Consumer Cellular has a lot attractive features and is more flexible than some plans. Fine as long as you have no need to contact them for anything which requires actually talking to them - such as using an electronic check payment rather than credit card. For that you have to find a representative to write down the same information you have given their folks multiple times before. Credit cards can be used online - if you use electronic checks, prepare for a major undertaking.
Time required for echeck mortgage payment - under 5 minutes - phone wait included. Time required for credit card echeck payment - under 5 minutes - phone wait included. Time required for Consumer Cellular echeck payment. 5-10 minutes to get through their robo menu to get transferred to "customer service". 30 minutes of waiting through endless repetitions of 'please continue to hold the line' and robo ads, to which there is never any response or pickup.
Depending on your luck or lack thereof, then a email to these bozos asking them to call you if they want to be paid right away - add 2 days for an answer. If the request is not acknowledged, go back to 'start' and repeat this process. Consumer Cellular is a company that has an attractive product - I have recommended them early in my dealings with them - would NEVER do so again, and most especially would NEVER, EVER recommend them to an older person or someone looking after the needs of an older person.
Until Consumer Cellular my favorite 'hideous customer service' was the company which had its customer service outsourced not just to a woman for which English was not a native tongue but which had in the background
what was obviously a significant size flock of chickens. Consumer Cellular is worse - lacking, I suppose, the humor of the chicken woman working out of her place of abode. And to the person who feels negative reviews are "fakes" - you've apparently been lucky - but this kind of behavior by "our friendly [albeit non-existent]" customer service representatives is all too real.
CLARKSTON, WASHINGTON -- I have had virtually none of the issues with my Consumer Cellular account described in these bad reviews of the company. I've noticed they DO charge for weekend calls, but you get so much so cheap. I get 1500 minutes shared by 3 lines and 1.5 Gigs of Data plus unlimited texting for about $85 a month. Can't beat it with a stick. When I purchased their wonderful Huawei Ascend mate 2 phone, they automatically switched me to a carrier that didn't work well where I am, but when I called about it, they switched me back again and my phone has had great connectivity since.
I've had no problems at all with their customer service, much better than a few other companies I could mention. Makes me wonder if those bad reviews are fake, left by other companies and not real people. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND CONSUMER CELLULAR FOR A GREAT DEAL ON A CELL PHONE and their Ascend Mate 2 phone is fabulous at a really reasonable cost. Super fast and big.
WEST BEND, WISCONSIN -- I do not like how you are REQUIRED to login to G-mail every time you want to use data. Google then has access to ALL of your contacts, usernames, passwords, who you call, private texts, doctors, and the like. Basically everything you do on your phone, Google has access to and states in the User Agreement that they sell your information to 3rd parties. We are already getting junk mail just within the week we had CC phones as explained below.
WE tried the Moto E for about a week and attempted to disable Google but then the phone didn't work properly. My husband & I both switched to an AT&T phone and do not use the data. As far as AARP discount, WE will not support such a liberal company just to save $11.00 /yr. We do not agree with AARP's political liberal choices and backing.
It is snowing today and I am not able to use my phone. There is no reception. This is the first snowstorm since we activated our service. Now it is 1 1/2 months later and we cannot get a refund. We are now looking for another company.
Their SIM card which is "ALL IN ONE" comes in three pieces which came apart in my phone and broke the SIM slot. Brian **, the supervisor just argued with me saying, "We are obviously not responsible with what you do to your phone." He wouldn't give me the name of his supervisor, claiming "They are not available." Not to mention that I haven't had a workable network in a week when the SIM card WAS working. This is the WORST Company. They are completely unprofessional and apathetic and don't care at all. What's funny is, they're promoting how great they are on the recording as you wait an 30 minutes to talk to someone who ends up not giving a damn.
MONTANTA -- The plans offered by this company really suit my needs. I ordered a SIM and a new phone plus plans. I could NOT get anyone on customer service. I called numerous times, waited up to an hour or more when their system said 10 minutes. I tried their friendly, hold your place in line and call you back service, which was a joke. I emailed and it took 3-5 days to get any response.
The one time I got a person, she was friendly but unable to activate my SIM because they didn't send an activation number with it. She also told me my order for the phone was cancelled because "I" didn't respond to their email asking me to call them!!! She then transferred me to customer service where I stayed on hold for an additional 45 minutes before I gave up. The email I received from them said they have been trying to contact me. What I received were two automated messages that linked me through to the non-existent customer service.
Yet the final email I received, I responded, not above the line like they said because it wasn't even possible or activated, but I requested cancellation immediately. I got an email response in less than 5 minutes saying they were sorry to see me go and I may receive a final bill for pro-rated services. What services? I never got my phone activated! I have no idea how they even operate if you can't activate their service.
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT -- I cancel Consumer Cellular service before the bill was due and transfer to another carrier. After being on the phone with them for more than an hour explaining to them the reason which I shouldn't have to go through that, two months after, they are sending me a bill for a month and penalty of over 90.00 dollars. It's nothing less than a rip off to the consumer. Before you call them to enroll, think twice.
Beware, the Huawei Ascend Mate II that is sold by Consumer Cellular is not upgradeable. They only sell it with the 4.3 Android operating system. I have just spent two days going between Huawei and Consumer Cellular. As your apps are updated, the new versions may not run under 4.3. Thanks Consumer Cellular for such wonderful customer service and caring about your customers!
PORTLAND, NORTH CAROLINA -- DO NOT USE CONSUMER CELLULAR (That's the short version). When I first called, I specifically asked, in several ways, whether the phone I wanted to buy would work on their network (They only offer 6 phones, only two of which are Android, both of which are utter crap). I was going to buy a GSM Unlocked Moto X, a phone that IS available on the AT&T network, which they use. The woman I spoke to assured me that the phone would work with their service.
It didn't. I couldn't send or receive MMS (picture texts). After they made a couple of half-hearted attempts to fix it, they told me, "Well, since that isn't one of the phones we sell, we can't guarantee all features will be available on our service." Um... even though you told me that it would work? After another runaround with Motorola, I found the answer myself (Just add "mms" after the word "default" in the VPN settings). So, that was fixed.
Then, the service one day just suddenly dropped out. It gave me a little red triangle symbol with a white cross, and said "Emergency Calls Only". I called Consumer Cellular. They again reiterated that, since it was not one of their phones, it may not work on their service. Despite the lie that got me to start with them in the first place, they tried sending out firmware upgrades and had me turn the phone off and on a billion times, to no avail. They escalated the problem to the next tier of support, which meant I waited a full day for another call, only to be told the same thing.
Eventually, the phone just found service again on its own. This happened four times. After the fourth (I only called about three of them, and went through the same runaround) I called Motorola to be sure it couldn't be a hardware issue (nope) and then called CC to cancel my service with them.
One of the many times I'd called, I'd mentioned that I had bars, but no '4G' designation. I was told CC doesn't HAVE 4G. Later, when I called again and got someone else, I was told they DO have 4G. So I kept getting different information from different people.
The 'supervisor' who left a message after one of my many calls/escalations told me that I "may have to use the phone outside" my house (Ludicrous, 'cause they supposedly use AT&T's infrastructure, and I can use my AT&T phone fine indoors. Not to mention, they tout themselves as the service for the elderly; are you really going to tell an elderly person that their for-emergencies-only cell phone won't work inside their home??!)
Just now, I called to give them one last chance to redeem themselves, and the 'supervisor' was excessively rude, telling me the same thing about the phone not necessarily working on their service. I told her that I was told explicitly that it would. She didn't care. I told her they were losing at least 5 customers (I've got a family plan) because I'd been lied to and jerked around. She said she was sorry I *FELT* that way, but that was the way it is.
Now they're charging me over $10 for what was supposed to be a free trial of their service, 'cause I 'exceeded the limit of text messages for the free trial', which only happened because I had to keep TESTING the texts, 'cause my texts weren't working! I cannot tell enough people not to use this chaotic, poorly-run company that doesn't give a hoot about their customers.
PORTLAND, OREGON -- My experience is unbelievable. I purchased a Consumer Cellular phone for my husband and plan 6/20/2014 approximately 6:30 p.m. I gave all of the pertinent information and on the way home, approximately 7:15 p.m., my cell phone was deactivated, not my husband's. Our numbers differ by a single digit. When I realized what happened, I call Consumer Cellular's customer service. **, probably in a West Coast office, persuaded me; my cell phone company just sent my phone number to Consumer Cellular without my authorization or standard industry protocols, like an account and/or pin number.
The following day, Saturday, I spent about six hours trying to get my service restored. Instead of Consumer Cellular acknowledging their mistake, they blamed my former cellular company. Similar attempts made on Sunday to port my number back to my cellular provider were unsuccessful. My cellular company wanted to charge me an activation fee even though I paid my monthly bill 10 days earlier and did not authorize Consumer Cellular to port my number to their company. I need a cell phone for my husband who has Alzheimer, but remembers my cell phone number.
Having explained this situation repeatedly to representatives and first line management of Consumer Cellular, they offered no equitable resolution. The company would not pay the activation fee because it lacked the policy to address this expenditure. In the meantime, my husband has no cell phone. I have purchased two sim cards that are invalid because they are associated with my cell phone number hijacked by Consumer Cellular without my authorization.
I failed to mention I am unemployed and use my cellular number as my contact number on job applications. By now, you must wonder what it would cost to restore my cellular service…. $50.00. When you are elderly and unemployed, $50 equates to the cost of filling a prescription or food. Shame on you Consumer Cellular.
PORTLAND, OREGON -- BEWARE OF CONSUMER CELLULAR! I converted to Consumer Cellular and was thrilled at the price and service. After my mother passed away, I needed to cut costs to cover her expenses. So, I did away with my landline since I had my cell phone. Before she passed, my mother asked me to look after her little sister who is 72. During the time following my mother's death, my aunt suffered a serious medical emergency and I was trying to help her. In the midst of that situation, I found my Consumer Cellular phone disconnected because I was two weeks late on my payment.
I was able to reach Consumer Cellular customer service (if you can call it that) after waiting on hold for nearly 20 minutes, but no one else. I explained my situation and asked them for a two week extension. I explained that I would be able to get everything caught up in two weeks. They refused. I asked them if they would take a check and hold it for two weeks (which I NEVER do) and they refused. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told that I should pay my bill on time and I wouldn't have this problem.
She, too, said I needed to pay the bill before service would be restored. I understand that the company is in business to make money and I don't begrudge them the money I owe. It doesn't seem that waiting two weeks would be that great a risk to me, especially given the circumstances. So, for $114.68, I have had no telephone service for nearly a week. My aunt is entirely on her own to deal with this medical emergency. I can't even call in my prescriptions to the pharmacy or make contact with my children. If I can make it one more week, I will be able to pay the bill. I can only hope my aunt will be okay.
BEWARE: I strongly suggest that if you choose to convert to Consumer Cellular, DO NOT GIVE UP YOUR LANDLINE. In my experience, Consumer Cellular has no compassion when it comes to extenuating circumstances and you don't want to be left with no way to communicate if something unexpected happens. To John and Tami, the owners of Consumer Cellular in Portland, Oregon, a little compassion and understanding goes a long way toward building a strong customer base!