US Cellular Logo
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2.7

Overall Score

LAST UPDATED: September 27th, 2022

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. 

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The Good

  • Wide Array of Phones Available
  • Cell Phone Plan Options
  • Coverage Area Networks 
  • Customer Service
  • Rebates & Rewards

Wide Array of Phones Available

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.

Cell Phone Plan Options

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. 

Coverage Area Networks 

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.

Customer Service

US Cellular offers phone, email, and live chat support options. 

Rebates & Rewards

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. 

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The Bad

  • Service Area Stipulation 
  • Two-Year Contracts
  • Cancellation Fees
  • Data Price Scale

Service Area Stipulation 

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.

Two-Year Contracts

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

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.

Data Price Scale

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.

Customer Complaints

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.

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The Bottom Line

US Cellular has some good qualities and some bad ones. Ultimately, we hesitantly recommend US Cellular under certain conditions and after reading the terms and services carefully to avoid expensive fees. In order to avoid having your contract canceled, you need to monitor your usage closely and primarily stay in your home area. 

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Star Rating

2.2

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76 Reviews

Review Breakdown

5 grade

16%

4 grade

9%

3 grade

13%

2 grade

5%

1 grade

57%

Sentiment Criteria

Value

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Quality

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Jason Alger Hagerstown, MD

I had a terrific experience. I was very upset over something I was confused about. The lady took her time explaining everything to me and in my opinion went above and beyond to help me. I will say us cellular has the best customer service which is why I've been with them 16 yrs, but I've never been compelled to leave a review until this lady Corina d. Helped me. I will be coming in to upgrade my phone with her also and I have not done that since 2016. The us cellular at shankfarm way has a fantastic employee! Go see her!

4 months ago

star star star star star

Emory Liggett

The best anyware "I got a siginal" phone I ever had. I got a siginal in the outback of the Sawtouth Mountians Idaho. I was A three hour drive from an incorperaed city near the Salmon river. I had been there many times with other differant phones that didn't get a siginal.

3 years ago

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Eddie Rios Ogden, UT

US Cellular was my first start in cell phone service. Excellent pricing, good technology in phone devices, good clear connections with their service. Excellent all around.

2 years ago

star star star star star

Thomas Jason Trubenbach

Their customer service is top shelf, I've traveled the country and N. America and always have excellent service. They have always been very understanding with any issues.

4 years ago

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Review Source

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MammaS Moline, IL

Have never had a problem getting a signal, even in basement or while out camping. The few times I have had to use customer service they have been very helpful.

2 years ago

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Gregory Clifton

Good coverage, but didn't like it when they shut my phone off over a penny- even though I had paid my bill online

2 years ago

star star star star star

Richard Denton

Wonderful company. Always ready to find a solution whether by phone or in person

2 years ago

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Joyce West Union, IA

They are excellant, they are very helpful and have answers to any questions that I have

3 years ago

star star star star star

Ms Moore Pearisburg, VA

good coverage and good service and if I have a problem they are always ready to help me

4 years ago

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Holderman Idabel, OK

I have great service from everywhere I go.

2 years ago

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Sharon Scrudder Knoxville, TN

I have always had very good customer service

2 years ago

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Melody

great service, dependable, good customer service

4 years ago