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!
FLORIDA -- I was with Verizon for years since I had two children on my plan. The kids are grown and gone, so I researched new cell service for my husband and me. I chose Consumer Cellular predominantly due to the ease with which the plan can be changed as usage increases and decreases. I chose basic phones since we don't really need the bells and whistles. Having worked with the plan for a couple of months, I could not be happier.
I can tell no difference in service -- the phones work great anytime we need to use them. I've changed our plan (downward) twice, since I apparently over estimated our "minutes" need. The online change menus are simple, quick and very user friendly (as are the usage logs). Best, I'm saving about $220 per month since I no longer need all the services my children used. This is an excellent plan for those looking for reliable, basic phone service, and I am very impressed with the website features for account management.
BENSENVILLE, ILLINOIS -- Be careful with this company, all of you seniors out there! They are there to mislead us for their cheap service and no contract. Wait until you get their succeeding billing and you will find out. All of your calls incoming and outgoing are all charged to your units. You end up paying like the expensive phones out there. Their phones are handicapped like some of us seniors - calls are dropped, don't hear the phones ringing and it comes missed calls. Calls for service you wait forever, you can go overseas while waiting and come back you are still waiting. Very bad, bad, bad!!!!
Also, please, record your membership dues. They think because we are seniors, all of us don't remember. They will send you "renewals" even if you already paid continuously. Don't pay for more years, just pay yearly. Or best of all, get out of ARRP.
DENVER, COLORADO -- I did not get past the ordering page of their website. After repeated attempts to check out, the error message says to enter whether billing address is the same as mailing, but there is no field in which to enter it. When I contacted customer service via e-mail, the responder was oblivious to the problem and said if I continue to have problems checking out, to call the 800 phone number. Since I have attempted to order several times over time and it hasn't been corrected, I suspect that this is an attempt to get the AARP seniors, who visit because of the discount, to be exposed to a sales pitch for a more expensive plan.
RENO, NEVADA -- I had it with AT&T's dismal, overseas customer service. I was happy to pay an ETF to get them out of my hair. I am deaf. AT&T offers a text-only plan for $30 per month. The plan is decent for the average adult; but, on non-smartphones. AT&T is killing the AIM feature on non-smartphones beginning June 28, 2012. AIM is my method used for calling taxis when needed; because I travel a lot, the AIM was quite valuable to me. After 3 extremely difficult relay calls with AT&T, I decided to pull away. What were my options? I looked at some other national carriers and the pre-paid carriers that I don't trust.
Consumer Cellular does offer an Android phone. I chose a non-voice plan and data that will cost me the same amount I paid AT&T for a non-smartphone. The only issue I have with them is a text alert I receive on the phone after I power it up. The alert tells me that I have exceeded my voice usage.
When I look at my usage, I see there is none. I write detailed information to them, but they can't tell me why I get the alert. They tell me that my alerts have been disabled since last week. The last response was in English as a second language - it did not make sense. Overseas or not, the phone and customer service still beats AT&T hands down. By the way, I added AIM from Google Play the day the phone was activated.
CHESTER, SOUTH CAROLINA -- Consumer Cellular is not what they advertise on service or phones. We are seniors [old folk] & AARP, retired their service has been poor. We had 2 phones 200 min ($28 a month) - one free, one bought. I bought a Nokia because out of 4 we had with other company it did much better than the others. Handicapped son died. We no longer needed $90 a month phone bill. Went to TracFone for a while then tried Consumer Cellular. Have cut one off the Nokia. Went back to a Trac, cut the other off today. For folks like us that use so few minutes the deal is go to TracFone. About a $60 start up cost, buy phone, double min for life of phone card and $20 min card.
Then, my next cards cost me around $10, 20 card every 3 mos, have minutes left over. If we use less than 30 min a month on 2 phones rest of time we use house or Google voice. Consumer Cellular will not get a good signal on mine when it did could not hear. They would not try to correct it, they post good reviews but not the bad ones. Prices are not exact, but close. Trac contact service has been and was great going to reactivate other Trac. Trac has a phone for around $10 on up if you like. We got one cheap, one higher. They have/did beat the heck out of Consumer Cellular in cost and service.
ALSO I am talking about low usage. Not sure this would be best on lot of usage, so do your math. The only minor problem ever had with Trac was bought one from a box store was not compatible with our area. Exchanged Trac easily, transferred my cards to it when I contacted them.
First, let me mention, that I only chose Consumer Cellular as my mobile phone carrier because AARP recommends them. That decision was a mistake. My recommendation is to do your own research and due diligence, because thus far, AARP has been non-responsive, except for acknowledging my complaint, since I first reported this unauthorized withdrawal of $17.50 from my bank account for a free battery.
My phone stopped working in March. Prior to this I'd experienced multiple dropped calls and 'failure to connect' reports. Upon contacting Consumer Cellular, and going over the trouble-shooting protocol, the call center representative tried to upgrade me to a 'free' newer model, and, I only had to pay an activation fee of $35.00: I declined. He then said there was probably nothing wrong with the phone, and, since it was still under warranty, I was qualified to receive a new battery shipped to me at no charge. Free.
A review of my bank statement disclosed that a charge of $17.50 was tucked into my monthly bill. After many emails and calls to various supervisors, I am still not pleased with how this complaint is being handled by Consumer Cellular nor AARP.ORG.
If anyone is having similar billing, rude and non-responsive customer service issues from one or both of these companies, I suggest filing a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at 1 (888)-CALL-FCC; fax: 1-(866-418-0231; email: email@example.com. Also, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at (1-(877)382-4357, to file a complaint. If you are a member of AARP, their contact information is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to have pen and pencil ready to record your case or reference number with the FCC and FTC. According to their websites, the more people who contact them with complaints, the better able they are in protecting consumers by investigating, and in some cases, filing court actions against companies that don't follow rules and regulations.
TIGARD, OREGON -- I initiated cellular service with Consumer Cellular. On 7-9-2010 I received two Motorola EM330 cell phones. On 7-12 one phone locked up. Upon advice, I removed the battery to reboot the phone. When doing so, the battery door latch became disengaged from the phone body. I then advised Consumer Cellular of this event. I was IMMEDIATELY told: 'now you'll have to buy a new phone'. That's a direct quote. Phone less than four days old?
“The buy a new phone” statement made at least 8 times as I worked my way up the staff levels of customer support. I was ultimately able to reinstall the battery cover latch button, and decided I had made a grave mistake of choosing Consumer Cellular, and elected to return everything per the terms of their ‘45 day return policy'.
Unbelievably, I was then told in no uncertain, terse terms: ‘We won't accept the one phone back. We don't accept broken phones for return. You can keep that phone, it's yours now'. The phone WAS NOT ‘BROKEN'! I had never described the phone as ‘broken', only that the battery cover latch had become disengaged. I had already managed to successfully reinstall the latch release button.
Their oratory during the sales pitch was filled with accolades of self-praise as to what a great service they provided, how they were the “no argument” cellular provider. ‘We're different'. Different they ARE! I have never witnessed such a Jekyll / Hyde transformation of any entity in my life. The mood went from ‘kissy-kissy' (for lack of better term) to outright acerbic, rude, and irresponsible dialogue in the transition from sale to service issue. Actually the Motorola EM330 was a poor choice, being cheaply made and overly fragile. Doubly so when dealing with a cell provider with the post sale policies of 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.
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA -- I have had a Consumer Cellular "Doro" phone for about eight months. The phone went dead (will not charge). When I called Consumer Cellular, the representative talked "down" to me (as "Did you plug the charger in completely?" "Did you try to charge the phone in two different outlets?"). I hung up and called again--to talk to a different customer service representative. She said that the warranty was for 45 days. I told her that I would not buy another phone and risk having it go dead in eight months (as I have had cell phones that have lasted for several years). So, I cancelled my account.
This customer service representative did not even thank me for my past business. This customer service representative reminded me that I have a bill due--and that they would be sending another one! I ended the conversation by saying, "I am sure that you will try to get as much money as possible out of me" and slamming up the phone! I had to wait about ten minutes to speak to the first customer service representative and about five minutes to speak to the second one. These people seem to be busy--handling complaints! Needless to say, I would not recommend doing business with Consumer Cellular.