SurgePhone New User Setup Experience and Tips

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7 months 2 weeks ago #40459 by realLexusl21
Would be nice if one of these companies could get their act together.

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7 months 2 weeks ago #40469 by JS
I think we can safely conclude that Surge is only at the Alpha stage. Certainly not at final release, and not even in beta. When the final phase is done, everything in theory should be better like not having to call in for renewal. Question is whether or not Surge will make it to that point. That is , will they still exist as a mvno? And if they do get that far where everything is stable and feature complete, will the plans be completely different than what it is today.

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7 months 2 weeks ago - 7 months 2 weeks ago #40489 by mmfacemm

JS wrote: I think we can safely conclude that Surge is only at the Alpha stage. Certainly not at final release, and not even in beta. When the final phase is done, everything in theory should be better like not having to call in for renewal. Question is whether or not Surge will make it to that point. That is , will they still exist as a mvno? And if they do get that far where everything is stable and feature complete, will the plans be completely different than what it is today.


Yes a lot of these free mvnos seem to wing it and make radical changes as they go. Usually reacting to issues rather than being proactive. It doesn't usually work out.

It is a fundamental requirement for the moolah app to be installed so they should already have developed a checking process and those that pass should automatically get sent the credits each month to renew the plan. If they don't get the basics sorted out they won't last long. It should be a lot easier than this.

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7 months 1 week ago #40533 by scriptninja

KentE wrote: It should definitely be stated. But, I could probably muddle through with 256k-- I've managed to do so on Tello's 64k. (Using Puffin browser, and being patient.....)


Yeah, that's about where I am. I will probably very rarely hit their throttle, and even if I do, I might not even notice I have. But it bothers me that it isn't mentioned.

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7 months 3 days ago #40629 by drysun
Adding a data point about what it looks like when renewing the plan.

I opened a chat with them online and provided my name and Surge phone # when I requested the online chat.

This is what they asked for on the chat.

As a side note, I haven't seen any ads on the Moolah app for a long time (several weeks). Right around the time I was up for renewal it somehow did 70 ads when I wasn't looking two days ago, but no more since then.

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7 months 2 days ago #40630 by scriptninja
Another potentially useful piece of info...last night in chat, while following up on another issue, I asked about the service period and was told that it is 30 days, not 1 month, so (1) my plan renews a day earlier than I expected and (B) I can't just leave the data plan settings for my data usage warning set to a specific day of the month.

Assuming Fred was right, anyhow.

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7 months 2 days ago - 7 months 2 days ago #40633 by KentE

scriptninja wrote: Another potentially useful piece of info...last night in chat, while following up on another issue, I asked about the service period and was told that it is 30 days, not 1 month, so (1) my plan renews a day earlier than I expected and (B) I can't just leave the data plan settings for my data usage warning set to a specific day of the month.

Assuming Fred was right, anyhow.


He's probably right--somewhere, in one of the Surgephone threads, mmfacemm got that same answer. (Of course, maybe that was from Fred, too!)

(Edit: It appears mmfacemm might have come to that conclusion empiracaly:
www.nthcircle.com/forum/other-mvnos/2761-surgephone-new-user-setup-experience-and-tips?start=60#40362

But it was Fredy who helped with his renewal:
www.nthcircle.com/forum/other-mvnos/2761-surgephone-new-user-setup-experience-and-tips?start=60#40348 )
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7 months 2 days ago #40634 by JS
Just this week, they told me it was 30 days. I asked for the exact date renawal date listed on the account and sure enough, it was 30 days. While he said calling in was required, they hope to eventually have an online method for renewal. Of course that assumes the company is in business long enough to implement that feature.

My activation was done by calling them because I wanted to port in a little-used Freedompop number that would have been abandoned otherwise. In the end, I had a new number for 2 days until the port was complete. Surge called me on the ported number when the process was done.

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7 months 1 day ago #40650 by scriptninja
The Moolah app itself and the Moolah app website both indicate that the eventual plan is:
  • The Moolah app adds either enough ad volume or enough other ways to earn M! (presumably in manners similar to earning credits on FreeUp, CellNuvo, GrabPoints, etcetera) that it is feasible to earn over M!100000 per month. Technically, if the place in the app where you can buy Moolah refills for dollars already works, this is sort of already possible, except it's buying them, not earning them; based on my experience, there's no way to do so yet without paying money. I may not be earning as much as possible from ads, but I think I'm doing better than 6-7%.
  • With a partnered service provider (read: SurgePhone Wireless) and a paired SIM, you can be automatically charged M!100000 each month by your service provider. Currently, that is the equivalent of $10. There's a place in the app that tells you the current M! "exchange rate," so it looks like they've built in the potential for that to change.
  • There's also the part of the app that purports to be able to pay your prepaid phone service bill with other carriers, apparently manually. I'm interpreting this to mean they plan to have a feature similar to how it has, at least at some point, been possible to pay a phone bill with CellNuvo. Neither my Surge number nor my T-Mobile Prepaid number comes up as possible to pay at that screen currently.

Those apparently-planned features would theoretically provide two ways (one automatic as a Surge customer, one manual but user-serviceable for...any provider they can get to cooperate the way CellNuvo did) to avoid the customer-service-aided renewal.

Currently, renewing someone for having the app installed costs them that $10 they don't get, plus the CSR's time. From what Drysun posted, it looks like the entire process can be accomplished in just a few minutes.

Some users might pay the $10 to avoid that inconvenience. From Moolah's perspective, that's probably a win.

Other users might give up on the service completely if renewal doesn't get easier. From Moolah's perspective, that might be a win right now for some users. I mean, I have a hard time imagining that the app is already generating enough revenue per user from ad impressions that a Standard plan user contacting support for the credit every month is actually making them as much as it costs them to provide the service.

Any automatic or user-serviceable replacement for the current process of a CSR going through "Who are you, do you have the app installed, okay here's your $10 credit" would be inherently temporary unless their business plan changes drastically from what's implied.

Therefore, implementing such a thing would have to save them more money in retaining customers (between having them as Moolah users and possibly using higher tier plans than Standard) and CSR time than it cost them in development time and in payments from any users who remember or bother to use that feature where they might have declined or forgotten to contact support and instead paid $10. And the development time for the feature is a mostly static cost (it shouldn't be complex enough to need much maintenance) that also might take time away from developing the Moolah app, so not only would the remaining costs have to be offset by the benefits, but the difference would have to be enough to recoup that development cost by the time the features in the Moolah app are finished or it's a net loss.

tl;dr: I will be (pleasantly) surprised if they provide an easier way to get your monthly $10 credit for having the app installed before they get the paired sims working - and actually require you to earn M!100000 for the credit.

Then again, I'll also be pleasantly surprised if their business model is sustainable.
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7 months 1 day ago #40652 by bingyee
I'm going to run an experiment. My plan renews around the 20th. For the next 10 days or so, I'm going to pull my SIM and put it into an iPhone SE, which obviously cannot run Moolah. I'm going to then put the SIM back into my "official" Surge Android phone (an old Motorola Droid Mini) before calling in to renew. We'll see if they notice.

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