Making the Switch from Verizon to Republic Wireless

I wanted to post a review of Republic Wireless, as I recently made the switch to them from Verizon. In light of a recent phone call, though, I’d like to bring attention to the way Verizon handled the switch first. This is so other people hopefully don’t have to go through what I did.

Verizon and all the other big wigs in the cell phone industry are known for their bad customer service. This is where, ideally, up-and-coming providers fill the gap. They’re growing, and the disgruntled customers are seeking refuge there.

I was paying around $92 a month for unlimited data and texting, as well as 400 minutes. That was with a discount, mind you. We’re all money conscious here, and the first thing that many of us try to do is slash cable and cell phone bills.

One of my goals this year was to rid myself of that $92 monthly payment. Yes, Verizon has amazing coverage for the most part, and that’s about all I enjoyed from them. I had issues when I first got my phone as well, so there’s not much of a happy history between us. Thankfully, my contract had been up with them, so I didn’t have to worry about any cancellation fees.

Making the switch

Verizon Many people around the PF world have been switching to Republic Wireless, and after a coworker signed up with them and had good things to say, I decided to make the jump. I ordered my Moto X at the end of December and it arrived (very fast) a few days later.

I began the process of attempting to port my number out. I did an extensive Google search on the process, as I know Ashley had a bit of trouble when she went through it. You need a PIN #, and I certainly didn’t remember creating one. Some people said it was the last four of your social, others said it was the zip, needless to say, nothing worked.

I ended up having to call Verizon (the specific number listed on their website for porting was also incorrect, by the way, I had to be transferred), explained the situation, and was able to create a PIN #. I entered that into RW’s site and the porting process finally began.

The aftermath

After the process was completed, I called Verizon as I had lost my login privileges to their website. Understandably, now that my phone number is with a different provider, they didn’t recognize it anymore. I wanted to sort out how the payment would play out.

I ported my number in the middle of my billing cycle, and I assumed I would get a credit as I wouldn’t be able to use my Verizon phone after porting my number. I also wanted to make sure that I received a paper statement since I could no longer access my account online.

I explained what I had gone through to the lady that answered the phone. I wanted to know how much I would be charged, if I would get a credit, and how exactly this worked.

She said since I switched during the middle of my billing cycle, that I would probably be charged at least half, but to expect around a $40 credit to my account when my next bill arrived. She stated that she wouldn’t be able to tell me exactly how much I would receive as that was a separate department. She also switched me to paper billing. Everything seemed to be taken care of.

The not-so-happy ending

Lo and behold, my Verizon bill arrived, and I had also seen that they charged me the entire amount of $92 for January. I was extremely disappointed, as I essentially paid for two phones last month when I only really used the one.

Life got in the way, and in general, I really didn’t want to call Verizon and have to deal with them again, so I put it off. I became semi-hopeful that maybe they would just credit me after things got sorted out on their end. However, today was the day that my auto-payment was supposed to go through, and I was paranoid that they would charge me yet again when I clearly didn’t have any service with them. After getting billed in full, I couldn’t trust what could happen.

So I made the call, sat in the queue for about 15 minutes, and finally someone answered. He had a look through the account and had no idea what I was talking about. I was put on hold for another 7 minutes while he looked around, and he came back with bad news.

There’s no credit due to me, Verizon doesn’t work like that. They charge you through your entire billing cycle, and they expect you to to get the most use out of your phone before you port your number.

He claimed they always tell people to port during the last few days of their billing cycle, so they don’t lose out. Obviously, not all of their representatives tell people this! They had two opportunities to make me aware of this – the first time when I called about the PIN #, and the second time when I called about the possibility of a credit. Unbelievable. No wait, sadly it is believable, and this is the reason they lose so many customers.

He also informed me that the service is good until the end of your billing cycle, which is why they encourage people not to cancel before then. The lady I originally spoke with told me my service would likely be disconnected two days after the port was complete. There was some serious contradicting information going around.

So you’re telling me I was completely misinformed and misled, and there’s nothing you can do about it? Yep. Lovely. So thanks to one person who apparently had no idea what they were talking about, I wasted my time and my money.

I wanted to make as many people aware of this as possible, in case you find yourself in a similar situation. As I said, I know many of you are contemplating a move, so if you’re on Verizon (or probably any other big name service), don’t switch until the end! I will be back next week with a review of Republic Wireless, as well as the Moto X.

Has anyone else experience horrendous customer service? Tell me your stories!

Photo Credit: Eric Hauser

About Erin M.

Erin is a personal finance freelance blogger who enjoys talking about frugality, debt and saving for the future. While she's passionate about helping other millennials get their finances in order, she also loves reading, walking and spending time with family (and her cats).
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25 Responses to Making the Switch from Verizon to Republic Wireless

  1. Ashley says:

    UGH! I’m so sorry that you went through that. I was on my dad’s plan so I honestly don’t know what happened in the aftermath of my porting extravaganza. Now I guess I know that I was probably charged for the whole month, too.

    I HATE that they can just do that- they can just say “oh, well that’s how it works” and it’s impossible for us little guys to fight it! So dumb.

    At least you’re spreading the knowledge and now maybe good karma will come back to you and you’ll find $40 laying on the ground somewhere, haha :)
    Ashley recently posted: Not Worth ItMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      The last time I switched services, I was on my ex’s plan, so I didn’t have any idea about it either. What happened to the customer being right, and at least trying to be helpful? Hell, at that point I would have been happy with like a $10 credit just to show some effort to rectify their mistake.

      Good karma would be nice, but I really hope others don’t make the same mistake.

  2. Man just reading that infuriates me! It would be one thing if you had switched and when you called them they straight up told you they would charge you the full billing, but that lady told you differently. I’d be incredibly pissed! I’m sorry. :(
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted: The Real LA WomanMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Believe me, I was pretty upset! I try to be civil on the phone, but they offered absolutely nothing to me, and I let them know I was extremely unhappy. It’s not my fault I was told something differently!

  3. Sorry to hear you had such bad customer service and that you wasted time and money due to their incompetence. Good to know for the future. I had no idea they wouldn’t credit you if you canceled in the middle of the billing cycle. That’s really unfair.
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted: Are You (Financially) Better Off Than Your Parents?My Profile

    • E.M. says:

      I’m glad to have enlightened you at least! I mean, when my parents moved in the beginning of July, they got reimbursed. It’s only normal to think if you’re no longer using the service, you would get a credit for it.

  4. I know this as well. I have moved around a few times, so I know that when you go in the middle of your billing cycle, you don’t get the rest back. You are charged for the rest of the month and then the next month there will be no bill. Verizon doesn’t like credits and it says it somewhere in their terms, but I just don’t want to go through all of it.

    Sorry for the sting that Big Red gave. I know it sucks!
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted: 4 Financial Habits To Know About Your Significant OtherMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      I’ve never done any of the canceling before, as I was on someone else’s plan last time we ported out, so I wasn’t aware of this. If not giving credits is in their TOS, that representative shouldn’t have mentioned anything about it! At least I know in case there’s ever a next time.

  5. I had something similar when I switched from one big provider to the other. When I ported the number, my bill didn’t cut off. I wasn’t very happy about that. And they couldn’t/wouldn’t do anything about it. Thankfully it was my last time dealing with them, but it just confirmed my decision that I had enough of them.
    Alicia @ Financial Diffraction recently posted: Dining Out, Responsibly.My Profile

  6. Yikes! I’m switching from Verizon to Republic Wireless in September (when my contract is up). I’m hoping making the break as my contract expires will save me some of the headache associated with switching services. I’m fully expecting some pressure from Verizon to renew though…
    Erin @ My Alternate Life recently posted: 21 Common Job Interview QuestionsMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      Porting your number essentially cancels your service with Verizon. I actually didn’t receive any pressure to renew (I guess they figured it was a done deal already), which was surprising. When I called the porting department for the PIN # they didn’t question anything.

  7. That’s absolutely terrible. When I was with Sprint I had a situation where I brought my phone in to the service center and the memory card was corrupt. I didn’t have it under warranty so they said I was out of luck. I went to the guy who sold the phone to me at the mall, explained the situation and 10 seconds later he had a 1GB card, no questions asked. It’s crazy how service varies depending on WHO you talk to at these phone companies.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted: Stock Analysis Tool Using Google Spreadsheets [Free Download]My Profile

    • E.M. says:

      It really is crazy, and frustrating. I like consistency! Not knowing what to expect from a company is a pretty good indicator they need to change something. I was honestly a little tempted to call back and see if I could speak with someone else, but I had had enough of being on hold.

  8. This happened when my husband made the switch as well. He got two different answers from verizon customer service regarding his last bill. It was frustrating and we are just happy we are done with them!
    Raquel@Practical Cents recently posted: A Backhoe Saved our Backs!My Profile

    • E.M. says:

      It’s really unacceptable, and this makes it even more difficult to believe their claims that they properly inform everyone as to what will happen.

  9. Michele says:

    I just made the switch to Republic Wireless and ironically posted about it today. I too have been kicked out of my online profile. I had already decided to go into the store to finalize things but now I will have to. I think that it’s pretty lame. Ironically, the only issues I had with Verizon were the contracts, and the monthly cost. I was always treated well in store (the associates are pretty chilled out). Oh well. I will be laughing all the way to the bank.

    • E.M. says:

      I only went to the store when I had to buy my phone. There was a big mix-up, starting with the fact I was on my ex’s plan, and they needed his permission for me to get off his plan and on my own. Then we had to put it in my mom’s name to get her discount, which took them almost two hours to figure out. It was horrible! I agree though, the monthly cost and having to be locked into the contract were not for me any more.

  10. Ugh, I freaking hate Verizon. Thanks for sharing your story and tips. Thankfully I’m still on a family plan and don’t have to worry about the costs, but based on how and what I use my phone for, I think I’ll definitely be going to Republic when I switch. It sounds just like them to try to screw you out of your money. They are literally the worst. One good thing I will say is that we have an authorized verizon dealer by our house, and since they work on commission, they are more helpful than the average VW employee.
    Ryan @ Impersonal Finance recently posted: you vs. the economyMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      My aunt and uncle recently upgraded to smartphones on Verizon. They claimed they were okay with $60 for each of them. To each their own I guess! While it’s still cheaper than what I was paying, I’m much happier spending $30 a month.

      Hm, maybe I should have taken a trip to the store instead of calling them up.

  11. I hate cell phone companies. I’ve had bad experiences with both Verizon and At&t at various times since I’ve been a cell phone user. I’ve been thinking about switching to a carrier like Republic. It’s ridiculous how much money I spend on cell phones each month (I pay for a family plan for my mom and grandma). I think even after buying the Republic phones I’ll still save in the long run. How’s the service?
    KK @ Student Debt Survivor recently posted: Cancun on a Budget-Westin Resort & SpaMy Profile

    • E.M. says:

      It’s not that bad. From what I hear, it’s heavily dependent on how well Sprint works in your area. Normally, Sprint pretty much sucks here, which is why I was really hesitant to switch. The 3G speeds are comparable to Verizon, but calls aren’t as clear. I’ll be posting my review next week!

  12. Pingback: Republic Wireless Review | Journey to Saving

  13. Leann says:

    Hi Erin,
    I am in the same situation as you were with my long time Verizon contract up, & running on Month to Month. I decided to give Republic a try (what do you really have to lose??) but after porting my number (which I had no trouble with) I am unable to log into Verizon’s site to be sure my account has been cancelled. And of course, as customer-(dis) service goes, there are NO HUMANS EVER TO ANSWER!!! Sorry for the brief outburst!
    So far so goo, Love my Moto-X, have had no problems with connectivity and when I get my Republic bill, it makes me do a Happy dance!
    The best form of Marketing is word of mouth and I have done just that. So take that Too big for your Britches Verizon, if I get stuck with a $92.00 bill (which it sounds like I will as I switched the 8th of this Month) I guess I’ll consider it a lesson learned and more fuel for my Anti-Verizon Marketing campaign.

    • Erin M. says:

      Awesome Leann, I’m so glad you’re having a good experience with Republic Wireless! I had a difficult time with Verizon during the transition as well; I actually wrote a separate “review” on their customer service when I left. Unfortunately, you might get billed for the full amount as I did, but at least you can say good riddance after that! I’m very happy that I no longer have to deal with them, or a $92/month payment.

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