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Consumer Cellular NOT Necessarily the Best Choice

I don't know if there's some financial arrangement between Consumer Cellular and AARP, but we (folks over 50) are clearly targeted by Consumer Cellular.  I WAS one of those people whose monthly bill, as advertised on television, was just under $25...with very a limited data allowance.  Out of town at a hotel I attempted to connect to the hotel's free wi-fi.  Having difficulty (NOT a Consumer Cellular issue), I gave up after about 45 minutes.  I came to discover that I had used ALL of my allowed data trying to connect and I was bumped up to the next higher plan to cover this data usage.  That also was not really a problem for me.  So.....My Point:  I was paying just shy of $25 per month and it was pretty easy to use up my allowed data.  After my hotel experience I dumped Consumer Cellular and I am now with Cricket Wireless.  I pay a total of $30 a month, which includes all taxes and fees, and I have unlimited data...1GB at high speed.  Bottom Line=For only $60 more a year I will never have the hotel experience again. 

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Has anyone tried Mint Mobile? They advertise a very cheap plan 

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Periodic Contributor

Yes.  I have mint mobile. I paid for a year with unlimited data.  So far so good.  Consumer Cellular is horrible.  I reported the CC company to the Better Business Bureau

Regular Contributor

I filed multiple complaints against Consumer Yur Jugular with the FCC, FTC and my state's office of the attorney general. If everyone ripped off by this sinister company did the same, it might expedite the demise of this repulsive cellular phone service provider.

 

All the amount of slick marketing tactics or advertising money won't restore Consume Yur Jugular's contemptible reputation as the worst cellular phone service provider of them all.

 

My respect for celebrity endorser, Ted Danson has plummeted. AARP, as well as Target should ditch Consume Yur Jugular without delay.

Contributor

What's more they don't disclose their taxes and fees before signing up on any place I can find including their agreement.

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PHONE UNLOCKED - After I filed a complaint with the Oregon Better Business Bureau, Consumer Cellular finally saw fit to unlock my iPhone 13 Pro.  Lesson learned -- never, never, never in your life buy a phone from Consumer Cellular.  My wife and I now have a two line plan with T-Mobile with unlimited calling, texting, and data for $70 including all taxes and fees.  

 

Periodic Contributor

I had Consumer Cellular for I think 5 years until just recently. It was fine until AT&T starting converting to 5G. After trying Apple, CC, and AT&T for answers, that is my conclusion. It was explained to me by several people that any service other than the main services through the big providers get pushed down in priority. They get fewer towers and get knocked off completely for service when those towers are busy. Even AT&T's pre-paid isn't treated much differently than CC or Cricket, or any reseller. There may also be an issue with older phones now. Since we couldn't get text or email service if we weren't on wifi for months on CC and got no answers, we finally switched to AT&T (where I was before CC). My phone is working fine, but my husband's occasionally gives him issues, and we think it's because it's an iPhone 7, which doesn't have the capability of accepting 5G.

We got completely frustrated with CC after trying and trying to get them to at least explain what was happening. I was told that a supervisor would call me, which never happened, and we needed to have dependable service leading up to our wedding. So, bye bye CC. The kicker, though, was that we had a hard time switching. We fortunately had a great sales guy at the AT&T store who apparently understands how to transfer in difficult situations better than their IT people do. It took almost two days to make the switch because for some reason, CC had my address correct, but had my husband's number, which was on MY account, at my old address!  It was a cluster, and I kept hearing that that was impossible, but that's why his number wouldn't transfer at first. CC is a mess. I don't know what happened to them, but some of what happened WAS their fault, and some was simply that AT&T (and Verizon is the same way) is upgrading and giving lower priority to resellers and pre-paid customers. So, we bit the bullet and switched.

I really hope that AARP gets a grip and gives them the boot as an endorsement because, frankly, it makes AARP look bad.

Contributor

I agree that AARP should drop Consumer Cellular. I've had nothing but problems with them. When I first switched, I had a Samsung S8 and couldn't do multimedia messages, so I called and they told me that it was because my phone was so old (5 years). So I ordered a new Samsung S20 FE from them and was never told anything about how long I needed to be on their network with a phone I bought from them. Everything worked fine with the phone for about 3 weeks, then I got a software update from Samsung and the phone no longer would send multimedia or do data while I was not on WiFi. This is not acceptable service. I spent 5 weeks and probably more than 50 hours troubleshooting the new phone. I also spent at least 8 hours at a Target store where they have techs for support and they could never get it working. I did a full factory reset twice, because they said it was an App that I had installed that was causing the issue, and it still didn't work. I even contacted Samsung, and sent them my phone, and they returned it saying there was no issue. Now when I want to ditch Consumer Cellular, they tell me that I can't because I need to wait another 90 days, that phone isn't even activated, I'm using my Samsung S8. Here is the real issue. Because of all the troubleshooting that I've done over the last 5 weeks, I've now been able to fix my S8 to do multimedia messages, this is the issue I originally had and they told me that my phone was too old and wouldn't work properly on their system. They couldn't solve he problem but I did myself, no tech support and no waiting on the phone for an hours to get someone to talk to. I've also noticed that they no longer sell any of the high end Samsung phones. This tells me that they have an issue with Samsung phones but they don't have the expertise in house to fix the issue, so they just won't sell them anymore. This company is such a rip-off and AARP should be ashamed to be associated with them. They certainly don't have good customer service, that's a myth that they keep playing in their TV ads. So for anyone looking to switch to save money, don't because you will regret it. I certainly do. I'll be switching back to AT&T as soon as my 90 days are up and I can leave Consumer Cellular.

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My galaxy s10 won't send mms either. I spent almost an hour with a tech who said it should work but still doesn't send mms. Next time I call I get switched 3 times each time I need to go through the ID questions, very anoying.. still won't work.  I also need to mention, something AARP didn't there is a $5/ month extra charge if you don't use autopsy. This is not a good deal. AARP must be getting something under th table. I WILLNOT REJOIN AARP.

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Regular Contributor

The best plan of action is to refuse to join or rejoin AARP until the organization severs all promotional and financial ties with Consumer Cellular. I was with CC only 29 days, (29 days too many). I had a series of problems with CC along the way and expressed my dissatisfaction with the company about 14 days into my trial period.

 

When CC billed me, I disputed the charge with my credit card company. CC never responded to the credit card company's request for information. CC never even bothered to refute the dispute. My credit card company ruled in my favor and credited the entire charge.

 

Soon afterward, CC began harassing me with phone calls, emails and mailed bills for the 29 days of bad service I received. Each month, CC hit me with late fees. I filed complaints with the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission and my State Attorney General's office. The government didn't do a thing on my behalf, as is typical. I also filed a complaint against CC with AARP. The lackadaisical AARP representative instructed me to pay CC every penny of what the company claimed I owed them. That's when I surmised the fix was in and AARP was getting too much money from CC to ever badmouth their CC benefactors.

 

A few months later, I received a letter from CC's aggressive and unscrupulous collection agency for the amount CC claimed I owned them, plus some heaped-on collection agency fees. I promptly sent the credit agency creeps a drop-dead letter. That was about 7 months ago. I have not heard a peep out of Consume Ur Jugular or their hired gun collection agency since.

 

Each time I interact with a representative from my current cellular phone service provider, I always inform the customer service agent it is my sincere wish that a competitor puts CC out of business as soon as possible. I assure each representative that I will do what I can to help their company achieve that goal.

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I totally agree.  I thought Consumer Cellular was an ethical company who truly cared about customer service.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  After paying off what I owed the company, (including my $1,400 cel phone) and moving to a different phone carrier, they are now holding my phone in hostage.  When asked to unlock “my phone “ I am told I have to wait 6 months even though I am not using Consumer Cellular’s service.  This is ill-legal and obviously unethical.  In the short term as well as the long term such a practice is not in the best interest of their former customers.  Rest assured, they will never return to the company and will drive potential customers away from their services.   I think AARP needs to disassociate themselves with Consumer Cellular.   Jim Kirk

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Regular Contributor

How many negative reviews does Consumer Cellular have to receive on this forum before AARP completely disassociates itself from a phone company that preys on senior citizens? I suggest that AARP immediately begin negotiations with another cellular service provider. If it's money and/or other considerations that AARP desires, I am fairly certain that the powerfully influential lobby, AARP, can get another, better phone provider to play ball. T-Mobile, for example, is going after the 55+ market with some very competitive rates and perks. T-Mobile's customer service leaves Consumer Cellular in the static. With so many horrendous ratings across the entire social media spectrum, I suspect that Consume Ur Jugular's days are numbered. I will do everything a diligent senior citizen can do to hasten the process.

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Just a comment on CC.  Could not wait to get my phone (bought from CC) paid off.  The wifi was a pain to stay connected and sucked big time.  I went to T-mobile and they are a world of difference for the good.  Got my last bill from CC, it was higher than my other bills. I called CC (waited 30 mins on hold), the rep kept saying your bill was prorated. My billing cycle ended on the 30th, I canceled them on the 29th. What do I need to be prorated for?  Overall rating: telephone - 8, wifi - 1, consumer service - 1, happy to be rid of them - 10!!!!

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I too, was with Consume UR Jugular for 29 days. This is well below the 45-day trial period provided to AARP members and still within the 30-day trial period for all other customers. I had multiple service issues beginning within the first two weeks of service. I documented the phone conversations I had with CC customer service agents, saved all chat transcripts and expressly informed several complacent and rude CC customer disservice clucks of my dissatisfaction.

 

Those of you who have ever been placed on hold by CC may be familiar with the prerecorded advertisements CC uses to promote their business in an effort to pacify current customers and hook potential customers.

 

During one section in the on-hold advertisement, the prerecorded message features a spokesperson's voice touting CC's "100% Risk-Free Guarantee."

 

A transcript of the recording is a follows:

 

"Here at Consumer Cellular, we have always offered a 100%, risk-free guarantee. That means, if you are not satisfied with our cellphone service, regardless of the reason, you can cancel within the free trial period and pay absolutely nothing. You don't even have to pay postage to return your phone."

 

No disclaimers, terms or conditions are ever mentioned in the advertisment. Coincidentally, soon after I informed a senior CC account representative about the misleading promise CC edited out of this portion of their on-hold message. Fortunately, I made a recording of the false advertisement beforehand. A Federal Trade Commission customer liaison I spoke with said CC was engaging in deceptive advertising.

 

No matter how much money Consumer Ur Jugular spends on advertising and promotion the company will not be able to offset the patently negative experiences so many customers encounter with this horrendously awful phone service provider.

 

When entities such as AARP and Target finally wake up to how crummy CC is to their members and patrons and finally give CC the boot, I predict it will spell the end of one of the most sleazy and customer-unfriendly cellular phone service companies in the United States. Superior cellphone service providers such as T-Mobile are doing their part to hasten the collapse of Consume Ur Jugular. The end result could not happen fast enough for me.

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When working at home during the pandemic, CC was great and a big money saver when set to wifi calling and minimal data was used (for an occasional google map lookup and directions). Now I am back to work, cannot connect to company wifi, and cannot get a CC cellular signal from my building. Had to go outside in hurricane weather in order to make a call! I will be leaving this provider shortly as it no longer suits the purpose needed. Just now tried to contact customer service and it is a 30min wait to speak to a rep. The service may work well for someone who is home most of the time and can use their personal wifi most of the time.

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Update to my last post…Now with T Mobile. Got a decent deal with 55+ plan. Opted for a new phone and service works great. Turned in old phone for monthly discount. Free mobile hotspot.. In store customer service was excellent. Customer service by phone will call you back. Happy customer.

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Bravo! A million more Consume Ur Jugular, senior citizen customers should say, "Adios!" and let AARP know why they made the switch.

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Consumer Reports magazine got it wrong.

I activated my consumer cellular just over three weeks ago and I am already giving them the boot. I was well aware that "unlimited data" was a deliberate misnomer and that throttling would take place after a paltry 35 gigabytes of (shared) standard data was used up.

 

To try and placate my concern, a representative of Consumer Cellular told me that although I would not be able to successfully stream video after having my data speed throttled down I would easily be able to perform other, less data dependent, tasks on the Internet without any difficulty. This was completely untrue. Once throttled, my data speed plummeted down to 0.07 Mbps. For those who remember dial-up speeds, the Consumer Cellular throttle-down network speed is slower than obsolete dial-up. It essentially provides the customer who paid for "unlimited" data with virtually useless data. Imagine paying for unlimited soft drink refills and being provided with a clogged soda straw in an effort to consume the allegedly endless beverage.

 

I became even more infuriated when none of the Consumer Cellular support representatives I reached out to would disclose the actual speed of the throttled data. They all behaved liked slimy politicians, unable to provide me with a direct, truthful answer to my relevant question. Consumer Cellular's punitive speed damper makes it practically impossible to accomplish anything on the Internet. The speed was so inadequate, I could not log in to my Consumer Cellular online account and engage in a chat session on the Consumer Cellular website to communicate with one of their chat representatives.

 

The only remedy I received from Consumer Cellular's customer service staff was an offer to provide me with more data at an inflated price. I call that underhanded tactic, "airway robbery".

 

If a good throttling is in order, it should be swiftly administered to Consumer Cellular and their duplicitous trade practices. Consumer Cellular's so-called "award winning" customer service is also hit or miss. I have received a disconcerting amount of contradictory and misinformation from several of Consumer Cellular's purportedly stellar customer service agents.

 

I would never recommend Consumer Cellular to anyone needing more than a few gigabytes worth of data per month, and even at that, there are better values in cellular service than Consumer Cellular. Data users beware of this disreputable company.

Regular Contributor

Update:

After only 29 days of service before switching to another carrier's 55+ phone plan, I am still wrestling with Consumer Cellular over a billing dispute. "Consume Your Jugular" (my pet name for the nefarious telecom company) began charging me for service prior to any of my SIM cards being shipped or any of my phones being activated. After complaining ad infinitum to both, Consumer Cellular's less than congenial chat and phone support ferrets, Consumer Cellular's billing department made a feeble attempt to correct their own careless error. However, the amount Consumer Cellular credited me was less than what the scoundrels overcharged me. I have been hounding Consumer Cellular to make good ever since.

 

To do battle with the evil doers at Consumer Cellular, I stocked my arsenal with a complaint to the Better Business Bureau, three separate complaints to the Federal Communications Commission, a complaint with my state's Office of the Attorney General and of course, assistance from AARP. I am sorry to report that the lackadaisical AARP representative I spoke with couldn't have cared less. More of a mouthpiece for her financial sponsor, Consumer Cellular, the AARP rep instructed me to pay my erroneous bill in full, lest I receive a late fee and collection agency harassment. Is this any way to treat a senior?

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Anyone experiencing problems with Consumer Cellular should not hesitate to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Better Business Bureau and of course, all social media outlets. AARP should end their promotional and financial relationship with Consumer Cellular immediately. I refuse to join AARP until the organization gives Consumer Cellular the heave-ho. My elderly Sister has decided not to renew her AARP membership. I will do everything I am able to promote more ethical phone service providers in an effort to assist Consumer Cellular to go out of business as rapidly as possible. A mass boycott of Consumer Cellular is certainly warranted.

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We did not have any issues with Consumer Cellular for the 6 years we had service.  We (paid cash) purchased a total of 3 phones over the course of our relationship, timely payments, and were happy to make recommendations to others.  HOWEVER, we found ourselves wishing to change carriers, to be told we could not.  One of the iPhones was not in service for 180 days.  The policy is on page 9, para 3.1.  Very sad the policy could not have been waived.  BEWARE of the fine print with this company, as well as others.  There is zero tolerance.  Will wait the 50 some days and then switch...sad way to treat previously satisfied customers.   

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Consumer Cellular is the best cellphone company I've ever had the privilege of using.  If you want to talk about issues... start with Tracfone.  

 

ConCell... put my wife and I in one of your commercials!

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Consumer Cellular s*cks.  From a consumer who is switching.  All the negative reviews previously listed are true.

 

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Tracfone has worked perfectly for me for years.

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What other cellphone companies have you had service with and what does Consumer Cellular have that the others don't? T-Mobile has far better customer service than Consume Your Jugular and is now offering phone plans that are being geared specifically to the 55+ demographic.

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Seems you are in the minority?

 

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This is the worst company ever. I have filed complaints with 4 agencies because of their extremely poor customer service and we simply cannot have up to one bar of service. We got them in Dec 2019, because we thought a a  r p wouldn't do us wrong. We were wrong, they helped get us in this mess. The service went down in about March, with dropped calls, calls not received, or unable to be placed. Never more then one bar of service. Constant calls not notated of issues, and chats with long ques of 178 or more (even before the crisis) They never would call us back when we told them to call us if calls dropped. They never notated our calls about poor service. They are known for sending u more sim cards, none of which work. Our phones were checked out by geek squad and are not the problem. The phone service is. We moved 2 phones to another company, and they are withholding releasing my phone as they are charging us for service when my phone could no longer get any bars, and so was no longer in service, and the other phone bills show evidence as well. I have not been able to use my phone at all since Aug 9, and are still billing me. They will not work with us on anything, and I get this when consumer protection said to contact them. " Why does AARP allow this to go on endorsing this company? They have thousands of complaints on the BBB, trust pilot, consumer protection etc. We do not have a home phone, and now I have no phone working. I am a senior citizen and this is how aarp has worked for us.

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A a RP should be a shame of themselves to allow consumer cellular to use a member just a scheme off of them provid and service that dozen provide and still getting paid for their services good afternoon

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@HelenaB709812 wrote:

AARP should be a shame of themselves by allowing consumer cellular to use AARP member’s  just a scheme off from their false advertisement having memories to believe that they can provide the service that they advertise on TV and using AARP members just to show that they are cellular phone services and I’m assume AARP hat and trusted them with their advertise and also to make sure that their members are satisfied with their services I fell into that trap of false advertisement with consumer cellular and trusted AARP using me as a member unfortunately consumers cellular has charge me for two months of services that I have not use both of my phones were totally dead and they failed to assist me in getting better phones to continue with their services even though I have previous phones from my previous service with the previous phone number the service was working and when consumers cellular realize that their end was not able to continue with the service that I had with him that was working on March 8 that was the last of the services that I did not receive phone consumer cellular I have constantly call them wasted unnecessary time to get the phones to work they were not provide my phone off because I was informed from formal customers that their home phones do not work with their services either mid part of March 8,2022I had to switch over to my former phone services I had to buy a new phone and get new numbers because of consumers cellular her ruin my phone and refuse for me to switch my all numbers back to my phone my phone services. I haven’t had any services from consumers cellular since March 8 because both of the phones were Totally dead unable to do anything to the phone they billed me the month of March and half of April a hundred and fifty dollars $150. I started my service with consumer cellular on February 2, 2022 and it stopped working on March 8 that was the last time my phone ever been you were there servicesI started my service with consumer cellular on February 2, 2022 and it stopped working on March 8 that was the last time my phone ever been used. I even pay my bill on March 15 $58 while my phone was not working from March 8 and has not been working even with paying that bill. Consumers cellular Is a money steamer company they rob me for my money and I know I’m not gonna receive it back despite of the services I did not receive so I’m paying for something that I shouldn’t have to pay for If this the kind of company by AARP supports with their senior members can you imagine what the companies that they also supporting to scheme of senior membersif this the kind of company by AARP supports with their senior members can you imagine what other company that they are also supporting to scheme off senior members I thought I controls AARP with their selection of companies to provide the services who are the companies but unfortunately even with the bad service of being in to their attention I’m getting the same feedback like I’m getting from consumers cellular AARP cannot be trusted either they represent company like this to mistreat them membership customers and I’m disappointed in AARP as well as consumer cellular scheming offer senior services


 

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I totally agree with you this is the worst cell phone company I personally had to deal with an a two month they charge me service that my phone could not even receive I couldn’t receive calls no one can call me any data connect song did not work at all. I have problem with the service since March 8 of this year neither my phone could not receive calls no I could not call me I couldn’t listen to my voice message yes I couldn’t receive data connection happy service since February 2 in a problem starting on March 8 I pay their service on March 15 but then they charge me for two extra months services that I did not use because of poor connection from their services that has not been resolved. They have been false advertising their services on TV now they got Ted Danson to false advertising  their commercials. I learned today what they do consuming cellular rabbit your phones are working or not they will still charge you unless you call to cancel so another word there are a hustler and that’s why they want to deal with seniors that are AARP members Because seniors they may not catch on their Consumer cellular schemes 

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