I don't think surge will be sustainable so bear that in mind. I don't know the details of the surge-moolah arrangement but there is no way that moolah (app developer) is earning anywhere near enough for simply having their app installed to cover the cost of the plan each month.
It is one of those take advantage of it whilst it lasts kind of things in my opinion.
I just went through my first renewal cycle with Surgephone. The actual service on T-mobile (calls/texts/ data) works fine. That being said, I have significant concerns regarding the longetivity/ feasibility of this service. First, my interactions with customer service agents have been very poor as they are often not clear/ confusing in their communications and do not resolve many issues promptly (it took over a month to resolve an issue with a SIM that was lost in the mail despite an email from the post office that the package was lost). Also, the need to contact support every month to have the free service re-activated does not make sense from a business perspective as they are utilizing their agents for tasks which do not add any financial benefit to the company. Finally, I do not see how the Moolah app could generate enough revenue for them to cover the cost of the free service they provide and also allow them to make a profit (after subtracting administrative costs/ employee salaries). I am going to keep the service as long as it lasts (and I do hope the company does well), but in all honesty, I do not think that the company's current business model will succeed in the long term.
Yes pretty much my thoughts. No idea why they insist we manually renew every month. I wouldn't mind it if it was like freeup where you could do it online up to a week in advance. But calling in on the day? Sooner or later I will miss it.
I did invite surge over to the forum but didn't get anywhere. They might benefit from some user feedback.
I've kinda gotten used to the moolah app. I don't really like it but can live with it since it is just a spare phone.
When they get minimal home screen features added to the Moolah app, it'll be a little more palatable.
Then again, my standards for home screens/launchers are pretty rigorous. "Basic" functionality includes widget support and changing the grid size to 18x9 for both the home screen and the apps list...
I had to call support to get into my account, since after activation Surge didn't send me any instructions and when I tried creating an account with my activation email it initially told me my phone number wasn't a Surge number. I suppose it's possible the CSR didn't actually do anything and the problem was a fluke the first time, because after I tried it again on the phone with Oscar and got it to work I realized that only on my first try and the final one that worked had I used the ten-digit number without the leading 1.
I may need to contact support again, though - from one company or the other - because the Moolah app refuses to pair my SIM, and tells me I need to get one that's from Surge. I'm going to try it from a single-sim phone later just in case that's causing issues.
Update: Activating the SIM in another phone worked, which seems to confirm that the issue is for some reason my main phone is adding an F at the end of the sim card number.
Unfortunately, when I put it back in the phone where I actually want to use it...Moolah doesn't seem to recognize it as paired anymore.
I think the Moolah app messes up the way you phone uses data. Specifically, if the phone is not plugged into power or if you are not actually in an app that is using data, the data is functionally turned "off." This is a big problem with music streaming apps, like Pandora, where you want the phone continuously accessing data while the the phone's screen is off and the phone is in standby mode. This was happening regardless of which SIM I had in my phone (an older but very good condition Galaxy S5). But when I did a full factory reset, the problem went away.
I'm tempted to just re-pair my Surge SIM/number with Moolah in an even older android phone and then have the phone plugged in continuously while running wifi. Then I'll just swap out the SIM into my S5 without Moolah installed. If Surge decides to charge me I'll just drop them.
Thanks for the interesting observation, bingyee!
If that's what is happening, it might be a mixed blessing-- an advantage to those who are concerned with possible background data use (and battery) of the launcher/app, but a disadvantage to those like you who want/need background data running.....
Re: the dual-phone approach: It appears that Moolah/Surgephone can detect this rather easily. But reports of those renewing seem to indicate SurgePhone is asking for a verbal confirmation from the user (of Moolah install), which might indicate that the reporting isn't used even though available. If you try it, please keep us posted!
I contacted SurgePhone for my 2nd renewal today.
They wouldn't renew via an email request. Only via phone or chat. I tried chat, I got connected to a rep within a minute.
They asked for my phone #, full name, full address, and last 4 digits of my social security #.
There were no questions about the Moolah app, but I do have it installed on my phone.
I still don't understand the logic of having to contact them each month?