I was late to the mobile phone world. I didn’t buy my first cell phone until 2005. I got a Verizon plan and stayed with Verizon for the next nine years. Although Mr. Stapler has been on my case to switch to a less expensive provider for years, I was too nervous that a different provider would have less coverage for reception or more dropped calls. I felt like Verizon was reliable, so We ended up changing to republic wireless, so I wanted to give you a quick Republic Wireless review to share our experiences.
So, why change from Verizon to Republic Wireless?
In a word: coverage. When I thought about it, I realized that I only got cell phone reception in one place in our townhouse. And even that reception was bad.
When work changed locations, I got spotty reception there too.
About 90% of the phone calls I make are when I’m at home or at work, so if Verizon wasn’t cutting it in either of those locations, I couldn’t say that it was the most reliable coverage for me.
In fact, both work and home have excellent WiFi networks.
So, I put two and two together and got: Republic Wireless.
Yet, I was full of excuses. My mobile service contract wasn’t up yet. I was afraid I would have to go a day without a cell phone. I was worried that the reception would be bad. And on and on.
That’s when our landlord raised our rent by $75 a month and our internet bill went up $20 a month. We were on the hook for $95 more per month just to keep the services we already had. Coincidentally, switching both phones to Republic Wireless would save us $110 per month — enough to cover our added costs and save a little bit extra.
First, we switched Mr. Stapler’s service. He was thrilled with Republic Wireless’s phone and reported that service was just as good as Verizon when at work and home. Then my phone bit the dust, and I faced the option of buying a new phone to continue with Verizon or buying a new phone, switching to Republic Wireless, and paying Verizon an early termination fee for having 3 months left on my 2-year contract (for details on how Verizon calculates its early termination fee, check out their Service Agreement). Without Mr. Stapler sharing my Verizon plan, I would pay $100 a month to keep that service, which is 4 times more than what I would pay with Republic.
How Does Republic Wireless Work?
We wanted to do this Republic Wireless review is partly because they offer a limited choice of phones. The reason why Republic Wireless can keep its prices low is because it uses open WiFi networks for its voice and data reception. When there are no WiFi networks available, it uses the Sprint network. Customers have a choice of just two phones — Motorola Moto and Motorola Moto X — which they pay for up front. So, the initial cash layout is high — up to $330 with shipping and taxes — but you recoup savings each month, which will quickly pay off the price of the phone. And, according to my techy husband, the phone is awesome. For me, I can talk on it, use apps, and take great photos — that’s all I need in a phone 😉
How Much Can You Save By Switching?
Republic Wireless offers plans for as low as $5 per month for cell service. We opted for the $25/month plan, which provides unlimited 3G voice and data service.
We broke even with the up-front cost of the phone by our seventh month. Here’s how the numbers worked out for us:
|Early Termination Fee||$0||$50|
|UP FRONT COST||$330.62||$380.62|
|Old Plan Monthly Cost||$77.00||$77.00|
|New Plan Monthly Cost||$25.00||$25.00|
|Months to Break Even||6||8|
Summary of Our Republic Wireless Review:
The Phone: Mr. Stapler loved how the phone is much faster than the Samsung Galaxy S III that he replaced. His techy colleagues were jealous when he showed it off, and the voice quality is better. Me? I’ve dropped the phone 5 times, and it’s still fine. That’s a big plus right there!
The Reception: During a trip to an amusement park, we discovered that the Republic Wireless phone died mid-day because it was fruitlessly searching for a signal that it never found. My Verizon phone had reception the entire time. Lesson learned: it may not have reception 100% of the time, but we prefer getting good reception 99% of the time instead of terrible reception 90% of the time.
Was it a Pain to Switch?
No. Making the switch was easier than I thought. I took a deep breath and signed up online, purchasing the phone. Once the phone arrived and Mr. Stapler had some time to play with it, we ported his phone number. Porting his phone number automatically disconnected his service with Verizon Wireless, so I didn’t have to have an awkward break-up chat with their customer service representative. The hardest part was remembering our Verizon PIN but Republic’s site allowed us at least 4 tries to get it right.
My switch was just as easy. Especially because my current phone wasn’t even working.
If you’re curious about whether Republic Wireless could work for you, feel free to ask me any questions. When you’re ready to take the plunge, sign up through my affiliate link and you can get a $20 credit on your first months’ bill.
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