PORTLAND, OREGON -- There is absolutely nothing wrong with the product, but the corporation's employees; that's another story. I am a senior citizen and I would occasionally dial 411 if I were traveling and needed directions. I did not have an iPhone. In July, this company tacked 28 bogus 411 calls onto my invoice. Thinking that there must have been a mistake, I paid only half of the invoice and called for clarification before sending in the remaining portion.
Choosing not to suffer a stroke by arguing with people who stated "Yo phone iz too old fashioned" or "we don't service dem phones anymoe", I sent in more than the amount that I owed. Consumer Cellular refused to acknowledge the check, and demanded a screen shot of my bank account "off dee internet." Each time I called, I was chided for not speaking Spanish, or, the call would be dropped, which resulted in me sending quite a few resentful emails in context. It was resolved that my service would be terminated.
A week later, it was conveyed to me that they received the second check, and then, they sent me a $3.00 credit in the mail. This month, they have sent me a bill with bogus charges from a phone, of which, its services have been terminated, and, of which, I tossed in the trash. I was told that I would be billed and obligated to them for the rest of my life and they would do "what they needed to do" to obtain the funds even if I did not owe them. These nephilim are from the pit, and I am not speaking from a pit on earth. Not everyone is a dumbed down politically correct robot.
OREGON -- Beware! If you use over 5gb of data in one month which is very easy to do, they can cut off your data without warning. On the website, it warns if you use over 12gb on the website they will cut you off. I checked and myself and daughter had used only 7gb and they cut off our data right before the weekend. I work and need data for my phone to charge clients.
It was very frustrating. If you use lots of data, go with ANYONE else, choose a different provider than Consumer Cellular. They offer unlimited data anywhere else for less money. And if you try to speak with a supervisor at Consumer Cellular, you have to speak with a new one each time. Really frustrating. Long hold times recently as well.
OREGON -- A phone company was the best Customer service has become the worst. My husband's phone stopped working, 5 different calls, at an average of almost hour each. Finally decided to send replacement. Replacement not working, same thing. Now replacement coming. Horrible. One call, diagnostics, and then send another phone would have been a much better way to handle.
SANTA ROSA, CALIFORNIA -- So calls made on 9/11/16 are rolled over to new billing cycle 9/12/16 - 10/11/16. This is wrong. They prohibit rolling over unused minutes. But calls made on previous cycle are rolled over to new billing cycle 9/12/16-10/11/16. This is wrong. Call the F.C.C. Shame.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
PORTLAND, OREGON -- UPDATE: Some of the BAD has been corrected. See comments. I have recently subscribed to Consumer Cellular wireless phone service. This replaces my previous 6 year relationship with Nextel (Sprint). With Nextel I was paying about $77 a month for 2 phones sharing 400 minutes. I saw a Consumer Cellular ad on TV and thought I would check them out. I found few complaints against them on a quick Google search. Some of those complaints were baseless as those individuals obviously did not understand wireless billing practices.
The GOOD: I called Consumer Cellular and ordered two phones, accessories, and activation fees for $171. I received the phones two days later. I called them for activation and they ported my numbers from Nextel and I was up and running within an hour. So I now have 500 minutes shared between 2 phones for about $47 per month. And, the best part, NO CONTRACT! Their telephone customer service is located in the USA. Wait times are usually less than 5 minutes. Customer service representatives are friendly and patient. Coverage and call reliability have been good (See AT&T coverage map).
The BAD: Their online call log information is about 1-3 days behind your actual usage. It is helpful but don't rely on it to avoid going over your minutes. Their call log detail only shows phone numbers for outgoing calls. They do not show phone numbers for incoming calls. They indicate "Not Available" for ALL incoming calls. This is NOT a "Private" or "Blocked" call issue. You cannot verify any incoming calls that you may be billed for. Not a good thing.
The phones receive the caller ID as they should. When questioned about this they claim the carriers are not providing this information. Nextel (Sprint) provided both incoming and outgoing numbers without a problem. Other carriers I checked, including AT&T (which is what they use), provide both.
Another annoying characteristic is they only allow your cell phone to ring for 15 seconds before displaying a missed call message and informing the caller that you have not set up your voice mailbox. I did not want or request voice mail and told them during activation I did not want it. They did fix this but only after being called three times about it. This problem re-occurred approximately a month later.
Occasionally I get a "Call forwarding is active" message when placing a call. I have never activated call forwarding. Canceling call forwarding has no effect on this. It happens with both of the phones I have. Customer service either cannot or will not explain this but will only repeatedly parrot a script about call forwarding.
Their email support is in the toilet. They are slow in responding (if they respond at all) and are of little help when they do. They don't appear to pay attention to the details of an inquiry. Responses are generic in nature and don't acknowledge the actual issue at hand. It appears as more of a pacifier type response in hopes you will just go away.
In summary: Price is very reasonable and no contract. Customer service, while courteous and friendly, is only slightly better than other cellular carriers. They appear to help but either do not or cannot actually correct anything. Consumer Cellular is extremely poor at resolving technical issues.
DISCLAIMER: These statements are based on the results of my own personal experiences with Consumer Cellular to date. The statements may or may not hold true for any other individual or specific instance.
*** U P D A T E *** September 18, 2009. In the initial review I stated their online call log could be 1-3 days behind. Well, they have now demonstrated this information can be over 10 days old. This is also true of the information they will give you through the automated phone inquiries. Your minutes used during a billing cycle is NOT reliable. What's worse their customer service representatives are not aware of this unless you lead them by the nose to see it.