republic February update
Submitted by Jessica on Fri, 02/17/2012 – 6:15pm
Things have been cranking behind the curtain in the republic office. While we’ve been a little too silent with you (admittedly), we’ve made some great progress on key goals for 2012. We’ve been remiss in posting, but we want to make sure that as our community, you know what we’re doing and where we’re headed. Whatever your interest is in us, we’ve got exciting things in the mix. Another update is in the works, we’re porting numbers like crazy, billing is coming, and our 2012 roadmap is unfolding.
OTA updates and feedback
First things first. TheProductGuy and his team released the first OTA software update earlier this month. The product team listens to your feedback (they asked me to pass on a hearty thanks), and they’ve been working to resolve the most common issues while investigating the more elusive ones.
Although some of the fixes and features they wanted to implement weren’t possible for the recent update, they’re super close to completing a handful of important items. As we plow toward the next update, we need your additional feedback more than ever. The finding and fixing cycle is what will continue to improve the republic experience. Thanks for jumping on board and helping us get the most out of beta that we possibly can. We can’t say how much we appreciate your ownership and participation. We’re flattered.
Stay tuned for a blog post from TheProductGuy outlining what’s to come in the next OTA update, which we’re expecting within the next month. Until then, keep up the great feedback and suggestions.
We’ve also reached an exciting landmark in the history of republic –the first numbers have been ported! All members have been invited by email to bring their old number over to their republic phone, and we’re in the process of completing those requests. We’re excited to be able to offer the full republic experience for those of you who were waiting for this.
We also have a few folks who aren’t able to bring a number to republic just yet, and we’re working to resolve those individual issues as quickly as possible. We appreciate your patience as we work through these issues.
Although ports aren’t instantaneous in this process, we’re streamlining to make things easier, and we’ve appreciated the level of feedback you’ve given. We look forward to continuing to make this a more seamless process for the next round of members to join republic.
...and billing begins
We said back in late December in a blog post that we were postponing billing. Some of you haven’t minded that. Others have asked over and over again that we please take your money, and we’re finally relenting... Billing will start soon.
In carrying the banner for a simple wireless experience, we’ve decided to do things a bit differently from Big Cell. We’re extending our idea of “membership” in the republic to include automated billing. That’s right, no paper mailed out. No email statements. We’ll simply bill the credit card we have on file for you on your billing start date (and on the same date for each month after that). And since there’s no contract, for as long as you’re with us, you’ll never have to worry about it. You just use the phone for a flat $19 monthly plus taxes (no surprise charges or overages, remember?).
A couple of things to keep in mind... We said that we wouldn’t bill you until we opened porting, so the start date for your billing is based on when we sent you an invitation to port your number. You’ll receive an email shortly letting you know your start date (as well as how to sign in and make sure your credit card info is up to date).
Additionally, we said that we wouldn’t charge you for the time in between your first month’s service and the start of billing. That’s on us. We hope we’ve given you ample time to test drive Hybrid Calling and see what republic is all about. But in the event you haven’t been fully pleased with your service, keep in mind we instituted a 90 day satisfaction guarantee for beta members and we also have a fair return policy.
New portal functionality (with billing info!)
We’ve also implemented a couple of key features for the My Account portal that should be helpful for you in managing your account and checking billing info. Once you receive an email with your billing info, you’ll be able to sign in to the My Account portal and
- manage the credit card we have on file for you
- view your next payment date
- see your transaction history
We’ll continue to expand functionality in the portal and provide feedback to you on your usage and the particulars of your account. Please let us know if there are other features that would be helpful for you and other members. After all, the My Account portal is for you.
And other awesome news
As a community, you’re crushing it with your level of Wi-Fi usage. Some of you cringed at our “truly unlimited” announcement and raised questions like “Is this a feasible business model?” So far, you’ve managed to answer your own question with a resounding “YES!” We’ve been continually impressed by your commitment to Wi-Fi and your determination to change the way wireless works. We’ll be able to report some of our findings on community CUI within the next few weeks, so stay tuned for that. Meanwhile, keep plugging into hotspots and riding the Wi-Fi wave.
Similarly, the first quarter of the new year has been incredibly fruitful with good discussion, possibility, and opportunity. Brian has used the first weeks of 2012 to dig deep into setting our strategy and roadmap for the rest of the year –forging strategic partnerships, creating product development plans, and preparing us to serve you better in the year ahead. We have some pretty cool things in the works for you, but I’ll try not to spoil his surprises. Look out for a post from him soon.
In closing, just a quick thanks from our team for the way you’ve rallied with us to make republic possible. When we started whiteboarding the vision for republic, we never imagined that it could become as vibrant as you’re making it. We’re continually impressed by your personal commitment to this idea and the way you’ve harnessed Wi-Fi –at work, at home, at the cafe down the street, and probably thousands of other hotspots we didn’t expect. It was never our republic, but it’s becoming more and more yours. YOUR network is growing with every wireless connection. And you’re helping each other do it more effectively. The power of the republic truly is in the hands of those who belong to it. Keep up the good work.