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Consumer Cellular International Roaming

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Newbie

Consumer Cellular International Roaming

Was just informed by CC they are dropping t-mobile service and only going to use ATT.  Also per CC, when I want to use international roaming I will have to insert and have activated a new SIM card that can only be used while traveling outside the USA.  When I return to the USA I will have to reinsert the old SIM card and have it reactivated.  I will have to do the SIM Card transfer every time I enter or leave the USA. This means I have to transfer and activate the International SIM card prior to leaving the USA and will consequently not be able to use my phone until I land overseas.  This is a big deal because if I get stuck in a USA airport, my phone is useless.

This is poor service from a cell phone company.  I am going to look for a new cellular service where I can  just pay an extra fee without changing SIM Cards.

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Regular Contributor

Hi @PeterH936461! We acknowledge your concerns about this. Consumer Cellular is working to only have AT&T sim cards due to challenges with network coverage. Per the nature of the signal itself, it may be impacted by many things such as; a tower’s transmission limitations, terrain, trees/foliage, in-building/in-vehicle use and even network capacity constraints are just a few. More remote or rural areas also tend to have fewer towers and this can result in less consistent coverage as well. It is also true that while inside a home, cellular connectivity can be further impacted by the building materials of the structure itself. Some of the more problematic materials are brick, cement, aluminum siding/roofing or stucco. As for the SIM card, we encourage you to contact Consumer Cellular to see what upgrade options you may have available. We apologize for the inconvenience that this may have caused you.

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Newbie

 I just returned from the Dominican Republic on a medical mission trip. Prior to leaving the US, I contacted Consumer Cellular to request international calling and service. I was informed by the Consumer Cellular representative that I did NOT need a new sim card, and that international calling would be activated for my travel dates. On arrival to the DR I found I had NO cellular service either in Santo Domingo or anywhere we went. I was unable to contact Consumer Cellular or their website even while on Wi-Fi in our hotel, airport, or anywhere in the DR due to "error code 1020, access denied. The site owner may have set restrictions that prevent you from accessing the site." All other attempted websites aside from consumer Cellular were accessible. This left me with no coverage for basic maps, no ability to text, call, or contact my team members. or navigate the area. This was not an issue with my phone or the towers. The difficulties were shared by another Consumer Cellular customer on our team but not by AT&T or Verizon users. Consumer Cellular has apparently blocked their website from access in the Dominican Republic. I strongly advise anyone NOT to rely on Consumer Cellular for international travel. 

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Contributor

We purchased new IPhone 14 pros in 2022 and paid in CASH with Consumer Cellular.

there was no discount or benefit to purchasing through them.

they NEVER disclosed that the international roaming that works with our older IPhone 12 models would not work with the new phones.  We discovered this three weeks prior to leaving for a 3 week trip to South Africa.  Their response was “just buy a SIM card to use- and didn’t understand that the phone had e-sim, and was locked by them.

They refused to unlock the phone because it had not been 6months since purchase; refused to help in any way, and the customer service agent and supervisor were rude, and told me that I should have verified that the phone would work internationally before I purchased it.

why would I need to verify that an iPhone used and sold all around the world would work in other countries, especially when my current one did?  There was no disclosure at time of sale.

I ended up purchasing a plan with t-mobile and purchased a phone to use in South Africa.  As soon as the 6 months ended I unlocked the phones and transferred all services to t-mobile.  The ridiculous and poor performance of Consumer Cellular cost me about $300.00 in additional charges and fees while I had two mobile service plans.

 I can’t understand why AARP would promote a deceitful and mismanaged company/product like this.  We have prevented several friends and family members from going with CC due to the terrible service and rude agents.  It maybe cheap, but in the end, cheap is expensive!

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Bronze Conversationalist

My Ex-GF was in the cell phone business as an Agent as a side to her car audio business, & to quote her it was one of the shadiest industries, & some of the characters she had to deal with too.   This was years back, & I'm sure it hasn't changed.  All the support with my provider has been outsourced overseas, you can call & get one answer, & call a few hours later & get a different response.

 

I like to keep it as simple as possible.   

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Conversationalist

I am not an iPhone user. In fact I don't like iPhone. But whether I like it or not, iPhone is probably  the most "universal" phone that can be use everywhere and can connect to all kinds of frequencies. I have problem understand Consumer Cellular saying iPhone 14 Pro can not roam internationally. I think it is more like Consumer Cellular has no agreement with overseas cell companies to provide you with roaming service. When they said "buy a sim card to use" means your iPhone 14 is capable to be used at your destination country. iPhone 14 can use physical other sim as well as esim , but the phone must be unlock from Consumer Cellular first. Actually when they refused to unlock your phones, you could choose another option besides going to T-Mobile. That is to unlock your phones by a third party. It costs extra money, but I think it would well below $300.

For some reasons, I think AARP often endorses undesirable products and services.

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Contributor

Consumer cellular had no capability of providing international roaming with an esim.  iPhone 14 has no physical SIM card slot, but they incorrectly advised to but a physical SIM card to use, which I would not be able to use because the phones were locked.

Being berated by their supervisor for not verifying that a service they had provided to me on my current phone would or would not be available on my new phone was adding insult to injury.  They should have disclosed that certain features and services that I was paying for would not be available on the new phone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Regular Contributor

Hi @KBFtwo! We are sorry to hear about your experience with one of our service providers. Please rest assure that AARP does thoroughly vet every service provider we have a contract with very carefully. AARP is committed to enhancing the lives of our members, their families and society. One aspect of our commitment is demonstrated through our AARP programs. We monitor all programs on a continuous basis and make every effort to provide unique benefits, and quality service. We sincerely apologize for any frustration you may have encountered with Consumer Cellular. 

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Conversationalist

Depends on the kind of phone you have, the process can be simpler. The newer phones have dual sim option (you can have two sim cards in the phone) or one regular physical sim and one esim. Through settings, determine which one to be active.

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Conversationalist

International roaming with the domestic cell provider is convenient but can be expensive. There are some alternatives as discussed in:

https://community.aarp.org/t5/Computer-Questions-Tips/International-travel-with-your-cell-phone/m-p/...

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