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laura.s

Update from the Product Team

Posted by laura.s Dec 18, 2013

Hey folks! It’s been a busy and exciting couple of months for the Product Team, and with the end of the year fast approaching we wanted to touch base with you guys. We’re guessing that some of you have accurately surmised why we’ve been off the map lately given the launch of the Moto X™, but we know that some of you enjoy getting a deeper look at the goings-on. So in today’s post, we’ll take a look at a few of the numbers from launch, as well as touch on what we’ve been seeing and doing behind the scenes.

 

Post-Launch

Some of you may have heard we launched a phone recently . For you number crunchers out there, here are a few facts for you to chew on:

 

  1. You guys cleaned out about ⅓ of stock in the first DAY. Not month, not week. DAY. And, we’re continuing to see high numbers as time goes on. (Thanks to some great partners, and some deft acrobatics from Supply Chain & the exec team, we’re keeping pace with you).
  2. About 15% of existing members have upgraded to the Moto X to date. The remaining 85% are hanging with their DEFY™ XT. Many of that crew have indicated interest in evaluating how things are going with Moto X before making the leap.
  3. 65% are choosing a black Moto X, while 35% are opting for white. We think both look pretty slick with the republic wallpapers we’ve all (you and us!) created.
  4. The most popular accessory? Screen-protecting films! We've noticed that some of you guys who get screen protecters elsewhere are having some audio issues due to discrepancies in the screen cutouts. Getting it through us might be a safe bet if you're still looking for one, or just do a double check that the one you're getting has the right cutouts.
  5. All the key stats related to support and our Help team—we’ve learned a lot and will put the learning to good use going forward. Check out our full post for more context.
  6. Alright this isn’t a number, but we’ve been seriously digging the positive reviews out there, by you guys and the press. We’ve got work to do (always will!) but we’ve come a long way!

 

With all these new members comes a lot of stress testing on the system. Though we always do extensive QA and testing, primetime almost always reveals some challenges. In this case, as we talked about in our last post, it’s more than we would have hoped for. About 3-4% of you encountered those. So what have we done from a Product perspective to address that?  Together with our Help teams, we’ve been at the grind since launch making sure absolutely all of those folks are back to 100%. We’ve put all other projects and efforts on hold to focus maniacally on that, since getting everyone up and running right is our #1 priority.

 

As a result, we haven’t had as much time to push forward other projects that we’d also like to deliver (and that some of you are looking forward to having). However, we’re zeroing in on getting all issues solved now so that we’ll be full steam ahead in Q1—a few short weeks away. We’ll make sure to post another blog with updates then so that you guys continue to have a view into the goings-on.

 

And last but not least, one more update for you all...the DEFY XT Beta phone will soon run out of stock! We’re thinking sometime in January, though it could be earlier or later based on how things go in the next couple weeks. We’re not planning to re-up stock, so if you’re on the fence, now might be the time to make a call. (If you’re not sure whether to get the X or DEFY XT, check out our comparison map in the online store, and read some of the anecdotal feedback in community).

 

We hope that you all have some good plans for the upcoming holiday!  Remember to turn your phones off and spend some time with the fam’

 

Warm regards,

Your Product Team

 

jons, laura.s, vailgm, theproductguy, brianna.mundy, whatevermatthewshandleis

 

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


sarahd

The Lowdown on Plan Switching

Posted by sarahd Dec 13, 2013

Is plan switching for real?

Seriously. It’s a thing. You can change your plan up to twice per month. Sound crazy? We don’t think so. We believe that smartphone plans should work for you—not against you. And that you should only have to pay for the cell data you need. So here’s a little insight into how plan switching throughout the month works and what you’ll see on your credit card bill when you make a change.


You can switch your plan up to twice per month straight from your phone, making it really easy to create a plan that’s customized around your life. So how does plan switching work in practice? Check out the example below. To see how you switch plans right from your phone, here’s a quick video.

 

 

Little Laura.jpg

Meet Laura (you may feel like you already know her!). On November 1, Laura signed up for the $10 plan. She paid $10 in service fees to Republic for unlimited data, talk and text on WiFi plus unlimited cellular talk and text. Then, on November 10, Laura headed off on vacation. She decides she wants some cellular data access, so she changes to the $25 plan. She returned home on November 22 and switched back to the 10 plan. How does that affect her monthly bill? Here’s quick look including a calendar view and a chart to show how the charges work out (if you like seeing all the calculations).

 

 

Plan Switching Example 1.jpg

 

Plan Switching Example 2.jpg

 

That’s it! When you do the math, it’s easy to see that you can save a lot of money throughout the course of the month with some shrewd planning. So try out our various plans and find what works for you. And don’t worry—you can always mix it up.

 

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




AppleToAndroid_11_2013.png


One of the great things about the iPhone is iMessage.  This allows you to totally bypass your carrier altogether and send messages to your other iPhone toting friends from anywhere, even while cruising around at 30,000 feet flying coast to coast.


Well, you decided that it was time to join Republic Wireless and come over to the Android side, but your friends are still sticking with their high monthly fees, long contracts and their iPhones, and they say they can’t send you texts.  You hear “You should have stayed with your iPhone.”  We think you made the smart choice, and here’s how to fix their SMS problem.


The problem is the way that Apple has set up iMessage.  It uses your Apple ID--not your phone number.  So when your friend is trying to send you a message using the Messages app on their iPhone, it is trying to send it to your Apple ID on your old iPhone.


Now that you’re rocking the totally new and amazing Moto X, your iPhone is in a drawer somewhere and not powered on, so the iPhone app says “Message cannot be delivered” because iMessage cannot find your iPhone. 

 

The good news is that it’s an easy fix.  Providing your friends have your phone number stored as a contact in their phone (and I’m sure they do), all your friends have to do is:

a) Tap on the message that they tried to send (the one with the triangle next to it).

b) A popup menu will appear that asks them to send the message as SMS or resend.

c) They just need to click the option “Send message as SMS.”


The message background in the speech bubble will change from Blue to Green, showing that it’s now SMS and that message will be resent as an SMS not an iMessage. 


SMS and MMS will now work as advertised between you and your friend.  They may have to do that for each message, unless you have turned off iMessage on your old iPhone.

 

Oh, and the benefit you have is not only did you make a totally smart financial decision to switch,  you can ALSO text while at 30,000 feet, and you can send those texts to ANYONE, not just other iOS people, thanks to Republic Wireless SMS over IP.


Stay tuned for more tips and tricks.


As always, if you have any questions, post them here.


Update 12/13/13 : As pointed out in the comments, the full fix is to actually turn off iMessage on your old device.  Remember that it may take an hour or two to propagate that through the Apple infrastructure.  The change we originally posted will still work, but it will only be temporary.  The change will not be permanent until you turn off iMessage on your old iPhone.


Thanks for the feedback

docs

Our Commitment To You

Posted by docs Dec 11, 2013

One of the most motivating things about working at Republic Wireless is that we constantly challenge ourselves to learn and we use those lessons to improve. The Moto X launch has given us many opportunities to see what we’re doing well and where we need to get better.  The response to the launch has been overwhelmingly positive, from both the media and our members.  But there have also been a few areas where we’ve stumbled.  Our support team has been working hard to try to keep up, but we know that some of you have experienced delays and a fair amount of frustration.  We’re passionate about delivering a stress-free support experience to every member and unfortunately we’ve missed that mark for some of you.

 

We’ve had a handful of challenging issues that have affected a small number of customers; however, those issues have been difficult for us to resolve.  They’ve been reported by only about 3-4% of our members, but some have been waiting days or even a couple weeks for a resolution as we’ve developed new tools and processes to get folks back on track.  That 3-4% number may sound small, but that's completely unacceptable to us and we're doing something about it - right now.

 

We worked throughout last weekend to create a plan to address the remaining open issues and support problems within the next 7-10 days.  Here are some specifics on what we’re working on now to get back to where we want to be:

 

  • We’re meeting daily with leaders from across the business to review progress on open issues and prioritize fixes;
  • We’ve dedicated all available engineering resources to troubleshooting and fixing bugs;
  • We’ve recruited qualified resources from around the company to help staff support queues and answer questions in the Community and in our social media channels.

 

A key tenet of our plan is to improve our communication on what’s happening and what we’re doing on an issue-by-issue basis. We’re now publicly sharing our list of top known issues, the prevalence of those issues, and an estimated timeframe for their resolution.  You can view the list of those items here and we’ll update you daily with the most accurate information we have.

 

We’re working around the clock to not only resolve the core issues some of you are experiencing, but also to get caught up on our support requests and get you the help you need.  We appreciate both your patience and your willingness to keep us honest about our performance.

 

Thank you for being members of the Republic!

 

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


Between the conversation in Community and our support ticketing system, our support team has identified a few hot topics that are driving much of our support work. Our team is working around the clock to get to all of you, but we are experiencing some delays in getting to everyone because the response to the Moto X was huge.

 

We like to keep you in the loop, so here’s the low-down on the top trending issues, along with some suggestions for troubleshooting on your own. Here are our top 4 trending issues:

 

1. Activation Errors

We saw a huge number of orders in the first few days of Moto X™ going on sale (w00t!).  When you’re activating that many phones, the potential for activation issues increases. In some cases, the steps didn't automatically execute in the right order. Our team is working to rectify these issues and will be pushing a fix for this in the immediate future. Some downstream impacts from the activation issue will require one-on-one attention from our amazing support people, but some of you may be able to resolve your issues with a couple simple steps. The Activating your Moto X document will walk you through those steps.

 

If these steps don’t get your phone fully operational and you have already submitted a help request, please know that we’re working on tickets in the order received and prioritized.

 

 

2. Cell Calling Errors

Once the Moto X successfully activates, some customers may have issues making or receiving calls on cellular. The Make and Receive a Phone Call for Moto X document offers some simple things to check before opening a ticket and some troubleshooting suggestions.

 

 

3. SIM Card Issues

Customers have encountered a few issues with the SIM card in the Moto X. Our advice is—just don’t mess with the SIM card! The SIM Card for Moto X document gives you the low-down on all things SIM, including a how-to video and some info about SIM card locking.

 

 

4. Calls Handing WiFi Over to Cell Too Soon or Too Often

We’re thrilled that our members “get” the whole WiFi thing (in fact we love it), and we appreciate your concern about quick handovers! But don’t worry about submitting a ticket if your phone is handing off quicker than expected—we’re aware that our current handover settings are aggressive. That was a deliberate choice on our part to err on the side of quality. We’ll continue to tweak the handover settings to find the best balance between our twin goals of giving you awesome quality calls and maximizing use of WiFi.

 

TIP: If you specifically want to stay on WiFi (for example, if you’re in an area with poor cell service), turn on Airplane Mode and then turn WiFi back on. That’ll do the trick.

 

Support Tips

We want to resolve your issues as quickly as possible. And we appreciate when you “help us help you”. The Republic Help Tutorial offers detailed information for optimizing your support experience, and below are some quick highlights:

 

  • Search the Help Knowledge Base - We have a wealth of information that may resolve your issue before you submit a help request.
  • Use the Community - The best place to get an honest opinion, ask a quick question, point out a small problem, talk shop or make a suggestion.
  • Open a Ticket When Needed - For account-specific service, phone and billing issues.
  • Preferred method of ticket submission - Use the Republic Phone App or Help Portal for the quickest service.
  • Republic help hours - Seven days a week, 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
  • Priorities - Phones not working are prioritized over questions or account issues.
  • Open only one ticket for your issue - Everything slows down if multiple tickets are opened. If we have to merge your multiple tickets, you automatically drop to the back of the line (no fun!).
  • Be Brief But Complete - Stick to who, what, where and when.

 

Thanks again for your patience and we are hammering to solve your issues as quickly as possible. You won’t be disappointed when your Moto X is up and running.  It’s an amazing phone.

 

Normally at this point, we’d suggest you go talk about this in the Community. But that’s where we pulled these trends from, so just keep on talking!

Follow me on Google+

11-2013_AppleToAndroid.png

One of the things people love most about their iPhones is the instant access to iTunes that’s right at their fingertips. You can have that same access to the music you love on an Android device—and you don’t have to leave any of your iTunes on the table when making the switch. Last week, we talked about how to transfer stored contacts from an iPhone to Android. This week, it’s all about the music.

 

Transferring Music using Google Play
If you’ve just gotten started with Android and your new Moto X™, you should get to know Google Play Music. It’s an app that comes standard on your Moto X and offers an equally large amount of songs and other media that you can access from your phone or computer. Best part is, you can transfer your iTunes right into it. Google Play music offers both free and paid features. For free using the app, you can:

 

  • Add up to 20,000 of your own songs
  • Buy new music on Google Play (at a charge)
  • Listen on Android and the web


So how do you transfer your iTunes to your Moto X? Just follow these steps.


First, transfer your music files to Google Play Music on your computer.

Note: Google Play Music requires a credit card on file, even if you're using the free Standard membership.


  1. Download the music manager to your desktop computer at Music - Google Play – Google.
  2. Open the Music Manager application on your computer and login using the same Gmail account that’s associated with your Moto X. Still need to setup a Gmail account for your phone? Click here.
  3. Select the location from where you’d like to upload your music (note that iTunes is the first option).
  4. Choose to upload all songs and playlists or just certain ones you select. Podcasts can be included as well, if you check the box.
  5. From there, you can even choose to automatically upload songs purchased from iTunes in the future.


Now, download your music from Google Play Music onto your Moto X.

Note: If you’re on a Mac computer, you first need to download the Android File Transfer Application onto your computer.


  1. Plug your Moto X into your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Launch the Music Manager on your computer and select the Download tab.
  3. Click “Download my library” to download all your music or “Download free and purchased” to only download music purchased from Google Play.
  4. From here you can create a folder wherever you like on your computer and download all your music.
  5. Finally, copy your music files from the folder you created to your Moto X.

 

If this all seems like a lot of steps to you, you may also try using an app such as Synctunes free for iTunes - Android Apps on Google. However, using Google Play Music is simple once you've got it set up.

 

Making the transition from Apple to Android (or creating a happy co-existence of both) isn’t so hard when you have the right tools. So get your music cranking—and let us know how it goes. What’s your favorite song right now? Tell us what you think here.

Hi Everyone! Many of you have asked if we are planning to offer any special Black Friday or Cyber Monday promotions this year. The short answer is no. We don't believe in Black Friday. Or Cyber Monday, for that matter. Here's the reason why....

 

This week will be full of doorbuster deals and special promotions from all the other wireless carriers. $150 off their "regular" prices. Free shipping. Maybe even a free phone. And, while all that sounds great during the mania known as the Holiday-shopping season, you shouldn't be fooled that these promos don't come with a very real price - your wireless freedom. You see the major carriers offer deals at this time of the year so that they can lock you into two-year contract agreements and get you to fork over $70 or more per month in bloated service fees.

 

This is wrong. You know it. They know it. And we know it. That's why we are not offering any special incentives this Holiday season. We have the Moto X™ smartphone available for $299 without any contract required and 4 flexible service plans starting as low as $5/month. It's the best every day deal in wireless. Except it's not a “deal”.

 

At Republic Wireless, we think staying in touch with the folks who matter to you shouldn't have to cost a lot. We think smartphones should empower, not impoverish. And, we think you should be free to do what you want, on your own terms. With us there's no catch, no additional fees, no contracts, no jargon. You can even change your plans up to two times per month.

 

So we’re not doing a Black Friday/Cyber Monday promotion. Instead, we’re inviting you to experience remarkable value every single day - 365 days a year - from Republic Wireless. You, and your wallet, won't be disappointed.

 

One last thing…We love smartphones. But we love our families even more. That's why we're hoping you will join us in taking some time over the next few days to power your phone down, enjoy a great meal with your loved ones, and celebrate everything you're thankful for this year.

 

Happy Thanksgiving,

 

 

Garrett Putman

Vice President - Branding & Advertising




Head on over here to leave more questions or comments!

AppleToAndroid_11_2013.png
First, a quick introduction...my name is LoriP and I'm a member of the Republic marketing team. I am a content marketing manager and love to find ways to engage and inform current and future members. I'm also completely stoked to have the new Moto X...just got mine on Monday and awesome so far! Alright, let's get right to it.


Are you making the switch from Apple to Android? Congratulations and welcome to your Android future! Lots of our new Republic members are in the same boat as you—ready for a change and eager to tap into some of today’s hottest technology.

 

We’re excited to bring you our new blog series packed full of tips and tricks to make your switch a piece of cake. And don’t worry—by the time you’re rockin’ that new Moto X™, the taste of those Apples will seem like a distant memory. First up? Transferring your contacts.

 

Moving your contacts from your iPhone® to your Moto X is easy once you know the steps, which we’ll outline today. There are several ways you can do it, depending on where you store your iPhone contacts today. Here are couple ways you can make the switch, depending on whether or not you use iCloud.

 

Option A - Transfer through iCloud

On an iPhone, if you’re backing up to iCloud, then all your contacts will be available on whatever computer(s) you’ve paired with your phone. If you’re not sure or this seems confusing, option B below might work better for you.

 

  1. Set up a Gmail account on your new Moto X (or use an existing Gmail account). If you haven’t already figured it out, having a Gmail account is huge in making everything come together with Android. So get one of those as the first step… and you’re golden.
  2. Login to the Gmail account on your computer.
  3. Open the “Address Book” on your Mac (the Mac where you store your iTunes). There you should see all your contacts that are currently on your iPhone. Click on “All Contacts” on the open book screen and then from the top menu, select “File-Export-Export Vcard. Save the .vcf file to your computer wherever you like. Think of this step as the bridge between your iPhone and new Android phone.
  4. Open your Gmail account on the computer; go into your Contacts and select “Import Contacts” from the left side menu window. Find and open the .vcf file wherever you saved it, and select “Import.”
  5. Bam! Your contacts will sync automatically on your computer and Moto X phone through your Gmail account.


Option B  -  Transfer via App

  1. Set up a Gmail account on your new Moto X (or use an existing Gmail account). Again, having a Gmail account is key to being successful using Android.
  2. Login to the Gmail account on your computer.
  3. Download the free iPhone app “My Contacts Backup” to your existing iPhone. Once loaded, click “Allow” and “Backup” and send your contacts to your Gmail account. This takes all of your contacts that live in your iPhone, and transfers them to a place where you can access them from your Gmail. Think of this as the bridge between your iPhone and new Android phone.
  4. Open your Gmail account on the computer; find the email you sent yourself from My Contacts Backup, and under the attachment, select “Import to Contacts.”
  5. Bam! Your contacts will sync automatically on your computer and Moto X phone through your Gmail account.

 

Now, wasn’t that easy? Try it out and let us know how it goes by leaving your questions and comments here.

 

Next up? Transferring and managing your music!

sarahd

Moto X is on Sale Now!

Posted by sarahd Nov 14, 2013

It’s finally here. Today we’re thrilled to open the Republic store for Moto X™—with four new plans to choose from and the ability to switch plans up to twice per month (that’s right – you can switch your plan with no penalty…something NO ONE else in the industry is doing!). Now you can get your new Moto X with Republic’s Hybrid Calling technology, with two plans that cost $10/mo or less…still with no contract, no hidden fees and no surprises.

 

For anyone who’s been watching and waiting, this moment’s been a long time coming from when we first announced the Moto X on September 19. In that blog post, we talked about all the new plans ranging from $5/month to $40/month. Check it out if you missed it.

 

We’ve got MMS!

In other HUGE news today, we are thrilled to announce that the Moto X and future Republic devices will now have full MMS capability with every major carrier, including 70+ total regional and national players. That means you can now send group texts, photos and videos using your new Moto X phone. Sending and receiving MMS between providers involves lots of effort on both sides of the equation, so we are very excited that we now have this functionality. Check out the chart below to see our progress with the major wireless providers. Whoop!

 

MMS Chart 11-13-13.png

 

Get Yours.

We can’t wait for you to get this new phone! Our folks (myself included) have been testing out the Moto X for a while now, and it truly is a top-notch device at an incredible value. Our Moto X got 4 out of 5 stars (an “excellent” rating) in a review last week by PC Mag. We’re stoked about this review and many others from the likes of USA Today, Bloomberg Business Week and many more.  But don’t take it from us—get one and see for yourself!

 

We look forward to hearing many more reviews from all of our members who’ve helped us get to where we are today—and future members who are just starting out with Republic.

 

So get the Moto X and lay it on us… we can’t wait to hear what you think.

 

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



Hello Republic Members -

 

Today, we’re excited to announce that our new online shopping experience and a new My Account feature are now “live” on RepublicWireless.com. These new releases bring us one step closer to our upcoming Moto X launch and will improve your overall experience with Republic Wireless. Let’s take a closer look at each new item:

 

New Online Store

We’ve streamlined the shopping experience and added the following features to our online store:


  • New e-commerce platform - Our new online store has been moved to a more robust platform that will allow us to remove or add products quickly and efficiently. We’ll also be able to edit content on the spot, which allows us to keep you informed with the latest info, pricing, and promotions.
  • Coverage checker - Before you finalize your purchase, we ask you to type in your zip code. This ensures that you have Sprint’s native 3G cellular coverage in your area before you buy.
  • Account sign in and creation - If you’re an existing member, you can now sign in before you complete your purchase. If you’re not an existing member, you can create a new account. This will help us determine ahead of time if you’re simply adding a line to your existing account or if you’re a new member.
  • Room to grow - With this new platform, we’ll be able to add other innovative features and tools to enhance your Republic shopping experience in the future.

 

New My Account Feature

We’ve also added a new account management tool. This new feature is the first of several new account management tools that we plan to provide for you. Account owners can now assign phone lines to other users on their account. This gives the other users on your account the ability to sign into their own My Account portal where they can view call history and usage, change email address and password, and open a Republic Help request. Later on, we’ll be adding to this functionality with other helpful features to enable you to do even more within your account.

 

We’re excited about these new releases and we hope that you will enjoy them! As always, thanks very much for being a member of our Republic!

 

Game on!

 

Please feel free to leave your questions and comments here.

sarahd

Community Updates

Posted by sarahd Oct 25, 2013

Hello everyone!

 

In addition to all of the excitement surrounding the Moto X™ launch, we have some more good news. We’re upgrading our Community software to version 6. This means improvements all around such as better search functions, easier navigation, a mobile version of Community, corrections for IE 10 users, improved content management, and more!

 

We’re also be making some of our own improvements. There will be a new design layout which includes moving all discussions to one location. This way, everyone that has a Community login will be able to participate in discussions and ask questions. Documents will also be centralized in one single location in an area we’re calling the Knowledge Center.

 

Over the next few weeks, you’ll notice some changes in Community. These changes will happen in stages. The first stage will take place overnight tonight from 1:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m. ET. You’ll still be able to access Community, but you may notice some lag, you may get logged out at times, content will be moving around, and the names of some of the sections will be changed. This first stage will help us prepare for the final migration scheduled for early November. We want to assure you that no content will be deleted during these migrations. Links to documentation and discussions will remain the same.

 

The second stage will be the final migration to the new version of Community. This is when you’ll see the new layout and the creation of the Knowledge Center. Once that date has been solidified, we’ll let you know in advance as it will require a scheduled maintenance window and Community will not be accessible during that time. It will most likely be in the early morning hours when there isn’t a whole lot of traffic.

 

Please let us know here if you have any questions about these changes over the next few weeks. We also want to  thank you for your patience as we continue to improve the Republic experience.


Thanks and have a great weekend!

cord cut.jpgI'm AJ McDonald, a member of Republic's marketing team. I'm a big fan of emerging technology and living simple. When I'm not helping spread the word about Republic, I'm either playing with a new gadget or off traveling and living out of a backpack.

 

Ah, the fun game of trying to call my mother.  Each time, I wind up dialing three numbers: her work cell, her personal cell, and the house phone.  At least recently, she’s consolidated down to one cellphone.  But there’s still that landline. Why?!?

 

Lots of people still have this corded relic hanging on their wall, but what does it really do for you? These days, there are more subscriptions to cellphone services in the US than there are actual people (326.4M and rising according to the CTIA), and statistically, for most, if you want to talk to someone, you dial them directly on their cell.

 

Gone are the days of making awkward small talk with the parents of the girl or boy you’re calling while you wait for them to come to the phone.  Gone are the days of telling your kids to quit hogging the phone while they talk to said annoying girl or boyfriend. But most importantly: gone are the days of having to pay separate bills for a landline and cell.

 

Cost and Availability

 

Cost is the most obvious reason to ditch your home phone. According to the FCC, a typical landline can run upwards of $500 a year. But why even worry about two bills anymore?  Personally, I cut the cord as soon as I went to college and never looked back.  I haven’t needed to. I haven’t even missed it and I find myself more connected now than ever.  I pay one phone bill each month and I know I’m not ever going to miss a call.  My cellphone is always with me. It’s even my alarm clock.  Plus, I get all the added benefits of a smartphone—like texting, apps, music, and more.

 

If you simply must go the hardline route—consider getting a Google Voice account.  You can connect a home phone to your Internet router and direct calls over your Internet connection for free.  It works like a landline, but doesn’t cost any monthly fees outside of your Internet bill.

 

E911 and Emergency Services

 

This is a big one. Up until recently, the most important advantage of having a landline in your home was being able to place emergency calls. BUT! Republic recently rolled out E911 over Wi-Fi to our phones. So now, even when cellular service isn’t available, Republic callers can route emergency calls over Wi-Fi.  You just need one physical address associated with each of your phone numbers.  This means you now actually have more ways to get a hold of emergency services in the event of an accident.  

 

No More Dead Zones

 

Another hold up for folks looking to cut their landline was the limitations of living somewhere rural, or where cellular signal just wouldn’t cut it before.  Well, since Republic uses Wi-Fi when it's there and cell when it isn’t—callers now have the advantage of being able to place calls where they couldn’t really make them before.  As long as you’ve got Wi-Fi in your house—you’ve got phone service.

 

The Future is Now  

 

Along the same lines as having fancy smartphone apps at my disposal—I can also do neat things like make video calls over Skype—a feature definitely missing from a landline.  If I haven’t visited home in a while, or am catching up with a friend in another state—sometimes it's just nice to be able to see who I’m talking to and the glimmer in their eye as they marvel at my sparkling personality and charming wit (that last line is in there just to see if you’re still paying attention).

 

The CDC reports that nearly two in every five households no longer have a landline as of December 2012.  That’s about 38.2% and is on the rise—up 44% from 2010.  It’s a trend that’s catching on, and hopefully this post makes it a little easier to make the switch.  It’s a great way to consolidate and simplify your calling life and save some cash while you’re at it. 

 

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

Hello. I’m Doc Shufelt, VP of Republic’s Operations team. I lead the skilled teams that help Republic members resolve issues and answer questions.  I’m also responsible for Republic’s Community team, which interacts with our members online every day.

 

If you’ve been following our blog, then you know we’ve been talking a lot lately about what we learned during our 20-month Beta and the learning has been extensive. In customer support, the Beta taught us a lot about how our members want to interact with us, when they need our help, and how we should structure our teams in order to deliver high-quality service.

 

Okay. Here’s the situation…

Back in June, jons shared some news about a number of improvements we’ve made in the last year to improve the customer Help experience, including the introduction of our Customer Help Report and the implementation of a Zendesk-based support ticketing system.

 

Our new ticketing system has helped us learn more about what our members need and how they want to get service.  One of the most important things we learned, as our subscriber numbers grew, was that members sent nearly 45% of Help requests outside of regular support hours (after 5 p.m. M-F and on weekends).  That means members were waiting far too long for our support team to help and we were missing way too many opportunities to deliver great service.

 

How we made it better.

Today, we’ve got nearly half of all Republic team members working on our Operations teams—and we think that ratio makes sense. After all, Republic is all about you, and we believe that no one should have to wait in long queues or sit in front of a computer all day hoping for a reply to an email.

 

We kicked off 2013 by extending the hours of our Technical Assistance team from 5 days to 7 days a week, and extending their hours to provide greater coverage from 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. ET each day.  This helped us respond more quickly to the critical issues that couldn’t wait for Monday morning—i.e. it’s Saturday night and a member can’t make a call.

 

We also launched a plan earlier this year that’s allowed us to double the size of our Customer Advocacy team since late 2012. These folks are the front line for most of our member needs and we knew we could make a big impact by building out that team. We also extended their hours to 8 a.m. until 11 p.m. ET, 7 days a week.

 

The results are in.

The changes we’ve made to staffing hours and the addition of new team members have made a big difference in the way our customers experience support. Since our last blog update on customer Help, back in June, our customer satisfaction scores have consistently hovered around 90%, up from 62% in January of this year.  That’s an improvement we’re very proud of, but we’re still constantly working to get it even better.

 

We also measure “time to first contact”—the time it takes between a member submitting a request and someone on our team responding—as a barometer for how efficiently we’re supporting our customers’ needs. We’re thrilled to report that our time to first contact across all ticket types has been reduced by a full 73% since January of this year.

 

Future forward.

Republic’s extended Help hours and staff are only the start of even further enhancements on the way. As we move away from our Beta and launch new devices , you can expect to see support coverage extended even further, with around the clock help from knowledgeable staff whose first priority is to give you the best experience possible.

 

Stay tuned for future updates, and get ready for an exciting fall as the Moto X goes on sale in the Republic store!

 

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


In preparation for the Moto X launch, we’ll be taking some pretty important steps behind the scenes to ensure all of our systems are in tip top shape. This includes upgrading some of our backend systems in order to increase efficiency and improve functionality. These upgrades will

be beneficial for both Republic members and employees.

 

In order for these upgrades to take place, the My Account portal will be unavailable while we migrate our systems to a new platform. This does not affect Republic Wireless service, only the My Account portal. On Monday, September 30, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. ET to October 1, 2013 at 8:00 a.m. ET the My Account portal will be unavailable. During this time, you will be unable to do the following from the portal:

 

  • Update name or email address
  • Update password
  • Update credit card info
  • View order history or status
  • View or request a number transfer
  • View usage history
  • Setup or manage e911 services
  • Cancel service

 

If you need to make any of the above changes during the maintenance window, please open a Republic help request and one of our team members will provide you with further details as to how and when your request will be completed. If you’re canceling service and you’re within our 30 Day Guarantee, we’ll honor your cancellation request based on when you open the help request. Please also note that any phones ordered during the maintenance window won’t ship until Tuesday morning after the maintenance has been completed.

 

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience while we upgrade our systems.

 

If you have any questions, please ask them here.


laura.s

What a week!

Posted by laura.s Sep 25, 2013

Wow! What a week guys. Can we start off by saying….you have made some of our absolute favorite comments and posts in the past seven days. You’ve had us laughing out loud and in general grinning ear to ear (a few blushes, too...you’ll have to look at Facebook for those, since we can’t post ‘em here .

 

And speaking of “wow!,”  we’re guessing some of you are in the weeds trying to sort through all the information we’ve shared.  Enter….this blog post! We’ll do a mini-recap by taking a second to look at the basics, and follow it up with 1) one of your favorite parts and 2) a question that’s puzzled some folks. We’ll end with some of our favorite comments out there.

 

The Basics: Four New Plans and One Awesome Phone

 

The (1st) Phone - Moto X at $299 with no contract.

 

$5 Wi-Fi only Plan - This is for our Wi-Fi mavericks out there. It’s also a nice plan while travelling abroad (call home on Wi-Fi!). Not to mention...it’s also a powerful budgeting tool...having one of “those” months and need some spare room for groceries? $5 is here for you.

 

$10 talk, text & Wi-Fi Data Plan - This is the cornerstone of the plans...it’s for our Wi-Fi people! What’s a Wi-Fi person? Someone who maximizes all the sweet Wi-Fi out there and only needs to depend on cell for texting and calling. Cell data can’t hold you down.

 

$25 talk, text, and 3G Data Plan - This guy is for those of you who still need that cell data backup —even though you love your Wi-Fi, your lifestyle and needs demand the double engine of Wi-Fi and a cell data network. That’s ok, we get it! That’s why this plan is here.

 

$40 talk, text, and 4G Data Plan - This is here to satisfy your need for speed when it crops up. You asked, and so it’s here —4G LTE speeds at the tip of your fingers. It’s the luxury plan that can give you a little “spark” in your life when you’re not around the lightning speeds Wi-Fi can give you.

 

One of your Favorite Parts

 

$300 for the world's best 4G smart-phone?  Wow... just wow!”* waywardgeek

 

We got your (wallet’s) back. When we launched with the DEFY XT™, we wanted to give you the best TCO (total cost of ownership; phone+service) out there. On a high end phone, that TCO for two years would have been well over $1000, even on $19/month. But, with a rugged DEFY XT running Gingerbread OS, we got to $705 for two years of service. That shocked the industry, but we thought we could do better. Could we keep to that super low TCO even with that expensive higher performance phone you wanted? You betcha. You now have a sliding scale of options, starting with a TCO as low as $419. You now have a sliding scale of options, starting with a TCO as low as $419. And, it’s entirely in your hands to decide where your TCO falls, by switching it up between the plans. But, even if you do want the dual engine of cell and Wi-Fi all the time, you can get two years of service on 3G, plus a spankin’ brand new Moto X, and the TCO is nowhere near the $1500+ you might expect for two years...instead, it’s $899 ($739, if you’re an existing Beta member). And (spoiler alert) TCO on some awesome future devices will be even less than that. Yep, we did that, it’s happening. Go big or go home, we say.

 

One of your Biggest Questions

 

“Why are you giving 5GB at full speed? Are you guys insane, don’t you want us to use less data? And isn’t data super expensive, like you’ve been saying?”

 

Yes; a thousand times yes —to put a point on it, we’re counting on you to not use 5GBs. Just like with the DEFY XT Beta, we’re putting an enormous amount of trust into our members to use Wi-Fi responsibly. That is how we roll here, and we aren’t going to shy away from it. But why are we doing that in the first place, why not just throw in a cap somewhere or charge per use?  Well, because you asked us to give you the freedom to not have to worry about changing bills or sudden stops. So we’re taking on the risk to give that to you, and entrusting you to leverage the power of Wi-Fi as much as you can —while still giving you the extra room you may need in an emergency or otherwise unusual circumstance.

 

The right way to go about it, we think, is to put cell data “management” in YOUR hands, so that our service can flex to what you need, when you need it. In return, we count on you to support all of us and what we’re doing here by soaking in all that glorious Wi-Fi as much as you can. And why have a throttle point at all? The sole reason we have a throttle point at all is to protect us —all of us— from the 1% of folks who tear through cell data like it’s their job. (Remember the ones that used 70GB+ on the DEFY XT? That’s what we’re solving for here). So in short: we’re giving you 5GB because we trust you with your own data management —enough to take on risk so that you can have the freedom to flex without worry. Our members proved in the Beta this trust is well placed, and that fuels us to stand by this, and thus stand by you.

 

And we’ll end with….some of our favorite quotes!

 

“I couldn't be more blown away by the new cell plans. Not to mention the cutting edge hardware. Being able to switch plans as required FROM your phone? The level of flexibility Republic Wireless offers it’s customers is unheard off. Can't wait to preach to all my family and friends the benefits of converting over. Great job!” - Julien G.

 

“I LITERALLY JUST DIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And this is my birthday month. You have me as a new customer for sure! *Visa schedules itself to fly into your hands this November*” - D’don W.

 

“you guys nailed this out of the park. I take back everything I said about H Bud.” -Chad L.

 

“Been here since the beginning and the service has fit me perfectly the entire time...but now this...Is there a word for beyond perfect?! So happy right now” - Joseph C.


 

- Jeff S.

 

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

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