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Republic Help Updates

10 Posts authored by: jeccaj

Happy GOOD Friday, everyone! This week I'll be bringing the news in sarahd's place while she's on vacay. It's only 40 degrees here, but she's probably in shorts and sipping a mai tai! Ok, bear with me. Here goes:


Ops Ware: Our engineers have been hard at work on a set of tools for the Republic Help Team over the past few weeks, and we're excited that this module is almost ready! We've been working to improve our response time and shorten the time it takes to help you resolve your issue. In mid to late April, engineers will release this module for the Republic Help Team so that we're better equipped to assist some of your more common requests. Look for more info on this soon!


Know what Monday is? April Fool's Day... That's right, a day of pranks. I caught wind of some info that Marketing might be planning something on Facebook and Twitter around one of our favorite days on the calendar. Go check out @republicwirelss and our Facebook page on Monday, but be careful not to get pranked!


Cornhole Madness: While hundreds of fans are watching March Madness on TV, we decided it was time to get outside. In North Carolina, we indulge in a bean bag toss game called Cornhole (also known as Baggo or Bags). With the coming of spring, we decided it was time to make a bracket of our own.... Cornhole Madness! We signed up in teams with 64 employees participating and 20 turning in a bracket. Entry fees will benefit a national nonprofit called Playworks (we have a local chapter in Durham) that transforms schools by providing play and physical activity at recess and throughout the school day. We're currently in the Elite Eight with Final Four and Championships happening after hours next week. Best dressed award goes to Team Shake 'n' Bake.


That's all for this week. As always, feel free to respond with comments or thoughts here. We'll welcome sarahd back next week!


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.

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.

We posted a blog last week about roaming issues impacting some republic members. The model of the Motorola DEFY XT that republic is using has a single-band antenna and uses the Sprint nationwide network and all 1900MHz towers for roaming onto Sprint’s partner networks. If you’re in areas not covered by 1900MHz you may experience roaming coverage issues. We’ve found this only affects a small portion of our members. In fact, our data shows that on the LG Optimus (which was dual-band), only 1.75% of all minutes used were roaming minutes. The single-band DEFY XT is a definite upgrade from the Optimus in all respects (for example, a larger screen, better processor, and we’ve eliminated many of the bugs that members experienced on the Optimus), except the breadth of its roaming coverage. Overall, we believe this is a strong device, and we’re committed to it. That said, there are people we want to serve who live in or travel to locations where a single-band device isn’t the best option. Below is an update on progress we’ve made in the last few days for those folks.


The DEFY XT (dual-band)

We started working with Motorola last week to determine the feasibility of bringing our hybrid calling technology to the dual-band version of the DEFY XT. With the additional 800MHz antenna, your roaming capability would be increased. We’ve jointly determined with Motorola that this is a path that we can pursue. Together, we've committed significant resources to make this happen as quickly as possible. We still have work to do to get this device certified and ready for you, but our intention is to make the dual-band DEFY XT available later this year. We’re actively working with Motorola and Sprint’s lab and will share more info as we have it. 


Upgrades for Wave A members

When we open upgrades, we’re going to provide all active Wave A members at that time the opportunity to upgrade to the single-band DEFY XT for free, given that the LG Optimus was a dual-band phone and we realize some of our Optimus members will have less roaming coverage on this phone.


If you are a Wave A member and you checked the coverage map and feel that you need the additional roaming coverage, you can wait for the dual-band version. If you, as a Wave A member, choose to wait for the dual-band version, you’ll be able to claim the existing upgrade offer ($100 off). As soon as the dual-band version becomes available, we’ll email you and give you instructions on how to claim your Wave A member upgrade offer then. Please make sure that your email is up-to-date with us by signing in to the My Account portal and verifying the email listed. If we don’t have your correct email address, you may not receive your Wave A member upgrade offer and you won’t be able to participate. You won’t be able to claim the single-band DEFY XT for free and subsequently use the $100 off for a dual-band version.


Waves B-E and 30 Day Guarantee or trade in

For those of you in waves B-E who purchased the single-band DEFY XT, we’re giving you an additional 30 days on the guarantee, starting today. This should give you plenty of time to evaluate the service and determine if you need the additional roaming coverage. You’ll have until Thursday, October 25 at 11:59 p.m. ET to cancel your account and return your single-band DEFY XT for a full refund of the purchase price that you paid for the DEFY XT.


If you’d prefer to keep your republic service and want to wait for the dual-band DEFY XT once it becomes available, we’ll let you know via email and you can return your single-band for a dual-band at no cost (assuming no damages). Once we email you, you’ll have 30 days to request a trade in. Please make sure that your email is up-to-date with us by signing in to the My Account portal and verifying the email listed. If we don’t have your correct email address, you may not receive your offer and you won’t be able to participate.


Waves F and beyond

We’re going to keep moving through the waves with the single-band DEFY XT starting this week, as it’s a great phone for most of our members who don’t require the additional roaming coverage. Check your area on the single-band DEFY XT coverage map, and if the single-band is a good fit for your needs, you’re welcome to join as soon as we send you the invitation. If you’re in a wave and you want to wait for the dual-band version instead of joining now, you can do that. As soon as the dual-band DEFY XT becomes available, we’ll email everyone in waves F and beyond who hasn’t used their purchase invitation and you’ll be able to purchase a dual-band DEFY XT using the instructions we send you.


Need to check your coverage?

We have a coverage map for the single-band DEFY XT available here. We are also working on getting more detailed maps so you can check your area more closely. Look for those soon.


Next update

As always, we’ll continue to keep you up-to-date via our weekly community updates, State of the republic.


Our goal with this post is to make sure you’ve got as much info as possible, and the policies we’ve given you are intended to be fair to you. We always want to do right by you. After all, it’s your republic.

As always, feel free to leave comments and questions here.

It’s that time of the week again to report on what’s going on. Some challenges, some news and, well, a bit of random:


Roaming. If you didn’t see theproductguy's blog post last night, you should go read it. A few of our users reported trouble when roaming on the DEFY XT, and if that’s you, you’ll find some answers here. If you have questions about how this affects you, we’re happy to help. We’ll summarize the basics on how this works with the 30 Day Guarantee (and other policy stuff) soon. We’re finishing that up for posting Monday most likely.


Waves update. About that. We have just finished with Wave E and Wave F invites are going out at the end of next week. If that’s you, be on the lookout for your heads up email!


Upgrades. We know. It’s taken longer than we expected. You may have seen the community announcement about the software push we did yesterday morning. (The upgrades development work was part of that push.) We are doing some final tests in production and should be good to go for you soon. We wanted to make sure that all you Wave A’ers had the info on roaming so you could make an informed decision based on your area and usage.


We’re moving. Now for the random part. We’re getting a new office next week! Some of you may have heard that we’re moving to N.C. State University’s Centennial Campus. Everything has to be packed by next Friday, and we start our first day in the new building on September 28. Now, who’s got the packing tape...?


Think that’s all for now. We’ll see you next week.

As always, feel free to ask questions or leave comments here.

Hi there. Here’s the weekly round-up:


Waves update. We sent out invitations for Wave E. If you’re in Wave E, check your email and grab your beta spot before the wave closes next week!


Upgrades. We are making good progress on the upgrade path for Wave A members, but we have a bit more testing to do before we’ll be ready to roll it out. We are in the final phase of our test plan, and we think it’s going to be worth the wait. Thanks for being patient with us as we get this just right.


Call drop over Wi-Fi issue. Some of you have reported calls were dropping after 10 seconds on Wi-Fi. We’ve been working on this issue and have identified the problem. We’re testing this now, but should be able to give you a fix for this soon.


Member Care. We updated the “Ask Us” tool this morning to improve how we address your help requests. You’ll notice we’ve included a few more options that will help us answer your question more quickly and efficiently.


Sarah’s going Over the Edge! In her spare time, sarahd has decided to do something pretty cool and we thought we’d let you know so you could cheer her on. Sarah will be participating in an event to benefit Special Olympics on October 6 called Over the Edge. If she raises $1,000 for Special Olympics, she’ll rappel off a 32-story building in downtown Raleigh. As a bonus, if she meets her fundraising goal, she’s going to dye her hair republic green. Check out more from Sarah here.


Think that’s all for now. See you next week! As usual, you can discuss this update here.

We're starting a new tradition. You've told us that we don't communicate often enough and we want to get in the habit of communicating regularly. Starting this week, we're going to provide a weekly update. We're calling it "State of the republic," but in all likelihood, it's notes from our developer stand ups, top issues we are troubleshooting in community and a call for feedback from you. We'll use the first part of the week to gather info and we'll update you near the end of the week. Without further ado, here's what's in the hopper this week.


Waves update. We've sent out invitations for Waves B-E so far and have gotten a great response from you. We've heard from several of you that one week isn't enough time to take advantage of the invitation (especially since many of you are sneaking in summer vacation before school starts). We're extending the time you'll have to respond to an invite to two weeks for all future waves.


Changes in Member Care. We're building a plan for continuous improvement in the experience we provide for you. As we get better, we're going to experiment with different ways of giving you the service you need. We're evaluating the best way to gather as much info from you upfront and to expedite help requests for problems we need to troubleshoot in real time. In those cases, it can be frustrating to receive communication in spurts via email as we help you. In those situations, we want to be able to pick up the phone and call you or engage you in an online chat session. This should help us improve our response time and give you more direct access to us for issues that need to be solved immediately. By the way, this isn’t a precursor to a call center. We’re not going to make you wait in those queues, and community will always be the central organization that help is based around.


Upgrades. Yup. We know you are curious about this. The upgrade process is in sight. We have a few last tweaks to make to our systems. We'll be able to provide info on upgrades next week. Thanks for being patient.


Motorola DEFY XT feedback and improvements. We’ve been and will continue to gather feedback on the DEFY, how you’re using it and what you think we could improve. We’re working on several things at the moment and then we’ll package these in an over-the-air (OTA) update. Work in progress includes: a known issue with Swype, integrating Devicescape, call quality enhancements and investigating roaming performance. We’ll let you know when we get a bit closer (or when we squash a bug and yell “Victory!”).

Join in on the blog discussion thread by clicking this link: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 1)


Think that's all for now. See you next week!

Community Update

Posted by jeccaj Aug 17, 2012

Hi there. It's an exciting time at republic. You may have heard that we just sent out personal purchase invitations for Wave C. We're excited to welcome new members into republic. We've also made major progress on some other items you're probably curious about--including the ability to transfer your number (porting).


First, if you're in Wave C, check your email now! We sent invitations yesterday. We planned a bit of time in between each wave to make sure that we'd adequately addressed any issues and made tweaks to our systems for a better user experience. We were able to knock out these items quicker than expected, so we decided to open Wave C yesterday.


Many of you have asked about transferring a number to republic. You’ll be happy to know that we've enabled porting in the My Account portal. Initially when we upgraded the My Account portal we had temporarily disabled the porting feature, but all of our tests are complete and we're ready now to bring you--and your number--into republic. Check out the number transfer FAQ and start the process here.


Last but definitely not least: upgrades. Many Wave A people (existing republic members with an Optimus) have asked about getting a DEFY XT. We will have more info shortly, and we hope to have a process ready for you before the end of August. If you’re in Wave A, keep an eye on your email and watch the community for instructions. We know you need this and we'll get it to you as quickly as possible. Thanks for being patient with us.


So to recap:


  • Wave C is open and invitations were sent
  • Number transferring (porting) is now available in your My Account portal
  • Wave A upgrade details will be announced soon


As always, feel free to discuss or ask questions here.

Some of you have raised questions about our original welcome19 promotional code (from November 2011), if you’re eligible and if you can apply it. Prior to our launch in November, we sent a letter to the Cell Phone World. If you saw this preview page, you had the opportunity to sign up for a special offer on launch day via a form where you provided your email address. We collected email addresses on this form until just before launch, and then we sent out a special offer email to those who were on the list with the welcome19 code.


Some of you have questions around the blog post on November 28, specifically the bullet point


“You attempted to place an order that was not accepted, and you can’t view any orders in My Account. If this happened to you, you should’ve received an email with the subject ‘Incomplete Order’ on November 15.”


If you were part of this group, the email noted in the blog provided clarification for eligibility for the offer. The offer has only ever applied to those who were on the pre-launch promotional list. You can see the content of that email here.


To be eligible, you must have:


  • Signed up for the original pre-launch promotional offer
  • Confirmed your place in a wave via the same email your welcome19 code was sent to


The welcome19 offer is applied automatically when you receive your personal purchase invitation. The link for your personal purchase invitation is only good for one use (so if you plan to purchase two phones, you must do so on one order). The discount is applied to one phone only.


If you received your personal purchase invitation and joined republic and feel that you were eligible for the discount based on the criteria above, send tiggs a message in community and we’ll double check for you. If you have questions or thoughts, feel free to discuss here.

July Community Update

Posted by jeccaj Jul 23, 2012

The boxes are packed, the truck is here, and it’s time to move! You may have seen our recent update about moving our community to the Jive Software platform, and the time for our move is here. We wanted to take a moment to describe what you’ll need to do to access our new systems as well as some of the changes you’ll see in community and the My Account portal when you get there.

First things first. Like moving into any space, before you can take a look around, you have to have a set of keys. Before you can check out our new digs, you’ll need new credentials. This week we’ll send an email with new credentials for the My Account portal to republic members (aka Wave A, or people who already have phones). You’ll use these to sign in, and then you’ll promptly be redirected to our new community to select a username and create a profile.

The directions for how to do this will be in the email, so don’t sweat it until you get the info. These emails will be rolled out over a few days to members, so if you don’t get yours right away, sit tight. We’ll update the community and our social networks when we’ve sent all the emails (and give you instructions on what to do if you didn’t receive yours and you should have).

For the first few days, the new community will only be open for members of the republic (people with phones). Only members of the republic will receive an email with credentials. We’ll open up general account registration for all other community members as we settle in after that. Sit tight!

You’re probably curious about what will happen to the old community content and how you’ll access that info. The forum topics, discussions and info from our old community will live in a read-only state at We’ll keep this archive live for a couple of months in case you want to copy/paste out helpful information or reference past conversations.

Now, on to what you’ll see once you get your keys. After you sign in with your new creds and create a username, you’ll be able to check out the new community and see what we’ve added to the My Account portal. This is the cool part. Here’s what to expect in community:


  • New docs and more robust search functionality. We’ve created a search function in community that allows you to search for specific topics, blog posts and discussions for quick reference in troubleshooting issues with your phone or your connection. When new questions are posted, you’ll also be able to see if an answer has been provided or if information has been marked helpful by other members.

  • New “Ask Everyone” and “Ask Us” help tools. We’ve added two new tools in case you can’t find the help you need through search--”Ask Everyone” and “Ask Us” (shown at the bottom of your search results). “Ask Everyone” directs you in posting a question to get help from other republic members, and “Ask Us” kicks off a self-help tool to reach Member Care for assistance.

  • New ways to reach other republic members. Our new community platform makes it easier than ever to keep in touch with other members--through social mentions, direct messages and ongoing discussions. You can even follow a discussion, and we’ll alert you when someone new posts a comment or a correct answer!

That’s not the only place you’ll notice some exciting changes. We’ve also added more to the My Account portal. Within the next few weeks, we’ll provide more info and specifics for your account including call details and better ways to track your Wi-Fi usage. Standby for more exciting news to come!

As usual, if you have questions or thoughts, visit our discussion in community.

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