An Update on the Cheapest Phone Plan Ever

12 Feb

I’ve been using the cheapest phone plan on the face of the earth (aka Republic Wireless) for almost 2 months soooo I think it is about time that I update you guys on how it has been going, huh?

 

If you missed the first review, you can read an overview of Republic Wireless’ service and my initial thoughts of the phone here!

 

Basically, my update is that I still love Republic Wireless.  I’m going to list a few issues I’ve had (which aren’t actually Republic’s fault at all) just so you can be informed if you decide to switch to RW!  But overall it’s a great service that I can’t recommend enough :)

 

New Republic Wireless moto x

 

No short codes

I discovered the hard way that RW does not support short code texting. “Short code” numbers are those shortened numbers that you might encounter when doing things like texting in to win things on radio stations (“text ‘hippopotamus’ to 12345 for the chance to win concert tickets!“)

Or, more importantly, you might encounter short code numbers when dealing with banks that use text security verifications for your accounts.

I was trying to set up a bill payment on one of my bank accounts, and I had to get a texted security code to set it up.  After wating 10 mins for the text to come through, (when it usually takes approx. 5 seconds) I did some googling and realized that RW’s signals (towers? phones? whatever) don’t support short codes.  Womp womp.  So I had to call my bank and remove the text verification.

This evidently happens with other providers, too… the person at the bank that I spoke with said that her T-mobile (I think?) phone couldn’t get short codes either.  So not really RW’s fault… but just be aware and cancel those verifications before you switch phones :)

 

iPhone to Droid = no bueno

The other big issue I ran into was also not at all RW’s fault: the extreme difficulty of switching from an Apple to a non-Apple device.  (BTW- this explains most of the missing texts I talked about in my original RW review post!)

Since I had an iPhone, my phone number was associated with an iMessage account (which is Apple’s fancy iPhone to iPhone texting service).  Turns out it’s next to impossible to remove your phone number from that iMessage association, even when you pull your number into a non-Apple phone!

My friends’ iPhones still recognized my number as an iMessage account, so any texts to my number said “sent” but they were really being sent somewhere in my iMessage cloud and I didn’t get them until turning my old iPhone on.

We’ve figured out a way around it (they have to tap any messages to me and select “send as text”) but it’s still pretty annoying.  My landlord, for example, has an iPhone and tried to text me about something.  I never got it because it sent as iMessage! Boo. But again, not RW’s fault. This article gives some ideas of how you can try to unlink your number; I think everyone’s phones have finally recognized me as non-iMessage but if I have any more problems, I’ll try some of those suggestions.

 

 

Easy to switch plans

RW claims that you can switch your phone plan up to two times per month at any time from your phone.  That claim is totally correct, you really can!

republic wireless change plan

I bumped my service up to the $25/mo plan so that I could get wireless data on our drive down to VA, and I had the upgraded service within 2 minutes.  I was charged a prorated amount for the increased service for the rest of my billing cycle, and that was it!  (and then I was able to drop my coverage back down once we got home with the same ease.)

 

Call quality?

I’m still having slight call quality issues, but as I said in the last review, I think that’s because of our crummy wireless router. My phone calls often come in as “cell”, which I believe means that the wireless signal in our apartment (even when I’m sitting 2 feet from the router) isn’t strong enough to support the wifi call.  Even our computers sometimes drop our internet signal randomly. It’s rather annoying. I’m planning to get a new router but just haven’t gotten around to it yet… :)

Once I finally get a new one, I’ll be sure to update you guys to let you know if it helped!

 

Moto X

As for the phone itself, I have zero complaints.  I like the physical design of the phone (it’s got a really cool curved back) and the really big screen.  It took a little while to get used to Droid operating system (do you call it an operating system on a phone?) after using an iPhone for so long, but I’m fine with it now!

 

 

Overall, I really, really, really like Republic Wireless. I’m saving $55 every month and getting everything I could possibly need. Win-win!

 

If you are interested in signing up for Republic Wireless, I hope you’ll consider using my referral link; we’ll both get a $20 credit to our accounts once you’ve stayed past 30 days.  If you sign up for the $10/mo plan, that’s almost 2 free months of service!  Can’t beat that.

 

 

How much do you pay for your current cell plan? Anyone else tried RW yet?  

 

 

13 Responses to “An Update on the Cheapest Phone Plan Ever”

  1. Emily @ evolvingPF February 12, 2014 at 9:23 am #

    Those problems you ran into are interesting to hear about. I usually email my bank codes and I wasn’t switching from an iPhone so I wasn’t aware of those issues but they are good for me to know. I’m loving the Moto X, too!

    • Ashley February 12, 2014 at 11:00 am #

      Yeah- they were kind of weird problems but figured I’d put them out there in case anyone else was missing texts too! I’m glad you’re liking the Moto X!!! Probably much nicer than the Defy, haha :)

  2. Jon February 12, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    Thanks for the review! We are really contemplating a switch… every good review puts me that much closer :)

    • Ashley February 12, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      Hope I could help convince you! ;) Let me know if you have any other questions about RW!

  3. Cooper February 12, 2014 at 7:09 pm #

    I have been with RW since October and my wife switched in January. We have had a few temporary texting issues but outside of that everything has worked beautifully. And with all of our referral credits we will have no phone bill until at least 2015!!!!

    I too experienced your iMessage issue. The key is to go to your Apple support account [supportprofile.apple.com/MySupportProfile.do.] and delete your old device. Then wait up to 24 hours for the change to propagate through iMessage servers and everything should work.

    In terms of short codes, you cans search the RW community and there is a workaround using Google Voice. It should also be noted that in the RW ThinkTank allowing short codes has been updated to “in progress.”

    • Ashley February 12, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Ooooh I’ll have to try the Apple account– I think I attempted to do that awhile ago but couldn’t remember my login info so I gave up… whoops :)

      I’m so glad to hear that they’re working on the short codes! It’s not a big deal but if I really need it I’ll try the Google Voice workaround, thanks for the suggestion! And I loooove the referral credits too- that is so impressive that you’re covered until next year!

  4. Sol February 12, 2014 at 9:21 pm #

    Awesome article! My experience is very similar to your, but I’ve had issues with people trying to call me and once in a while the call just wouldn’t come through (especially international calls). Have you had anyone trying to call you tell you that? I’m currently in the process of addressing this issue with Republic’s support team, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.

    It’s worth nothing that their tech support has gotten increasingly more responsive!

    Sol – frugalsouls.com

    • Cooper February 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

      I don’t quite think they were as ready as they thought for the MotoX and a few bugs caused them a lot of [mainly activation] headaches. Based on ticket numbers they had over 50,000 support tickets in the three months following the launch! Now that the dust has settled they are much more responsive – I opened a ticket about group texting last week and had an initial response in 2 hours and my issue fully resolved within 24.

      • Sol February 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm #

        That’s what I figured. I’m very happy with how responsive they’re right now. I hope they stay that way!

    • Ashley February 13, 2014 at 8:01 am #

      I haven’t had any issues with calls (that I know of)… if it is an international problem, I dont have any people from outside the US calling me anyway, haha :) But I’ll definitely watch out for anyone telling me that they couldn’t get through!

  5. Kate @KateMovingForward February 15, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this! My husband and I are looking into switching phone plans and this seems ideal!

    • Ashley February 15, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

      Do it!!! The amount of money you can save is seriously amazing :) And I like their 30 day return policy (not sure if I wrote about that in either post?)- that made me feel better about trying the phone out since I knew I could send it back.

      Let me know if you have any questions! Or just check out RW’s online community (https://community.republicwireless.com/welcome), there are some great discussion boards there in case you have any specific questions!

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  1. Republic Wireless: the first week - Saving Money in your Twenties - February 12, 2014

    […] Note:  I wrote an updated post about my feelings after 2 months with RW- check it out here! […]

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