January 9, 2016 by Scott Howard
About 6 weeks ago, I cut our family phone bill by upgrading and switching companies. Since I have been mentioning this to some friends and family, I thought it would be worth sharing with you too.
I receive NOTHING from writing and sharing this in any compensation. But when you discover something that works and could help others, sometimes you feel compelled to share.
If you want to skip ahead and go where I went, go here. Here’s the story…
In October 2012, I started a series I called Monday Money which was a series of stories that began with how my wife and I were saving $2500 a year with a few changes. A big change was dropping our Verizon 2 year contract and going with a prepaid monthly plan.
I was able to go from spending over $167 a month down to $91 a month back in 2012.
Jump ahead to November 2015 and we were paying just under $100 a month for service on one old smart phone and one old dumb phone. I wasn’t thrilled with the phone I was using but I was also stubbornly not going to spend a bunch of money and go back to what I was paying before.
Enter my son-in-law Brandon. Thanksgiving weekend he shared on Facebook:
I have sinned. I bought a fancy piece of electronic hardware on “black friday”.
For the first time ever I will have a smart phone… It is replacing my dumb phone that was on a prepaid plan that had only 250 minutes but only cost me $15 per month.
I can hear you now, “How could he be so wasteful with his hard earned money? What a foolish sucka consumer he is!!” Well that would be the case, if I had not just bought a smartphone from republic wireless, which will give me unlimited minutes and wifi data for just over $10 per month. Take that cell phone companies!
This prompted me to talk with him and my daughter Rachael and I learned that Rachael had been using Republic Wireless for a year without any issues. I did my own investigation and a couple days later ordered new phones for myself and Kathy.
I bought the Moto X (like my daughter has) and bought the Moto E for Kathy (same as what Brandon was buying for himself.
Two new smart phones for $428 plus tax & shipping was free. The plans I signed us up for for the first month were a total of $65 (an immediate $30 savings).
Before our next phone bill was due, I lowered the amount of data and our next bill was only $45, less than half what it was before the switch.
Republic Wireless also has an automatic refund plan on unused data. So I really didn’t pay $65 and $45 for the first two months. Instead I paid $65 and $14 due to the credit refund for the unused data from the first month!
The Republic Wireless plans are so inexpensive because the default is for the phone to use the wifi instead of cell data. My first month I signed us up for a total of 3 gigs of data, the 2nd month I cut that in half.
Certainly there are some draw backs right?
Here’s some of the pros and cons my wife and I have discovered:
Con: Her phone, the Moto E has a design flaw or needs a software fix to take care of voice quality. Their is a microphone on the back of the phone that I ended up covering up with a small piece of electrical tape which solved the problem. Weird, I know but that leads me to…
Pro: The Republic Wireless Support. There is an online community forum that has some of the best support available. That’s how I finally decided to stick the tape of her phone, as it was suggested by others until a software update is available.
Con/Pro: There are very few retail stores. Everything is online. I am fine with that. Beats waiting in line at a store. Besides I have become more of an Amazon Shopper in the past few years.
Pro: My phone the Moto X (2nd Gen) is still on sale as I write this. Retail price is $399, on sale for $249.
Con: My wife’s phone the Moto E (2nd Gen). I would not recommend due to the design or software issue I mentioned. The mid-priced Moto-G at $199 might be a better choice but do your own research.
A side note is that before the tape fix for Kathy’s phone, I added an app that force her phone to always use cell service and not wi-fi when making phone calls. I still have that app running on her phone.
That’s our experience and perhaps you could benefit too by switching to Republic Wireless?
Do your own research and weigh the pros and cons for you and your family.
Here’s some additional info: http://republic-wireless.wikia.com/wiki/The_Complete_List_of_Caveats