Republic Wireless

For seniors who need a reliable phone and wireless plan, Republic Wireless offers an excellent alternative to the Big Four wireless carriers.

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7.9
Grand Score
8
User Score
7.9
Grand Score
8
User Score
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When seniors retire, they are often on a fixed income, and expensive cellphone plans are not in the budget. In today’s world, it’s difficult to stay connected without a cellphone, and most seniors want to stay connected. Younger seniors want to stay in touch with family and friends while they are on the go. Older seniors like having a reliable device in the event they need help. 

A less expensive way to get a cellphone and service is to purchase a pre-paid phone or use alow-cost monthly service. There are many companies that offer this option. Republic Wireless is one of them.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 10/10
Warranty 10/10
Ease 8/10
Cancellation 10/10
Customer support 7/10
Equipment cost 10/10
International calls 4/10
Music 7/10
Video 7/10
Coverage 5/10
Cost
What is the monthly fee?
Unlimited talk and text is $15/month. High speed data is $5/GB
Warranty
How easy is it to return?
All phones are warrantied against defects for one year
Ease
Is the product easy to use?
Yes, and all of the phones are very easy to use
Cancellation
Can I cancel my plan?
The company offers a 14-day money-back guarantee
Customer support
Ease of access
The primary access is to request help online
Equipment cost
How much are the phones?
Phones range in price from $99 to $700
International calls
Can I make international calls?
No, Republic does not support international cell calls
Music
Can I get music with my plan?
Yes, if you have a compatible phone and a plan with data
Video
Can I stream videos?
Yes, if you havea compatible phone and a data plan
Coverage
Is coverage nationwide?
The 4G LTE and 3G coverage is mostly in the east and Midwest
Age Score:
10
50-65 Years
10
65-75 Years
6
75-85 Years
4
85-Above

Cellphones are a part of normal everyday life now. It’s hard to get away without one. This is also true for seniors. Younger seniors will find these phones easy to use. Seniors who are younger will appreciate the ease of using Republic Wireless phones. The simplest phones are for talk and text, while the smartphones enable use of the internet. The plans are no-nonsense and give you what you need. 

For older seniors who may have developed vision problems, however, phone screens are small and will be difficult to see. The phones are not hearing aid compliant, which could cause problems for someone who has hearing deficits and is using hearing aids. 

Health Score:
10
Great Health
10
Good Health
8
Fair Health
6
Poor Health

Younger seniors who are in great health will find the phones sold by Republic to be easy to operate and easy to carry around for use while they are on the go. All phones sold by Republic use touch for operation; there are no flip phones with standard buttons. This is a great benefit for anyone, but especially for seniors who may have arthritis. 

For seniors whose eyesight is failing, the phones may be difficult to read. The screens are small and do not have the ability to increase the size of the text. As a senior’s health deteriorates, they may still want to have a phone around for making connections, but may need assistance with dialing or texting.

Pros:

  • Inexpensive plan for talk and text.
  • 14-day money-back guarantee.
  • No contracts or hidden fees. 
  • You can have up to six phones on each account. 
  • You can connect your previous phone (as long as it’s an Android).

Cons:

  • This is not a prepaid plan. You must pay monthly.
  • If you use a loan to pay for the phone, the interest rate is over 10%.
  • All purchases are done online; the service and phones are not sold in a retail store.
  • No international calling is offered with these phones.
  • No phone protection plan is offered.

Bottom Line:

Republic Wireless is a relatively new company that has found a successful niche in the wireless business. By configuring phones to default to wi-fi, the company put wi-fi on the map. However, if you live in an area where wi-fi is limited, cellular becomes the primary connection. If you use data, this will drive up your bill significantly, however, this shouldn’t be a factor if you stick with unlimited talk and text. 

The company receives excellent reviews by many in the industry. Its business model has enabled the company to offer great service at a low price. The Better Business Bureau also gives Republic Wireless excellent marks for its response to customers who file a complaint. 

The only drawback with this company is that when you have an issue, it’s difficult to speak to a human. There are great options on the website for contact, but the phone is not one of them. All in all, this is a great option for seniors who are on a fixed income and need to stay connected. At $15/month for unlimited talk and text, it’s a great bargain.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the coverage area of service?

Republic Wireless’s website states that it offers nationwide coverage, but that depends on where you live. There are large areas in the high Plains that have talk and text coverage only. In the West, there is spotty 3G and 4G LTE coverage.

Does the company offer a payment plan on devices? 

Yes, Republic has partnered with Affirm so that customers can apply for a loan to pay for their phones monthly. However, you must be credit worthy to be accepted. If you are, the interest rate is over 10%.

What is the process for refilling my account?

If you want the talk and text plan, it is unlimited, so you don’t need to refill the phone.  If you purchased a plan with data but find you are running out, you can purchase more through the phone.

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: Republic Wireless offers a plan called My Choice, which allows you to choose unlimited talk and text for $15/month. If you purchase a compatible phone, you can get data on the plan at $20 for 1 GB. Additional GB can be purchased through your phone.

Package Details: The company offers a large variety of Android phones by Samsung, Motorola and Alcatel. They range in price from $99 to $700.

Other Services: In 2018, Republic Wireless will begin selling Relay, a smart walkie talkie that is perfect for kids, as well as adventurers and seniors. 

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: Republic Wireless plans do not require a contract. However, the plans are not prepaid. You must pay monthly for the service. If you purchase a plan including data, you can purchase additional GB of data through the phone. 

Warranty:  If you are unhappy with the phone or service, you can return it within the first 14 days for a complete refund. 

Accreditations: The company was given rave reviews when it stepped into the market. ZDNet said its offerings were “fantastic,” including its Moto X phone. Laptop Magazine gave the company the Editor’s Choice Award, and cited it “one of the best bargains in wireless.” In 2013, Lifehacker announced that Republic had been voted the Most Popular Pre-paid/MVNO Carrier. Finally, the main office in Raleigh has a rating of A+ with the Better Business Bureau. It has also been accredited by the BBB. 

Company Details: Republic Wireless was founded in 2010 as a subsidiary of Bandwidth.com. It is a very small company based in Raleigh, North Carolina. The service provided by this company defaults to wi-fi, but when there is no wi-fi available, the phones use Sprint and T-Mobile’s wireless networks. Republic is considered one of many mobile virtual network operators (MVNO), because it leases bandwidth from major carriers. 

Many industry experts were very excited when Republic began disrupting the wireless market. The company has been recognized by many as a great deal that offers customers a way to use a cellphone without breaking the bank. Recently, Republic announced Relay, a screenless unit that allows families to give their kids space without them feeling tethered. The unit behaves like a walkie-talkie, but also allows parents to know where their kids are, while the kids can have fun with Google Assistant. 

Contact:

Republic Wireless, Inc.
900 Main Campus Dr., Ste. 500
Raleigh, NC 27606-5216
Tel: 919-825-1911
Website: https://republicwireless.com/

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

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