Written by Mr. Crumbs.
What if I told you, that you could get your cell phone bill down to $14.78 each month – with unlimited talk & text + a generous data allowance?
Not to mention, you’d have access to all the data you’d want, and you’d get reimbursed for the data that you didn’t use?
Reimbursed for data? Yup.
Sounds too good to be true?
Last month, we posted a review on Republic Wireless. After being long time Verizon customers, we finally made the switch to a different carrier because we were flat out tired of the too-good-to-be-true deals and 2 year contracts.
To make a long story short, the straw that broke the camel’s back was the $0.99 cent iPhone deal that ended up really being $185 because of all the taxes and fees Verizon wanted to tack on. 99¢ for the new phone + $45 in sales tax+ $30 to transfer phones (x2) + $40 to activate (x2)
But before we cut ties with Verizon and signed up with Republic Wireless, we crunched numbers and did the math to see if switching saved us any money.
Because what’s the point of switching if it ended up costing us more?
So here are the numbers we came up with, laid out for you too, in case you’ve been curious about Republic Wireless and wondering if switching would save you anything too.
Comparing the Plans (and getting a Moto X)
The above figures are a comparison of our new plan (left) to our old plan (right).
You can see the type of phone, limits on minutes and texting as well as data – for both myself and Tiffany – and this is the plan we’ve been using for the past 9 years (except for data, which was added just last year).
Right off the bat, you can see that by switching to Republic, we got more for our money and weren’t signed into a contract. As for the numbers, we’re now saving $70 every month.
This means we will save $840 over the course of 12 months, and $1,680 over the course of a typical 2-year contract.
Now when we originally made the switch, Verizon was all into contracts.
But we recently had a reader comment on our Facebook page that Verizon changed their plan structure and eliminated the 2 year contract and added more flexible packages (because people don’t like contracts). The new plan they offer is called the Verizon Plan.
Considering this new plan structure and buying the phones outright (since Verizon eliminated the subsidizing of phones), here’s what you’ll see if you went to each respective website and bought the same exact phone (Moto X):
Comparing the Costs
Start up costs: Verizon costs over $400 more.
Please keep in mind, that Republic Wireless offers a much cheaper phone for $129 and certified pre-owned phones for as low as $69.
Monthly costs: Verizon is $35 more per month.
Verizon shares the 1GB of data between phones. With Republic Wireless, each phone gets 1/2 GB for a total of 1 GB.
Long term costs: Over a 24 month period, Verizon is still $1,240 more expensive, with their newer, more competitive plan.
But wait, it gets better.
Republic REFUNDS you for data you don’t use, which means that your monthly savings could be that much greater.
In their research, Republic Wireless found that the average phone bill is only $14.82 when unused data is refunded. This now bumps up the savings over Verizon to $1360 over a typical 2-year contract period.
Update: I just found out that Republic Wireless offers an INCREDIBLE discount to teachers! Half off wireless plans AND half off data. This is in addition to the incredible prices I already shared.
What if you go over your data?
According to Verizon, “If you go over your data allowance at all, you’ll be charged the $15 overage rate at a minimum.”
According to Republic, you can’t go over. Once you reach your data limit, you can buy more data or simply wait till your next billing cycle.
So you’re paying for what you use, and not paying for what you don’t. Seriously, does it get any better than that?
In my opinion, Verizon and most other large carriers are like an ATM with fees attached for every single transaction. With Republic it’s straight and to the point. We like that.
Don’t like it? Send it back.
Yep. And that’s really what separates Republic Wireless from the pack. If you invest $600 into a few new phones and don’t like them, get your money back with the 30 day money back guarantee.
Good luck getting the same in return with the other companies.
Note: We did not price compare ATT for this review, but we’d assume that their prices are in line with Verizon, based on past experience.
Update, 2 Months Later…
I’m now a full two months into Republic Wireless and Tiffany is at the 30 day mark. We’ve had quite a few inquiries on how we like it so far and just like all products and services we recommend, we’re going to give you the good and the bad.
We love Republic, but there are two drawbacks we’d like to point out so that you can make an informed decision.
(1) If you don’t require a lot of data and are comfortable using wifi, this is a great service.
If you operate in an area without wifi and require a lot of data, this plan may not be for you.
(2) For those worried about security over wifi, you have several options:
- Turn off wifi so you’re on cell service
- If you’re browsing the web, make sure the site is https (note the ‘s’ which stands for ‘secure’)
- Simply don’t use wifi
We’re comfortable using open wifi for anything non-sensitive, which is 99% of what we use the wifi on our phones for, but if this is a concern of yours, we recommend to contact Republic Wireless directly so they can discuss it with you.
No Service is Perfect
If you do make the switch to Republic Wireless, please be aware that they do occasionally have kinks that need to be worked out – especially since this is new, hybrid technology. In our opinion, this should be expected from a growing, smaller company (and we love that they put this in their mission statement).
So far, the only negative experience I had was a 1-2 day window where I wasn’t receiving every phone call live; instead, they were rolling to voicemail. During that same time frame a notification appeared on my phone that said I needed to update the Republic App. As soon as I updated the software, the problem was resolved.
The Bottom Line
If you’re starting from scratch, you save right off the bat by choosing Republic Wireless from the start. Then you continue to save every month.
If you’re grandfathered into Verizon’s old plans and already have a phone, it would take anywhere from 3-6 months to break even from the switch (it all depends on what your service was and the phone you choose). Once you hit the break even point though, you’re saving a minimum of 50% every month.
For us, this made the switch worth it. We love Republic (and the lower phone bill!) and haven’t looked back since the switch!
You have intrigued me! I have StraightTalk and have had it since I had to get my own phone at 18. I do wonder if I could use enough wifi to stay within the limit. I would hate to run out of data when I really “need” it.
Hi, Sounds great except for those of us that Verizon seems to control the towers. Someone scratching someones back like all big business. I’m a poor widow. I have a cell because my son pays for it. But its almost 200 for two phones unlimited a month. We call and scream and nothing changes. It’s like 169. and we can’t afford it. But we can’t afford not to have a phone. We live in a small rural town and if I thought your recommendation would get service here I would go buy the plan out of my ss money. But no one seems to be able to cut into Verizon and their ownership of towers. I can’t get a landline phone that isn’t VOIP either. It’s bad when the world takes all the poor mans money just to stay connected for work, parents, emergen, and everything depends on cash for technology.
Why isn’t there some regulations so there is more competitors that can run along with the big dogs? There is no internet for poor except the local library. And now the need for a phone would kill the inventor to see that mim wage people who choice is to work and not get a hand out can’t afford car insurance so they take a bus, and can’t afford phones because they live in small towns. It’s all wrong. I wish a competitor would allow us to take a used phone out for 48 hours to see if it worked in the area we lived in. They could steal customers from the giant then.
I use Total wireless (it’s in Walmart). I got a new smartphone of theirs for $40. Its an LG. They have a $25 plan but you cant send or receive pics without data which is $10 more (for 2G). But then, you’ll also have internet. I tried the talk n txt only ($25) for a month but decided I needed the pics ability so pay $35 a month now. I even occasionally use the internet but would much prefer a data plan on my tablet as phns are just too small. Still Im saving $10 a month compared to reliable carriers prepaid services. And the phn is rly nice and was about free compared to most smartphns. I can not imagine paying enough to get a cheap laptop for a *cellphn*.
Total’s service worried me before I got it but its been fine, even far out from the cities, which I am usually.
I’ll try Republic once they get the kinks worked out in a yr or so 🙂 Cuz Im all about supercheap!
This is a great article! We have RW and have had if for a few years before the moto x’s even came out! What I really want to know though, is where that super cute chevron phone case is from? I’d love to put it on my phone 🙂
Thanks Emily! Glad you love RW too! I got my case off Amazon: http://amzn.to/1P9qS8H 🙂
Seems like the comments from other RW users are overwhelmingly positive, which I find surprising. I’ve had Republic for over a year, and I am not impressed. My phone drops calls incessantly. The past couple of days, I haven’t been able to receive or make calls AT ALL. Texts are hit and miss; at least half the time I receive a message telling me the text “was not sent”. Also, the touch screen can be rather finicky – sometimes it “jumps” and I “pin” something to the wrong folder in Pinterest, for example. When my phone DOES actually work to make calls, often the connection is poor and I can’t hear the other person or they can’t hear me. It has been my experience with RW that . . .you get what you pay for. 🙂 And for me at least, not in a good way. I’d gladly pay more to have a reliable phone!!!
Do you have the latest software Lori? Whenever we’ve had an issue like that, the latest update fixes it. Or have you contacted Republic about it? They have excellent customer service and have always taken care of any issues we’ve run into!
Do you know if Republic Wireless has good coverage? I am through Verizon prepaid and I like it a fair amount but I am paying forty-five dollars a month for unlimited call and text and 5mg on data. The said thing is that where i live I don’t always have signal which really sucks if I can’t make calls inside my house. I tried to find if I was covered where I live but couldn’t find anything on the site.
Here’s a coverage map for RW! https://dontwastethecrumbs.com/rwcoverage – hope that helps!
I’ve been on republic Wireless for a little over a year. Cellular service with Sprint itself has limitations compared to other carriers particularly Verizon. I have had compared to Verizon many more dropped calls, more serious call quality problems, and more brown out areas. Have also had problems with incoming texts being split as well as many voicemails not being delivered when the phone is off. if you are out and about on the cellular data network the phone has an annoying habit of switching to what it Thanks are open Wi-Fi but in fact are not and consequently interrupt data to ask you to login on the network you can’t login on. The original data plans separated by speed with five gigabytes were excellent deals compared to their peers at the time. As of 2015 however the usefulness of their service is improved only by the addition of and inexpensive 4G phone but significantly reduced compared to their peers by the mediocre data offerings. If you are user who only occasionally needs data, have quality home and work internet access , and you do not mind the limitations in their phones then it is a good option. There are other options though through other MVNO’s on both Verizon and AT&T networks. On the Verizon network I have had excellent service with page Plus Cellular- – if you are a very low volume user, 5 hours a year, you can obtain service tax cluded for under $ 35 year with 120-day refill cards. Page plus also offers regular cellular plans on Verizon at competitive rates compared to Republic. You can shuttle between the various offerings to obtain the least cost if you want to work at it. If you are are person still using a flip phone be aware that it’s likely to have a much longer standby than a smartphone. personally I am a bit frustrated at spending 300 some dollars on the phone that is locked into a carrier and then have them radically restructure their data plan cost. In addition there are no savings to be had with multiple phones on a single plan semicolon this is where most carriers including discount carriers have started to make significant cost savings in the last year. So if you have to or more two or more lines you are considering purchasing and you’re going to use more than one gigabyte of data each then you can find better deals elsewhere especially on more reliable networks.
Everything C wrote is true – Republic’s cellphone/text service has the occasional glitches, and the new monthly service plans are not as good as the older grandfathered plans if you typically use over 1 GB of cell data a month.
We are on the grandfathered plans since we got onto Republic 2 years ago. Even back then, when crunching the numbers I figured our breakeven point where we would start saving overall (given the high initial upfront $300 cost of the Moto-X, which was Republic’s only “acceptable” smartphone at the time) over our then Virgin Mobile service was about 8 months.
So I figured we were really only taking a risk for 8 months, should Republic tank and go out of business before then, or we didn’t like the service and had to switch back to some other carrier. Well, that 8-month breakeven point occurred some 14 months ago so we’ve been enjoying net ~$100/month savings since then for the last 14 months so I’m happy.
I figured that if the cellular market switches to make Republic less a continuing clear competitive choice, then we can always switch again. Whoever authored and sponsored the past legislation that made phone numbers “portable” really established the key to true competition in the cellular marketplace. Just think if you had to get a new phone number every time you changed cell carriers? You would probably almost never change and be locked in for life. We really should recognize and applaud those legislators who stuck out for phone number portability and resisted what surely must have been intense lobbying efforts by the big cell carriers!
Tiffany @ Dontwastethecrumbs
Yup, we mentioned our one glitch, but it was by no means a deal breaker. I think they are going to do well as a company long term, and provide better service as they grow.
The best part is that I think RW is putting a lot of pressure on the cellular market to rethink their dinosaur strategy and actually get serious about offering plans that aren’t bait/switch and price gouging.