US Cellular is a regional cellphone carrier with the fifth-largest wireless cellphone and data network in the United States, behind Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. The provider has over 4 million customers in 426 markets in twenty-six states. When a customer wants to use their phone service outside of their home area, the service is “handed off” to another carrier.
There are many good things about US Cellular's products and services, starting with the availability of a wide array of phones. The carrier supports and sells iPhones, Android smartphones, Windows phones, and Blackberry products.
Us Cellular also offers iPads, Android tablets, cellular modems for laptop computers, and accessories that can be used on the road.
US Cellular has several different plans and services available for customers. The company's Shared Connect plan forms the core of its contract services. We like the simplicity of Shared Connect, which includes unlimited minutes and texting. With non-contract phones and some other contract carriers, the user is often strapped to a certain number of minutes or text messages if they go with a "lower" service level.
US Cellular offers several different features that go along with contract phone service. For example, there is overage protection, which is free. However, the overage protection is in the form of a text message that is sent to the customer.
US Cellular also offers no-contract phones, tablets with data connectivity, and other services.
US Cellular's "Shared Connect" and 4G LTE plans work in all fifty states. You can go outside of your "home" area and still enjoy great service without being subject to roaming charges. This is an important feature for those who want to use their phone while they are on the road.
US Cellular offers phone, email, and live chat support options.
US Cellular occasionally offers rebates as an incentive to purchase a phone or plan. The company also has a good rewards program that involves referring customers or attending device workshops to earn points. These points can be used towards phone upgrades and accessory purchases.
Included in the fine print is a service area stipulation. US Cellular reserves the right to terminate a client's contract if they use 50% of their coverage outside of their "home area." This is because US Cellular brokers some of its coverage from other network providers. We felt like this is not true nationwide coverage.
US Cellular offers two-year contracts on most of its basic and smartphones. The smartphones are subject to a heavy cancellation fee in order to ensure that the customer keeps the phone. US Cellular also offers "penny" phones, the most basic of phones for the user that wants to keep their service simple.
Cancellation fees for contract phones with US Cellular are on the pricey side. Basic phone contracts come with a $150 cancellation fee and smartphones come with a $350 cancellation fee. We felt that this cancellation fee policy straps the customer into a contract for a long period of time.
However, if a contract is a concern for a customer, there are "no-contract" options available.
Another thing that isn't ideal is the exponential price scale for higher-level data plans. The recommended data plans on Shared Connect often lock a family into a higher-end service level, but ensure that the family does not go over their data limit. There are also options on the phone that allow a parent or a decision maker to "lock" the data if they find that one particular line is being abused.
Some customers have reported issues with billing as well as promised discounts that were not honored. Overall, US Cellular generally responds to customer complaints reasonably and fairly, making sure that the customer receives credit when necessary if billing issues arise.
Tim Duncan Knoxville, TN
5 months ago
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2 years ago