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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

Mistake made by customer service department on my account - I called in to get information on adding a person to my plane. When I got off the phone I received two emails stating that I had cancelled my AppleCare policy and my easy pay plan. The customer service rep had made a mistake. When I called to get the mistakes corrected, Consumer Cellular made it clear it was their policy for the customer to rectify the employees' mistake. My bill has come due and instead of owing $114.95 I will owe $258.95. I will be leaving Consumer Cellular. Their advertising using Nielsen as a source stating they are number #1 in customer service is a lie.

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I have been a CC customer for over 10 years and have never experienced the wait times or rudeness described in these emails. My wait times average 1-5 minutes. I recently upgraded to the iPhone 5s from a flip phone, which I loved but the camera was of poor quality. The phone they sent me would not charge, and the CC representative told me to take it to the Apple store. The Genius Bar rep tested it and said he was surprised to find that it was a new phone, not a used one, because Apple was no longer making them. The test said to send the phone back for repairs.

When I reported back to CC, I was told that they would send me a new phone immediately. Next day, the new phone was at my front door. It is a joy to own. The camera is terrific and it's so much fun to make videos. Apple recently sent an upgrade, which changed the way voice mail and messaging looked and functioned. I didn't buy the Apple protection plan but Apple's telephone support explained things for me. I wouldn't expect CC to know how to fix the "complications" that resulted from a just released upgrade. CC has been a superior and reliable provider of phone services to me for over a decade. My Apple phone is everything (and more) that it was reputed to be. I just switched rate plan today with my usual ease, and I have never been overcharged. CC is a wonderful provider with reliable customer service.

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I ordered the Consumer Cellular SIM card and it arrived 10 days after that. They have 30 days free trial so 25 days later I decided to cancel the service because of poor reception in my house. I called them but to my surprise I was told that they count those 30 days from the day they sent the card to me not from the day when I started to use it. I think that this show how they treat their customers. I do not recommend Consumer Cellular.

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I have been with AT&T GoPhone, and switched to save $15 a month. The switch was simple and people were helpful. I am working out of my house so it's nice to save on a Data plan that is not a problem when I am away from home WiFi.

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Purchased a phone from Consumer Cellular for my wife. After 6 months it started acting erratically. Returned it to CC under warranty. CC denied warranty because they said there are a couple of very small scratches. Instead of being accountable for selling you a defective product they made excuses for not honoring the warranty. They do not stand behind the products that they sell!!

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on
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My phone, purchased through Consumer Cellular website, will suddenly stop sending or receiving photo content in text messages. It will also stop sending or receiving multi-party texts. I don't get reception in many places where Verizon, T-Mobile, etc... have great service. Today was my 4TH phone call in the past ten months. Each time I've spent at least 30 minutes on the phone with a rep. who has me alter my phone settings. Today Olivia said there was nothing more they could do, I would have to reset the phone to original factory settings. This would delete all my apps, which I would have to re-install.

When I asked for a credit on my bill for the 2+ hours I'd spent on the phone with them plus the inconvenience of losing all my apps and having to recover contacts, photos, etc. she got snippy. She repeatedly told me I'd had full service, using "lots" of data and sending "lots" of text messages. Oh, please. I have the minimum plan, and rarely risk exceeding the modest limits. I kept repeating my complaint, she asked if I wanted to talk to a supervisor, then she put me on perma-hold. As soon as I have a chance to shop around, I'm firing Consumer Cellular.

on
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We have been using CC for over 3 years now and feel satisfied. It's a no frills service that meets our needs. We have 2 CC phones and one Samsung. You don't have to buy or use their phones. When our phones are wearing out we will replace them for whatever is the best buy at the time. Our phone plan service and customer service are all good. We are happier with CC than we were with Verizon!

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I subscribed to Consumer Cellular after Consumer Reports rated them #1 over all other carriers. They have lived up to that rating with me. Great service, and based in the U.S. I had experienced the awful customer service of Straight Talk and then Net 10, both owned by TracFone. I would be on the phone for hours for something as simple as switching to a new phone. Terrible! However, Consumer Cellular has been great! No long wait times for customer service, and they have solved my problems quickly. I honestly think the people giving it low ratings are working for their competitors. Check out the Consumer Reports ratings!

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Bad cellphone. I use Consumer Cellular. 9 months ago I purchased a Doro smartphone. The phone has no reception at times and is always very weak at best. I complained to Consumer Cellular about this problem several times, they had me do several tests and resets, nothing improved the reception. They also sent different sim cards. I tried it all, this phone is under factory warranty and I also have an insurance plan as well. Josh at Consumer Cellular told me point blank they would not replace the phone even though it is malfunctioning. And insist that I have interference problems... my wife's phone works just fine but it is a flip phone. I spent 200.00 for this phone and it works some of the time. CONSUMER CELLULAR IS A RIPOFF... looking for another service.

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My father passed away unexpectedly and found he had a Consumer cell phone he had just acquired. I as his son called to cancel and told the account was cancelled and no billing required and if we saw a charge to call back to have credited. However, they continued billing... and called back and they would not remove the charges even after talking to supervisor. How disgusting to bill for a phone not used and cancelled. I will make sure to not only use their services but pass the word as this world has many creditable services that are honest!!!

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I had cellular telephone service with Consumer Cellular for about two years from 2014 to 2016. At first they seemed okay. However, whenever I needed to call their customer service number, it took forever to get through. One time it took 45 minutes on hold to get through. This is no exaggeration. I was using a phone that times how long you're on the call. My hold time was almost exactly 45 minutes. This was typical of the service, not the exception. Whenever I called, I could expect to wait a minimum of 20 minutes on hold. Finally, I gave up and decided to try someone else. When Cricket attempted to transfer my number, they could not because Consumer Cellular said their system was down. The following day they still could not transfer it because CC was still having problems.

Finally, I told Cricket to just change my phone number. I called Consumer Cellular back (and waited forever on hold) and told them I was canceling service. I had been on auto-pay, making all my payments on time. I told them to simply do one more auto-pay for whatever I owed, which was about half a month. Instead of doing that, they didn't shut off my service and kept sending me increasingly large bills in the bail.

Now I have a huge bill for service I didn't ask for and was not using and a threat to put it into collections and screw up my credit, thanks to their failure to follow instructions. I owe them for half a month, and attempted to pay that when I canceled. They were supposed to take that half a month out via auto-pay, same way I had paid every single previous bill. I'm not going to pay for months of service for time when they stupidly failed to shut off my account as I asked. Worst cell phone company ever! Cricket is way better. There's no way I would ever return to Consumer Cellular.

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I called this company three times to try to get an answer to why they were billing me for something that I wasn't using. They not only did were not helpful, they fabricated information that I was never informed of. I also explained that I couldn't pay my bill until the 25th as that is when my social security check came. They turned off my phone and then went ahead without my permission and took the money out of my bank which cost me a bank charge of $39. I will cancel this account and report to BBB and Attorney General as this is fraud.

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This company uses At&t. I have had 2 smartphones and my wife had a flip phone and a smartphone. The orders were processed efficiently. The prices were great and the plans were inexpensive. They even provide an automatic plan change if you exceed the limits.

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I purchased a phone from Target in November 2016. After having for about 60 days my phone stopped working. When I took I opened the back to check the battery. It smoked and sparked. I contacted customer service and spoke to David who assured me that even though went over the 30 days I could get a refund and he was so sure that he was positive this would happen.

After 5 days I received emails from Sheila that because this did not happen within 30 days I could not get a refund, all I could get is a replacement. I informed her I did not want that since what happened and what difference would it make if it was 30 or 60 days. Look like I will be reporting to the BBB and fight for my $149.00. Also was told my bill would be no more than $50 month. Well it was $77.50 supposedly because of taxes. Was never told I would be charged for taxes.

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BAIT & SWITCH SCAM!!! On Monday morning, 3 Oct 16, I purchased Consumer Cellular service through their Columbia, SC, Sears Distributor. I feel that I have been preyed upon, as well as, victimized because of my AARP membership! It is because of my AARP membership that initiated a customer relationship with Consumer Cellular believing that Consumer Cellular was a reputable business. A gigantic deception. When I hadn't receive my monthly bill by Thursday, 3 Nov 16, I called Consumer Cellular to inquire about my first month bill of which I HADN'T RECEIVE, YET. I was told by customer service that they had not generated a bill for me, yet. However, I finally did receive my first month bill on Wednesday, 22 Nov 16, for the amount of $69.34 inclusive as a new referral $10 discount.

I called Consumer Cellular on Saturday, 3 Dec 16, to request that my due date be switched back to the third of the month (original due date) because it is when I receive my monthly disability check. I wasn't told that by switching back to my original due date that my bill would amount to $180.04. Instead of going to my US PO Box, I called Consumer Cellular to inquire my bill total amount expecting her to tell me the amount of $79.84 INSTEAD SHE SAYS THE AMOUNT OF $180.04. I WAS FLABBERGASTED! Since I didn't want to bring attention to myself in front on other awaiting postal customers, I ended the call.

On Tuesday, 3 Jan 17, I purchased a money order in the amount of $80 and emailed it to the identical address 12447 SW 69th Avenue, Portland, OR, 97223-8517) that I mailed my 3 Dec 16 payment. NOW, they are saying that they've suspended my cell phone service until they receive my payment. Why? Retaliatory response back at me. I have spoken with a supervisor name, **, WHO DIDN'T MAKE ANY EFFORT TO BE ACCOMMODATING. Also, I WASN'T AWARE THAT THEY CHARGED ME $12 EACH (3) FOR DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE. Whenever, I dial 411 directory assistance on my cell phone they have it automatically transferred over to their own directory assistance. Cell phone service suspended, unable to upload images

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Data plan was not working on my second line, they kept insisting the phone was old when it was less than 6 months old, and then insisted that it was due to not being one of their devices and kept trying to push one of them on me (they sell phones for old people). A few minutes on Google turned out the APN settings for "their network". I inputted them and data plan worked. A second time related to cell reception the rep was plain incompetent and when I asked to talk to someone with some technical knowledge she plain hanged up on me. Plan prices are good and coverage is decent, but if you bring your own device be ready to provide your own customer support.

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This company tries to put on an honest "for-the-customer" face, stating its low rates for users who don't need a lot of data, etc. HOWEVER, they use all sorts of deceptive billing charges and binding contract lingo that ultimately cost you even MORE than you would pay with a company like T-Mobile or others. They will also debit your account without informing you if you break the contract with them (they point out that it's in the agreement language -- obviously buried deep enough and obscure enough for you to miss!) All I can say is: If you're looking for lower wireless rates, THIS IS NOT THE COMPANY!! Truly a wolf in sheep's clothing!!

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Choosing Consumer Cellular as my telephone provider was great mistake. Their Customer service is totally unreliable and service is the worst one US market knows of. Most of the time my telephone had a poor connection and no access to internet at all. I was only able to make a few calls and text messages a month. Then my telephone got frozen and I finally had to switch to another company. What a surprise? For less money I've gotten excellent service. Finally my account with CC was closed. Not even a month passed I got a two bills from CC trying to charge me for some past due amounts equaling another two months. Dispute those bills with them was a waste of time. Only foolish excuses. I'm not paying this bill. Hope this liars will be brought to justice someday and refund all innocent customers.

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SENIOR BUYERS BEWARE! This is the worst customer service company ever! I spent $120 for a phone from this company. The phone was defective from day one! No one could understand a thing I was saying. My numerous complaints to the company went nowhere. They kept having me do so-called fixes including sending me another SIM card. Nothing worked. They would not refund me the purchase price. I had to buy another phone (another $130, which as a senior, I can ill afford). DON'T BUY FROM THIS COMPANY!

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I purchased this phone in august of 2016. It was $70.00 at Target. I have been having problems w/ this phone ever since. I can't make calls or if I actually do speak to a person, the sound goes totally dead on their end and they can't hear me. I have complained to Consumer Cellular at least a half a dozen times about this issue and other problems w/ this phone. They have reset the phone twice and told me there will be no problems w/ it in the future. I have tried to return the phone to Target but was told that it is past the 30 day warranty.

I have told Consumer Cellular this, and they keep trying to fix the phone by resetting it, or by telling me to do certain things, w/ the phone. I am now STUCK W/ this piece of JUNK, and I have no idea what to do, except buy another phone, and go w/ another carrier. I HIGHLY SUGGEST you "DO NOT" buy this phone "ZTE Avid 828" (and do not buy any phone) at TARGET if they only give a 30 day warranty. And also, DO NOT USE Consumer Cellular as your carrier!!!

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Couldn't get coverage in an area I could previously get using Straight Talk, and dollar amount for data overuse was ridiculously expensive! Needless to say, I cancelled my phone, was stuck with a high bill and even after I cancelled they continued to tack on late fees even after saying they would not, and I made payment arrangements. I was late on my last payment of $42 (my work hours had decreased) and they didn't hesitate to send me to collections. Consumer Cellular's customer service/ billing leaves a lot to be desired... so buyer beware! Straight Talk is the easiest, straight-forward fees, excellent coverage, problem solvers, and most consumer friendly that I've encountered in all my years using cell phones!!

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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.

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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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They have the best pricing available on the market today. Coverage is great, high customer quality service the best in the business, quality of messaging excellent, readily available to answer/help on all questions. They, Consumer Cellular are the best in this market arena.

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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.

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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.

Consumer Cellular Company Profile

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