Consumer Cellular

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Consumer Complaints and Reviews

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Satisfaction Rating

After seeing these negative reviews I feel compelled to chime in. I have been a CC customer for several years and the main reason I continue to be is the excellent customer service. I decided to try Consumer Cellular after having had accounts with ATT, T-Mobile, and Verizon over a period of years. I really didn't expect much, but switched mainly because the idea of having no contract was appealing to me after having been tied up with each of the others.

One thing that I noticed immediately was the wonderful customer service! I could not believe my luck, and to this day I am impressed by the efforts of the reps at CC. Over the years I have had a variety of situations where I needed help, and I have NEVER had an instance in which I was left unsatisfied. The fact that they are US based and their reps at least sound as if they grew up speaking English is a huge plus as far as I'm concerned, and I have always had whatever the problem was resolved and hung up with a smile on my face.

When I started with CC, I had my own phone from my prior service. They helped me with all the details of getting it unlocked and switched over. I have since bought a phone through CC and as my learning curve expanded from the world of flip phones to smart phones, the reps were able to talk me through a number of "situations" that I'd gotten myself into. When I moved I was delighted at my strong signal out here. When I got my current phone through CC it came with a T-Mobile sim card which does not work in this location. At the time I bought the phone I did not realize this--I had moved to a farm in southern Indiana, and with no signal the only option I had to contact anyone was via email. CC's reps were more than helpful in a timely manner, promptly sending me an ATT sim card, and my service was right back on track—all free of charge.

When I got divorced and needed to separate my ex's line from mine it was not a big deal to get him off of and out of my account, and get a separate account set up for him. When I added my sister to my account and she wanted to start with a new phone, it was no big deal, even though she was in a different part of the country at the time. I am about to add my daughter to my account, as well. I'd also like to point out that on the occasion that a customer service rep was unable to resolve the problem I have been moved up the "food-chain" to a supervisor or directed to someone who knew how to deal with it.

As far as calling the customer service number goes: Yes, there may be a wait. But if you use the "call-back" option when it's offered, they DO call back in the allotted time—frequently sooner. In my past experience with other carriers, there has always been a wait time when dealing with customer service and I would challenge anyone who says otherwise, AND they speak clearly and in English! I took a 4,000 mile car trip this summer, and CC seems to have fewer "dead zones" than I'd experienced in the past with other carriers. I believe that situation seems to be improving for most carriers in general as time passes. It is my understanding that CC uses other carriers' towers, so this is good news all the way around.

While I realize that there are always instances in which a person may leave the table unsatisfied, I believe that CC's customer service reps are the best of the bunch and have been getting a bad rap here. Hopefully my review will make it onto this list and possibly encourage anyone considering the switch to Consumer Cellular to give it a try. Thank you.

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My opinion: The other reviewers have warned you of all the horror stories. The long wait times, the poor service. I've been trying to transfer a phone number to my cell phone. No one there seems to be trained well enough to know how to do this successfully. They just keep telling me that my old phone number will be transporting in 2 or 3 hours, then when it doesn't transfer they make up some reason why it didn't transport, then they'll tell you it will transport on the 15th at midnight... blah blah blah. Their service reminds of the type of service originally available in the 1990's, when cell phone usage just started becoming huge.

Best advice: Go to Best Buy, ask the young people there which phone is best for you. They are very smart and usually, they're computer nerds at Best Buy. They know everything about cell phones and computers. If I could give them a negative star rating I would! Save yourself aggravation, go elsewhere, any other phone company will beat this one.

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I am a new customer to Consumer Cellular (hereinafter C.C.), drawn in by the promise of lower monthly cost. And my plan is about 25% less expensive than with Verizon. However, since signed up nearly 2 weeks ago, I still have no working phone, making cost savings fairly unimportant right now. Naturally, I have been in contact with customer service. Each and every time I call customer service I run into a robot which informs me that C.C. is "Experiencing unusually high caller volume" and prompts me to wait for a return call. The "Unusually high call volume" occurs regardless of time of day or day of week. This seems to suggest (A) under staffing (B) high number of dissatisfied customers or (C) both.

The new customer issues I am having with C.C. are admittedly due in part to my being cheap. Attempting to save money, I purchased a new phone through Amazon which, to my chagrin, was not compatible with the C.C. network. Why? My new phone cannot work with AT&T. I've since learned that C.C. is not, in fact, an actual network. Rather, it a "virtual network" which piggy-backs onto AT&T. It is frustrating that while having made repeated calls to C.C. customer service regarding my dysfunctional new phone, I had to discover the fact that they are part of the AT&T network on my own. Posting this information clearly to new customers would likely reduce wasted time and unneeded frustration. It may also dissuade potential customers who've perhaps had bad experiences with the AT&T cellular network.

After the initial incompatibility fiasco, and in the interest of expediency, I broke down and purchased a new device directly from the C.C. website. Yes, it destroyed my initial budget but I needed a phone and buying directly from the provider seemed the best way for me to accomplish the my goal of regaining telephone service. The online transaction was processed as a device upgrade (from SIM card to new iPhone) and felt painless and efficient. I opted for the offer of 2 day expedited shipping and waited anxiously for my new phone to arrive. The only thing new to arrive was concern. Concern when after several days there was no confirmation of the transaction and the purchase failed to post to my credit card.

Once again I called C.C. customer service and found they had no record of my online purchase. Also troubling was the fact that customer service representative "Meleka" seemed confused by my questions and actually defaulted to reading a script to me. I steered Meleka back to the problem and, with him on the line, proceeded to repeat the online purchase through the C.C. website. Strangely, I could no longer opt for the 2 day expedited shipping. Meleka assured me my phone would arrive in 3 to 5 business days. This would turn out to be a false assurance.

I was initially hopeful when soon after speaking with Meleka I received email confirmation of the order. Foolishly, I began to think the second time website purchase must be the charm. Then, a day later, I received email from C.C. asking that I contact Billing to re-confirm the order. Hummm? Calling as instructed, the customer service representative essentially repeated the order process a third time and concluded by informing me I would soon receive shipping confirmation and tracking number by email and that once shipped my phone would arrive within 3 to 5 business days.

I began service with Consumer Cellular on August 1, 2017. Fourteen (14) days later I remain unable to use this service. I still have no phone, I have not yet received the promised shipping confirmation and, frankly, if and when the confirmation arrives I will be amazed if the new phone shows up within the promised time frame of 3 to 5 business days -- if at all. I am now looking at this experience as an experiment, hoping to remain patient enough to see it through, though relying on my wife's cell phone is quickly becoming a problem. I will provide updates as the Consumer Cellular saga unfolds. Stay tuned!

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Consumer Cellular advertises their cellular service as 'no contract', but try to cancel the service and watch the fees pile up. I put three cell phones on their service and could not receive or send a call from my home in a populated neighborhood where I used to have great connectivity. I called for help and followed their instructions to change SIM cards. Still lousy service! I then tried to convert to ATT and got hit with cancellation fees and really nasty Consumer Cellular customer support staff and supervisors. Consumer Cellular should be avoided at all costs, and AARP should remove their endorsement. Consumer Cellular is beyond a bad company, Consumer Cellular is EVIL!

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They are doing some of their support in Facebook chat. I had foolishly not identified the "power on" button (it is in the instructions!) and when I pressed it it solved all my problems. Facebook chat is very critical because the telephone chat is very long (the wait) and isolated people like me may not have easy access to another phone.

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Upon ordering my first phone several years ago, CC was very responsive and helpful. In a short time they dropped their eye on customer service making them quite typical of those interested in making as much money off the seniors as possible. Attempts to call them are an exercise in futility. Their 15 minutes can be as long as a couple days. So sad.

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I purchased a Consumer Cellular phone for my mother. Mainly for emergencies. First of all, I have been trying to contact their customer service department for about 2 weeks now. I have sent emails with no response and I have called every phone number that I can find for them and always get the same thing, "we are experiencing high call volumes, wait time about 15 minutes, we will contact you back in the order your call was received".

I have waited for 30 minutes without my call being answered and I have left my number for call back several times. I still haven't received a call back. The second problem that I have is, my mother actually needed to contact me because she was broken down in her car on the side of the road. The one time she needed a cell phone for emergency reasons, (the reason I gave her a phone to start with), and of course, It Did Not Work. NO SERVICE! Needless to say, I am dropping Consumer Cellular and wouldn't advise this company to anyone!

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When we were initially with Consumer Cellular we actually kept our cell phone in the car only to use for emergencies. Last year we purchased 2 beautiful Android phones from Best Buy and transferred our service to AT&T, which was a requirement for 6 months. We love our new phones and now use them all the time for much more than calling. After 6 months with AT&T, we decided to go back to Consumer Cellular because the rates were lower. BIG MISTAKE!!! We couldn't even use our phones because we had such poor reception, so we decided to go back to AT&T and felt the great reception was worth the extra money. After all, what good is a phone if it does not work?

We cancelled with Consumer Cellular within the 30-day satisfaction guarantee and did not have over usage as we could not even make a call. Now, they say that we used our 30-day guarantee when we first signed up with Consumer Cellular in 2009, so it does not apply to our recent account. I have spent hours on the phone with them, even with a manager who says that the guarantee is only good for one time. I asked them to show us in writing that fact and they could not - only that they have a 30-day guarantee. So, we will give them their $20, but they have lost a customer and we will not have a good experience to share with others. Don't you think they would have been better off to waive the $20 and have a happy customer?

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I chose Consumer Cellular based on its "Only pay for what you use" ads. WHAT A SCAM!!! My phone was not unlocked for data service yet 3 (THREE) times over 4 months my rate plan was increased based on "estimated data usage"!!! How the bloody hell can my data usage INCREASE when I am using NO data whatsoever!! Customer service gave me the "We will look into this" song and dance over and over. I HAVE HAD IT. This is just a SCAM!!!

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It is only possible to communicate by phone. There's always a long wait. If you choose to receive a call back, the system calls as soon as you hang up, then you go into the queue that you would have already been on. If you request a call for specific time, they call back thirty minutes or more late. I stayed with them for two days. Finding them virtually impossible to contact, I went back to Verizon, who answered the call right away.

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Customer Service - Tried several times. The wait time says 15 minutes but turns into 30 to 40 minutes. Don't understand how I was over on data after just paying the bill and it's only the 4th of the month. Ridiculous. Can't send or receive pictures. When I'm added to a group text can't answer either party. Kind of makes me miss AT&T. And the sad part is you piggy back off of them. You've been around long enough to hire more customer service staff. You started out good and now it's all bad.

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Surprises me how a company can be number 1 when I have the following issues: Cellphone received refurbished $140. No ear plugs. New $160. With ear plugs. Called several time. Takes more than 15 mins for rep to answer. Emailed a problem about ear plugs. Still no reply. I cancelled 5 days ago, my 300 texts mins jumped to 2000. Increase supposedly due to use. What use. I only text a few times. May 10 if any. Big disappointment. I called a friend. He said cancel NOW. I had the worst billing experience with this company. No one could answer the missing ear plug question, used phone not worth it. I asked when I will be reimbursed. Couldn't get a straight answer either. Day 5 still waiting for return package. So frustrated I contacted my bank to report this. Sorry you really need to examine how you treat customers. POOR POOR big disappointment.

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I have called Consumer Cellular in the past when I first got their service. They would answer quickly and were very helpful. Now that I've been with them for about a year now I can't get thru on their phone. I leave my name on the service to get called back and dinner time they do and other times no call. Today I waited 50 minutes on hold and it disconnected me. Another time I tried to contact them and it took me 2 days to get thru.

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Consumer Cellular was for emergency use and for Youtube when driving. With the same channel selections at home, there were almost no ads. After two weeks of atrocious, loud ads every few minutes, I returned the phone. A bill came for "excessive data," $17. A bill with a late fee was $27. I spoke to a representative who would only reduce my bill to $17. No thanks. A collection agency sent a bill for $72.84. At 70 years old, with a good retirement income, I do not need good credit. I do enjoy getting even. Consumer Cellular is no longer at Staples in Killingly, CT. Consumer Cellular is going down.

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Terrible, terrible service. I bought a phone from them and have waited for 5 days to get my service transferred from Verizon. You can't get anyone to talk to you or call you back in a timely manner. I just fell for their hype, but I am getting off this system ASAP.

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J.D. Power's head is in the sand when it comes to giving CONSUMER CELLULAR high grades when it comes to consumer satisfaction. DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT YOU HEAR. Consumer Cellular ranks at the bottom of my list and based on reviews of others, CONSUMER CELLULAR is obviously not doing very well. WHAT I DO NOT LIKE ABOUT CONSUMER CELLULAR: Bankers hours... Can never reach these people, even when they claim they will call you back. It never happens! Minimum data plan sucks. Consumer Cellular changed my service without my knowledge. No bargain. Poor service. Poor connection.

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I had Consumer Cellular for 5 years and the caller ID was still associated with the previous person who had the cell phone number. I called numerous times to get his name off of my caller ID. Also cleared the caller ID at our home, etc. Nothing worked and after 5 years I asked for a new cell phone number. My new phone number is also associated with another person, I just found out again. Horrible, horrible service. I know they can't fix this. They are sub standard cell service.

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I bought this phone for emergency use only so after a few months of my phone bill going higher and higher and never being used as a senior citizen I felt I was not receiving the billing I had agreed to pay. Monthly was 20.00 and in the end it had grown to 55 for one billing to a 41.00 billing after the last phone call. Today 7/22/17 they ripped me off and they have a million reasons why you owe them. I hope you will have 2nd thoughts before you hook up with these liars and flim flam seller of JD

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Consumer Cellular cell service is no service, cannot call out on the phone, unless you're in a town, and sometimes, that does not work. You call them and maybe you will get someone and maybe not, then they tell you it's where you live. You ask to cancel their service and they keep charging you and sending invoice and calling like crazy. You are warned about this company, do not try Consumer Cellular.

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I had a few issues with Consumer Cellular: 1. They gave me phone numbers with several international callers associated, it took me 3 weeks to get the people to stop calling. In that time, I changed my number (3) times. When I threatened to leave the service, they finally gave me a number no one claimed. 2. Paying my bill is always a hassle. Every time I pay the amount they charge, there is always a $4.80 or less balance due. I will look at the last bill and add $5 and still the same result. Now, I just ignore it until I pay the bill again.

3. Stranded and tried to pull up the internet. All of a sudden it disappeared and the homepage said no host. What does that mean. Uber was lost to me. I did not have a phone number for them. 4. I have not been able to reach anyone on the phone, but online they say they will contact me in (5) days, it has been (3) days and I'm only trying to get the internet programmed on this flip phone. Otherwise, I couldn't be happier with the phone. When I dial I am now able to reach the people I wish to speak to. Connectivity is not a problem, I can now give out my number without a bunch of rude internationals hanging up on me when they call my number. Despite the billing issue and the internet, I like having a compact phone. Just wish the customer service was better. I hate to have to threaten folks to get good service.

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My husband was not happy with his phone. Wanted his flip phone back... What a nightmare. 1st called because I could not get the phones working and was charged for the month anyway... The best part yet is got 2 phones, asked if I could send back the phone he did not like and get him a new one... No problem. Packed up the unwanted phone and shipped it back. Finally got the phones working then got a p mail package in the mail. It was his old phone... Saying the phone had heavy scratches on the face... {They sent the phone back. It was put in the box with no support and a charger just thrown into the box.} I called them and was told the shipping dept took pictures of the scratches. I then asked for a picture of the damage and was told by the customer service rep... her boss. And his supervisor Karit from AZ that there was no way I could get the picture of the damage to the phone.

This is very disturbing to me because of the way the phone had been sent back to me... I will keep the phone if they can show me all the damage that was done to the phone... Because of the time they put me on hold and they were so unprofessional I feel they were passing me from staff to staff as a joke. Think they need to use some of the stolen money from the clients to upgrade their customer service dept.

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I had been paying for an extra warranty for months but when I dropped and damage my phone they refused to honor the warranty I had paid for months. I cancel my service and I say good riddance to rip off companies.

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Don't believe the hype. Consumer Cellular SUCKS!! I live in central North Carolina. No mountains. Fairly level topography. I had to drive a mile down the road to get cell service. They use ATT's towers... they should try another carrier. Moreover, their billing is suspect. I cancelled them 2 months ago and I'm still getting bills!! If you call them, bring a good book, as you'll be on a 30 minute wait! Avoid this outfit folks, their day has come and gone!

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I had $10.00 Cell - No problem - signed up for landline BIG MISTAKE!!! DON'T DO IT - SCAM TURNS INTO TRIPLE BILLING. It's supposed to be $10.00 additional for the line = $20.00 then it is $20 more dollars for 1500 minutes. They DON'T tell you that every time the phone rings is BILLED AIR TIME!! Every scam call is all billed, all voicemails (do NOT set up theirs), calling to retrieve voicemails is a long billed process which is why they have no billing between 250 & 1500 minutes. I am suckered every month for $33.76 from my old BasicTalk of $ 12.94, I am switching back to BasicTalk right now. Oh yes, I am also being charged for TEXT messages that you cannot get on landlines!!!

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I recently signed up with Consumer Cellular and have had very good customer service. I have an iPhone that was on contract with AT&T and had problems with the conversion caused by a combination of very bad customer service from AT&T and user error (I got the SIM cards mixed up). Through this, the constant was that every time I called Consumer Cellular the calls were picked up either immediately, or within a minute or two. By the way their call center is all US based at their headquarters in Portland, Oregon. Check out reviews at JD Powers and Consumer Reports and I noticed several negative reviews on this site. They are so extreme and contrary to my experience and the reviews of the customers in these two reviews that I am skeptical of their validity.

Maybe the big carriers are realizing the transition from contract services to open phone. No contract companies is hurting them and they are taking "active measures". By the way, they are also cheaper than AT&T and have automatic upgrade and downgrade from month to month so that you can choose a lower cost plan knowing that if you're over on data for a month you only pay the higher rate for that month, and then it goes down to the lower rate the next month without you having to do anything! You don't get that from AT&T.

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Husband bought a phone from Consumer Cellular and the phone number that was given to him evidently wasn't out of service for very long as he continues to get calls for this person on a daily basis. People text photos to him for this person to look at body work on their cars, lifeline calls for this person saying his mother is sick, constant calls. In addition this person's name shows up on the caller id every time my husband calls into his job, every time he calls to our home phone and any other landline.

We have talked to Consumer Cellular about these PROBLEMS FOR OVER 8 MONTHS. Their horrible solutions vary: 1) Blame it on the customer and tell the customer what they need to do to resolve the problem *ie call everyone that you have contacted on their landline and have them delete their call log history and it should "reset" it. 2) Your husband shouldn't answer his phone if he doesn't recognize the telephone number 3) Get a new number and contact everyone you know to give them the new number.

We are so upset with this company it's almost humorous! Their horrible solutions are just that, horrible lies. It just so happened that we got a new landline last week, right from the box with no call log history at all. Guess what? The caller id still showed the other person's name, not my husband's. If you are thinking about getting Consumer Cellular, DO NOT DO IT! If you don't have hours to spend on the phone with these rude representatives, steer clear of them.

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I have been without service for hours. My account is up to date and not due until the end of July. There is no way to call or email. I even went through their website to e-mail to be notified. It was been discontinued! How in the world am I supposed to notify when nothing is working!

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I am not supplying all details, as I've been at war for months and need to be done. I bought a phone from them that was faulty. They didn't stand behind it. I live in 2nd largest city in Oregon but my service dropped to 1-2 bars. I can make calls but other party can't hear me. I'm handicapped and all calls are made from same the same recliner. Moving doesn't help. They started with caring and prompt customer service. That all ended. Now it's 30-minute waits and people are not knowledgeable. Nor do they really care. Don't make my mistake. I've never had such an experience before.

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Extortion - the company asked me via email to call because of a problem with my account. When I called the little girl who answered said my account might be closed because someone who uses our address for mail with our permission went into arrears with his Consumer Cellular account. We have no connection with him other than him using our address for his mail. Despicable practice. I was asked where he now lives, if I could have him call so our account wasn't compromised- not acceptable business practices. I told them so.

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We changed from our carrier to Consumer Cellular because of the lower rate. Well, you get what you pay for. We had very poor service most days and none other days. The "#1" customer service at CC told us that we would need to stand by a window! The land line was even worse... we had NO service for 2 days. Thank goodness that we didn't have an emergency! The "#1" customer service is also a joke. The automated says they will return our call in 10-15 minutes. A couple of times it took an hour or more. We have returned to our former carrier and have good service again. Changing to Consumer Cellular was a major mistake! I'm thankful that some mistakes are easily corrected.

Consumer Cellular Company Profile

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