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Thread: Consumer Cellular

  1. #1

    Consumer Cellular

    Looking to replace my flip phone. Been a Verizon customer for over 25 years. But here lately, at our house service has been less than stellar. Calls take forever to go thru. Drive five miles away, and they are instant. Plus next year, my phone won't work anymore (3G.)Don't need anything more than a phone that says "Hello and Goodbye." Anybody got any experience with consumer cellular good or bad?

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    I have 2 friends that changed over to Consumer Cellular when they retired. They were highly recommending that I switch over too, which I've been giving serious thought to. I hesitate since I also want to do the Android to Apple switch but my wife is not on board with that yet.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  3. #3
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    Don't need anything more than a phone that says "Hello and Goodbye."
    TracFone.....about $10 a month. My wife digs around for the best "triple minute" deals. Unlimited talk - something like 4000 texts and 6 GB of downloads. If there's anything cheaper & I can keep my number, I'm all ears.
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  4. #4
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    Dec 2010
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    Consumer Cellular for nearly 8 years. Switched to Mint Mobile - cheaper, faster and better.

  5. #5
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    Consumer Cellular resells service from AT&T and T-Mobile, as does Mint. There's no reason to think that there would be any speed or coverage differences as they are reselling the same service. If those networks are strong where you need to use your phone then you should be fine. They are both non-existent where I live, and Verizon isn't much better.

    Tracphone, now owned by Verizon, mostly uses the Verizon network and is converting users to that system.

  6. #6
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    Roger brings up a good point. Check with your friends about what carriers they use and see if you can have them come to your home to look at signal levels for each. All of the entities like Consumer Cellular use the "big" carrier's networks, so understanding what network or networks have good coverage where you live will help you choose a new carrier (or stay with the one you have).

    There are some more basic phones available out there and entities like Consumer Cellular tend to make their availability easier than the big carriers do since a healthy part of their market is "mature adults". Samsung and Motorola both have "modern" flip phones in their lineup, BTW.
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 11-16-2021 at 10:14 AM.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    With Tracfone there is no way to make calls when you're out of the country. The amount of data for their smartphone plans is pretty meager if you go with the cheap 'refills'.

    Lately if you go to the store you get a card and tell the cashier what plan you want. The card has on it that there's a $20 plan, a $25 plan, $35 plan and so on. You tell the cashier what plan you want. Nowhere on the card or any store display are you told what you get with these different plans. They currently have two different $25 plans. How do you distinguish between them to the cashier? It's infuriating. The only reason I can figure they do this is to force customers to an autopay system. To me that defeats the idea of a no contract phone.

    I get the $25 60 day plan which is more than enough for the yakkin' I do on the phone. The minutes and texts roll over so now I'm down to my last 6,000 minutes and 11,200 texts or so. I'm still considering jumping ship from them.

    -Tom

  8. #8
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    Feb 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Matthews View Post
    Consumer Cellular for nearly 8 years. Switched to Mint Mobile - cheaper, faster and better.
    I've looked at Mint Mobile, they have great rates. Their coverage is lacking in some parts of the country though according to their coverage map.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    Consumer Cellular resells service from AT&T and T-Mobile, as does Mint. There's no reason to think that there would be any speed or coverage differences as they are reselling the same service. If those networks are strong where you need to use your phone then you should be fine. They are both non-existent where I live, and Verizon isn't much better.

    Tracphone, now owned by Verizon, mostly uses the Verizon network and is converting users to that system.
    Doesn't Mint use T Mobile? I thought that's what I read. Mint is a great deal, especially if you use quite a bit of data.

  10. #10
    We've been using Consumer Cellular for around 8 or 9 years now. Not the absolute cheapest but the plans are reasonable and the customer service is great.

  11. #11
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    A big part of the problem for the OP is probably because he is still using 3G. Verizon is certainly not investing any money in their 3G network and may very well be moving some of their 3G spectrum to 4G or even 5G service at this point. A new 4G LTE phone may work just fine with Verizon.

    That said, Consumer Cellular will work just fine if only doing voice calls. I bet Verizon is not cheap for just voice,

  12. #12
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    I've read where carriers have been trying to shut 3G down for some time but keep delaying. A problem is that a lot of cellular alarm systems are 3G only so have to be replaced, there is apparently no upgrade path. There has been resistance to that.

  13. #13
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    Brian, VZ has been actively shutting down 3G for some time now. Same for ATT, and TMo is in currently process of shutting down the old Sprint 3G, too. (there 3G shutdowns are wreaking havoc with vehicle telemetry and remote communication subscriptions, but that's a different topic) I agree with you that the OP shouldn't assume that VZ coverage under 4G will be equally bad. That was kinda the reason I suggested that he get a few friends "in house" that have service on the various carriers to see how things look with the more current technology.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
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    Been with Consumer Cellular for over five years now, no serious complaints. They have a wide range of phones available (both flip and smart, Apple and Android, if you live in a mixed household), or bring your own. Great customer service and tech support.

    As noted they run on ATT and T-Mobile. I think the current SIM cards will use both: my original phone came with a T-Mobile SIM which had poor signal at the house (and at the local Target where I got it), so they swapped it out for free. There was no mention of which one the new phone uses, but it works fine everywhere I've had it. Could be, since they know where I am now, they just target (no pun intended) the network choice to the local conditions. (Note: if you're getting set up at Target, look for a worker bee in a black shirt: they're way better than the red-shirts. <insert Star Trek joke here>)

    Literally my only complaint is that I had to replace my perfectly good 5yo Samsung J3 this summer: starting in August, they required phones that are VoLTE-capable. The J-series seem to have gone away, but they had A01's which are about the same (small) size. Switchover was mostly automagic, just a couple minutes of moving icons around to get everything back where I wanted it.
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  15. #15
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    You can get unlimited data on consumer cellular. I think they are only allowed to advertise to the older crowd but it’s really no different than Verizon if you are in an area with coverage.

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