Republic Wireless and the Motorola Moto X Motomaker

Update: 26 November 2014

This article had previously been titled “Republic Wireless Misleads Consumers About Motorola Moto X Motomaker.” However, on 26 November 2014, Republic Wireless made a public announcement stating that they would soon be supporting the second generation Moto X phone through their own site and through the Motorola MotoMaker page.

20141128fr-republic-wireless-motorola-motomaker-moto-x-2nd-generation

 

Background

Since the original posting of the article below on September 30, continuing through October and November, we contacted Republic Wireless and Motorola about the concerns expressed below. Representatives at Motorola seemed concerned and stated they would escalate this issue. Absent any official statement from either company, we can’t know what impact we had on bringing this clarification about, but we’re thankful that Republic Wireless is now acknowledging the existence of the Motorola Moto X 2nd generation phone and the MotoMaker program.

* * *

Moto X Moto Maker is NOT Discontinued

If you do a Google search for Republic Wireless Moto Maker, you’ll find over 300,000 results. The top results are for the Republic Wireless page that informs consumers about the Moto Maker program.

20141023th-republic-wireless-moto-maker-google-search

If you visit the  Moto X page on the Republic Wireless website, you’ll see in big print that the phone can be customized, and there’s a bright green button that states, “Design your Moto X Now.” (Click image below to enlarge).

20141023th-republic-wireless-design-your-moto-x-now

If you click on that button, you’ll be taken to a page with this statement on their website:

Customizable Moto Maker options for Moto X have ended as of 9/23/14. Normally this page would tell you you’re leaving Republic Wireless to go build your very own Moto X on Moto Maker. But! All the Moto X Moto Maker phones are sold out. No more. Done-zo. All gone. Finito. (source)

20141023th-republic-wireless-design-your-moto-x-now-discontinued

This statement would lead people to believe that the customizable Moto X design is no longer available. That’s just not true, as can be seen on the Motorola Moto Maker web page.

Honesty is the Best Policy

It would be more honest and transparently informative to simply state the following:

“The Motorola MotoMaker program is still alive and well. However, we just don’t currently have that as an option at Republic Wireless. So, if you’re really set on buying a customized Motorola phone, you can still do so, but you must use another wireless provider. We hope to offer these in the future, but can’t promise anything.”

For some people, their device of choice is really the deal breaker/maker and they will choose a carrier accordingly. Many people who chose the iPhone early on when it was first offered, had to switch carriers to AT&T in order to use that device. People switched by the millions. They cared more about the device than they did the service provider.

Republic Wireless needs to do the right thing, and let consumers know that the MotoMaker option is still available, just not with them as a carrier.

Poor Customer Service Experience

If you try to engage in a chat session with customer service at Republic Wireless,  you’ll likely be mistreated. At least that was my experience (see transcript below). In fact, had the customer service person been a little less defensive, this article might not even have been written.

Here’s the customer service chat exchange from today at 1:43 PM inquiring about this issue:

Republic Wireless (Brandon)

Hi, How may I help you?

Customer

On this page, you prominently advertise the Moto X and the ability to customize it: https://republicwire…blicwireless.com/ip/moto-maker

There’s a button that says, “Design Your Moto X Now”

Clicking on the button takes you here:
https://republicwire…cwireless.com/info/moto-maker/

Here’s the statement on that page:

Customizable Moto Maker options for Moto X have ended as of 9/23/14. Normally this page would tell you you’re leaving Republic Wireless to go build your very own Moto X on Moto Maker. But! All the Moto X Moto Maker phones are sold out. No more. Done-zo. All gone. Finito.

Republic Wireless (Brandon)

We recently stopped the Moto Maker option. If you go onto our main page you will see that the link is not there anymore. It ended on Sept 23

Customer

… but Moto Maker wasn’t an option on your site, it was and still is an option on the Motorola site. The statement is a bit misleading.

For those really wanting a customized Motorola phone, it is actually still available.

Telling the truth may result in your losing customers, but it’s the right thing to do.

Republic Wireless (Brandon)

I am telling you the truth. The Moto Maker option through Republic ended on Sept. 23

Customer

What I’m saying is that the statement on your site is a bit misleading, that’s all.

Some people really like the idea of making a custom phone. They will be lead to believe that option isn’t available any more. So, they will just go ahead and get a non-customized phone through Republic Wireless. Then later, they will find out that they could have had that amazing customized phone they really wanted, but they would have had to go with another carrier. This is the point left our on your website.

All I’m saying is that for those customers who forgo the customized phone, believing (from reading on your site that it’s no longer available), those people will feel mislead.

Your statement should read, “You can still customize your own Moto X phone, but if you do, you’ll need to find another carrier. Republic Wireless only offers two designs (black and white) of the Moto X.” It’s really just that simple. Just let people know that there’s another option.

Republic Wireless (Brandon)

Thanks for insight. However, if you click on the link, we are not misleading. We are making it clear that Moto Maker option is not available through Republic as well as giving you the date. Also, we are allowing you to sign up for updates in case the option becomes available with future devices.

Brandon has closed the chat.

Rude Customer Service Person

While I was typing a reply, the chat was abruptly ended by the customer service representative (Brandon). This is the equivalent of hanging up the phone on someone.

Republic Wireless Website

The image below is a snapshot from the Moto Maker page on the Republic Wireless website from 30 September 2014 at 2:00 PM CT. They are leaving their Moto Maker landing page live, presumably to bring in search traffic, then misleading people into believing the Moto Maker is discontinued. Click the image for a larger view.

20140930tu-republic-wireless-motorola-moto-x-motomaker-discontinued

Republic Wireless Statement

After Tweeting about this issue, using the @republicwireless tag, there was an immediate response from the company via a direct Twitter message stating the following:

“Not even sure where to start with that one. 1st Gen Moto X phones were sold out on the Moto Maker site. They have since been replaced with 2nd Gen Moto X options available for pre-order through certain carriers. Regardless – Moto X phones on Moto Maker with RW service are currently unavailable. While we may understandably be in one of the most hated industries known to man we’re a small startup of people trying to disrupt said industry b/c we feel the same pain points with it you do.”

That said, apologies you were left unsatisfied with you chat session. Brandon is one of our favs and we’re glad to talk.

Public Interest

There’s significant interest in this issue as represented by the hundreds of people visiting this page. Recent visits (as of 10 November 2014) are represented on the maps below. Click an image for a larger gallery view.

16 thoughts on “Republic Wireless and the Motorola Moto X Motomaker”

    1. Josh, I wasn’t intending to be badgering. I was bringing up a legitimate concern. I was ignored. He essentially ‘hung up on me’ and was not very polite. The company has done nothing to correct the problem. They are only hurting themselves and their own reputation by being so stubborn about this.

      1. The person told you the truth. The program ended. They are not responsible to explain more than what Brandon did. I don’t understand why you think is misleading at all.

  1. Meh. Honestly I think you’re just a slight bit over sensitive over the conversation. I saw nothing in there that would lead me to think that he was rude to you. You’re assuming that making a straight forward observation to a lowly customer service rep in hopes that Republic Wireless would change a statement is a bit of a dream though. There are just certain people that it’s pointless to cry to about things that bother you…and you found one.

    1. Adam, I commented that the sales person was rude because via text chat they did the equivalent of hanging up the phone on me. He abruptly stopped our conversation midway through because he quickly saw he was in the wrong and loosing the ‘argument.’ He was being a bit evasive by not just acknowledging the problem.

      And, actually, yes, most companies tell their “lowly customer service reps” (as you put it) that legitimate customer concerns need to be elevated and addressed. I’ve often mentioned something to a customer service person and had the suggestion or concern get addressed by upper management. That’s what good companies do. It’s how they grow and change for the better. Those that ignore customer concerns at every level tend not to improve.

      I wasn’t crying (as you put it) to their customer service rep. I was simply pointing out that their site has some misleading information. It’s hot hurting me at all. I did some sleuthing and figured out that their statement was false — when they say, “Customizable Moto Maker options for Moto X have ended as of 9/23/14.” That’s simply not true. The customer service rep tried to dance around with some words to explain that statement, but it’s flat out false and misleading.

    1. Nick, I’m sorry you thought I was badgering the customer service person. I was simply stating facts and asking for a direct and honest response. I wasn’t getting it. If that’s badgering, then I don’t know what else I could have done. If someone is evasive, sometimes you have to answer the question again, and point out the obvious, again. In this case, it was obvious the person didn’t want to acknowledge they were in the wrong.

    1. RD, You may have missed the point. Their site claims the MotoMaker isn’t available. In fact, it is (just not with their service). He can repeat himself all he wants, but that doesn’t make it right.

      We’ve contacted Motorola about this, and brought it to their attention. They agree with my view regarding this and are concerned enough that they have escalated the issue.

      Again, I have no beef with Republic Wireless. I was just reaching out to point out a problem with the statement on their site. I’m surprised how many fanboys and trolls this has riled up. I’d not intended to invoke that response, and presumed by now they would have resolved this.

      Wouldn’t it take less time and effort to simply copy and paste the clarification text I offered above, or create their own, in 30 seconds, rather than dealing with other frustrated customers — and now Motorola? It’s just an example of prideful and unwavering stubbornness that becomes part of some companies institutional fabric and policies.

      1. You’re an idiot. Reading, and understanding everything you are saying, Brandon did everything right. You just don’t understand what Republic’s responsibilities are in their advertising requirements and believe consumers should have their hand held and pointed to another competitor when the phone manufacturer stops making phones that are customized for a specific carrier. That’s ludicrous. You don’t see Verizon or AT&T doing that, so why should Republic Wireless?

    2. rd, Eventually Republic Wireless apologized for how I was treated and acknowledged the problem. They subsequently sent a mass email out to all their customers correcting this error, and clarified that the Motomaker service was, in fact, not discontinued. Motorola representatives also identified and were concerned about this issue. This post has been visited by hundreds of people who apparently are also interested in this issue. So, obviously my bringing this problem to their attention was not unreasonable or incorrect. I’m sorry you disagree with me, as well as management at Republic Wireless and Motorola, but you have a right to your opinion.

  2. I get that you don’t understand how companies can change there offerings but the Moto X Motomaker page you were looking at was for the SECOND gen. Phone that will NOT be coming to the Sprint network and therefore is NOT available from Republic Wireless now matter how much you badger there CSR about it.

    1. Lian Antir, Eventually Republic Wireless apologized for how I was treated and acknowledged the problem. They subsequently sent a mass email out to all their customers correcting this error, and clarified that the Motomaker service was, in fact, not discontinued. Motorola representatives also identified and were concerned about this issue. This post has been visited by hundreds of people who apparently are also interested in this issue. So, obviously my bringing this problem to their attention was not unreasonable or incorrect. I’m sorry you disagree with me, as well as management at Republic Wireless and Motorola, but you have a right to your opinion.

  3. To those who continue posting to this thread:

    Eventually Republic Wireless apologized for how I was treated and acknowledged the problem. They subsequently sent a mass email out to all their customers correcting this error, and clarified that the Motomaker service was, in fact, not discontinued. Motorola representatives also identified and were concerned about this issue. This post has been visited by hundreds of people who apparently are also interested in this issue. So, obviously my bringing this problem to their attention was not unreasonable or incorrect. I’m sorry you disagree with me, as well as management at Republic Wireless and Motorola, but you have a right to your opinion.

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