Well, I wouldn't have thought my Republic Wireless runaround could get worse, but it did. Although, I thought I followed their documentation pretty carefully to return their phone, they have refused to refund me. In their documentation, they said:
Perform a Factory Reset: This is a very important step. After you've removed all personal info and screen locks from your phone, you should perform a factory reset. Performing a factory reset will erase everything on your phone and put it back to it's original factory state. It will also remove what's called the "Kill Switch," which is a protection feature added by Google. If you send a phone back to us without removing the Kill Switch, we'll be locked out thus rendering the phone useless and you won't receive a refund for your phone.
So I follow the link to perform a factory reset and it says:
Due to the "Kill Switch" regulation that protects consumer's information from lost or stolen phones, if you have a screen lock set up on your phone, you'll need to verify ownership of your phone when performing a factory reset.
I hadn't set a pin on the phone, so I assume it's all good. But no, if you perform a factory reset using the recovery menu, it doesn't remove the "kill switch". It turns out that the following paragraph on the first page says this:
Important Note: When performing a factory reset, you must follow the instructions that take you through the Settings app on your phone (performing a factory reset through the boot menu won't remove the Kill Switch).
But since I had already followed the link to the factory reset directions, I evidently overlooked this point.
So, after days of trying to sort out their confusing and conflicting documentation, Republic Wireless basically scammed me for the full price of the phone. I followed up on the still-open trouble ticket to see if there is anything that can be done to get them to give me my refund and now they won't acknowledge the comments I've posted in the still-open trouble ticket. Just no response whatsoever. (At least not in 48 hours).
[UPDATE] They have reversed this decision and said they are providing a full refund.