charge for service.
how to connect motoX to tv?
You should think about getting the Chromecast or Amazon Fire TV Stick, those are the only things that might work with the MotoX and its wireless display viewer.
Aside from Republic Wireless Plans is giving back our money, their customer service is really amazing. I just talked to one a few hours ago. She’s nice and very understandable.
I’ve tried Republic Wireless for 4 months now. We live in Northern Illinois. Several problems 1.) Garbled voice – can’t hear 2.) Frequent busy signal with incoming calls 3.) “The number you have reached has been disconnected or is no longer in service” if someone calls you from a landline.
I had my wife and I both on this plan – I suggest you look elsewhere – this is one of those “too good to be true”. (I had a Moto e $10 plan, the wife had a Moto g $25 plan). Their online service (not) told “ME” to submit service requests to all the carrier’s that have a problem routing Republic Wireless cell calls.
I’m going to another carrier – not happy with the prices – but the plan I had before actually worked
Sorry to hear about your issues Gary. Since it is hybrid calling, there can be some issues for some. That being said, I have tried it and know a number of people who use it with no issues. Not saying your issues aren’t real or a problem though.
Have you tried Cricket? Uses the AT&T network and is what I use since my wife works in a place with no WiFi and terrible Sprint signal.
I am trying to decide between Republic and Cricket. I just don’t get how Republic wifi can work if you are moving? I so want to commit and get it done, but my problem is that I will be moving soon and traveling in an RV. Will Republic work when I am out of a town and in the wilderness or rural area’s?
And can I keep my phone #? This brings up a problem, Republic has no way to ask these questions, and that is worrisome to me.
Thank you for your great blog!
Republic uses hybrid wifi calling. If it’s near WiFi that it can pick up and use for calling, it will use that. If it can’t find that, then it will use the Sprint network.
They have a 30 day money back guarantee on both the phone and service, so you can try it and see how it works for you. You can transfer your number to them and transfer it out, just like other services. The number is yours to keep.
I tried Republic Wireless. The phone they sent could not be set up. Customer service via Chat and email couldn’t get it working. No one to talk to. After many frustrating hours I sent the phone back. No one at republic would/could cancel my account. I had to cancel my credit card to finally stop getting billed by these crooks.
The old adage you get what you pay for is understated with republic wireless… Republic Wireless is cheap but the service is even cheaper.
Sorry to hear you had problems with them. I can say this is an exception not the rule here. I know many (and I mean many) people who use it each and every day with no problems and love the service. They have a very supportive crew and it appears this one slipped through the cracks. While I can’t say why this happened, it can happen with anyone.
I don’t think the old adage works here. You had a bad experience, but overall, their customer satisfaction rating is higher than most any other service. That speaks loudly!
I currently have Sprint as my service provider but I also have an airwave so service for me has been good. But the price of service is outrageous. My concern is if I switch to Republic Wireless and something happens to my phone such as it decides to stop working for what ever reason and it is past the 30 days what do I do? There is no Sprint store to turn to for support.
Also, I would like to know when there is wifi available but you have to accept their terms does that effect you receiving phone calls.
Also, would you advise to get a low cost plan and if I go over my data plan they would just charge me for what I used or should I go with a higher cost plan and just get reimbursed for what I don’t use. Does it really make a difference?
Thanks! And great review by the way.
Sorry for not seeing your comment Candy. It got stuck in spam. While Republic doesn’t have a phone number you can call, you can get on chat. They have very good support and they will still support your phone even after the 30 days. The 30 day guarantee is just giving you all your money back for the service and phone.
If it can’t connect to WiFi without accepting terms, it will just go to the Sprint network to make calls.
I would go with the base plan, then add how much data you think you will use. You will be reimbursed for any data you don’t use at the end of each month. It’s really simple and quite cost effective. With the 30-day guarantee, it’s a great plan to try out for yourself.
I’m a college student and I LOVE Republic Wireless. I have the $10/month plan. I even bought my mom a phone for mother’s day and have her on my plan. I pay only $24 including tax for both phones together! Seriously the best phone company we’ve been with. It’s definitely saving me more money than Verizon or Virgin Mobile ever did. We both have free talk, text, data (internet use) over wifi. Once we leave a wifi area we just can’t use the internet til we get to a restaurant or wherever else has wifi connection. But we can still do everything else on there and like everywhere has wifi anyways. They’re good phones, smart phones. You can find cheaper cases to fit them on amazon. I seriously laugh whenever my friends tell me how much they are paying per month for their cell service at other companies. That sucks for them. Republic is the best.
I love to hear that. It’s great! I’m going to be trying out the Moto X (2nd Gen) on their refund plan to see how it stacks up. I get it this week!
I like your review. I am an old fart who am always generationally challenged by computer devices. (My computer professional youngest child just shakes his head in disbelief sometimes…) I am bad, but my 75 year old wife is even more challenged with new fangled gadgets than I. ALL THIS being said we are both happy with our new Moto phones and the Republic Wireless service. Sure, we don’t use all of the features and have to make calls to our son to help every now and then, but after a year we can do the basics of phone calling, picture taking, texting, and sending/receiving photos. I’m even starting to master the swipe method of texting.
But the big plus is the Republic Service which is as advertised (really inexpensive!) and the quality is good. The wifi transfer is seamless and the calls on the Sprint network have been great even when driving through the mountains to visit our grand children 500 miles away.
In my opinion, your enthusiasm for RW is well placed, Grayson.
Thanks for taking the time to respond and add your feedback John. Glad to hear it’s working for you.
I recently switched from Republic Wireless to T-Mobile. The driving force behind the move was the slow Customer Service response when my phone was acting up. Yes, the price is great but when the phone doesn’t work properly for over a week and still no solution in sight, it was time to move on. I may or may not like T-Mobile but another one of my peeves with RW was I was running out of storage space and had basically no added apps on the phone, they were on my SD card. I purchased a Moto E which I loved at first but couldn’t download updates due to the storage issues. It was very frustrating to have to wait over 24 hours sometimes for an answer back to an email. I also found that the community help was a very long and arduous process and I generally couldn’t find an answer anyway. Not sure how Jason @ monster piggy bank was able to talk to someone in Customer Service. There are “no” phone numbers listed anywhere that I could find to talk to anyone other than chat or community help. Maybe if I could afford to buy a phone with 16 GB I wouldn’t have the problems I was having but I can’t so I went with T-Mobile with a no contract plan. My phone is still only 8GB but it only cost $30.
Sorry to hear about your phone problems. I think that might be more phone related than anything. The Moto E is a starter smartphone and can’t be loaded up with a bunch of apps. It’s not built for that since the operating system on these phones takes up more than half of the storage space. So, you bought an 8GB phone, but you can only use about 3.5GB for apps, downloads, contact, and other extras. That is not very much at all. I hope you enjoy T-Mobile. I used to have them, but had to switch when I moved into an area they had terrible coverage in.
Hi. I have RW and I’m on one of the old plans – $10 for unlimited, talk & text & unlimited talk, text & data with WiFi. There is an option to switch plans twice a month, so if you need to, you can switch to the talk, text & cell plan and the cost increase is per diem.
That plan will cease after July. I’m trying to figure out the best plan at the least cost. The cheapest plan is $15 for unlimited talk & text with .5 gigs of data. That doesn’t sound like very much data.
What do you recommend for the cheapest/most economical plan?
I would recommend going with the $25 plan. That’s what I have and I get 1GB of data and all of it is available for refund. I average about 300MB of data each month, so I get a refund for the rest. It makes it affordable.
I’m not sure if this email going to get to you re: the RW phone system, or not, but I thought I’d try. I did not see much related to my situation, either in responses to your review of RW, or in the comments made by users on other web sites, including RW’s.
I live in the mountains, surrounded by trees…about 50 miles from South Lake Tahoe. I personally can’t get cell reception on my property, via Verizon, but a Propane company service tech did get very sketchy reception, the other day. Now, admittedly, I’m still using a 4-year-old flip-phone, because I refuse to pay for a data plan if I can’t use it where I live. I do carry my phone with me, when I’m away from home.
My Internet connection is with AT&T U-Verse, but, because of my physical location, it’s rather slow. I just have to make do, I’m told by AT&T.
My question is this: Considering where I live, with virtually no cell reception, but with wi-fi in my home, would you recommend my using the RW system? I have had a cell phone, believe it or not, since 1988, when all that was available was a hard-wired Motorola hand-set. That was before Verizon bought GTE Mobile, way back when.
I’m definitely living in the Dark Ages, with regard to my cell system, and am reluctant to change, if there’s a chance that this won’t work for me.
Would love to hear your comments. My situation may be somewhat unique, because most people can use their cell phones just about anywhere. I don’t even text because, again, I don’t want to pay for a smart phone, and not be able to use its features.
Thanks so much for any suggestions, Grayson.
Cynthia J. Barnett
Pollock Pines, CA
If you’re not able to get cell reception, then Republic might be a good option for you. Now, it won’t work once you leave the wireless range until you can pick up Sprint or another wireless network. The good thing is they have a 30-day money back guarantee, so you get the plan price and the phone price refunded to you. That should be good enough for you to give it a try I would say. If Republic doesn’t work, see if you can get access to Google Fi, which does the same thing, but can cost a little more.
I come from Sprint where the bar is set low. So for me to give Republic Wireless (RW) an unfavorable recommendation speaks for itself, Sprint never looked so good. First of all, RW call quality is generally atrocious. For the knocks Sprint gets, their voice network is actually pretty good. Sprint’s data network is another story. Regardless, most people using Republic Wireless are using Sprint’s cellular network (as of Aug 2016). Calls on the Sprint cellular network seem to work fine. The problem lies in RW’s own call switching software built in to their phones; it’s horrible. RW attempts to minimize cost by utilizing WiFi calling whenever possible (a good thing). Unfortunately, the reliability of the WiFi calls are bad (maybe a 40% chance of getting a good calling experience). Their phone software rules speak volumes of the company, lacking integrity! If you turn OFF WiFi calling (to get a decent call using the Sprint network), the sneaky bastards at RW turn it back on without your permission after just a few minutes. You’re back to crappy calls again. This is further exacerbated by the frequent android Republic Telephony app crashes. These crashes cause attempted WiFi calls to issue the “number unreachable” error. And incoming calls go into never-never land.
Bottom line: if you rely on decent phone service or at least expect it, you wouldn’t use this phone if it was given to you for free. The concept is a good one. Republic Wireless execution is very poor. Their customer service is even worse. No calling in (not a problem) but their messaging support is horrible with usual smart ass replies that solve nothing. Their website stinks as well.
If you can spend a few more dollars, check out Consumer Cellular. Their website is excellent and their customer service (including phone service) is pretty solid. Regardless, at what point do Tmobile, Sprint, and whoever else is selling bandwidth pull the rug on these guys and leave the customers crying foul. As for me, Sprint has offered me a sweet deal to crawl back and I plan to next week. Bye RW.
Thanks for the feedback. My biggest question would be what phone were you using? When I first started with them, the quality left a lot to be desired. When I got the Moto X 2nd generation phone and they released an update to their WiFi calling system, it completely changed the game for them. It was much better, clearer, and even better than Sprint’s voice network. I never ran into any issues with turning off my WiFi to jump on Sprint as I did that a number of times and it never turned back on unless I did it, so I’m not sure if it was Republic doing that or another app you had installed on your phone.
I have constant problems with Republic’s handovers. If the wifi signal is faint or inconsistent, it can take minutes to connect, and any text I try to send is held up until it succeeds or fails to connect. Incoming calls tend to go to voicemail under those circumstances too. A call that’s underway isn’t affected, unless it joins a network that throttles bandwidth on the internet ports Republic uses (my place of work does that).
Republic Wireless is great for when a building’s walls blocks cell access. And their data refund plan has been great for my particular phone habits–I generally pay about $15 per month for a few texts a day and occasional map or email usage. But more and more I just keep wifi off unless I’ve got no cell service and need to be reachable. And they no longer offer the data refund, so they’re much closer to other MVNOs on price.
Have you contacted them about this? Sometimes there are settings they will ask you to adjust on your phone to make things work a little smoother. I had to do that as there was some delay on the handover, but I don’t have that issue anymore.
While they are closer to other MVNOs on price, no other can go to another country and work on WiFi like Republic can (except for Project Fi from Google).
What phone do you have?
I was going to switch to Republic Wireless, and started the process by buying a photo from their page. ( I was surprised and disappointed that they charged for shipping on such an expensive purchase — first bad sign.) While waiting for the phone and SIM card to arrive, I starting reading online about them and looking at the reviews on their own facebook page and elsewhere. I quickly realized they had problems with customer service, so I found another provider (cheaper at just $14 a month and with stellar reviews and live customer service) but cannot close my profile with RW or delete my credit card information. They say they are “unable” to do this. Everyone else can do that, Amazon, etc., you name it, so they’re either just plain lying or incredibly inept. I never even started service there, I simply bought a phone, and now they’re holding my credit card info without my permission.
What provider did you find at $14 per month?
I’ve been with Republic for years and never had any issues with their customer service. I was also able to close out my account a few years back when I switched to Cricket and just setup a new one when I came back. It was easy.
Your affiliate for Republic Wireless is expired sir.