Consumer Cellular

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

Some of the worst customer service ever... I am still being charged cents for a call I never made... and I had not made any calls at all except to them, so it was obviously an anomaly. Talked to 3 people including a supervisor and they REFUSED to admit it was an error on their part. If you have a plan - text and data - should you go ONE TEXT OR GIGABYTE of data over - they force you to go up to the next level plan, which is several dollars more. The little emergency flip phone is the worst piece of trash. It is almost impossible to get the charger in the port. I have switched to Cricket and so far, so good.

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Order of a ZTE base before xmas. 12/15/16 billing from account. The base needed a transfer of my num. After a few days of viewing the site setting up the base and had followed the directions from book sent base would not activate nor num transferred. Was told by CC that they see the base is not activated and they would fix it. I went on site to ask a question. The time was too long to wait not being told of such a wait. I returned the base have someone sign for it. The postal service advised it $15.00 when done. Now I wanted my num transferred and cell activated. I can cry while writing this for the hours and stress I endured hoping to retain the use of my phone.

Years earlier I bought two phones from AARP sold by Consumer Cellular. The flip phone was my husband phone I was using. I bought airtime for years from Tracfone whom the transfer of my num according to CC Tracfone needed to ask them to return my num. 64 yrs old I am not wise to cellular management. So after many emails between CC I went online and Tracfone sent a sim card. Got it, did not allow me to call. Told by Tracfone not to cancel my account with CC which I had done. Account had to be active for the transfer.

Call CC, repeated what Tracfone said to do. I made up my mind to buy a phone. I was offered a free phone with my num in the mail by CC. I email. I confirmed the free phone. CC replied, "You just bought a phone and there will be no phone". I got a phone from safelink "a food stamp" phone. CC sent me a welcome brochure with descriptions of the safelink with Tracfone as provider. I am told after several attempts to retrieve my num from Tracfone as provider told to me by CC that my num was given to someone else. The reason it was passed on because I waited too long. They both CC and Tracfone held me up knowing what already had transpired. Today we as consumers are being taken advantage of in housing, benefits, car deals, and many other transaction that deprive us of our rights without true help from those we hope would help us.

on
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This company made changes to my account, my bill went from $35 to $63... I don't use this phone for anything but an emergency. I have used no minutes and the supervisor can't explain why it bumped me to a very higher level and said they would credit one month out the 4 months they double billed me. Don't let them take the money out of your account automatically, they just do what they want and throw out any excuse not to answer your question and they talk over you. I will resolve this and they will give me my refund back to my account where it belongs. Don't take credits they will screw you this way too! Bad BAD company!

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Consumer Cellular has great customer service. They contacted me and told me that the charge on my Target bill "MO Installme" is for the upfront tax on the total cost of the phone because I set up a payment plan. That make sense and I wish the Target employee had explained that. I appreciate Consumer Cellular for reaching out to me in a very personal way.

Christine of Saint Louis, MO on

Original Review

My husband had a Consumer Cellular account and I had AT&T. I left AT&T and was added to his Consumer Cellular account for $10/month. We are now paying less for this new account and I added payments for a new iPhone 7 to the account. I love the price, the website, and customer service. I called in the middle of the day and only waited 1-2 minutes to get connected to a representative. CS does not outsource to an off shore call center. The representative was very helpful.

But here is something to be aware of: if you buy a new phone from them at Target, the person who sets up your phone will charge you $58 and will not tell you about the charge beforehand. When he rang up $170 for my phone, I thought the cost was a bit higher than it should be. He said, "Oh, that's because of taxes". Not taking the time to do the math in my head, I let it go. When I looked at my bill after we left, there was a charge for "install me" for $57.68. That being said, the salesperson was helpful. I just think they should tell you upfront, while you are discussing costs, that it will be an extra $50 if you use them. If you want to avoid this charge, order your phone online or over the phone.

on
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I have not been able to get help activating my phone for the last couple of days. Yesterday Consumer Cellular customer service promised me they had finally activated my phone and I would now have service. Today I spent an hour on hold while Consumer Cellular customer service again said they had fixed everything and I just had to wait for my service to come back on. Tonight, five hours after my last customer service call, it was clear my "activated" phone actually was not. I gave up and installed a newer sim card I got at Target, "activated" it on the Consumer Cellular website, but again, my phone had no ability to make or receive calls or do anything else.

I had to be pretty desperate in order to have to call the Consumer Cellular customer service line again. While you are on hold, you have to listen to a recorded voice bragging over and over about the friendly Consumer Cellular customer service people. They are nice enough, but they mostly sound pretty stressed-out. Another half hour on hold went by listening to the recording, over and over, before a friendly Consumer Cellular representative came on. She told me that neither activation had processed because "information was missing". I asked her if I could tell her any missing information but she said I would have to wait on hold for a transfer representative.

After about ten more minutes on hold she came back on the line and told me that the transfer representatives were too busy and would not be able to assist me today. She said that instead she could have someone call me another day. I said that would be difficult since I do not have a working telephone. I have owned a lot of cell phones from a lot of cell phone service providers but I have never had anything like this happen before and I do not know what to make of it.

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I found with my minimal use phone, that whenever I tried using it, I got no bars. Phone was a replacement sent to me for the initial flip phone they gave me when I signed up 8 years ago. I was stranded out of state with no access to my daughters cell phone, as she never got any of my messages when it DID look like I had a signal, etc. Recently, I tried 3 times on three different occasions to use the cell phone for power outage information, etc and got no service. I was sent a new sim card and when that didn't work, was told it was my phone. Their phone. And they could not replace as it had been many months since they sent it. Being a once in awhile emergency user of this phone as many can be, we were left in a lurch.

I asked for some minimal credit to my bill in good faith of my long time loyalty to them and to help me purchase a new phone. They would not credit me even a penny. I since have changed providers to a company that is far less expensive and had to do a 3 way phone conversation just to get Consumer Cellular to port out my number to the new provider as they kept rejecting it. I will NEVER suggest this company to anyone ever again. I regret the times I have. So disappointed in their service and their lack of any semblance of gratitude to their customers. They had no problem with my paid in full bill, prorating me another 7.18 for service I did not get, for the new invoice period. My complimentary minute was changed as well, from that to a charged minute. Just disgusting!! Good riddance!

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You can't change your plan until the current billing cycle. They wouldn't let me change my plan on Nov. 15, even though I agreed the change could take effect on Dec. 1. They insisted I call during the next billing cycle - December - to change the plan. They ramp up the difficulty of changing plans to deter changes to less expensive plans and they count on customers forgetting to make the change. This is really outrageous for a company that markets itself to seniors.

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I had to take disability leave from my job due to an accident that required two surgeries. When I found out that my disability checks would only arrive once a month, I called Consumer Cellular to see if I could make payment arrangements until my checks started coming arriving. The female customer service representative was extremely helpful and set up a payment arrangement that allowed me to keep my service active. However, when I received my first check it was only a small one and not for the full amount. I again called Consumer Cellular and was told that yes, I could pay just $60.00, ten dollars short of the full amount due, that my service would continue uninterrupted, and the remaining balance would be added to the next month's bill.

The $60.00 payment was made on December 28, 2016 and on January 1, 2017 I received an email from CC stating that my bill was past due and service would be terminated. I checked my bank statement and the $60.00 amount was deducted from my account on, what else?, December 28, 2016. I called CC twice and two different male representatives argued with me that their system was showing that my payment was never received.

I then again checked my bank statement and my statement from Consumer Cellular, and the $60.00 was on my bank statement as paid, and my statement from CC showed the payment was received by them on December 28, 2016. A representative from my bank went so far as to give me authorization code that they gave to Consumer Cellular when they completed the transfer of funds. My banking institution is trying to contact them to resolve this matter but CC has yet to return the bank's calls. It looks like I'll be switching phone carriers after this fiasco and filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

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Consumer Cellular targets seniors... BEWARE!!! Monitor your Credit Reports after closing accounts with this company... appears to be their target, as a revenge strategy. I had a relatively short service with this company a number of YEARS AGO which I terminated due to their terrible service and poor area coverage. My service was a "prepaid" arrangement (pay before using, then $35 or so P/M); they were advised of my intention to discontinue out of dissatisfaction. My account was current at time of termination, so I moved on to a more legitimate company only to realize years later that these impostors reported very negative information to the Credit Reporting Agencies. I will have this removed in short order. AGAIN Folks Beware!!! Read the warning signs before jumping into an alligator/snake infested lake. Best of luck.

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These people will drive you crazy. I actually had a customer rep tell me "Well I didn't do it." Very long story short... All I wanted to do was purchase a new Doro 824 phone for my 86 yr old mother. This was in Oct of 2016. One day I woke up to NO cell phone anything! To date Dec 29 2016 I still do not have the correct service. My bill went way up because of this. They do not listen or hear you... They just start pushing buttons.

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I was delinquent I admit, however even in the past they were considerate. However on Dec. 25 on Christmas Day Consumer Cellular "DISCONNECTED" MY CELL PHONE due to unpaid bill. However I had service Christmas morning but disconnected about 1 pm. If you let me have service in the morning what on earth happened! Who would program someone to be cut off on CHRISTMAS DAY? AWFUL CONSUMER!!!

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I tried to order a tablet and paid a down payment but was never taken; order was canceled $20 credit taken back. This cast me 2 overdraft fees $36 each; I did not understand about signing paperwork online so order was canceled by you not me. Merry Christmas and thanks for starting 2017 out with an overdrawn bank acct.

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I asked Consumer Cellular to turn my phone off as I am migrating to another service provider which they did not and up until today they still bill me for some services that I have not used in a year. I have since migrated to one service provider and after three years with AT&T I moved on to T-Mobile as my whole family had a phone account with. But for Consumer Cellular I will not recommend anyone for that service.

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My husband and I have had Consumer Cellular for about two years. One day His second cellphone would not turn on so the company replaced it. The replacement was a dud as well. We were promised a new working cellphone that would be sent out that day and arrive in a day or so. Four days went by and no replacement. I again phoned and had to go through the conversation again. I found out that no phone had been mailed out, and that we needed to wait another week as our documentation needed to be reviewed. We were not told why a phone was not sent. We have been without a cellphone my husband needs for work for over 2 weeks.

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Just purchased a Moto G4. I called up Consumer Cellular. The phone was activated and they ran me through the steps to get it going. No problems but I did have a PC issue which was resolved by them in record time. Consumer Cellular Service and Tech Support have always been courteous and knowledge with me and I have been using them for several years.

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I subscribed to this service as my wife felt she needed a cell phone to use only in emergencies. We purchased her phone from Consumer Cellular when we activated the service. Over the next 6 months, the phone battery failed 3 times, usually after we recharged it the second or third time. Having 3 new batteries fail would indicate a problem with the phone we purchased, but the only advise proffered by Consumer Cellular was to re-seat the battery. Finally discontinued the account as the phone only worked for a few weeks over 6 months. I would not recommend this service, especially if you are purchasing the phone directly from them.

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My experience with version has been nothing but a problem. Harassing text messages everyday, and God forbid your payment is coming up. They harass you everyday. My phone according to their last message to me was not going to be turned off until the 16th of Dec. Well it got turned off the 12th and I really needed my phone that day. I called them and I felt I should have been compensated for their error but they would not budge. I only owed less than $100.00. Give me a ** break!!! I will give them nothing but bad reviews everyday if I have to and I will be dropping them. Bad customer service, people are snotty on the phone, and don't have any empathy for people.

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I signed up for consumer cellular because of the advertisements in/with AARP. I signed up for service with a nice young man and was very painless. I chose a plan that cost 28.00 a month, just what I wanted and needed. The next month CONsumer Cellular billed me 55.00 because they felt I was going over when I pointed out that I had not even come close to using up my minutes I switched back to the 28.00 plan but I had to pay the 55.00. So I thought that I would be billed 28.00 OH NO I got billed 55.00 again and I paid up but I ** because they evidently know better than I do about what I need. Again I switched back to the 28.00 plan. Doesn't stop there, in August we took a trip to Little Rock Ark, from Puyallup Wash. So I get home haven't used my phone for a couple of weeks and called 1 call from Little Rock, and again I'm charged 55.00 but this time it's for taking my phone from Wa. to Ar.??? What??? So again I pay.

So here we are in Nov. and again I call Customer service. I ** about my service. If I leave the south Puget sound area I get charged. So I call and they switch me from the T-MOBILE network to CONsumer Cellular network and I speak with customer service again and double check, "Yes Mr. ** I see here on my computer that you are on the CONsumer Cellular network and your plan is for 28.00 a month." OK!! But guess what? I get a bill for 55.00. I again call customer service to complain. I'm told by a very rude young man that I'm the one who switched the account from 28.00 to 55.00. Really why in hell would I do that? So he goes on it's me who did it and to just buck up and pay my bill. Really? I have contacted AARP about this bait and switch tactic that they use. Currently looking for a senior citizen plan I can afford and be cutting Consumer Cellular loose.

on
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They are inexpensive. They seem to have good coverage. They alert me when I am getting near my plan limit. I would highly recommend this company to all of us who like to save money. I pay for what I need, not for what I don't use.

on
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The few problems I've had with them over the past 7 years have been handled within 5 minutes. A new battery was ordered in a few minutes, and delivered the next day, all for free. I returned a safety monitor in 2 weeks because it did not meet my expectations, although it worked as advertised. Customer service has always been nice, calm, and sometimes funny. I love Consumer Cellular. They have been wonderful.

on
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I called Consumer Cellular salesperson on 10/28/2016 and discussed her that I want to switch to their cell phone service, but once I switch to Consumer Cellular, I want to keep my old number. I will be oversee starting on 11/1/2016. She told me that I can get the Consumer Cellular SIM card by priority mail as long as I pay $10. I said I don't want to active my account until I am back to the US and after I put the SIM card in my smart phone, and at that time, I will call Consumer Cellular to active my account. She said, 'Sure, IT'S NOT A PROBLEM'. Of cause, as a customer, I trust what she promised to me because she represents the company.

After I came back to the US, at the airport on 11/22/2016, I used my cell phone to make a phone call. It doesn't work. A United Airline customer service person allowed me to use his cell phone to call T-Mobile to find out the reason. A T-Mobile person said that my number had been disconnected, and the number has been taken away by AT&T on 11/5/2016. I realized it is Consumer Cellular did that because AT&T is the service provider of Consumer Cellular. In later days, I have been dealing with Consumer Cellular, and I am still working on it now. I questioned them how can they created an account for me and switched my number from T-Mobile without my permission! What they told me is: the computer created the account automatically. And I questioned them why the sales woman said it was not a problem to get a SIM card before I leave for aboard and create an account later.

Also, I requested that Consumer Cellular should not charge me anything because I didn't asked them to create an account and active it starting 11/5/2016. I didnt use it at all since I was in another country. According to their policy, 30 day money back guaranty. Your sales woman didn't keep her promise. It causes me lots of trouble that I can't make any phone call. But, Consumer Cellular just doesn't refund my money back although I have explained these. I am very disappointed to their behaviors and their attitudes to me. It shows Consumer Cellular is lack of business integrity and lack of trust.

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My understanding is this is a U.S. company, all jobs are here. The service has somewhat declined. I've been on hold several times for 15 mins or longer. However the people are knowledgeable, easy to talk to, and it's very clear the company expects courtesy towards the customers. Their reliability is fine, I've tried most of the companies and it seems like I haven't had as many dropped calls as on some, and there has never been a billing problem. Very easy, plus on their site they have a lot of how to videos, and have even offered videos on using android phones, or be happy to walk you through it. I would recommend Consumer Cellular to anyone. I try to support US companies and their very competitive pricing is a bonus.

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I purchased a new phone and needed to switch my service. Consumer cellular dragged their feet not releasing my number to the new carrier for over 2 and a half weeks. I paid my final month but they keep on billing me after I called. They said it was part of their contract. Their ads claim no contracts. Their billing has doubled every month. It is now at $80. and I refuse to pay them a dime. Do not join this telephone carrier. They are scum bags.

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Uniformly good interactions with company help personnel. Very poor reception in my location despite what the coverage map says. Very poor connections in summer when the trees are in leaf. CC should change their map. All major companies claim that coverage in my area is good, but it isn't good. So I don't fault CC alone in this complaint.

Consumer Cellular makes establishing cellphone service easy. They have an articulate staff well trained in problem solving. Customer service returns calls when they say they will. If they don't know an answer, they call technical dept and find out themselves. This way they improve their own understanding, too. They allow me to change my service plan whenever I want, right up to midnight of the bill closing date. They automatically bump me into the next highest service tier when I have more activity than usual, so that I don't get excess usage charges. Also, there is no contract so that if I ever need to stop service I don't feel punished for not buying what I don't want.

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After paying $250 for a phone through Consumer Cellular, I found after a few months that my text messages were not being sent or received until hours later. After calling and complaining I was told to go to the other side of town where the service is better. Hello, I am disabled and why should I do that? I want the service I was offered. I left CC and now have found my phone is not compatible with any other providers except AT&T which is who I was having problems with. I am stuck with this phone and now have to buy another one to get a better deal with a different provider. Buyer beware of all information before purchasing anything through them.

on
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My 85 year old mother collapse and subsequently moved to a nursing home. Her CC cell hadn't worked in months (phone wouldn't charge). I took over my mother's financials. Called CC and had pleasant interaction with CC and canceled her account. Subsequently, received and paid bills (i.e. close out fees?). CC did not recognize any payments made and continues to hike bills from $5 -> $30. Called them, but they don't want to talk to me. They say they must get a copy of my mother's Power of Attorney to talk to me. If I can cancel my mother's account I should be able to stop their harassment! This is appearing more and more to be a major trap and CON of senior citizens. I cannot imagine AARP endorsing them. I am now forced to escalate to regulators.

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Consumer Cellular sent two new flip phone to replace those we had with CU wireless before sold to CC. One of our previous phones did not need upgrading as it was already 3G. In their attempt to active either of the two phone they sent, neither work. In the activation they turned off the service to my old phone. While I wait for another of their phone my phone is deactivated and it takes them a min of 24 hr to two or three days to reactivate my old phone. Odd they can deactivate in seconds but days to reactivate. In the mean time I have no phone and I hope no emergencies. This company puts people's lives at risk.

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While I am generally satisfied with Consumer Cellular as a provider, in spite of spotty reception in parts of Oregon where I visited recently, there is a little bit of trickery involving data usage that I think people should be aware of. This is of concern to customers who are on a low usage data plan, as I am since I am almost always in the presence of wifi and have no need for anything beyond minimal data. A little data usage surprise occurs if a phone has to be reset to factory settings. Apparently, even though the phone prior to reset was set to update on wifi only, the reset procedure itself uses a substantial amount of data (50+ MB) that occurs over the network rather than over available wifi. Once the reset procedure is finished, the former setting to update over wifi only appears to be restored, apparently as a default since I did not change that setting after I did the reset.

When I originally got the phone new out of the box and initiated it, it does not appear that data usage was required, but I don't know for sure. In any case, Consumer Cellular does not mention its billing policy to charge for data used in initializing a phone, either when the phone is new or when a factory reset is required. This might be an oversight by Consumer Cellular, but that seems unlikely. I think it is far more likely that customers who choose low data usage options are low-profit margin customers whom the company is only interested in as an avenue for encouraging people to use higher usage data plans. It is really a sort of low-level business scam, one of many that we as customers are subjected to by national cellular phone providers, including Consumer Cellular.

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After switching from AT&T to T-Mobile to Verizon, my husband and I were still not happy with our service, and paying over 200/month. Switching to CC couldn't have been easier - far easier than switching to T-mobile or Verizon. I called, gave our numbers to a helpful woman, and within a week received 2 sim cards for the iPhones my husband and I already owned. The only other thing I had to do was call Verizon to unlock our phones. Since then we have been paying less than half and our service has improved. I really don't understand all the complaints on this site.

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I have been with Consumer Cellular for 5 years now and have had excellent service. I am surprised and confused by the negative reviews here. You can get an agent in a few minutes when needed, as opposed to the 30+ minute wait with AT&T. The prices are very low compared to others. If you exceed your data limits they up your plan $10 instead of charging a fortune ($200) as AT&T has done to me. I have recommended this company to all of my friends and family. The month to month service means you can try it without risk as you have in a contract. I highly recommend giving this company a try. They consistently receive the highest rating with Consumer Reports and are endorsed by AARP.

Consumer Cellular Company Profile

Company Name:
Consumer Cellular
Website:
https://www.consumercellular.com/