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Consumer Cellular

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3.8

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: January 25th, 2023
Number 3 in Blue Circle

3 Things to Look for in a Cell Phone Provider

  1. Coverage  — Look for a cell phone provider that has 4G LTE/5G coverage nationwide and check online for possible deadzone areas.
  2. Affordable Plans — Look for a company that offers multiple plans in an affordable price range. Check to see if the plan offers unlimited talk and enough data to cover your needs.
  3. Device Options  — Look for a cell phone provider that provides service to different types of devices including tablets, smart watches, flip phones, and major smartphone brands.

Consumer Cellular is a small, no-contract mobile phone provider that offers low-cost cell phone plans starting at $20 per month (not including tax or data add-on) for unlimited texts and 250 minutes. From there, plans can be customized to include unlimited minutes and data amounts up to 25 GB per month per line for customers who want to take advantage of app downloads, high definition video, and other uses of the 5G, 4G LTE, 4G, and 3G network. For Consumer Cellular's most advanced plan of two phone lines, unlimited talk, and 25 GB of data, you'll pay around $75 per month.

The company is especially dedicated to meeting the needs of users who are 50 and older, offering AARP members exclusive discounts on its services and Connect plans that sync well with flip phone devices if preferred. Plus, a completely U.S. based customer service team is trained to help inexperienced cellphone users learn how to get the most out of their service and device.

Partnering with well-known brands and retailers, Consumer Cellular phones include nationwide coverage, and its services are located in Target stores nationwide.

Because Consumer Cellular is a budget-friendly cell phone provider, its offerings come up short when compared to other larger-scale companies. For example, Consumer Cellular does not offer unlimited data plans. If you want unlimited data, Consumer Cellular is not the provider for you.

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The Good

  • No-Contract Plans
  • Affordable Plans
  • Unlimited Text
  • Coverage Area
  • Device Options
  • EasyPay Service
  • Mobile App
  • Great Overall Benefits
  • Risk-Free Trial

No-Contract Plans

Consumer Cellular offers no-contract Talk and Connect plans with straightforward benefits.

Additionally, all of the Connect monthly plans include unlimited text messaging. Customers can add phone lines to their plan for $15/month to share minutes, text and data. There are never any additional fees or charges for switching plans if you need more or less from the service. Consumer Cellular has a great option for low-cost family plans, especially for those who don't use phones very often.

You can try Consumer Cellular risk-free for 30 days. If you aren't satisfied, the company won't charge you for that time.

Affordable Plans

Consumer Cellular offers a variety of affordable data plan options that customers can choose from. Its website breaks it down into the number of lines you want, the talk plan you prefer, and the amount of data you want. You choose which option you want from each category and Consumer Cellular's website will give you an immediate estimate on your monthly bill. Here's a breakdown of your options:

  • Phone Lines — One line included in the cost or two lines for $15 per month
  • Talk Plans — 250 minutes of talk for $15 per month or unlimited talk for $20 per month
  • Connect Plans — 500 MB for $5 per month, 3 GB for $10 per month, 10 GB for $20 per month, 15 GB for $30 per month, or 25 GB for $40 per month. All Connect Plans include unlimited text.

If you're a customer wanting one phone line, unlimited talk, and the maximum 25 GB of data, you'll pay around $60 per month.

If you are a customer wanting two lines, unlimited talk, and the maximum 25 GB of data, you'll pay a monthly price of around $75 per month.

Unlimited Text

Although Consumer Cellular makes customers pay more for unlimited talk and additional data, you do not have to pay for unlimited text. Unlimited text is included with all of Consumer Cellular plans. This makes unlimited talk and text for one line $20 per month without data and $60 per month with the maximum 25 GB of data.

Coverage Area

Consumer Cellular coverage is nationwide and only involves a few spotty patches in the Midwest.

Most of the 4G LTE/5G coverage area includes High-Definition Voice coverage, also called wideband voice, which provides clear audio and reduces background noise. It should be noted that Consumer Cellular utilizes multiple wireless networks that vary depending on geographic area and so precise coverage areas from your network may not be determined until you sign up for service.

If you want to check Consumer Cellular coverage in your area, you can do so on the company's website. All you need to do is enter your zip code, and Consumer Cellular will tell you if you're covered. It will also provide you with a coverage map of the entire united states. For exact coverage details, you can drop a pin anywhere on the coverage map.

Device Options

Depending on plan preferences and mobile device needs, Consumer Cellular has a wide array of mobile device options available. Consumer Cellular phones include basic flip-phones for calling and texting, the GrandPad (a senior-friendly tablet), and smartphones for customers who plan on downloading and using apps. Samsung smartphones, Android phones, and iPhones are all compatible with Consumer Cellular coverage and plans.

Customers also have the option to simply use their current mobile phone (under certain conditions) when signing up for a new Consumer Cellular plan. The company provides a free SIM card that is easy to switch out and there are no activation fees for Consumer Cellular phones. It should be noted that in order to be compatible with the SIM card, the phone needs to be:

  • a Consumer Cellular phone
  • a phone previously used with AT&T or T-Mobile (includes Apple and Android phone options and more
  • an unlocked phone (GSM)

It is possible to use a previous phone number, but it depends on the location and the old service provider.

When purchasing a device from Consumer Cellular, customers can choose between a new phone or a certified pre-owned phone if one is available. Certified pre-owned phones are phones that were returned by customers in the 30-day guarantee period and are restored to original factory settings.

EasyPay Service

It also offers an EasyPay service where you can make monthly payments to pay off more expensive phones like iPhones or Android smartphones. Consumer Cellular does not charge interest or additional fees. Customers can make early payments or pay off the remaining balance at any time.

Mobile App

The My CC app gives users the following capabilities:

  • View minutes and data usage
  • Change billing preferences
  • Switch monthly plan if needed
  • Switch to paperless billing options
  • Pay monthly bill
  • Chat with customer service reps
  • View AARP membership card

Great Overall Benefits

Because the company targets retirees, the cellular service plans tend to be very inexpensive for those who aren't looking for a lot of data, text messaging, or minutes. WiFi calling is supported on iPhone models 5C and newer as well as most Android smartphones. Consumer Cellular has no fees for any of their services, and because they have no contracts, there is no activation fee.

AARP member benefits include:

  • 5 percent off monthly fees and usage charges
  • 30 percent off select accessories

Risk-Free Trial

Consumer Cellular offers a 100 percent risk-free trial for all of its customers. If you decide you no longer want Consumer Cellular's services or products within 30 days of purchase, you can request a full refund. This makes Consumer Cellular completely risk free and gives customers peace of mind that they don't have to be locked into its services if they decide to opt out within the first month.

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The Bad

  • Limited Data Plans
  • Additional Phone Line Cost
  • Cap on Roaming Charges
  • Poor Consumer Cellular Reviews

Limited Data Plans

Consumer Cellular is designed to benefit those who want a cell phone, but do not plan on using a lot of data. For those who want basic minutes and text messaging capabilities, Consumer Cellular is a good provider.

However, if a potential customer wants to use a phone to frequently stream videos and music, surf the internet, utilize email, and communicate via social media apps, this company likely isn't the best choice. Consumer Cellular doesn't offer unlimited data-the highest plan includes only 25 GB of data.

Additional Phone Line Cost

Consumer Cellular family plans cost an additional $15 for every added phone line on your plan. Although an added price per phone line is common with most cell phone providers, typically it is less than $15 per month.

With many cell phone companies, having more phone lines on your plan makes your cell phone coverage cheaper. If you don't want to pay $15 for every phone line you want on your plan, we suggest looking into other cell phone providers.

Cap on Roaming Charges

While Consumer Cellular attaches lower international roaming charges than leading cell phone companies like Verizon and T-Mobile (30 cents versus 99 cents per minute of talk), the company also places strict monetary caps on roaming, disabling the phone once roaming charges have reached or exceeded $100 for the monthly billing cycle. While this measure is intended to protect the customer from racking up hundreds of dollars in roaming fees, the cap may be inconvenient to some.

Poor Consumer Cellular Reviews

Although Consumer Cellular has some competitive offerings with a low price and no required contract, consumers haven't given the company many accolades. Consumer Cellular reviews are mostly negative, giving the cell phone provider a low overall consumer rating.

Consumer Cellular reviews rank decent for value for your money but for quality of product and service, customer service, and company trustworthiness, the company falls short. One of the main customer complaints that shows up again and again in reviews is unresponsive and unreliable customer service and technical support, many reviews noting you are either neglected completely or passed around from person to person when trying to receive help.

With the issues Consumer Cellular reviews reveal, customers don't seem to think the low price is worth the bad service.

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The Bottom Line

This is one of the best prepaid phone service carriers on the market for consumers seeking simplicity and flexibility in a phone plan. If you need to adjust your talk or data amounts or add or remove a phone line, there are no fees to make those changes. You can also have unlimited talk and text for a monthly price of $20 for one phone line (this excludes data).

Consumer Cellular customers can expect reasonable pricing (based on limited services), a month-to-month payment platform, quality coverage nationwide, and plan flexibility.

Consumer Cellular is a great option for those who don't need a lot of data but want ample minutes and messages available to spend time talking or texting. The carrier has excellent AARP member benefits and has comparable coverage to the GSM networks it uses, T-Mobile and AT&T.

Perhaps most noteworthy is that Consumer Cellular service is month to month, so you can cancel at any time. Consumer Cellular's customer service is also based in the United States and generally responds promptly to customers.

You can try Consumer Cellular risk-free for 30 days. If you aren't satisfied, the company won't charge you for the time you joined.

However, along with these pros, there are definitely some cons to Consumer Cellular. Consumer Cellular charges $15 for every added phone line on your plan. Many cell phone companies offer better discounts the more lines you add on your plan. If you're a customer wanting more than two phone lines on your plan, you may have better savings with another cell phone provider.

Consumer Cellular coverage also does not include an unlimited plan for data. This makes the service difficult for customers not wanting a limit on how much data they can use.

Lastly, Consumer Cellular reviews are mostly negative, the majority of them highlighting poor customer service.

If you want a no-contract cell phone plan with a small number of phone lines and up to 25 GB or data, Consumer Cellular may be a good provider for you.

However, if you want discounted family plans and if a low price and limited data is not worth poor customer service, we suggest looking into other cell phone providers.

View Best Cell Phone Providers

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Star Rating

2.5

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712 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

28%

4 grade

4%

3 grade

5%

2 grade

10%

1 grade

52%

Sentiment Criteria

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L Dohl Chicago, IL

ordered a phone and new service, found an email within minutes i was canceled. no explanation. Called to find out why, they transferred me to a billing specialist (which is code for fraud ). I talked to the rep and he said i was canceled due to security. I asked if they are going to ask me questions to validate i am who i say i am (I know this because i use to manage a fraud department at another carrier that doesn't have service where i spend most of my time). He said know this is all he has. You cant validate with them. No take a pic of your id and yourself and send in. Nothing. I have no idea why they canceled my order and no way to overcome it. Unbelievable, considering i was paying everything in full up front. Hook up with At&t directly if its their towers you use is my recommendation.

3 weeks ago

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CJ Little Rock, AR

Love! Love ! Love! This company is great. I am 63 yo who didn't need a ton of bells and whistles. Just wanted home phone and texting mainly. For 20.00 a month I get just that. Period. No add on fees, surcharges etc. You know exactly what you are getting up front when you select your service and that is how it is billed each month. There is no yearly contract. You can cancel at any time. The service is easy to access via the web and make a phone selection, service selection. The reps are all English speaking and they provide excellent customer service. I have unlimited talk and text and some data which I never use as I am on my wifi at home. I have never had any problems with the service dropping . I am on monthly automatic billing which is very easy to set up. I don't know why I waited so long to switch.

4 months ago

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Neil Cacci Chicago, IL

I have had CC since 2010. I noticed the last year or so, their overall quality went down substantially. I recently purchased a new phone because we were forced to upgrade to 5G. My latest problem with this company is usage. I inconvenience myself to completely shut the phone down, so as not to waste minutes. I am 5-days into the new cycle and already received an intimidating usage warning. What CC is attempting to do, is raise your rate each and every month. They touted themselves as to say; the customer has "unlimited minutes"; what happened to that? My next step and I suggest everyone on this page will think about this, is to file a complaint with the FCC and you States Attorney General's Office. The more that people will file, the more something will be done to curver what I call "a racket". BTW - I agree with many that the new customer service is horrible. Last inqury found me almost arguing with a young, arrogant and rude customer service employee who was not accurate at all and did not have a clue on how to answer my request. It is a shame, because CC used to be tops but not anymore!

1 month ago

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Gina Donofrio Lafayette, TN

Consumer Cellular is good service even in remote areas. The only thing is, it's not available everywhere. It depends on how close the nearest tower is.

1 month ago

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Pete G. Canonsburg, PA

Consumer cellular's customer service used to be the best of the best before they were bought out by a private equity firm. Their reps used to be highly knowledgeable, courteous, and dedicated to getting it right for the customer. They apparently have a completely new group of customer service personnel who often do not know what they are doing, will never admit when they don't know what they are doing, promise to fix problems and then don't, and generally don't care much about the customer. Sometimes they sound arrogant, sometimes disrespectful. I assume that the new owners got rid of all the old reps and contracted the work out in order to increase company profits. Any time you have a customer service problem they pressure you to go to a more expensive plan.

1 month ago

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Adair Dance Academy Omaha, NE

I have had a great experience with Consumer Cellular and have been with them since 2003. My cell phones have all been purchased through them, one lasting 8 years, most I have had for an average of 4-5 years. Customer service has been professional, helpful and rarely a wait. I added my family for a total of 4 lines with unlimited calls, text and data. I own a small business and conduct business with my cell phone regularly. My one wish would be more data, as we have other family members who use it up faster than I would like but the app shows a quick and easy chart of who has used what and they send texts to alert you of your usage. Our total bill for four busy people is $133/month and I am thinking of adding the roadside assistance. I highly recommend!

6 months ago

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Jim Lund Los Angeles, CA

This is incorrect on this write up as they do offer unlimited data. 2 phones for unlimited everything.

3 weeks ago

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Richard Przybytek Phoenix, AZ

They say no contract. If you buy an iPhone from them, you have to stay for 6 months or they will not unlock your phone. And that is 6 months in a row. I can not call certain 888 numbers. They will not unlock my iPhone 11 so I can go somewhere else. If I leave the phone is useless. They are holding my phone (that I paid full price for upfront) hostage. DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE. You will not like anything except the cost. You get what you pay for. Cricket was much better.

1 month ago

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Mary Ober Austin, TX

Wish I could give no star or negative star. Terrible experience with CC that costed us a lot of time and money. Here is what went wrong with us, and this is brief as there is much more. 1. Said my current phone would work when we switched to them-it didn't and I had to buy a new phone. 2. Said CC at Target could help port info cause customer service couldn't. Went to 2 Targets and no one was there to help. 3. Said they had coverage in Canada (we were going to take a trip there) and at the day before we were to enter Canada found out we had to get a special sim card for our phones to work there. NO ONE TOLD US THAT. So, we had to cancel our trip costing thousands of dollars. Wrote to the company execs-crappy response. Most they would do is reimburse me if I sent my phone back. So that would mean more time and money. Very poor company-stay away!!!!

2 months ago

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Teresa Ferguson Anadarko, OK

Horrible service! After a few months I cancelled and move to cricket. Once I signed up and ordered a phone I got it in a few days but I was received Litterly 15 to 20 calls and texts a day for other people. After dealing with this for about two weeks I called consumer cellular and asked for my number to be changed. The operator helping asked why I wanted a new number, I told her of the many calls and texts a day I was getting that were for other people. She informed me I could not get a new number and she also told me to just ignore the calls and texts. I was furious when I got off the phone. She had an attitude was not even going to try and help me. But, I went on for a few more weeks and then had enough!! I cancelled! I tell everyone about my experience with them. Horrible company!

2 months ago

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Gary Sterner Dracut, MA

My experiences getting started with Consumer Cellular involved a number of problems. I ordered a phone and paid for express (1-2 day) shipping. When the phone had not arrived by the end of a week, and after a couple of inquiries, a second phone was sent. The next problem occurred after I had my new iPhone 13 activated. I noticed that it had been reset a month before I received it (with over six hours of call time). I believed that I may have received a previously used phone rather than the brand new one that I had paid for. I used the Consumer Cellular online chat function to ask about this. I was asked for the model number and waited while the rep checked up on the phone. I was told only that CC would never supply a used phone in place of a new one, that it would be bad for them and bad for the customer. Still curious, I went online and discovered that the model numbers of NEW iPhones start with the letter M. My phone’s model number started with the letter F, telling me that it was “refurbished by the carrier.” I called CC. This rep acknowledged that the phone I was had received was not new and agreed to send me another one. Once the replacement phone arrived, I called to activate it. The phone failed to activate. The rep asked me to read off the numbers on the sim cards of both the refurbished phone and the replacement phone. There was no match to the sim card on record. He took down one of the numbers and said they would use that; it didn’t matter which phone it went with. However, I would have to wait three days to have the replacement phone activated. After three days with no phone service, I called CC once again and was told that the sim card in the new phone (the card I had been told would be used to activate the phone after three days) did not match the records and that it could not be used to activate the phone. CC offered to mail me a new sim card, or “I could go to Target and pick one up.” After never receiving the first phone, after being given a used phone instead of a new one, after being reassured that the phone was not refurbished, after having to go three days with no phone—now I will be making a trip to Target. However, as I am about to go out the door, I get a call from someone at CC who seems to know what they’re talking about; she tells me that the man who said the phone could be activated after three days with the installed sim card (the number of which he had taken) was right. The phone was activated. End of story. Much time wasted over many days; extremely frustrating.

3 months ago

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Debbie Littell Fredericksburg, VA

Great service all around. Monthy cost very inexpensive. Customer Service very helpful always. The only negative in 7 years is reset password. They have the worst reset policy of any company out there. To worried about privacy. There are so many ways to allow access but their staff is not allowed to reset. NEEDS FIXED. If not for password issue a 10 star rating for sure.

4 months ago

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TheRustyScupper Clermont, FL

Changed carriers for cost. Consumer was definitely a better buy. Had a login problem and called their USA Tech Service. Initial person could not help, as this was a new issue. Was transferred to a "senior tech", who thought he knew. Fixed problem in about 5-minutes. Other than the login issue, would have rated a "5-Star". AND, NO WE ARE NOT PAID TO WRITE THIS REVIEW.

4 months ago

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Billybob Winchester, VA

I wouldn't even rate them a one star, but had to, to leave my review. I just got off the phone with consumer cellulars sales department and customer service department. Talk about the WORST EXPERIENCE, i've ever had with a cellular company. They talk over the customer while speaking #1 , Then their attitude's were attroshish. Very disrespectful of a customers questions. It's like your dealing with young kid's that don't wanna listen, and just run on with their mouth's. I mean really, they've turned me off so much, that I ended up hanging up on them. Not a way to get new customers if you ask me. I won't be purchasing service from them ever. And I would feel highly sorry with those that ever do. I can see why they deal with seniors more, because they can probably just take advantage of them. Consumer Cellular isn't what they claim on television advertisement what so ever.

3 months ago

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BlondeMamma56 Tonawanda, NY

If I could give 0 stars, I would. Switching from our old cellular service provider to Consumer Cellular was a big hassle. It took a lot of calling around and digging through paperwork to get various account numbers and pin numbers. The SIM cards were difficult to install and my son's SIM card is still not activated because Consumer Cellular has lousy hours and we can't get in touch with anybody. When we tried to activate his SIM card on line, the system wouldn't even let us create an account. It said our information doesn't match their records. Then it told us to call a phone number where nobody answered the phone. All this to save money? It looks like we're getting what we're paying for. Had I known it would turn out this way, I would have stuck with our former cellular service provider.

3 months ago

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Karl DeKeukelaere Berlin, BE

As a Consumer Cellular customer I called them 3 weeks ago to ask about enabling international usage for my phone. I was told I needed to install their T-Mobile SIM card which I did. I asked if anything else was needed and was told no. Three days ago called Consumer Cellular again to confirm my phone was ready for international usage. They confirmed it was. While in Europe today the phone does not connect. When I called Consumer Cellular I was told that international roaming was not turned on and could only be turned on while in the US. So, I was lied two twice and now must purchase a local SIM card for use while in Europe. Consumer Cellular offered no assistance.

3 months ago

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Thom Drewke Riverdale, NJ

I like Consumer Cellular's customer service. Unfortunately for me, the company uses AT&T cellular towers where I am here in New Jersey. Two very bad things: AT&T coverage is extremely poor outside of urban areas, for example, in relatively rural Northern New Jersey. Second thing: Consumer won't tell you this, but AT&T throttles any third-party tower users, like you if you're a Consumer Cellular user, the moment an AT&T tower gets busy. I watched my already spotty and slower service in Boonton, NJ, drop from maybe 4 Mb/second at 6 am, down to LESS THAN 1 Mb/sec as soon as the town got busy at 10am. Unusable. Had to cancel my account. By the way: the AT&T derived coverage maps lie. And I know this for a fact; I'm a communications engineer and a trained-by-Cisco networking engineer.

4 months ago

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Joe Taylorsville, KY

Well,I've been with consumer cellular15yrs with no complaints but surprisingly that has changed my 600 dollar phone Samsung galaxy 9 + they tell me now it won't work correctly on 5G so I had to get a new phone and comes with no charger or. Cord,, an A13 5G every phone I ever purchased in the past came with a charger and cord none of us asked for this 5G mess,, it's just causting the consumers money and consumer cellular doesn't want to bare any of the burden so I'll send the phone back and find a company that will provide a cord and charger with a new phone funny how a company can suddenly cast off common courtesy and do what it takes to keep a good customer.

5 months ago

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Verne Tyler Monroe, NC

I used to have Verizon while in Massachusetts- $119.00 a month...good service. I moved to North Carolina in 2014....and hooked up with T-Mobile. No dropped calls, but trying to pay my $49.95 a month bill was horrific...every month! - I used no more than 2 gigabytes of date every month for 6 years. I logged online to pay and was rerouted because "We don't recognize your password". They made me change my password almost every month and it would take me a half hour to pay the bill! I finally logged onto Conusmer Cellular to see what was available. I was surprised to see that I could get $100.00 off ($5.00 a month off my bill for 20 months) to sign up. I get 3 gigabytes a month - which is one gig more than I ever used at T-Mobile. So, for that, I'm paying $20.00 a month or $359.40 LESS per year. For $7.00 more, they sent me a brand new Galaxy A12 Android cell phone...so for $27.00 a month (instead of $49.95), I'm enjoying all that I ever had with either Verizon or T-Mobile...and I have a beautiful, larger cell phone with 4 cameras in it! I was so happy with it that I'm featuring it on my YouTube channel with over 2,500 subscribers.....at/jtylermusic.

1 year ago

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Clive Damascus, MD

I have been very happy with Consumer Cellular, where I have enjoyed reliable service, low cost, and well-spoken, patient customer support reps. The support contact sometimes requires waiting for a callback at an appointed time. CC offers to provide service to a compatible phone of your own using a free SIM card. I saved $40 a month by paying $10 to CC for an additional line on my account and transferring my Verizon home number to the CC line. (The transfer of the phone number from most carriers is done in a few minutes, but took a week of waiting for Verizon to do their part.) CC resells service from other carriers. The overall quality of service you receive depends on performance of your phone, strength of the radio signal from a cell tower, network internal bandwidth and reliability, and complex computer systems (they manage technical operation, customer data, and business functions). Any error in this complex web is perceived as a failure of CC. (I wrote these comments in Nov 2021. I use voice more than data).

1 year ago

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Darlene Moore Wooster, OH

I have never had one ounce of problems with Consumer cellular other than I needed to change my sim card from the one that came with the phone to an At&T card because of where I live. Customer service was awesome and sent me one right away. btw to the person who said the back doesn't come off, yes it does. First time is a little tight then it is ok. If you're having problems with Customer Service are you being nasty because I have never encountered a nasty person. To the person who said you couldn't change your plan, yes you can because there's no contract. When I went on vacation I called them and added minutes and then when I came back a week later I changed it back. Now I have unlimited minutes so it doesn't matter. I am reading all the negative reviews and I am perplexed as to how you are reacting to the Customer Service Rep. I know that every product has a lemon and I would imagine CC would take care of the problem. If you happen to get a nasty person turn them in but make sure you aren't the cause of it. btw - Verizon is terrible. I had them and I would never go back to them. They rape you over the coals every time you have to get a new phone and their phones are expensive.

1 year ago

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Amy Jody Raleigh, NC

I love Consumer Cellular. For me, the best thing about this company is their customer service. When I call, I actually get at human being, without a long wait! And I can understand him or her. In a world that is quickly becoming disconnected from human contact, Consumer Cellular is one of the remaining places where you can go, hand your old phone to them, and they do all the transferring of your photos and contacts for you. They even change the SIM card. Yes, I could do that myself, but it'd be a bit of a struggle. I'm not a teen who hyper-ventilates by their phone, nor do I sleep with my phone, nor am I married to my phone. So at $30/month with 3GB of data, that's just fine for me. I hate doing every little thing via an app. I want to deal with a human being, not a website, not an app, not a robot on my phone. So Consumer Cellular is great for me.

2 years ago

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Sitansu B Ghosh Dumfries, VA

Consumer Cellular International Roaming My wife and I are Consumer Cellular (CC) customers for the last several years. We have used our own phones for the whole time. It worked perfectly. I do international travel at least one time a year. CC advised me that I should not use my CC phone for international calls. I used local SIM for overseas communication while travelling. In October 2019, before my travel, I logged into my CC account to check my status. I noticed that I could turn on international roaming. I thought that would be convenient. I call the customer service to have international roaming turned on. They told me I must T-Mobile SIM in my phone to get international roaming. My wife’s phone had an AT&T SIM. I went to the local Target and had a T-Mobile SIM for her phone. On the next day, I called 888-345-5509 and the representative told me that international roaming was activated for two phones in the account. In England, I did not try to use my phone for roaming. I bought a local SIM. My wife tried to make calls to US and locally in England. None of the calls went through. Each time we call a customer service message came in with a phone number. We called the number. That number took us to T-Mobile support and they send us to CC support. We did that for few times. Each time the representatives checked and told us that there was no problem and we should make the call correctly with country code if required. At the end of the day, not a single call went through. Back home, I was surprised to see $27.56 roaming charge in my invoice. I called CC customer service on 11/22. I wanted to know why none of our calls went though and I requested removal of the roaming charges. The rep told me that international roaming was not guaranteed to work and the other reason was that I was using a non-CC phone. I have read the documents posted on CC web page. I could not confirm the above two reasons for failing every single call. I also believe that making me pay for the failed calls will be unfair. I would like to know about the international roaming experience of other customer.

3 years ago

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Sam Knight Marysville, OH

I am surprised at how many bad reviews you've got on this site. I have not had any issues with CC. I ordered my phones and plan on line. Phone & SIM card for other phone arrived within 2-3 days. I called CC and within minutes both phones were activated and ready to go. The rep made sure to let me know that they would activate 1 phone at a time to make sure we were not without a phone. He clearly stated that some phones take 24 hours to transfer. CC even cancelled AT&T for us. I went into my AT&T account to make sure it was cancelled, and it was, indeed, cancelled. I've bought 2 smartphones from them, and both work fine. I researched the phones were I purchased them. The service is just as good as AT&T - good coverage, good reception. I monitor my data usage myself, and whenever possible, I use WiFi at home and work. As for the bad reviews, come on, people, you have to take some responsibility and research your product and keep track of your usage. Customer service was FANTASIC! All 3-4 times I called them, I could clearly understand them, and they were pleasant, helpful and friendly. A lot of these complaints seem to be partly the complainer's fault. Do your research, take responsibility for your data usage, choose the right plan and don't expect something that it's not. You get what you pay for.

3 years ago

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David Bessette Broad Brook, CT

I am retired now and I was in the wireless business for over 15yrs, TMO-AT&T and Verizon. First of all this is a great company and I will tell you why. I have searched everywhere and the price is the best for what you get. CC uses AT&T network or TMO with no slowing of the network speeds. Choose AT&T if your phones are unlocked, it has better coverage. AARP discount 5%. Their customer service guide is very simple to use and understand. I cannot find anything wrong with this company compared to all the others, they are the best. I could go on and on but i may be limited to comments on google. The negative is only on thing and I would not call it a negative and that is this. This company is not ment for data hogs, people who use much over 20GB of data a month. Yes you are a data hog and such you will pay for it. my bill is only $66.50 plus tax so about $80.00 for 3 lines with unlimited calling unlimited messages and 5GB of data which is plenty. Oh yeah if I go over that month it just bumps you to the next data plan up automatically with no stupid fees then back to your original plan. Do your shopping...... This is the best for none data hogs. Oh yeah their customer service is awesome. no one is perfect and they use call centers inside the usa only all easy to understand customer service team. Most people comments are when they are upset not when they are pleased. have a great day!

3 years ago

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One old man Ogden, UT

I changed from Verizon about two months ago and am absolutely DELIGHTED. I would give ten stars if I could. Not only am I saving $35 a month -- $420 a year! -- but I also have used more data than I ever did before and came nowhere near my 2 gig limit. And if I should accidentally exceed that, they just automatically bump me up to the next level ( which is only $5 per month more.) And I LOVE the fact that I can identify a call as spam and have it blocked for FREE. Even better than that, I asked CC to screen incoming calls for possible spam. They block it, but if I then see that it was not spam, I have the option of calling back. It also has a Do Not Disturb option for use at night. It holds calls until morning unless I list a number that will be allowed. In addition, if someone calls three times in about 45 minutes, the call is allowed to come through because it may be an emergency. And when I needed some help, I found it to be easy and quick. On top of that, all their service people are in the US and not Bangladesh or South Slobbovia. They even speak understandable English. My ONLY regret is that I did not do this years ago.

3 years ago

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Maurie C. Batavia, IL

5 stars are not enough! I am amazed that any of the other phone companies can stay in business with the LOUSY customer service they offer by comparison with the MAGNIFICANT experience I had this afternoon with 3 different customers service folks at Consumer Cellular. There were three because I needed to provide additional information and had to call AARP to get my member number and Call T-Mobile to get my account Number and Call my bank because my debit was denied (wrong expiration date) They were each polite, professional, knowledgable, courteous, friendly, and totally customer service oriented. What a VERY pleasant experience. I am switching both of my cell phones to Consumer Cellular IMMEDIATELY!

3 years ago

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Charles Bethpage, NY

I had been paying $50 a month for my mother to have service on Verizon. Because my family had unlimited, I had to pay for her to have unlimited. I decided to give Consumer Cellular a shot even though there were mixed reviews. I ordered my mom an Alcatel Go Flip phone and signed up for the unlimited talk plan from their website, which clearly states that they will but doing a credit check. When I signed up with Verizon, T-mobile they did a credit check as well, its standard. I see people have been leaving bad reviews because they were unaware of the credit check. An hour later I received an email saying it was shipped already ( free shipping ). 3 days later I received the phone with instructions to either activate the phone on-line or over the phone, I chose over the phone. The representative was very friendly and helpful. The whole process to port my mother's phone number over took 7 minutes. I asked if I had to call Verizon to cancel her service. He said no, but to be on the safe side it can't hurt. I called Verizon to confirm her line was canceled and it was. The phone/service works perfectly. They even give the first month free, can't beat that. I'm not one to write reviews but I almost didn't go with Consumer Cellular because of the mixed reviews. I'm starting to wonder if they are even legit.

3 years ago

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Gary Hall Saint George, UT

We have been members for many years now. We started with a cell phone for my 90 year old mother. Now we have their phones for my wife and sons, and I would switch as well if I didn't have two tablets and a phone with Verizon. But, time may change that. We now have also the "Ally" Medical Alert Button for my mother, who is now 93. When our first ally developed a slight problem, all it took was a phone call and they had it replaced for free within a few days. Every problem we have had has been solved by the best customer service we have ever used. Other companies should take note! Their phones used to be only for the aged, but now they have all sorts of phones and plans for the best prices around, from large smart phones to old flip phones. And we truly can cancel or change or add items quickly and easily!

5 years ago

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Peggy ODoherty

I paid 6 months in advance and I changed over to TMOBILE because no one is ever at Target for help. They don't answer the phone either!!!!!! I had $160 left credit when I changed over May 25th 2022. As of today November 1st, 2022 I stilll have not received my credit of $160.00!! I have called 10 times, have talked with billing and they have told me it's on the way numerous times. They sent it to the wrong address 2 times and they said " they had to stop payment" which I dont believe. THEY ARE LIARS AND THEY ARE CHEAP!!!!!!! DONT USE THIS COMPANY-VERY UNPROFESSIONAL

3 months ago

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Susan E Weinberg Billings, MT

I’ve had CC for 6 years. At the time they were a reasonable cost compared to ATT which I had before. I’ve bought 2 iPhones from them. But recently (last 6+ months) I’ve been been getting spotty data and in some part in the center of the city I couldn’t get anything at all. Called and they said they’d send me another SIM card. Funny though, that’s what they did about 1+ years ago. This time the SIM card they sent was just as useless, so I changed carriers. If you live in a rural state, don’t bother with this carrier. Also their customer service has really gone downhill. Sounds like they farm it out to individual’s home phone and they’re unknowledgeable. They close it 5 pm and off all weekend. They used to have longer hours and the csa’s were knowledgeable. Now they’re crap. Also when switching over they wouldn’t unlock my phone for the new carrier even though they sent me a text with the 6digit code for the new carrier and when I called asking why they wouldn’t unlock it, they said the other carrier made a mistake when in reality it was them. In the interim after that, they cut off my phone line entirely for a 12 hour period where I could even reach either carrier! I think she did it for spite. I’m very disappointed with them. And now that I’m with a larger carrier with better service, instead of $35 with CC (taxes included) I’m paying $14 (taxes included) with the new carrier. Don’t bother with them. They must’ve been bought out by a venture capital firm and then cutting costs to milk the profits from it before they flip it to someone else.

4 months ago

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G.J. Boise, ID

I have had Consumer Cellular for a couple of years. At first it was great but not so good now. I have problems with not being able to hear me and I can’t always hear them either. My phone keeps cutting out the only way I get good service is if I stand outside and be perfectly still. Half of the time when I am away from my home I can’t get any internet service. I have a Samsung Galaxy A21 phone I thought when you have a cell phone you should be able to use it away from my home.. I knew I didn’t want a smart phone. I am going to start looking for a different phone carrier.😩

4 months ago

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JJ Napa, CA

I have been with consumer cellular for almost 10 years and was happy until today. My rating was 4-5. It is a now a 1 My phone finally gave out so I ordered a new one. It arrived today. I went to charge it and found out it couldn’t be charged. Samsung apparently no longer provides a cable for charging except a C cable with a C connector on both ends? WTF? I have 8 charging stations with multi charging on each one. They all have the standard USB output that we are all used to and have been using all along. The duel end C cable of course is useless in this charging system. I thought they must have sent me the wrong cable so I called Consumer cellular to get them to send me the right cable. After waiting some time their customer service came on the line. I identified myself and told the rep the problem. She – like a 12-year-old girl giggled all through this whole exchange until I raised my voice. She then stopped giggling pretending she was actually over 12. The only problem was she had no idea how to 2-way communication. Shew incessantly interrupted and talked over me. I finally had to tell he I would talk and when I wanted her to talk and respond I would say your turn. This of course is totally silly to have to do but I had no choice. I was talking to a immature person who should have been selling cool-aide not being a customer service rep. She suggested I could buy a wall unit to plug my cord into either from consumer cellular of by one elsewhere. I on the otherhand suggested that maybe they could send me a proper cable – one with USB on one end and (in this case) C cable end on the other. She insisted they could not do that and hat I would have to spend more money and waste more time to and buy the charging end for the junk cable Samsung sent me. We next moved on to her supervisor. Working with this child was exhausting and infuriating since she kept repeating that Samsung did not include the plug in end with their phones. She just could not get it into her head that thjat was not the issue. The unusable cable was the issue. So supervisor. No luck there either. The supervisor must have trained this child for her customer service position since she was telling me the same BS. So from 4-5 to 1 rating. I have never been so infuriated by customer service since Amazon’s gemes from oriental lands. Are all customer service people going to be dingbats from now on? I hope not because I feel sorry for consumers. Are all cellphone manufacturers going to be as cheap and idiotic as Samsung and Iphone? although I bet IPhone at least gives you the right cable or a way to plug it in. Maybe not. I don’t use the ultra-expensive IPhone. I neither need to impress my friends or throw my money away. A any rate I found a better plan for about the same money so bye bye Consumer cellular. Your customer service stinks and your prices are not that good. Also goodbye Samsung fopr just being idiots with your ultra-cheapness and your idiotic cable that is useless to most people. I feel much better now thank you.

4 months ago

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Susie Adams Roanoke Rapids, NC

They increased my data plan when they deemed I was going over my current data amount without my consent, I was charged for text messages that they put through to me although I had cancelled text and charged me for a text they allowed me to receive from someone else and I am billed for usage after they shut my service down because I did not call to cancel my service.

5 months ago

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RanDanger Moline, IL

I’ve has CC for two years. I’m pleased with their coverage. Streaming videos on mobile devices works well. Using phones as hotspot is able to do Zoom meeting well. I got Consumer Cellular Home Base in March, 2022. Call quality is OK. When the phone rings I have 3 rings to answer the phone before it transfers to voicemail. Not enough time for a home phone. I looked for hours on line to find out how to change this only to have CC tell me I can’t do that myself. I have to call their service center, tell an agent I want more rings. However, it isn’t a number of rings, it is a number of seconds limited to 30 seconds at most. They then call AT&T, the actual CC carrier, and place an order with AT&T to change the time. It still isn’t enough time. CC caters to the elderly but this isn’t enough time for an elderly person to walk across the room to get to the phone before VM picks up the call. I had to wait over 1 hour one time I called CC. Not acceptable for a “consumer” oriented company.

10 months ago

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MICHAEL S ROSS Sherman, TX

The phone service is excellent. The phone reception is excellent. But it's impossible to do business with Consumer Cellular. They wine about the crippling pandemic and how it has affected their business and reduced the number of employees. I waited two hours (2 [email protected]@!!!) for someone to answer my call today 3/6. Finally, I had to end the call. So I was fed up and tried to email them, using the published on-line email address. Seconds later I got a message stating the email address is unresponsive. So I tried using their chat program. I found I was 21st in line. I entered my "chat" and found that I had to wait (FOR 21 CHATTERS!!!!!!!!!!!) FOR A RESPONSE. I am ready to try another phone server. Consumer Cellular should add 50 cents to every customer's bill and hire enough phone operators to do the job.

10 months ago

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R Hebert

Been a CC customer for 4-5 years. Always loved customer service before. The CSRs are still very pleasant and seem helpful but what they've told me and what's reality don't seem to match up anymore. Let's start with the CC/Target "partnership." CC CSRs will tell you that you can go to Target and someone there will help you with all kinds of things like transferring your contacts, content, etc. If you call or go in to Target, tho, they'll tell you they only activate your phone. It's like when one person thinks they're in a solid relationship and the other person is looking feeling used. The target folks have told me that CC will set up appointments for customers at times when there's nobody on duty at Target. (This came up because the person told me they leave at 4pm and don't work Sundays, and Target had offered me Sunday appointments as well as a 5pm appt for that day). Keep in mind, Target is your ONLY hope of having a human talk to you, in person, about your phone. Then there's this situation with my hotspot. I bought it from CC a while back. Probably early 2020. it's a ZTE hotspot, it has a CC sticker inside, and it says 4G on the outside (embossed into the phone). CC keeps telling me they can't promise they'll be able to support it because I bought it elsewhere. NOT TRUE. Then they tell me they won't be able to support it because it's a 3G device. NOT TRUE. Also, they no longer offer hotspots of any make. What looks like the truth here is that they wish they'd never sold or supported hotspots. I assume they're telling other customers the same story. This really had a negative impact on how I view this company. I got the ConnectPad. You can get unlimited data on it, for a price. I wouldn't mind that, if it shared that data with the hotspot. Guess what. No sharesies. Also, about the ConnectPad. No flashlight. If you've ever had your power go out, you know how handy that light on your cellphone can be. It's the one thing you have with you almost all the time. Also, I'm not crazy about the power button. That's how you bring your device back when it's asleep. But the button is small and not that easy to push, and it's right next to the volume button. So if you're trying to hear a caller better, it's possible you're going to mash that button by accident and completely turn off your phone in the middle of a call. I do like the charging dock, actually. My tablet slides right in, and the magnetic connector at the bottom keeps it in place. No fumbling with the usb connector, trying to figure out which way is up. But it's inconvenient to carry with you. So I'm looking around. I don't have very good coverage where I live, and the AT&T sim option has worked out for me. I really don't want to jump to AT&T. I wish Consumer Cellular would go back to being the nice company it was.

11 months ago

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Larry Kutnicki Brooklyn, NY

I have using Consumer Cellular for about 4 years... with no issues! The service has been fine as expected, and the pricing very fair especially for seniors! When I needed a new iPhone XR (moving up from iPhone 6) CC pricing was fair ( basically the same as most others at the time) and the 24 monthly payments is working well for me. AARP membership offers a small discount too.

2 years ago

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NC Man Raleigh, NC

I was thinking of switching 4 lines from VZW to Consumer Cellular and read the reviews here. They were mostly negative so I was a bit put off and decided to get a test number/SIM to try out. Everything went well, the connection was excellent and so I switched over all 4 lines. Not only am I paying about half of what I was paying with VZW, but I get more data. Customer service is excellent. They are all in US, and very pleasant and helpful. Holding time was 1 hour, 20 minutes, 0 minutes, 2 minutes on the 4 occasions I had to call to get my number ported over. Best decision I made!!!!

2 years ago

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Linda Crow Agency, MT

We love Consumer Cellular. They have been our provider for years. There is always someone patient and understanding on the help line. Never have we had a problem with our bill. The minor issues we have had with our phones were quickly and easily taken care of with their excellent customer service. If you're looking for a provider, look no further!

3 years ago

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Rick Deckard Hernando, FL

Elderly Retired: My wife and I moved from Verizon to CC over 5 years ago for cutting our monthly cell phone bill less than half. Less than $50 per month for 2 phones was a no-brainer! We started with the “Huawei Ascend 2” and loved this phone! A little over a year ago we both moved to the iPhone 6S. This phone is a bit narrower than the Huawei and much lighter! We both like the iPhone with all its great features and both sync our phones to iTunes for loading music! The only drawback with the iPhone is we never knew when we had a voice mail? Voicemail Screen in our phone app was always blank! Always had to dial “1” to check to see if we had voicemail! Recently had a friend with an iPhone 8 show her Voicemail tabbed screen alerting incoming voicemails with even a little recording on her Phone. So why don’t we have this feature with CC? First Customer Support call was a Female in Oregon. She did mention that I need to set up my “Visual Voicemail” but could not walk me through that setup on this first call! I then did some Google searching and found this: Receiving the notification is a feature provided by your service provider - it's called a MWI (Message Waiting Indicator). Generally it requires a bind between their voicemail server and their SMSC so that the notification can be passed to your phone over the SMS network. In general, these are sent as "push" notifications - the server informs your phone you have a voicemail. This is what allows your phone to produce an alert/notification even when it is locked and the voicemail app isn't running. Essentially, if you're having issues with this, but can still access your voicemail, then you should push back to your service provider using the above details to sound like you know what you're talking about iPhone Visual Voicemail needs to be provisioned on the customer account. iPhone Visual Voicemail also requires a back end Visual Voicemail server on the phone company's end. If they don't have one, a customer's iPhone will only receive regular voicemail, with no way for the phone app to indicate any number of messages received. Armed with this great bit of information I called Charlotte Customer Support in Arizona! She brought up my recent call case info and could not understand why the first agent did not activate Visual Voicemail on our 2 phones? Does this cost any extra? No this feature is included in all of our iPhone plans! Now I am wondering why this was never activated when we moved from Android to iPhones? After she left me on hold to accomplish this activation she came back to talk me through Visual Voicemail set up. Do you have latest IOS? Yes Version 12.2! Again after trying several different steps we could not get it to work. She suggested that it might be my only one or two bar signal strength at my house and I need to drive to a stronger cell signal need at least 3 bars. Ok I will try that. Well this did not work either! On my third call to Nicha in Arizona she did a reset of my mailbox and I still could not set up Visual Voicemail? After doing some more Google searching about this issue I found that I might try restoring my phone to a recent backup in iTunes. We don’t use iCloud so our phones are backed up to PC and MacBook! This did erase current saved text messages and my wife was a little upset losing those! Sure enough doing a Backup Restore in iTunes suddenly activated Visual Voicemail on the reboot! Although we like CC for its great prices and great coverage in Florida there is a definite lack of strong technical support from customer service! Hope this may help those out there in this CONUNDRUM!

3 years ago

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Roger Clarksville, TN

The price is right! Can not beat Consumer Cellular for value. Usually have no problem with calls most everywhere in the US. However, customer service has declined since we signed up. A couple of years ago we could call and an agent would pick right up. Now, it's a wait or use automated call-back. Biggest drawback is that credit card company and the IRS could not send a verification code to my phone because the number "could not be verified" as belonging to me! I'm told by CC customer service that my caller ID will only ever show up as "wireless caller," never my name unless the call is to someone with me in their contacts. That explains the problem . A real drawback but I guess worth putting up with given the price of service with CC is a fraction of directly with a wireless carrier.

4 years ago

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Dave S Lee, MA

My wife and I switched from AT&T coverage years ago as we were paying a fortune for minimal talk minutes with no texting or data. Fast forward and now with Consumer Cellular we have unlimited talk and text and a minimal 250MB data for $33.25 + tax/fees monthly, and can increase data plan for a low cost. We purchased our phones. Connectivity is great.

4 years ago

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John

I have been a consumer cellular customer for a number of years and have been very satisfied with their service. I have two phones on my account and seldom go over 2gb of data use. With taxes my total bill is about $60 every month. The few times I have had to contact customer service I received prompt and courteous service. If the service does not meet your expectations then maybe you should of done more research . For what they offer at the price they are very good.

4 years ago

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Squeaky Chicago, IL

I've used Consumer Cellular for four years. I stay with them because they're a great value and have reliable service. Instead of adding high fees when I go over my plan's limit, they just bump me up into the next-level plan, which is just a few dollars more. At the end of that billing period, I switch back to the lower-cost plan. It's painless and very affordable. Their fees are extremely reasonable and as far as I know have not even gone up since I've been a customer. They also do not require a contract. When I first became a customer, they didn't have a very good selection of phones, but that's improving; they have phones by Apple and Samsung now (although I use a great little Moto that I love that was only $100). The only reason I would not give them five stars is because their e-mail support is awful. If you have a technical problem, call them and speak to a live human. Their phone support is good. But if you e-mail them with a problem, you'll get a cut-and-paste reply that makes little sense and probably won't solve your problem. Skip it and call them instead. I have never used their phone service in another country, so I can't comment on that.

4 years ago

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Richard M. Koch San Antonio, TX

I have been with Consumer Cellular since Jan. 2012. They have exceeded my EVERY expectation since joining them. Their phones, accessories, talk & data plans, AND their knowledgeable, friendly (& PATIENT!) service reps are incredible! I have had nothing but great experiences with them from day one, and the folks I have referred to them feel the same way! I would not consider switching carriers - even for a cheaper rate! I plan to remain one of Consumer Cellular's biggest fans! I've NEVER been disappointed!

7 years ago

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Susan Bowes Aberdeen, WA

i had the service several years ago and it was no better then a state phone it dropped calls but they didn't tell you when you went over your plan so i was stuck with a large bill

2 months ago

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Review Source

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Prayer Partner Jacksonville, FL

Aren't you always skeptical of the commercials and mailings that talk about such good deals? Well, Consumer did just what they said. We don't use the cellphone much so their bottom line of the 250 minutes with a starter contract was perfect. We used 12 of the minutes last month. But we do more texting and that's unlimited. We couldn't be happier. And they let you know if you get close to your alloted number on the internet access. Being the great company they are, they will bump you up to the next level (which is very few dollars) and bump you back down when the cycle starts over. So, you never EVER pay an "over the limit" fee. The commercial is right. Its the best cellphone offer around. Bar none,

1 year ago

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Ike Standifird Evansville, IN

When I call for help with my phone, a live person is quickly on the line. I experience zero black out zones. Hardware is well priced

4 months ago

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Edgar Prothero Clio, MI

They kept turning off my service (what little I had) despite having a substantial credit on my account. Service in this little town in Michigan SUCKS, their coverage map is not correct. Their "technicians" only know how to tell you to turn your phone off - then back on again which never helps. Trying to close your account (currently doing) seemingly takes 3 weeks before you get your money back which they take IMMEDIATELY. Their "managment" is rude and unhelpful. Don't waste your time or money with this company - you'll be sorry if you did.

5 months ago