Consumer Cellular is a small cellular company that offers great low-cost cell plans for every need and budget. Aiming their marketing towards retirees, Consumer Cellular works with AARP and offers discounts for their members. The company is based out of Tigard, Oregon, and has received top customer satisfaction rankings from Consumer Reports in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. They run off of AT&T and T-Mobile networks.

 

Rank Chart
Price
Contract Length
Our Score
#1
$60/3GB
None
6.7
#2
$15 - $50
month-2-month
6.2
#3
$9.99-$199.99
Optional
6.1

The Good

Consumer Cellular does not require long-term contracts, but instead base their service off of a month to month platform. Customers can also change their pricing plan at any time if needed. Consumer Cellular has a great option for a low-cost family plan, especially for those who don’t use phones very often. Their customer service is located in the United States, which means easier communication. Their coverage is nationwide, and only involves a few spotty patches in the mid-west. They also offer an “EasyPay” service where you can make monthly payments to pay off more expensive phones like an iPhones or Android Smartphones.

Because they target retirees, their plans tend to be very inexpensive for those who aren’t looking for a lot of data, text messaging, or minutes. They also provide discounts for AARP members. They have no fees for any of their services, and because they have no contracts, there is no activation fee for their services as well.

Basically, Consumer Cellular customers can expect the following:

  • Reasonable pricing (based on limited services)
  • Discounts for families and AARP members
  • No contracts and month-to-month payment platform
  • Quality coverage nationwide (with a few exceptions)
  • Plan flexibility – change your plan at any time

The Bad

Consumer Cellular is designed to benefit those who want a cell phone, but do not plan on using it to the full capacity. For those who just want basic minutes and text messaging capabilities, then Consumer Cellular will work. However, if a potential customer wants more than that, things can get a little tricky. Consumer Cellular doesn’t offer unlimited data—the highest plan includes 4 GBs. Because they market towards retirees, those that use a lot of data don’t have a lot of use for their services.

Since there is limited data capabilities, customers should consider that when deciding on which phone to use. Consumer Cellular does carry iPhone and Android phones, but customers will have to keep in mind that they will not be able to maximize those technologies with current data services.

Prior to enrolling in the Consumer Cellular service, prospective customers should take a look at the following:

  • Monthly pricing – customers are billed based on the number of minutes they use. These plans start at $10/month where customers are billed per use and range to unlimited minutes for $50/month. Correctly estimating the number of minutes will be essential to having a reasonably priced service.
  • Limited data usage – there are no unlimited data services currently being offered, so if data is a big part of your cell phone usage, you may want to look elsewhere

The Bottom Line

Consumer Cellular is a great option for those who don’t need a lot of minutes, texting, or data. They have really great options for AARP members, and have the same coverage as big networks like T-Mobile and AT&T. They’ve received top customer satisfaction from Consumer Reports for the past five years, and because their service is month to month, you can cancel at any time. As part of their service, customers can expect the following:

  • Basic phone functions at a fraction of the cost
  • Decent device selection to choose from
  • Some restrictions with coverage and data
  • Flexible pricing and plans

Price:

  • For average (2-10gb) Individual Plan
  • for Unlimited Individual Plan
  • for Family Plan (state the gb)

 

For Talk Plans (Nationwide Calling)

Billed Per Use (Minutes) — $10 per month

250 Minutes — $15 per month

750 Minutes — $20 per month

1,500 minutes — $30 per month

3,500 minutes — $40 per month

Unlimited minutes — $50 per month

 

For a family share plan, just add $10 dollars per person to any plan.

 

Text and Data Plans:

300 Texts and 30 MB data — $2.50 per month

1,500 texts and 150 MB data — $5 per month

3,000 texts and 500 MB data — $10 per month

Unlimited texts and 1.5 GB data — $20 per month

Unlimited texts and 3 GB — $30 per month

Unlimited texts and 4 GB data — $40 per month

 

Fees. There are no fees, because there’s no contract. You can also change your plan at any time without penalties or surprises. There’s no activation fee.

 

Additional Services Prices There are special benefits for AARP members, like a 5% discount off of monthly usage charges, and a 33% discount off of select accessories. There’s a 45-day money back guarantee.

You can also try Consumer Cellular for 30 days, 300 minutes, 300 texts, or 300 MBs, risk-free.

 

Contract Length—Consumer Cellular offers a no contract service.

Business started — 1995

 

Company Selling Points For just a few things they pride themselves on are the free 30-day, risk-free trial, the nationwide coverage, and the special benefits for AARP members. They also offer a no-contract service, and no unknown fees.

 

Phone Selection (just a breakdown of what operating systems they work with):

For phone selection, Consumer Cellular offers flip phones starting at $35, iPhones starting at $50 (with EasyPay, which starts with a down payment, and then consecutive payments after that), Android Smartphones (Like Motorola and Samsung) starting at $80, with EasyPay, as well as the option to use your own phone.

 

Ease of Use The website includes everything from the ability to signup, account management, and bill pay. With their FAQs, everything on the website is really easy to use. With their customer service, everyone is located in the United States, which makes it easy to speak with someone that can help you. Overall, their website is very easy to use, and helpful for their customers.

 

Customer Support types They have FAQs, a form email available at the website below, and an phone number for customer support, 1-888-345-5509.

 

https://www.consumercellular.com/Support/Contact

 

Coverage –For coverage, Consumer Cellular offers a map located at the link below that shows where there is coverage available nationwide. Consumer Cellular offers solid service for 4G LTE and talk throughout the east coast and west coast, but with patchy service in the Midwest, throughout Idaho, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska. There are minor patches without service in Colorado and Wisconsin.

 

https://www.consumercellular.com/Support/Knowledgebase

 

Additional Features and services: They also offer the ability to add a landline to your service for only $10 dollars a month, additional to your plan.

 

Company contact information

1-888-345-5509

[email protected]

7204 SW Durham Rd. Ste. 300, Portland, OR 97224

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2 Consumer Cellular Reviews

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  1. User Score

    10

    August 19th, 2015 Chicago, IL

    Great mobile carrier ever

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  2. User Score

    10

    August 17th, 2015 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!

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