Here’s the promised update as it relates to my earlier thread started on 6/13/17: https://bobistheoilguy.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/topics/4430776/1
First, the short version for those of you who don’t want to read the details.
The total savings per month, former AT&T billing statement versus current Consumer Cellular billing statement is $34.30 in total savings.
We are on the same network using the same phones so the only real noticeable change is the amount we pay each month.
Would I do it over again? Absolutely! Wish I would have done this sooner.
Here is the more in depth details regarding my overall experience with making the switch from AT&T to Consumer Cellular.
We had been with AT&T for 12-years. More recently, I was receiving a discount on our phone service though my employer which amounted to a savings of $15 dollars per phone number, in other words a $30 dollar per month discount. Our monthly bill after taxes and surcharges was typically $79.64 give or take a few cents. It was the two of us, my wife and I on the plan. Our plan consisted of the “Mobile Share Value 300MB with Rollover Data”. This plan included unlimited Talk/Text and we shared 300MB of data on our two smart phones. As it would appear, without my company discount, our monthly bill for this plan would have been $109.64.
Something else I discovered in making the switch is the difference in how the taxes, fees and surcharges are calulated on the billing statement; AT&T versus Consumer Cellular.
On my monthly statement this is how AT&T billed their taxes, fees and surcharges:
Federal Universal Service Charge.....$1.58
Regulatory Cost Recovery Charge..........$1.22
911 Service Fee..............1.25
Total per month, per line of service for Taxes, fees, and surcharges = $4.82
Again, AT&T charges their taxes, fees and surcharges per line of service so this cost us $9.64 per month.
Contrast that with my current monthly statement of how Consumer Cellular bills their taxes, fees and surcharges:
Fed USF Cellular: Federal..............$0.65
FCC Regulatory Fee (Wireless): Federal......$0.03
Operational Compliance Fee........$2.16
Total per month, per invoice statement: Taxes, fees, and surcharges = $5.43
Consumer Cellular charge their taxes fees and surcharges based on the statement so we pay $5.43 per month verses AT&T charging us $9.64 per month for the same two phones.
The overall savings in taxes, fees and surcharges is already significant.
Here is how the transition in service worked for us.
6/14/17: Placed order for new service with Consumer Cellular – No fees or charges at this time.
6/16/17: Our 3-in-1 Consumer Cellular SIM cards arrived via USPS – No fees or charges at this time.
Between 6/14 and 6/23 there was some confusion as to whether or not our AT&T phones needed to be unlocked or not. Some representatives with Consumer Cellular told me we should have them unlocked while another said it’s the same network so it’s probably not necessary. So between the June 14th and June 23rd, I was attempting to have our phones unlocked which was very problematic and time consuming. AT&T denied us multiple times and each time meant a couple day delay. It was very frustrating. In the end my phone was unlocked but before my wife’s phone could be unlocked, Consumer Cellular initiated the phone number and service change over which they had notified us in advance the approximate time the service would be changed. At any rate, my phone did not ask for the unlock code after I installed the Consumer Cellular SIM card, so in retrospect, I wish I had not concerned myself or wasted the time and frustration in multiple attempts in having our phones unlocked from the AT&T network.
6/23/17: My phone was up and running. We were still waiting for my wife’s unlock code which would never come so her phone experienced a couple day gap in service.
7/17/17: Since getting changed over, our phones had both been working, our texts had been working but group texting and sending pictures over texts were not working. Finally I called Consumer Cellular and was walked through how to assign the Access Point Name (APN) to include the Consumer Cellular network. Heavily marketed to senior citizens, I reason that going into phone settings and assigning the APN might prove troublesome to grandma. It was a bit frustrating that after nearly a month of not knowing what the problem was, it was just simple as inputting some addresses in to the phone’s settings. Consumer Cellular makes it sound easy to bring your phone but we experienced some hang ups and confusion with the process as outlined above. My recommendation would be for Consumer Cellular to focus more efforts on the issue of customers bringing their own phones.
8/2/17: This date marked my first bill paid and the first time I paid anything to Consumer Cellular. Remember, my initial order was placed on 6/14/17. No hidden fees or surcharges to report.
So despite a few initial hang-ups, our phones and our service works exactly the same as when we were with AT&T while saving $34.30 per month. I am happy with our service and glad I made the switch.
To recap, this is what my Consumer Cellular plan looks like:
1,500 minuts talk per month - $20.00
500MB Data/Unlimited Text - $10.00
Addional line of service - $10.00
Tax/Fees/Surcharges – $5.34
Monthly Total - $45.34
Given our usage, this Consumer Cellular plan replaces our $110 dollar per month AT&T plan that cost us $80 per month after employer discount.
Our savings amounts to $413
per year and that's significant. Are you paying too much for your cell service?