Republic Wireless: The mighty have fallen

Disclaimer: they’re not completely bad - I’ve got one friend who still has good service from Republic Wireless on her original plan (and different phone).

Republic Wireless (RW) was purchased by Dish last year. A warning sign is that they are phasing out the “Community support” message boards for new customers. It’s a strange business model: only Dish customers can get decent prices on plans, otherwise new customers end up paying double. For now, they’ve fortunately grandfathered existing non-Dish plans at existing prices. And what kind of wireless cellular service must be packaged with an unrelated industry: why not the “Cell phone and gym memberships” company?

At some point this year, certain RW plans flaked out or stopped working. One friend had problems receiving calls and voicemails from certain carriers. We tried the suggested reset procedure but no joy. Finally she couldn’t receive calls, voicemails, or text from anyone. I noticed the raft of recent similar complaints about RW on the BBB site so we ported her number to a new carrier. It just seems like someone at Dish/RW should have known that those plans on that carrier were going to disappear and do what needs to be done to get on a supported plan. Her phone supports both GSM and LTE, so a new SIM should have worked for her. A further search shows that Sprint shut down its LTE service (What, why?!!) on 6/30/2022, possibly that was the underlying service.

Further research: it seems that T-Mobile is the bad guy here by shutting down Sprint’s LTE service with too short notice to allow Dish/Republic Wireless to migrate 9 million customers. And in fairness to RW, my friend would probably never read an Email from RW that says “Mumble mumble take this action by X date to keep your account working”. I don’t know if they tried to migrate her earlier.

I’ve been with RW for about 6 years, and have loved it. I dread the changeover, since people have had trouble with it. I’m still on the old My Choice plan, with no problems.
I’m scoping out other carriers, just in case…

And I hear that Mint is looking for a buyer, so that could change for people who went over to Mint (no roaming, so I’m not sure I want Mint).