Republic Wireless has recently announced a new feature to its service that will allow users to get a refund for unused monthly data starting May 18th. The feature dubbed “Maestro” is part of the Republic Labs in which it has recruited users of the service to help test out innovative mobile phone plan ideas that help to improve customer experience while keeping costs low.
As shown in the video above, the concept of “breakage” is mentioned as the amount of data which cell phone users leave unused at the end of each month that are lost even though they paid for it. Of course, this isn’t exactly fair since you should be able to keep what you pay for, right?
Unfortunately this practice of “breakage” is all too common in the cell phone industry as it helps the big cell phone providers to use your overpayment of data to subsidize the costs of other heavy data users.
We have recently seen T-Mobile disrupt this practice by coming out with a rollover data plan called Data Stash which allows one to carryover any unused data from month to month, similar to how rollover minutes work. This is nice if you’re typically not a heavy data user because you can choose a low data limit plan that costs less to build up a “balance” of data for those months where you might need a lot, like on vacation for example.
However, it appears that Republic’s Maestro concept will do even better in regards to data savings than T-Mobile since they will actually credit you for the unused data. This credit will then be applied to next months bill, thus decreasing that month’s payment.
How Does It Work?
If you are at all familiar with Republic Wireless then you might be wondering how they can refund you for unused data if the two plans that even offer data are unlimited? Well that’s a good question and at the moment it is unclear to me from reading their materials how this will be implemented.
It does seem that Republic will likely offer a new plan option that is quite different than what we’ve seen before, perhaps some kind of hybrid 3G/4G type plan with a data cap as indicated by this quote from their site:
…we’re curious what would happen if we stopped measuring you by cell data speeds, and measured you by how much cell data you use instead. What if you had total control over your plans and could appropriately size them for what best fits your needs? What if we built a bunch of new tools on our site and in our app to help guide you along the way and make it as easy as possible to know how you stack up? And, what if you could get paid back each month for whatever cell data you didn’t use?
How To Join
Unfortunately, this concept will only be in beta testing when unveiled on May 18th and is only open to a select number of existing Republic customers who have signed up to participate in Republic Labs. So at this moment, we do not know the specific details how the program will work, how much you get refunded for, nor when it will be available to all customers, but I will certainly update this post when it is.
That said, I have signed up for the Labs myself and am not sure if I’ll be able to test this out or not but I’m hoping to try it, especially since I’d like to report my experiences here on the blog with you the readers and update accordingly 🙂
If there are any readers out there who know they are invited to the beta testing of Maestro please let me know in the comments below or via the contact form as I’d love to get some insider reviews on this.