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29 Reviews & Complaints

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Customer Service Is Deplorable
Posted by Rokkyofnh on 03/07/2012
NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I ordered a phone from them last month. Checked to insure I could port my old cell number on their site which said I was good. Received my phone 5 -6 days later and tried to activate SIM card and then found that the number was not available. Ok so one mistake is acceptable. Then they send a second SIM card programmed to the same non working number. After a wait time of 1/2 hr to get to customer service. I decided that I would rather not have to deal with customer service so I said OK I want to swap this phone for a very basic phone that I can synch contacts and appointments..

CS No help here did not know products at all. So I decide on a different phone then Louise(cs Agent) tells ME THEY WANT AN ADDITIONAL $75 to ship the new phone. I said no, asked for an RMA and Refund under their 100% satisfaction policy. Louise said she would ship a return label and refund my account once the phone was received. At that point I felt relieved that I would NOT EVER have to deal with this inept, unprofessional company again. I'm done Yeah! The next day I find out they had charged my bank account without my authorization. So I call them back 20 min to get to a cs agent,(john) and asked for a manager. He said He needs to verify my information then tells me its another 20-30 minute wait to get to a manager.

Then I mentioned I was filing a complaint with The NH AG and all of a sudden a manager was available.. Mary I believe her name was. Who Insisted they put a hold on my account and did not charge it. I explained to her that I did not authorize them to do ANYTHING with my account and explained that their "hold" was going to cause overdraft charges.. She could not have cared less and did absolutely NOTHING. So Not only did they NOT provide me with a phone, or any kind of competent customer service their ineptitude and apathetic attitude has caused me additional fees to the now $215 of my money they have tied up.

This company is hands down the WORST. I left Verizon because their customer service was Poor. Consumer Cellular makes Verizon look like a customer service all star.. *********AVOID CONSUMER CELLULAR*********** JUST ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF Big Business Screwing the consumer!

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Web Site Glitch or Trap?
Posted by Loubee371 on 10/03/2012
DENVER, COLORADO -- I did not get past the ordering page of their web site. 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.
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Posted by ticia232 on 2012-10-04:
I was just on the website and at the bottom (underneath where you put in your card information) is a yes or no question that asks if the billing address is the same as the mailing address. If you check no, then it opens up to where you can add your billing address.

Posted by Leonard on 2012-10-04:
I use Consumer Cellular for one reason: There have never ever been any sales pitches for more expensive or otherwise expanded service - whether I want it or not. They've never done it in 6 years. Just thought that was worth edification. this outfit is up front about that, if nothing else.
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Pre-Paid Phone
Posted by Just nasty on 06/24/2011
I saw the commercial like everyone else, said to myself why not. Didn't know they prey on the elderly and people with not so perfect credit that why they don't require a credit check. I received the phone on June 21, 2011 and didn't get in touch with them until June 22, 2011 because of the sorry customer service. They paged me on the same day said that the minutes was at the limit and I needed a more advanced plan, (keep on mind they have already been charging me since June 13, 2011). When I talked to customer service that expressed to me that it was not PRE-PAID (What a Lie).

So June 23 I when to the Post Office and sent it back to them and put a tracker on the package. They want you to use the number you already have so that you are dependent on them and you don't have a choice but to continue using their services, but I made them give me a number instead of canceling my old phone. Touched basis with my bank so they may be aware of any advance charges, and they are going to replace my funds.

Don't deal with them unless you want to loss money on a not so PRE-PAID PHONE as they would put it. They are crooks and customer service knows it.
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Posted by Alain on 2011-06-25:
You can file a complaint about them at: http://fcc.gov/complaints & http://ftc.gov/bcp/consumer.shtm
Looks like their service and satisfaction vary depending on the area.
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Consumer Cellular Is a Rip-Off Company
Posted by Furiousinindiana63 on 05/22/2013
PORTLAND, OREGON -- Filed against :
Consumer Cellular
7204 SW Durham Rd Ste 300
Portland OR 97224

Complaint Description:
Consumer Cellular misrepresented their phone service. Had nothing but problems with their phone from the first day we had it. It dropped calls constantly and got spam text messages from people we didn't know. There was also at least one time when his phone didn't disconnect for an excessive period of time. Nobody explained that we would be charged every time we checked our own voice mail and the first sales person led my husband to believe there would be free mobile-to-mobile calling. We cancelled the phone after 2 weeks of complaining about the service and were told we would owe no money. Yesterday we received a past due notice that we owe $33.66. I called to try and get the charge waived and instead was met with two extremely militant supervisors who refused to listen to anything I said and just insist I pay the full bill. They were not in the least bit interested in the fact that I was thinking of giving them a 2nd chance in September, nor did they care when I said I can get word out to at least 3000 people as to what a rotten company they turned out to be. All the supervisors can do is repeat how excessive our minutes usage was, and would not listen to my side of the story that not all of that was our fault. We only had service from about March 1st to about March 15th. Might I add: I spent the better part of an hour on the phone arguing with the two supervisors Michael and Craig tonight. I ended the call by telling Michael he can take his phone service and "Stick it where the sun don't shine". That's not how it started out either. My husband and I started out being very nice about the bill and calmly explaining our situation. There is no excuse for this kind of lousy customer service and they should be ashamed of themselves. I told Michael that AT&T and Comcast have never treated me with such disregard.
Plus: They assigned a ad phone # that may have belonged to a drug dealer. We even had a call from some drunk who wanted to kill someone.
I told Michael I had serious health problems and this just adds to my stress, but he could have cared less.
Additionally: We did not even get a full refund when we returned all of the equipment. I did not complain because it was only $11.00, but combined with the bill, it adds up. I am disabled and have gone without pay for almost 2 years. (Old complaint filed against Cigna.)
Desired Resolution:
I just want them to waive the bill of $33.66 they sent, especially since we were told that we would owe nothing when we closed the account.

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Posted by Weedwhacked on 2013-05-22:
"Nobody explained that we would be charged every time we checked our own voice mail and the first sales person led my husband to believe there would be free mobile-to-mobile calling."

Did you read the terms of the contract?

"nor did they care when I said I can get word out to at least 3000 people as to what a rotten company they turned out to be."

That's because this kind of threat doesn't mean anything.

Michael couldn't have been completely terrible if he "could have cared less."
Posted by sharon on 2013-07-24:
I have used prepaid phone service before and i recognize the tricks they use. Like text mess.from people you don't know.And phone not hanging up when your finished with your call.Charging to hear your voicemail.Getting calls from people you don't know.This is all to jack-up your bill.Now im having second though's.
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Horrible Service
Posted by Plweisbard on 01/08/2012
What a week. I will never tell anyone to buy this Consumer Cellular phone service. They never did their job. The truth is my first priority not theirs. I now have my sevice from Sprint again. They should be investigated. Please share this complaint. The phones are poorly made. I had trouble getting them on the phone, the only good thing is I cancelled the service.
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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2012-01-08:
What did they lie about? What was wrong with the phone? A few details would go a long way in adding substance to this review.
Posted by Anonymous on 2012-01-09:
Agreeing with tnchuck100, in that a little more detailed information about your issues with them would go a long way in helping us and others ascertain the credibility of this company. We hope you come back and fill us in on the rest!
Posted by madconsumer on 2012-01-09:
very helpful review.

thank you for the warning!!
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Unauthorized Charges To Debit Card For Supposedly Free Battery Replacement
Posted by CCRAWLM on 06/04/2011
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: fccinfo@fcc.gov. 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 member@aarp.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.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2011-06-04:
I don't see why AARP is involved in resolving this complaint, since you got the battery from Consumer Cellular and they billed you directly.

What did CC say when you called and told them you were told it would be free, but were billed?
Posted by Jay on 2011-06-04:
Never give any company your debit card number. As you just found out you loose control of your money.
Posted by FaFaFhooey on 2011-06-06:
Always use a credit card, never a debt card, except at an ATM.
Posted by MRM on 2011-06-06:
Fafa, thats exactly how I do, use credit when making purchases and I use debit for ATM.

And welcome to the site, FaFa! I look forward towards your first star!
Posted by nick may on 2012-08-16:
Consumer Cellular has been a very good company for us, I own a radio shack in Toccoa, Ga and have been very happy with the consumer cellular product. I have not heard of any complaints like this. Every complaint I and the customers have about consumer cellular has been very quickly resolved and fixed. I would recommend this product to anyone. If you have any problems with your service or anything call them and tell them you want to speak to Mike Kerm, he is a manager for the company and that is who I always go to. And if that doesnt help come on by Radio Shack in Toccoa, Ga Zip:30577 1499 Big A Rd, We are right across from wendy's and quality foods.
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Not Good Service - Tracfone Can Be Cheaper But Good Service
Posted by Boheler672 on 11/29/2011
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.
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Phone is good, support is...well, not as good as expected
Posted by Hasani202 on 06/25/2012
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.

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Posted by Alain on 2012-06-25:
Thank you for a very good and informative review! Sharing this information with your fellow consumers will doubtless be very helpful in their selection of a cell phone service!
Posted by Anonysara on 2012-10-18:
I used consumer cellular for 1 and 1/2 years. This passed month, I noticed that calls I did not answer are charged 1 minute. Even if you don't answer the call the company puts 1 minute of usage on your bill subtracting it from the minutes allowed per your plan. Out of 68 minutes used, 25, were minutes of unanswered calls. I quickly changed to AT and T Mobile with 450 minutes at $40.00/month, 5000 roll-over minutes and unlimited calls in the US on weekends. The phone works 100 times more clearly than my Doro410, and I can hear all the numbers of a phone number from a caller. You get what you pay for-no doubt about it!
Posted by sharon on 2013-07-24:
That is sad that a big company would go so low as to charge for a unaswered call.
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Terrible Customer Service. Misinformation.
Posted by Heidi.mciver on 02/03/2014

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.
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Good Cell Phone Service
Posted by Jdemyan on 01/18/2014
Customer service was great and guided through the process of setting up my two phones, wait time for customer service to answer was about 1 to 2 miniutes, staff was friendly and knowledgeable.
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