Red Pocket (MVNO mobile carrier) sent an email asking for feedback after the 1st month of service.
cut / paste of my response
I hope a human reads this.
- RP took my mailing address during signup then shipped to my residence address where I do not receive mail. If you aren’t going to ship to a mailing address then why ask for it?
- when reshipping the SIM to my actual mailing address RP shipped the wrong SIM (gsmT rather than gsmA I asked for). Even though T is MUCH less useful to me as a traveler I activated gsmT to avoid further hassle.
- RP let my Broadband Benefit account expire after 30 days instead of auto-renewing. Luckily I had access to wifi and could get chat support (who did a good job, btw).
Get it together. Right now I don’t think I can in good conscience recommend RP to others.
show and tell
This pic shows both the unwanted gsmt and the dead account when it didn’t renew:
I think the company shows promise (particularly for cost-sensitive customers) but IMO they have many bugs to work out of the automation.
but wait, there’s more!
[added July 21]
RP just emailed and said “refer folks and get a break on your bill”:
I have no bill and don’t intend to recommend anyone to RP but I’m a curious type of guy. Their automation screwed the pooch again:
They know who their EBB customers are, so why email them?
Get. It. Together.
and yet more!
Aug 21, 2021
Monthly renewal failed again (“airtime expired”), requiring tech support to get it turned back on. I guess this will be a monthly thing.
It’s too bad. RP has a feature I’d like to leverage. They allow multiline discounts on different carriers. With the discount I could get 10GB of Verizon with 10GB AT&T backup for $50/mo. But I don’t trust them enough to pull the trigger.
Sept 12, 2021
Monthly renewal failed yet again.
October 12 2021
Monthly renewal failed yet again.
November 11 2021
Do I even have to say it?
December 12 2021
Failed again. At least they are consistent.
I posted about it on twitter and @RedPocketMobile DM’ed me to ask for more information. I had minimal confidence it would make a difference. But not only did they look into they actually fixed it. Then followed up to make sure it worked and contacted me to verify. Well done, @RedPocketMobile.
The irony is that the EBB program is going away and will be replaced with ACP:
National Lifeline Accountability Database (NLAD) enrollments into the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB Program) will cease on December 30, 2021 at 6 pm EST. The EBB Program will transition to the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) on December 31, 2021.
… so this victory may last exactly 1 month. I’ll keep you updated.
May 9 2022
Monthly renewal failing again. Chat support unavailable: “Sorry! Looks like all our Red Pocket Live Chat Experts are tied up at the moment.” Won’t even put me in the queue. Emailed email@example.com per the brain-dead chatbot.
Update: no action on email ticket in the morning, as expected. Got into chat with 17 in front of me. After about 35mins got a rep and pasted in my oft-used description of the problem. Chat crashed and I couldn’t get back in for some time and that session was dead. But to my pleasant surprise the rep got it done.
Update: RP finally responded to the email ticket 5 days later:
We apologize for the delayed response and if it took longer than you anticipated.
Jun 9th 2022
Failed again. Hey, how about you break people’s accounts when CS is available to fix it? Or maybe have a dev look at why the automation keeps failing?
Made email ticket, twitter DM, twitter post, and reddit mention of /u/redpocketcs. I am getting cranky.
update: spent a half-hour in chat watching the queue drop from 34 to 29. Somebody (likely the twitter or reddit team) got it fixed. See you next month.
Update: email ticket answered (and closed) on the 11th.
Jul 8th 2022
You guessed it. Failed again.
Jul 13th 2022
@RedPocketMobile has been DM’ing me with clueful interaction, and advised they escalated the issue. We will see.
Sept 7th 2022
Escalated fix worked for precisely 1 month. Back to failure today. Starting to think these guys need an FCC complaint for charging the feds full price for the EBB/ACP then not delivering the full pull.
added Oct 7 2022
Nov 6 2022
Failed yet again. Is anyone surprised at this point?
Dec 6 2022
Points for consistency?
Jan 5 2023, FCC complaint
Continuing the tradition of RP automation failure in 2023!
During the chat the rep wanted even more esoteric info, which I provided. I asked the rep to escalate and have a supervisor review the log. They did not.
I have finally resorted to reporting this habitual overbilling of the federal govt to the FCC, complaint #5948951.
To give you an idea how much the reps are paying attention, here are the last 4 lines of the chat, about minute apart
ME: fixed, btw, Active again and functional
ME: plse escalate this ticket so the super can see you are doing what you can but the backend automation is causing problems’
RP CS: Please check your account. Our higher support already updated it. [I already told you that]
RP CS: Is there anything else for now? [and I already told you that]
Thank you for your submission. Based on our review, your Ticket No. 5948951 was served on your provider on January 6, 2023. Here's what you can expect from the FCC's informal complaint process: - Your provider should contact you directly in an effort to resolve your issue. - The FCC's role in this process is to facilitate a conversation between you and your provider. - Your provider is required to submit to the FCC a written response regarding your issue no later than 30 days from today. - The FCC will not contact you until we receive a response from your provider.
Feb 4 2023, FCC response
I got an email that the FCC had received a response from Redpocket. A couple days later my account renewed correctly. I hope they corrected the underlying issue rather than forcing some poor schmuck to watch my account’s renewal and fix it when it fails.
March 5 2023
Renewed correctly again.
Apr 4 2023
Renewed correctly again. 3 in a row, hopefully the complaint fixed it. Will report back if it didn’t.
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