21 Replies Latest reply: Nov 8, 2012 11:39 AM by mchasal RSS

State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)

sarahd republicEmployee

We just posted a new State of the republic community update. Read it here and feel free to post your comments below.

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    bobbyg 3 Bar

    Thank you for the update.

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    emperordahc 3 Bar

    I currently have an Optimus. When the dual-band DEFY XT is released, we will have 90 days of free service. Between that ending 90 days and the final 180 days, will the service still be free on the Optimus?

     

    I do plan on upgrading when the dual band is offered, just planning out when to upgrade.

     

    Thanks, RW!

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    cathyj 1 Bar

    Thanks for the update. I really love my Defy. Question : my son will be in wave O. If he orders the prese nt Defy, will he be able to switch to the new Defy when it becomes available?  If so, will there be an extra charge? Thanks!

    • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
      tjohn777 3 Bar

      No, he need to wait.  Do not purchase the single if he intends to get the dual band.  Ignore the 2 or 3 emails for Wave O.  He will be emailed again when the dual band is available.  Unknown exactly when but he will be in line.

    • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
      billmeek Ambassador

      No.  If he's in wave O, he has the option of ordering the single-band now OR waiting for he dual-band to become available.  No upgrade path has been announced for waves F and later.

    • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
      g 3 Bar

      We know that:

      1) Wave O will open next week

      2) If you buy a single band phone with the Wave O invite you will have to re-register for another Wave to get in line to buy a dual band

      3) Dual band is on target still for a release by the end of the year

      4) The price for the dual band will be comparable to the single band & more info on that will be out soon

       

      RW has not yet set up any upgrade or transfer for single band Wave F & beyond who knowingly purchased a single band with the limitation, who would like to get a dual band. Nor do we know if RW will transfer the number of the single band to a new dual band internally. So I just signed up for another Wave & will wait for the dual band invite to come. Then I will evaluate how good the single band has served me & what will be the cost & procedure to obtain a dual band to replace my single band phone. So I am staying tuned!

       

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    rpr 1 Bar

    More nebulous promises of an OTA "some day," and now they're discontinuing support for the original phone before they actually fix the problems with the new one.  Déjà vu all over again for us Wave-A-ers, who were repeatedly promised that fixes and features were coming in an OTA "some day" and now know that it was all empty promises.  Republic, I really believe in your model and want to stay with you, but if you haven't fixed the numerous problems with the Defy by the time you try to force me to downgrade, er, I mean upgrade, or offer a better phone at a reasonable cost, no way I will be able to continue with you.  Your promises have been mostly empty.


    -rpr

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    garyb 1 Bar

    As a current owner of the Defy, I'm concerned about the decision to disable the original phone so soon.  Will the Defy have a similarly short life?  If so, that significantly reduces the value of Republic service.  I know many people enjoy upgrading to latest and greatest toys - I am not in that camp.  When signing up I did not think I'd be forced to buy a new phone on a regular basis...

     

    Is it a necessary part of the Republic business model to force phone upgrades? Or can you sustain operations with the monthly fee alone? 

    Why not just ask Optimus owners pay the monthly fee without support???

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    jeffrey.katz 2 Bar

    I'm an A-Waver and looking forward to upgrading to the dual band Defy XT when it is available.  That said, RW needs to be aware, and other impending wavers need to be aware, that all is not perfect in RW land, and I don't mean just waiting for technical upgrades:

     

    http://the-gadgeteer.com/2012/10/25/republic-wireless-hybrid-calling-beta-review/comment-page-1/#comment-181695

     

    This very recent review, along with Yelp comments, causes me concern that management is not doing a good job in communicating the limitations of RW service, and they are not communicating return and trial policies well to new users either.  When I joined, it was with open eyes that I would not be doing MMS, would not be going over 450 min/month cell usage, would not go over 600mb data usage, and would be using a phone with old tech.  I didn't care, I'm not a heavy user and RW is PERFECT for me.  However, I fear that in a push to get a money surge, marketing may be hiding aspects of RW, such as the 'usage fee' of a phone within the 30 day trial period, and failing to mention it anywhere in the signup documentation.

     

    There are thousands of us who want RW to succeed and be held as a shining beacon of business ethics, shaming the large cell carriers into better behavior themselves.  But the above stuff has got to stop.  I beseech marketing to understand this when going after new business.

    • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
      happysinceday1 3 Bar

      Thank you for the link. I read the article in full as well as the comments.

       

      Regarding the usage fee the article's author mentioned, he posted a followup comment stating that RW did NOT charge him for wear and tear his phone suffered during his 30 day trial. Most companies have this type of fee for product damage during a trial period. True: RW should make this clear up front. Also true: the customer should expect to pay for damage they do to the product, which may render it useless should they send it back. Reasonable!

       

      Quoting the article:

      Now, one would think that as the service is billed as WiFi capable, you could activate over the WiFi.  This is not the case.  You must use the cellular network to get the phone started and as republic is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) of Sprint, I needed Sprint coverage in my area.  Well, I don’t have Sprint or any other cellular coverage in my area, so I hopped in the car and drove to a spot 5 miles away that had Sprint service and activated the phone.

      Here the author actually thinks that the wifi capabilities of the phone would work RIGHT OUT OF THE BOX! The phone hasn't yet been activated! Technically, the phone isn't operational before activation, it's just a chunk of plastic and glass. And he seems irked that there's no Sprint signal at his house as if this were a limitation of RW. He really should have thought twice before writing this into his article, because it reveals his limited understanding of how phones and wifi actually work.

       

      Quoting the article:

      The $19 per month seems attractive until you look at the limitations such as no automatic transition from WiFi to cell; no texts on WiFi; limited roaming and no MMS.  I also wonder why I should pay republic to fix problems.  I’ve participated in several beta tests, and this is the first one where I had to pay the product provider.  If I don’t cancel and the republic service goes belly up, I’d be stuck with a $281 dollar paperweight.

       

      The $19 per month seems attractive until you look at the limitations? What? When you signup for a no-contract budget-oriented service that is in beta, it would be wise to expect limitations. What company provides automatic transition from wifi-cell? What company provides texting over wifi?

       

      The idea that receiving smartphone service without a contract for such a low price should be met with the reasonable expectation that there would be some limitations.

       

      When I discovered Republic Wireless a year ago, I considered the beta status of the service and the startup status of the company and compared it to the ridiculously low price for smartphone service without a contract vs double the price I was paying for dumbphone service from an established company and I came to the conclusion that it was well worth the trouble. And I still do.  After reading the article, I have come to the conclusion that it's author didn't consider these things at all. He doesn't even understand that a phone needs to be activated and operational for it's wifi to work.

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    calliope 2 Bar

    As a wave O'er I can't wait to get my phone. I've been keeping an eye on the forums and tracking issues in hopes that when I do get my phone things will go fairly smoothly. I know that Sprint has half-way decent service in my area. I know that txts via wireless don't work, etc. I know that customer service is via the community. I understand that this company and the way it provides service are both in beta. I know what I'm getting into. Every time I read a comment or review like the one posted at http://the-gadgeteer.com/2012/10/25/republic-wireless-hybrid-calling-beta-review/comment-page-1/#comment-181695, I can't help but think that people don't bother to do their research or, reading that there are limitations, decide to ignore them and think every known and future feature will be available to them like magic. It takes some time poking around on the forums, but the details are available. Could they be more direct, yes, but the info is available.

     

    One thing that made me a little nervous when reading this weekly update was the thought that the single band Defy could become obsolete like RW is now stating that the Optimus will be. I am not the type of person who gets the latest and greatest new phone every 6 months. Heck, my current phone is older than many of my friends children. I do feel that RW is being pretty generous with their options to the folks who have the Optimus - free upgrades, money off the future upgrade and/or free service for a time, should satisfy most of the folks who have that phone and are enjoying their service. The only thing I would have liked to hear in the weekly update was the fate of the Defy. But that little piece of info didn't elude me for long. One click later I read that the Defy single and dual band will be supported indefinitely. Go here to read that little tidbit for yourselves.

     

    Thanks for the update RW!

    • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
      billmeek Ambassador

      The only difference between the Defy XT 557 and the 556 is the additional radio.  There's no reason to completely EOL (end of life) it out like the Optimus S.

       

       

      Republic Wireless may stop selling the single-band Defy XT, but it still should be supported.

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    kevinc.cmsr35 1 Bar

    My question to you guys would be that did they know ahead of the release of the single band phone that the coverage area would be so poor?  and if they did why they didn't just wait until the dual band was released to re-open the waves?  Just my two cents worth, for what it's worth

    • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
      billmeek Ambassador

      Republic Wireless didn't initially know the Defy XT 557 was a single band device.  The announced the problem awhile back and how they were going to address the issue:

       

      Roaming, Upgrades, Waves and Versions of the DEFY XT

       

      Rather than force everyone to wait on the certification and release of the dual-band model (556), they decided to give the user the option.  There are a considerable number of people (especially those coming from another Sprint MVNO) that are pleased with the single-band device and preferred to go ahead and get the it right away instead of waiting for the dual-band phone. 

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    1 Bar

    The plan is to send an email to everyone that didn’t use their initial invite once the dual-band is available. However I have not seen any communication on the plan to distribute the dual band phones. Is everyone going to be able to order at one time at the end of the year or will orders be taken in waves as before. I am in a later wave and if they are every two weeks this could stretch out months into next year. It seems RW must have a pretty good idea how this is going to work.

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    1 Bar

    Hey,

    I'm a "wave a-er", and really believe in what you are trying to do, but there are some things that are driving me nuts:

    1. The RW Twitter account is totally useless.  I've tweeted to that account with a couple of quick questions in the past, and never receive a reply.  I'm aware that you'd probably prefer that I e-mail support, but there should be a way for members to get near real-time responses to support needs, especially since you don't have a phone number for us to call.  Waiting 24+ hours for a response to an e-mail when your phone isn't working properly is simply unacceptable.
    2. The whole basis of RW is to provide smartphone service that is able to keep costs down by utilizing WiFi whenever possible.  I upgraded my Optimus to the Defy when it was offered to me.  Then, on my first call, I had the caller tell me there was an echo on the line.  I now know there is supposedly a software issue related to WiFi calling that will be addressed with an update in the future, but there is no news as to when this update is coming, or if it's included in the update you are talking about here.  I understand that you need to play your cards close to the vest in order to under commit and over deliver, but this is a pretty major issue that is keeping me from using the Defy on WiFi.
    3. While the maps posted indicate that I should be covered just fine by Sprint's service with the single band Defy (I'm in the Philadelphia area), I've found that since swapping from the Optimus, my phone is frequently displaying that I'm without service.
    4. While I think there's a lot of potential here, I've been using RW for nearly a year (I activated my Optimus on 06-Dec-2011), but the service still feels like a proof of concept, not even in the beta phase.  I'm getting beyond the point of accepting that the service is in its infancy, and growing to be annoyed with the service never really working as intended.  While I appreciate that you admit fault and try to make things right (the choices surrounding the upgrade to the Defy, for example), it's irritating that the fact that the Defy is single band wasn't discovered prior to release, or that the WiFi echo issue wasn't resolved in internal testing, or that transitioning calls between cellular and WiFi still isn't working.

    I honestly want RW to succeed.

     

    Regards,

    Mike

  • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
    christies 1 Bar

    I have two questions:

     

    1 - when the dual-band defy XT becomes available will it be available to everyone who waited immediately, or will we be going through the waves in order again?

     

    2 - My second question came up after I read the other responses to this update - is it true that you can only text over the cell network and you can't text over wifi?  The "how it works" page on the website implies that you can surf, text and call over wifi. 

    how it works | hybrid calling by republic wireless

    • Re: State of the republic (v. 1, issue 9)
      mchasal Ambassador

      christies wrote:

       

      I have two questions:

       

      1 - when the dual-band defy XT becomes available will it be available to everyone who waited immediately, or will we be going through the waves in order again?

       

      2 - My second question came up after I read the other responses to this update - is it true that you can only text over the cell network and you can't text over wifi?  The "how it works" page on the website implies that you can surf, text and call over wifi.

      how it works | hybrid calling by republic wireless

       

      1) Don't know, probably an accelerated wave rollout is my guess

      2) Currently true, but being worked on.