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Consumer Cellular

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3.9

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: February 22nd, 2024
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.

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Star Rating

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2.1

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768 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

27%

4 grade

5%

3 grade

5%

2 grade

10%

1 grade

53%

Sentiment Criteria

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Quality

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Joseph

Misleading "unlimited" data plan. Over 50 they throttle you back so as to render the connection largely unusable most of the time. I really dislike false advertising. Also agree with other complaints about customer service going downhill.

3 months ago

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tantive011

I give them 2 stars ONLY because my 93 year old father needs a phone!!!! A few years ago I set him up with an account on Consumer Cellular.com We were paying his bill online without issue. All of a sudden, this year I cant log in with the password, it's asking me for a PIN which we never had.................. I contacted customer service, now understand, my father had a stroke last year, so he's not as cognitive as he used to be. So, I talked to the representative whon informed me they need to talk to my father...fine.... then they start asking him all these questions and all they did was confuse him. He told me to hang up and we will just pay by check. so yeah, not good!!!!

6 months ago

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Genny Castrodale Chicago, IL

Pretty good coverage. Pretty good price. Now have to wait on long hold to get a hold of someone. Then I was told “our systems are updating. Call back in 3 hours.”

3 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.

1 year 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.

1 year 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.

1 year ago

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P. K. Terry Congerville, IL

Signing up with Consumer Cellular has been an arduous task to say the least. When I checked to make sure our current unlocked phones were compatible with their service, I was told yes. Fifteen phone calls, 20 days later, and being told I needed to drive 50 miles round trip to see a representative that was not even working, a non Consumer Cellular employee told me my Samsung S7 was not. About every 10-12 calls to Customer Service, you will get someone that actually knows what they are talking about (such as Tess and LaVern. The rest of the time, you get totally new employees that don't know what they are talking about. I do appreciate they are saving me money on my cellular service, but the hassle is unforgiveable!

1 year ago

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OP Games Warner Robins, GA

I have had a Consumer Celluar subscription for a couple of years. I have always been satisfied with it until the last two months. In that time my data plan usage has started to show usage every dat and even to the point of having to move up to a higher level due to data usage. I DO NOT USE DATA ON THIS PLAN. I never go on the internet with this plan but for some reason my data usage keeps creeping to the limit every month. I called customer service and was met with a very sarcastic and nasty rep (said she was a tech) but all she keep telling me was I am using data. Could not explain why I suddenly after two years has started using all this data. WATCH OUT. Seems to be a systemic way of increasing receivables for the company. I dropped both my text and data coverage and just left talk due to this obvious company attempt to increase profits. So far they are the cheapest available for one phone with talk just to use in emergencies (as far as I know) so I will shop around for sure.

1 year ago

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R M Aldie, VA

I am with Consumer Cellular for last one month. Coverage is good. Customer service is miserable takes more than an hour, timings of the customer support is like office hours (9-5) not exactly 9-5 but not like 18 hours customer support forget about 24 hours support. This is the worst experience I had so far. My billing cycle is activated the day I purchased SIM online and it took 5 days to reach me then I immediately activated. But none of the Customer support could fix it since the day one. All they say is wait until first bill is generated then call us again (spend another hour to reach us).

1 year ago

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Jay Pao Queens, NY

Aside from the connection issues that occurred prior to the pandemic, the service really sucks during this difficult time. My phone won't ring when others call me and the voicemail was delayed more than half a day. Lately, the data functions really plummeted! Webpages won't load when you are away from home. All of this keeps happening even after I call its tech support, which is practically useless, several times recently with absolutely no improvement after I reset my phone and they supposedly did their part on its server end. Today I was using my gas app outside and it won't load and I had to hold the line and reboot the phone, losing all my notifications, some of them I needed urgently. I'm thinking of switching to another carrier. Sick and tired of talking to them.

1 year ago

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Charles Whyte Durango, CO

Consumer Cellular, Inc.: You Will Pay for Their Mistakes Read the reviews. Check with the Better Business Bureau. My experience with them has been unfortunate. I ported my two mobile phone numbers to another carrier because of poor coverage, thereby cancelling my service with them. But Consumer Cellular continued to bill me for one of the two lines that was cancelled, because of a computer error. I called their customer disservice line (you cannot write to them; there is no published customer service email or address) and waited a very long time to be told that they would not correct that billing. They would continue to charge me for service that they knew was not provided. This is how I learned Consumer Cellular is not trustworthy and that their customer service personnel are poorly trained and unhelpful. I will not call them again. Fool me twice… Note, this was not an end-of-service proration issue. This was my being charged incorrectly for the last month (and again for the next month) of service on a line that was disconnected. And they were aware of that fact and intentionally refused to correct it at that time. Well, I did not pay that bill. And you wouldn’t either. So, Consumer Cellular charged me a late fee. A month later, the incorrect changes were mysteriously corrected and within 30-days of that correction, I paid them what I owed them which was the correct prorated charges for the last month of service. But I did not pay the late charge (you wouldn’t either). Now every month I get an invoice with a late charge for not paying the previous month’s late charge, which was bogus to begin with. Is that even legal? These compounding late charges are beginning to add up. I expect there is no way to stop this extorsion other than to pay it. They cheat me; they will cheat you.

2 years ago

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Coles Buchanan Gwynn, VA

The agents were very helpful. I had some hiccups with my service at the beginning, but after a couple of calls they were able to mostly straighten it out. However they did not know that AT&T would not support WIFI calling on my phone. So after a couple of weeks with AT&T, I decided to try T-Mobile. They did support wifi calling on my phone. However the overall coverage was not good enough for me so I canceled my Consumer Cellular plan. Thats where the problem began. My entire plan was going to be $19 a month. But since I canceled, I was charged $29.73 for "data overage". This on top of the $10 it cost me to get a T-Mobile sim card from Target. So for a "NO OBLIGATION" trial of a plan that was supposed to cost me $19 a month, I've got $39.73 invested on top of what I paid Verizon for the month, since I wasn't sure if this would work out. Not what I was expecting from their "Award Winning Customer Service". What I got was a supervisor who could only say that's company policy and apparently wasn't authorized to do anything.

2 years ago

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Dennis Marker Saginaw, MI

Consumer Cellular seems to be the way to go for seniors on a fixed budget. But anyone with Consumer Cellular must NEVER lose their mobile phone!! After my phone went missing, it took literally HOURS for me to finally get a rep on a live chat, since my attempts to get support by phone failed several times, leaving me no way to deactivate the phone, which left all my data and files accessible to whoever was in possession of it!! In the desktop app or website, there's NO way to select "lost phone." I was forced to go to Target and buy a new affordable smartphone, which only ONE was left in stock; then wait until after hours to FINALLY get a rep in a live chat, so my new phone would have calling capability!

2 years ago

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Glenn Catania Sr West Hartford, CT

My experience with consumer cellular went fairly well until I left. They never sent me a final invoice either by USPS mail or Email. They waited a few months and then sent me a threatening email that my account was going to collections if not paid immediately. There was no way I could see an invoice or respond. They only answer calls until 5PM. Somehow my bill was inflated to almost 100.00 after a monthly bill of approximately 60 dollars. Instead of any invoice, this is what I received: "Consumer Cellular bills airtime & monthly fees in arrears ~ after they have been used. This invoice is for services used during your final billing period up until the day service was canceled. Please reference the Monthly Summary section on page 2 to verify the days you are being billed for on this invoice. The Billing End Date is the last day of service. We only bill you for the days you were on service. Therefore, both the monthly service charges & minutes included in your rate plan are prorated. If, for example, you were using the service for half the billing period, we would only bill you for half the monthly fee and you would receive only half the included minutes for your rate plan before being billed for additional usage." My advice: If you decide to leave Consumer Cellular watch out for the inflated bill as a source of punishment for leaving. I am not very happy with Consumer Cellular.

2 years ago

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Sadie Louisa Richmond, VA

The rates seemed very good at first, but they eventually went up to be comparable to any other carrier. I switched from ATT and immediately noticed coverage is much poorer on Consumer Cellular, both near where I live and while travelling in the US. I am always that person in a group with no coverage (and I am not talking about rural areas). The main reason I am dropping CC though is the unbelievably expensive coverage in Europe. They have nothing comparable to the "day pass" other carriers offer. For decades I have travelled at least once/year in France, the UK, and elsewhere. I paid over $600.00 for 9 days of usage in October (and was careful to turn cellular data off whenever possible). This is over twice as much as I've paid for a full month or more on other plans, and on those plans I did not have to worry about cutting back data usage. I was assured when I switched to CC that overseas service plans were competitive with other carriers. This is not even remotely true. Customer service was no help whatsoever.

2 years ago

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Kathy Bruss Tomei San Angelo, TX

I have no complaints at alkl with their cell phone service other than occasional texts not going thru. Howeever, their ZTE phone base is an absolute piece of junk. We bought one 13 months ago and it has never worked properly. I call or online chat with them monthly. They pass me around from person to person and each one says they know what' wrong with it...and they provide a "FIX" that never lasts beyone one phone call. This thing cuts off EVERY SINGLE CALL we make or recieve. The last time I calleed CC they said it was my personal phoe that was the pborlem....so we tried five more different phones and it still doesn't work. Today I called asking for some sort of refund for the $240 I've spent in bills for a service that doens't work and they told me they can't give me anything because their records show usage. OF COURSE THERE WAS USAGE. We can dial out and people can call in....BUT IT ALWAYS DISCONNECTS. I asked for name and address of the CEO so that I could write a letter and they told me there is no longer anyone to write to, no one that can receive a letter...that the company is owned by some firm but there is no longer any CEO. Really? A company that is run by nobody? They basically told me to pound sand..,.that they could "pass on" my complaints but there was no one for me to write to. Do not waste any money on the ZTE Base. Its a piece of junk.

2 years ago

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Dennis Baker Buffalo, NY

In early summer of 2021 my text function on my 6 month old consumer Cellular phone became frozen. I called the CC service assistance line and was left on hold for long periods of time. My customer service experience was terrible. I visited a phone rep in the Target store where I purchased the phone and he subsequently replaced my text application with another. A few months later I was only receiving about 75% of texts sent to me. Again calls to the CC customer service assistance line. The representative was unable to cure this problem but suggested a factory reset. In order to save my data such as contacts and pictures I needed to purchase a san-disk. I returned to Target and asked for assistance with their inhouse phone representative. After spending about 10 hours, after 6 separate visits, my problem was never fixed and in-fact lost 166 pictures with many of them irreplaceable. My suggestion to anyone looking for a new phone. Don't purchase Consumer Cellular phones and don't visit a Target store in hopes of correcting phone issues. Both companies offer extremely poor customer service. Every time I see a Consumer Cellular advertisement on TV touting they have received excellent customer service ratings from the J D Power Co. for ten year in a row I would how they can get away with this massive lie.

2 years ago

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Greg Rhodes Fort Lauderdale, FL

Signed up w/ CC Spring 2019. Rarely had to call Cust. Service. When I did in 2019 & 2020, the hold times were short & the U.S. based reps were courteous, articulate, responsive & helpful. But in Spring 2021, hold times increased, & the reps generally seem to have some loose bulbs upstairs. Spring 2021 promotion: add another line, get a modest $25 credit, which I did. Calls related to that change (which involved # porting, pro-ration charging periods) were agonizing due to 45 minute wait times & dim-witted reps. Fast-forward to October 2021: CC offers a $100 credit for adding a new line! 4 TIMES the credit they offered 5 months ago for the same thing! I called to complain that existing customers like myself who took the Spring 2021 offer felt being taken advantage of now, WITH 4 TIMES THE CREDIT BEING OFFERED FOR THE SAME THING! I can understand maybe twice the credit, but 4 times? My complaint fell on deaf ears. They refused to offer any kind of goodwill credit. No flexibility. They responded like mindless automatons.

2 years ago Edited October 20, 2021

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David Woulfe Great Mills, MD

I had to purchase a new phone as they said they could not use my 'old' V phone (<1 yr old). I purchased a new S phone and they had the same issue setting it up. I was finally able to make the 2nd new phone work by changing the settings to the A network. Service was great, cost even greater; then began the scams; making me wonder about my '2nd' phone. Now they want me to buy another 'new' phone (3yr old chinese) as the network is upgrading to 4-5g. My current phone supports 4g, they say it does not, manufacture says it does, all modes. Leaving CC behind as I can no longer trust them, not certain I ever should have.

2 years ago

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Phone User

I have had Consumer Cellular as my cellphone carrier for about 5 years. I never had any problems with them until this month. I ordered an iPhone from them on June 6. After it arrived and I had a chance to set it up, I realized I disliked the phone. I sent the phone back using UPS. Consumer Cellular received the phone in perfect condition on June 24th. They emailed me within 24 hours of receiving the phone saying that they had credited back to my debit card/bank account the full refund. They never did. There was NO refund from them in my account. Three days in a row I contacted Consumer Cellular, inquiring where was my refund. Each time they said that it takes 7-10 days for a bank to release the refund into a customers bank account. This is NOT true. This excuse is just what the customer service agents are trained to say!! I called my bank today and they said they never received any funds from Consumer Cellular for my account. Zero. Zip. Nada! So now, my bank has set up a dispute with Consumer Cellular to get them to make good on my refund. It should take several days or longer to get any results. Apparently Consumer Cellular has done this before with other customers: promising a refund but then not giving the refund!! This is a very dishonest, shoddy way to run a business!!

2 years ago

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Kelley Stevens Huntington Beach, CA

Switched from AT&T to Consumer Cellular. Could not make or receive calls from home. Made 5 calls to customer service. Finally had someone at CC reset something (perhaps my priority), now I can make and receive calls at home. Have been warned, I need to monitor and call back if this changes. Should I anticipate no reception again? Seems so. Want wi-fi calling to ensure this is not a problem in the future? Have to go to Target, spend more $ to get a new SIM card to switch from the AT&T network to T-Mobile. BUT, it will use time from the CC plan. So, the point of wi-fi calling is what? The old adage, "you get what you pay for", seems to apply.

3 years ago

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CowboyAl O'Fallon, MO

I am extremely disappointed in the coverage of Consumer Cellular. I have been a customer for quite a number of years because it is inexpensive. However, whenever I get into rural areas, I almost always lose service. Even just outside my city (St Louis) is a shooting range....where I lose service. I lose service when visiting mom in rural central Illinois, family in rural Wisconsin, traveling through rural Arkansas and Texas. Sure makes my iPhone GPS undependable. However.... I do praise the voice clarity, am satisfied with uploads and downloads, and love the price. My cost would double to go to most carriers from my approximately $45 per month for two phones and unlimited data. So, for now I'm staying with this company....but bought a Garmin GPS to cover the deficiencies in this company. To Consumer Cellular I say : Get towers from someone other than AT&T or T-Mobile! Theirs are inadequate.

4 years ago

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MM

Got CC for my mother because her budget is limited. She is old school flip phone only and has no internet. The CC Phones are crap. Phone customer service worthless, keep being told to go to “dealer”. No dealers avail. , only Target and they just dial CC and you talk on the phone at Target. There is no one to help my mother retrieve messages. The expense of having to keep buying a new CC phone 3 in 2 years) would have covered her service with her old Samsung with her previous carrier. CC needs to have a real store with people that can physically help senior citizens that do not have internet or smartphones and are hard of hearing.

4 years ago

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Nancy Lee Seattle, WA

BEWARE!!!!! I switched to Consumer Cellular December 28th, 2018. In the time I have been with them, I had to change phones 3X. Once was my fault so I am not including it in any of this review. Each time I had to change phones, it took me 4-5 hours to reconstruct my contacts, my calendar, my photos, and my text messages. I am a volunteer for the VA, VFW, USO, and I also transport seniors to appointments and shopping. My last exchange was completed on May 28th, and that phone had a fatal failure 48 days later!!! I not only had to BUY another phone, I lost all my data, too. That phone should have carried a longer warranty than it did. I HAVE SAVED NOTHING ON THIS PROGRAM, AS IT HAS COST ME OUT-OF-POCKET over $100 PLUS my time to reconstruct my data. The phones fail through no fault of mine. This last phone they couldn't figure out WHY it failed, but I HAD TO REPLACE IT AT MY COST!!! There were no external scratches or marks on the outer casing, absolutely NO WATER marks or moisture detected inside the battery compartment, and both of the plastic coverings on the outside & inside viewer windows were in pristine condition. The Customer Service at the head office REFUSED to warranty this phone, even knowing the perfect condition it was in, and the fact it was only 48 days old!!! CONSUMERS BEWARE,

4 years ago

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2Troy Fort Myers, FL

Beware! You may live in a “Moderate” service area!!! 1) MANY dropped calls; 2) Sound cuts out A LOT during calls that DO go through; 3) Loooong calling delays. (Enter phone # and wait 60 seconds for dialing to begin.) CC had all the info they needed to prevent these problems - but instead...their protocol was to provide crappy service and offer to correct problems only AFTER I called to complain about AWFUL service. Customer Support checked my address - said it was a “Moderate” service area for their T-Mobile network...said I’d have to switch over to their AT&T network to get better service. Offered to mail me the new Sim card I’d need (3-5 days)...said my other option was to buy card at and get $10 Cons Cellular credit with purchase. Offered to walk me thru re-activation process if needed. ? Why no protocol to match customer address with the network required for decent service??? Message to CC: Correcting frustrating problems that you could have prevented is NOT good customer service - no matter how cheerful and kind your staff are in the process!

4 years ago

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Richard Kelley Indian Valley, ID

I have been a customer for almost a year now, but I have finally decided to switch carriers. It is true there customer service is good, very polite and try to help you the best they can, but I found there phone service its marginal at best. Always dropping calls, not having any service even in large cities were there shouldn't be a problem. There were lots of time I would completely lose service, and would have to call in from my land line to get service restored. Bought two new phones when I signed up, one for me and one for my wife, had nothing but trouble with the wifes phone, finally after months of frustration I canceled her phone and went to another carrier. Its true there price for service is very good, but if you don't have service How Good Is It? I wish it would have worked out better but I need a service I can count on.

4 years ago

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Destiny New Iberia, LA

I chose consumer cellular for the reason it’s discounted with AARP & sound like a good bargain. HOWEVER, there were quite a few issues that I have with this phone service. My bill was initially supposed to be about $20-30 based on my unlimited minutes and 2GB of data. BUT when I received my bill I was alerted of an additional $20 charged to my account for an “auto upgrade” I did not authorize regarding my data. Now when I called to see why would the automatically charge me without my consent, their response was “well other companies do the same.” Well no other companies don’t, not the ones I’ve dealt with anyway... usually with other companies they ALERT you when you hit the total Gigs included in your plan then give you the option to up your data for a simple fee. Well when I stated that I was no longer happy with the service and would like to discontinue my service, I asked that they unlock my phone. Well they told me I would have to have their service for 180 days before they can unlock a phone I paid for in full before I even started my service with them... hmm, confusing because at the end of the, their suppose to be a “no contract” type of company but have all these strings attached... I’m Baffled 😕 just another way to get over on people

4 years ago

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Penny Cincinnati, OH

Signing up was easy. Customer service on the phone is always polite. However, I spent a lot of time on the phone with the tech people trying to move my iPad mini service. We completely wiped it, and then did a restore from my backups. It STILL did not work and I was left to rest a lot of things on it. I now have a WiFi only iPad that I paid the extra money to have it cellular capable. I also paid THREE months of $15 charges ($45 total) while attempting to get it to work. It never managed to download a single byte. I’d give up and move back to AT&T but I can no longer get the unlimited plan I was on. Very disappointing.

4 years ago

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Adrianna Phoenix, AZ

Consumer Cellular prides itself on supposedly being the best in customer service but out of the 6 or so times I’ve called, the customer service was terrible. The representatives either had a rude tone or an attitude or sounded extremely disinterested, all the while I remained cordial. The wait times to speak to a rep are ridiculously long. Besides that, I recently purchased a new phone and was going to pay it with easy pay. 2 months into payments and $200 later they cancel service on me. I asked and the rep said my credit wasn’t authorized... whatever that means? She couldn’t elaborate at all like she didn’t know the subject matter of her own job. I’m here trying to get my service back but “there’s nothing I can do”. So I have to return my phone and I will be reimbursed but this is just ridiculous. I would not recommend this service to anyone even friends or family members who only want talk service.

4 years ago

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Bonnie G. Johnson High Point, NC

I have been with Consumer Cellular for approximately 6 years and was content with the service for the price until I needed customer support! This month my husband & I were experiencing some financial issues and my cell phone bill was late, so I called and spoke with Customer Service to discuss payment. Initially I requested an extension until the next week, however our funds were not available and I immediately called Customer Service back to explain & request an extension with my paying 1/2 the bill this week and the balance next week on my pay days. The agreement was confirmed and I received an email from Consumer Cellular to that effect, which stated no collection process would start until after the payment date, 02/26/19. As agreed I made the first 1/2 of the payment on 02/15/19. On 02/16/19 my service was disconnected and when I called Customer Service I was told that since I had made the first payment arrangement my second confirmed payment arrangement was not going to be honored! Why was I not told this when I called Customer Service the second time and why was that second arrangement confirmed! My husband and I are now without a phone until next Friday! I upheld my part of the arrangement by paying the first half of the payment, but Consumer Cellular didn't honor theirs! Having a confirmation in writing meant nothing and my being a long time Customer without prior issues meant nothing! This is not good Customer Service and I would not recommend Consumer Cellular to anyone based on this experience! Bonnie G. Johnson

5 years ago

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Disgruntled Customer Salida, CO

These people are a nightmare. Customer service people are very polite - if you don't mind being called "dear" or "sweetheart" - but they are for the most part incompetent and today the guy flat out lied to me. I have been trying to port my land line to a cell phone for over a week. They use a company called Syniverse to accomplish this. By law this middleman company cannot talk to consumers, only phone service providers. After 2 hours on the phone with Consumer cellular they told me to deal with this Syniverse company myself and gave me the number because my landline provider had given them bad information. Consumer cellular said my landline company used Syniverse, not them - simply not true. So then they said I needed a pin number - again not true as pin numbers do not pertain to landlines. Then they said it was going to take 7 to 10 business days to get the port completed - not true as it should take no more the 24 hours tops. Bottom line - they apparently submitted my address incorrectly and instead of admitting their mistake they created an entirely fabricated story and left me hanging. It would have been so easy for Consumer cellular to just say they had corrected the problem and resubmitted the request. Never again.

5 years ago

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Denise Draper Ridgeland, SC

Purchased phone for mother to try. Reception was great, until a week or so after porting her phone # over for a permanent move. Then she only got reception outside. Apparantly they lost contract on AT&T tower nearby. We tried the TMobile side, and it was worse. Went back to AT&T side. Each time we did this, she went without phone usage for 24 to 62 hours. I decided to switch her to AT&T Prepaid, since AT&T towers worked. I was told since we had s many issues, they would make every effort to assist with a smooth move, once we select new carrier. Right! They disconnected line before importing was cimplete. Then didn't release the lock code for phone. Was told i had to pay balance off before releasing unlock code. Not a past due balance, because it was on auto pay. She had minimal if any usage, due to not being able to use in home. So i pay it. Get code. And it doesn't work. Was told, it was because we did not have service with them for minimum months. Mom had veen without phone for a week at this point. Each time i called, it was being "escalated" and/or i was "accidentally" disconnected on hold while waiting for a "supervisor". I work for a call center; have worked in training department and now quality assurance...and had to educate and coach one agent on their job performance as customer service. I finally broke down and bought a new phone. The headach and hassle was just too much. The plans are good value, and not all agents were useless. But do not misinform customers. Then leave them hanging and paying for service they can't really use. We are who support you...our $!

5 years ago

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Susan Wildeman Lenexa, KS

Been a customer for a while now and have always paid my bill on time. This month I received a text from Consumer Cellular stating that my payment was overdue and I was in danger of service suspension. I ALSO received an email stating that my service was "scheduled to be suspended soon". I received both communications on 9/18. My payment was due on 9/17. That seems like pretty harsh treatment for a first time offender who was a whopping ONE DAY DELINQUENT. In spite of the fact that their service is reasonably priced and I have only had a few coverage issues I am seriously considering shopping for another service provider. And for the record I paid the freaking bill this morning (9/19).

5 years ago

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Lisa Young Woodland, CA

The coverage was poor. The calls dropped often or I could not make calls because of the poor network service. I would not recommend this carrier, especially in small towns or rural areas.

8 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.😩

1 year 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.

1 year ago

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alexander newman Miami, FL

Wanted to change my cellular carrier to CC. They said my phone was compatible and could transfer my current phone #. After 3 days of not being able to make or receive calls, almost 8 hours on my husbands phone, talking to 6 different CC reps (including a supervisor) and several online chats, CC conceded that my phone was not compatible! I quickly retuned to my previous cellular company.

1 year ago

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Ga Ba Dayton, OH

Consumer Cellular is running a scam. They advertise an unlimited data plan with up to 50 gigb high speed, than a slow down. But they will not honor this for their Connect Pad service which for some illogical reason they limit 35 gig then a slow down, which renders your pad useless., and without. One would think a pad device needs more high speed data than a phone! And they can get quite testy discussing this issue. Then they blame lack of gigabyte usage updates on cell towers polling delays. So, if you need a mobile pad with reliable data connectivity, better look elsewhere.

1 year ago

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b Ulmer Palm Coast, FL

I've switched to their service 2 weeks ago and have no network service without resetting the network settings over and over. They tried to resolve the issue but have not after hours of talking to their technicians. They keep blaming it on the upgrade to the towers from 3G to 4G. I'm so disgusted that I have little or no service, I'm going to switch to another provider.

1 year ago

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Neal Osan, 41

There is nobody home. To chat you have to wait an hour. You sign up for a callback and they text you. You dial that number and start at the back of the line. I am in their auto pay program. I buy a new phone. They want me to join auto pay. I don't because I'm already in autopay. Then they send me an email telling me I need to join autopay. I click the link, go to the website, fill out the data. And they tell me I'm already in autopay. They used to be so good with customer service. Now it is nonexistent.

2 years ago

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Stev Haris Boardman, OR

CC is reasonable when you do not use the service much. When I was using my phone to buy a home, it was expensive, the data would slow to a stop every evening, the wait to talk to a person was typically over 30 minutes. It even charged me over $8 because it took 3 extra days to port my phone number to another provider after being with CC nine years.

2 years ago

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paul morte Lawrence, KS

I was required by consumer cellular CC to get a new phone due to their going to 5-D. This has been an unmitigated nightmare. I have been unable to get C C to connect the new phone to their system since their employees do not have the skills/training; and consequently now I have 2 phones, neither with service. Their service previously had been good with respect to billing issues.

2 years ago

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Bonnie Halstrom Cortland, NY

The phone messed up within 4 months of receiving it, but they wouldn't exchange it! And when I dropped them, they charged my account for the balance??!! Wanted to bring my own phone, but they said they would still charge me for the balance!! And in order to find this out, I sat in a chat queue from number 91!! Called and was on hold for 37 minutes and finally hung up!! Very poor customer service!!!

2 years ago

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Robert Presley Austin, TX

Don't sign up for this plan unless you want to wait 30-40 minutes on hold on each and every call you make. The enrollment is extremely lengthy and frustrating so I cancelled but still have not received a shipping label from them it hey said they would send men order to return the phone . I gave them two stars only because their staff was friendly.

2 years ago

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Michael MacKinnon North Smithfield, RI

Consumer cellular is fine if you are a chubby old lady with piggy jowls. I greatly suspect avoiding contact with them is in your best interest because their phone reps seem to suffer verge dementia. Information is different between reps. One of their huckleberries instructed me to reset my phone and I lost all my photos - it would have been better to provide this info beforehand. I'm not content with reception although my area is loaded with communication towers. I think they'd be better as Toileteers. Consumers is marginal and useful only for the occasional user.

2 years ago

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Kathy Le Melle UT

The service was ok basically but I couldn’t use the data away from my home internet service. I decided to switch to another service and cancelled with CC on 3/18/21 but I paid the full month of service. The following month, they billed me for a full month. I called and complained and had to wait two days for management review even though you could look at my Val log and tell there was no activity after the 18th. I got the FINAL bill and was charged another $15!!!!!!! NEVER will I recommend this cell service to anyone. I only had it for 3-4 mos. and was not satisfied. I do not recommend!

2 years ago

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Susan Eggert La Crosse, WI

As a wisconsin resident they failed to tell you that one of there main carriers is ATand T. ATT does not work well in the state of Wisconsin. My reception was terrible!!! I had 50 minute commute to work and never had any decent service. Only in a major metropolitan city could you get decent reception or service. And there customer service, IT SUCKS!

3 years ago

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J. Aronson Portland, OR

Consumer cellular is inexpensive. In the past I received good customer service. Not anymore; it's always a long wait. Today I asked for a 'call-back-in-line' and it's clear that I'm not going to get a return call today. The other day I waited 35 minutes and gave up. Nobody is around if something goes wrong during the week-end. I'm not going to switch, but wish they would improve wait times for help.

4 years ago

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Tiny Tucson, AZ

We have been customers for a number of years. The customer service Department is horrible. We have attempted to purchase devices from consumer cellular and always had a problem, so we don't even bother anymore. This is a no frills service and you get what you pay for it's inexpensive, but you get terrible customer service. Lots of attitudes too from young representatives. You're fine until you have a problem after that, I don't know what to say.

4 years ago

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Pamela Parker-Antibus Queen Creek, AZ

I have had Consumer Cellular for two years because I had a 3 year contract with them. I bought my phone through them. The phone was new and no problem there. The service is terrible though. I've been a lot of places I couldn't text or make calls. I would not recommend this to anyone. Texting is the worst. I never can send a text at home only on rare occasions. The data is an issue for me also. That can get expensive. When my contract is up I will go back to Cricket. I got much better service with them.

4 years ago