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Rooting and user mods (v. 2)

Posted by jimm Employee Dec 21, 2012

We’ve heard from a lot of you regarding our blog post on phone rooting and user mods. In that post, we said that it’s not ok to root your phone. While that is technically true, here’s the thing: It’s your phone. And that means it’s ultimately your decision what you do with your device. But we want to help you make an educated choice. For warranty and security reasons, if you root or mod your phone, republic can’t give you the full support, warranty, and 30-day guarantee.


Rooting isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. Beyond just warranty and support reasons, there are also other security risks and considerations to take into account. We want you to be aware of these risks. But let’s be clear, republic will NOT kick you off our service just because you root your phone. We will only terminate service if we feel that someone is trying to abuse our service or threaten the network for our community.


Many of you have weighed in, and have indicated that you’re interested in rooting your device to gain access to more storage, and better utilities, such as backups. Please keep this feedback coming, as we’d love to provide the customer experience you desire without requiring root privileges. republic has attracted a lot of early adopters and Android enthusiasts. You’re an incredibly important part of our community and we want to encourage your continued participation. Some of you will always want to root no matter what, and we get that. It’s that same disruptive, innovative spirit that lead to the creation of republic. We just can’t actively encourage rooting knowing the risks to your device investment and warranty. Thanks for your understanding and for the opportunity to clarify our position.


Please continue with your comments and questions here.


Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even the Android mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that republic soon would be there.

Orders: Just in time for Christmas, we're happy to let you know that all orders have been cleared and shipped! This includes pre-orders, upgrades and trades. If you haven't received your phone yet, you should soon. Thanks to everyone for your patience and helping us get this far! If you haven't received your shipping confirmation email and your status doesn't say shipped in the My Phones section of My Account, please contact our Support team and we'll be happy to look into that for you.


Mobile Makeover contest: Does your phone make a better paper weight than a phone? Is your phone bill outrageously high or do you feel like the next time a call drops you're going to throw your phone into oncoming traffic? If you answered yes to any of the above, you need a Mobile Makeover! Send us a quick 30 second video for why you need a Mobile Makeover and why you love republic wireless. We'll pick up to three winners a day through January 4, 2013. Winners receive a free Motorola DEFY XT and six months of service - free. You can also donate your winnings to charity. Click here for further info or you can submit your 30 second video on our Facebook page.


Next week: Since Christmas is next week, we won't be posting our weekly update. We hope everyone is able to spend time with their families and friends for the holidays. We'll miss you, but we'll be back the first week of January for our regular updates.


Looking ahead: After the holidays, we'll be picking up right where we left off. We'll be preparing for the OTA update, due to be released in January 2013. We'll also be making improvements to our Support handling system. We're working to make it quicker and easier for you to get help from republic. More to come on that later, so stay tuned.


From all the Whos here at republic Who-ville, we'd like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and we'll see you next year!


As always, please leave your questions and comments here.

Rooting and user mods

Posted by jeccaj Dec 19, 2012

A while back, we were getting questions about mods to the phone, and we made a blog post to give you answers. We've seen a flurry of questions and comments recently, and we wanted to provide some answers and a bit of context. The burning question these days is whether or not it's ok to root your phone. The short answer is no. You agreed to the Terms of Service when you joined republic, and if you don't follow the Terms, we can terminate your service at any time. But there are a few other things we should unpack for context to make sure you understand where we're coming from.


There are quite a few reasons it isn't practical for us to allow you to root your phone. The first of these relates to where we are with the product. We're still in Beta, and our main goal is service refinement. We're grateful for the feedback you've provided to help us find bugs, understand flaws in customer experience and sharpen the service we provide to you and others. We're honing in on the features and focusing specifically on one phone. The feedback you give us is most helpful when we know you’re having the experience we designed. We're excited about where we're going together (the forthcoming January 2013 over-the-air software update, for example), and we hope you are, too.


Secondly, user modifications are problematic because we can't help you if you encounter problems. We work to make sure our online resources are up-to-date and that our team is trained to offer help to you in a variety of channels for every documented problem you might encounter. But we can't troubleshoot problems you experience if you root your phone or modify the way you experience service. If you make alterations to your phone, you're on your own. You also may not receive any operating system updates, which generally are designed to work with the original software.


This also goes for your 30-day money back guarantee and any other warranty that we may provide. If you root your phone, neither your 30-day money back guarantee nor any other warranty that might otherwise be applicable. You won’t have any satisfaction guarantees, warranties or rights to a refund.


Lastly, when you modify your phone or service, you're missing the point of what we're trying to do. We’ve worked hard to protect the idea that we all work together and that we can share responsibility here. It means doing the right thing for everyone involved--not just what you want to do. We’ve developed this model carefully to make sure it works correctly to provide service for hundreds of thousands of customers. We built Hybrid Calling because we believed you should be getting more and paying less. But if it were cost effective and easy to bring $19 unlimited wireless via cellular only, someone would have done that already. Although we value freedom as much as you do, we can’t offer you freedoms that put the health of the republic in jeopardy.


We want this to be a place of great ideas and free expression. That's why we don't lock or remove discussions that express ideas contrary to ours. We understand that you'll do whatever you want with your phone whether we say it's ok or not. But we also want you to be aware of the dangers at hand if you do. If you decide to go outside the bounds of service we provide, do so with full knowledge of the consequences. Please also keep in mind that community discussions are public, and that others may be influenced or misled based on information you provide.


We hope that you understand the reasons we can't support some things you've asked to do. Above all, we want you to understand that we value you and your ideas. It's the diversity of the republic that makes this such an interesting place to be. Let's take the opportunities we've been afforded to create something together that benefits all members of the republic.


As always, if you have thoughts or comments, feel free to post them here.

Thanks jeccaj for making a guest appearance last week. I'm now well rested and ready to dive in to this week's updates:


Ordering and shipping: In case you haven't heard, we started shipping dual-band DEFY XT's on Friday, December 7. Check out jimm's blog post for a video of the first phones being shipped. We know there have been some questions about the order in which phones are being shipped. As of November 19, 2012, orders are no longer defined by waves. This means orders are processed and shipped as we get them. We currently still have a two week shipping timeframe so this means if you ordered today, it could take up to two weeks to receive your phone.


  • Priority shipping: We are prioritizing Upgrade and Trade orders. Please keep in mind that Upgrades to the single-band DEFY XT and Trades are shipping from a different location than regular orders. Depending on where you're located, it's possible that a member who recently ordered could receive their phone before a member trading in their phone based on location.
  • Shipping confirmation. If you haven't received a shipping confirmation email, but your My Account portal shows your order as shipped, there are a few things you may want to check. First, check your spam folder. Either you or your email company could have an automatic spam filter set up. Second, your email address may have been mistyped when you placed your order. If you suspect this is the case, please contact our Support team. Lastly, sometimes we get blacklisted as spammers from companies like Comcast or Yahoo who will block our email from getting to you. We keep a constant eye on this and update them as quickly as possible.


Community cleanup: It may not be Spring, but it's time to clean house. Starting next week, December 17, we'll be archiving documents and discussions that are no longer relevant, such as info on waves. Some documents and discussions will be moved to an internal archived section, some documents will be updated to reflect the most recent policies and some discussions will be locked. A locked discussion means that it's still viewable, but you won't be able to comment on it. Our reason for doing this is because we want to make sure that everyone has the most up to date info in our community.


Movember photo contest: Thanks to everyone that submitted photos for the Movember contest! We really enjoyed seeing what everyone came up with. We decided based on submissions that all entrants will receive republic T-shirts and stickers. Check out the pics below! We had our own contest here at Bandwidth as well and ended the month raising just over $5,000 for male cancer research. We threw a 'Stache Bash to celebrate, with awards for: Best Moustache, Creepiest Moustache and Sorriest Attempt at a Moustache.


Local Community: Every Christmas Bandwidth teams up with Big Brothers Big Sisters to donate gifts to boys and girls in the Raleigh, NC area. Angel cards are assigned an age and gender of a child in need of a gift. The angel cards are then placed on small Christmas trees (angel trees) around the office. This year, Bandwidth has donated 92 gifts that'll be distributed at the Big Brothers Big Sisters Holiday party on December 14.




That's all we have this week. Is everyone ready for Christmas? I know I am!


As always, please leave your comments and questions here.

A couple weeks ago, we announced that the republic wireless store was open for pre-order. Since then, the republic store’s been flooded with people who are as excited as we are about this new kind of mobility. Today, we’re happy to announce that the first phones hit the streets last Friday--with thousands more going out just in time for the holidays! Check out this footage from our warehouse to see the Defy XT’s rolling off the shipping line.



Happy holidays from all of us at republic wireless and thank you for being a part of this incredible journey. Welcome to the freedom of Wi-Fi mobility--and enjoy your new dual-band DEFY XT smartphones!


Please feel free to leave your questions and comments here.

In case you're wondering why I'm making a guest appearance, sarahd is taking a much deserved day off today. Although I'm not nearly as cool as she is, I'll do my best in passing along the news. Here goes.


Upgrades and Trades. If you are a Wave A member and waiting to upgrade to the DEFY XT or if you are in Waves B-E and waiting to trade your single-band DEFY XT for a dual-band DEFY XT, this message is for you! We just opened our upgrades and trades programs yesterday. Both of these functions are available for eligible members from the My Phones page of the My Account portal. There's also a blog with a bit more info here.


New members. If you're a new member, we want to make sure you have everything you need. We've prepared a handy New Member Start-Up Guide to get you going with the basics. Stop in and introduce yourself in community by signing in and posting at


Product team. Everything's humming along with the over-the-air (OTA) software update, and it's scheduled for release January 2013. Stay tuned!


Bandwidth Christmas party. Last night, the Bandwidth family celebrated another successful year at our annual Christmas parties (held in Denver and in Raleigh). A good time was had by all and we danced until midnight! Bandwidth is a great place to work, but these people also know how to cut a rug! If you're looking for employment opps, don't forget to check out our career listings.


That's all for my round-up. Check back here around this time next week for a regular update from sarahd.


As always, please leave your comments and questions here.

If you’re in Wave A and waiting to upgrade or if you’re in Waves B-E and waiting to trade your single-band for a dual-band DEFY XT, the time is now.


If you’re in one of these two groups, we’ve made special programs available to you in the My Account portal. We’ll offer priority shipping for upgrade and trade orders so that your order will be shipped out before other new orders.


Keep in mind, if you’re not in one of these two groups, you will not be able to take advantage of these special programs. Read below for more info on the special offers.



If you’re in Wave A and you haven’t upgraded yet, you’ll need to choose an upgrade option before June 4, 2013, when the LG Optimus is expiring. You’ll have 90 days from today to choose the free upgrade to the single-band DEFY XT, and you’ll have 180 days from today to choose to upgrade to the dual-band DEFY XT for $100 off the regular price.


You can find specific instructions for the upgrade and trade programs here.


We’ve also sent instructions to you via email. But no worries---you can take advantage of this offer without receiving the email by following these instructions. (You can make sure we have the correct email address for you by visiting the My Account portal and navigating to My Account, then Account Settings).



If you’re in Waves B-E and you purchased a single-band DEFY XT, you’ll have 30 days from today to take advantage of this free offer and trade your single-band DEFY XT for a dual-band DEFY XT with better roaming coverage. Not sure what the difference is? Check out this handy info.


You can find specific instructions for the upgrade and trade programs here.


We’ve also sent instructions to you via email. But no worries---you can take advantage of this offer without receiving the email by following these instructions. (You can make sure we have the correct email address for you by visiting the My Account portal and navigating to My Account, then Account Settings).


Still have questions? Let us know by visiting our Support page. Now, what are you waiting for? Take advantage of these special offers now!


Please leave us your comments and questions here.

Since last week, I've been trying to work off all that turkey I ate by going for some walks around the building. Here's what's hitting the pavement this week:

Open Beta: As a reminder we opened our Beta program to everyone on 11/19/2012. This means anyone, including existing members, can pre-order the Motorola DEFY XT. You can purchase up to four phones and orders will ship within the next few weeks. Have questions before you pre-order? Check out our Order FAQ for more details. Upgrading or trading in your phone (Waves A-E)? We've got a different program for you coming soon. Check out the details for you here.


New members: For those of you that are new here we'd first like to welcome you to republic and make sure you're aware of all the things you can do while waiting for your order to ship. We're big on community here and a lot of our existing members participate in discussions on a regular basis so if you have a burning question or just want to chat, our Open Mic section is a great place to start. Another great place to start is to get familiar with the My Account portal. For info on how to navigate the My Account portal, check out our My Account FAQ.


Ambassador program: As some of you may know, we currently have a group (formerly known as The Founders), that have been with us from the very beginning. They have been a huge asset in helping to shape the very community that exists today. We wanted to extend this opportunity to our existing members. We're changing the name to the Ambassadors and will be accepting new members into the program soon. For the who, what, where, when and how about the Ambassador program, please check out this document and let us know if you're interested.


Product team: According to The Product Guy, all things are still a go for entry of the OTA into the lab on Monday, December 3. Earlier this week, he posted his own version of David Letterman's Top 10 list in the form of what will be included in the OTA. You can check it out here.


"If I had $1,000 right now..." contest: Don't forget you still have a chance to win $1,000. We've already had several winners of a $50 Google Play™ gift card and one contestant even won $1,000 towards a brand new bicycle. You could be a winner too! All you have to do is submit a photo on Facebook of what you would do with $1,000. For more info, check out the contest rules here.


Movember: Today is the last day to submit photos for the moustache contest. We have some, but I know you guys can give us more! You have until 11:59 ET tonight, so hurry and show us your best 'stache. Just an FYI, Bandwidth raised over $5,000 for male cancer research and had some pretty gnarly, albeit creepy moustaches walking around the office. Between you and me, I'm a little relieved that today is the last day .


That's all we have for this week. Again, welcome to our new members and we hope you enjoy your stay here at republic!


As always, please leave your comments and questions here.

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