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#4489249 - 08/15/17 12:55 PM Consumer Cellular? UPDATE
GemStater Offline


Registered: 10/27/14
Posts: 284
Loc: Pacific NW USA
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:

Administrative Fee.................$0.76
Federal Universal Service Charge.....$1.58
ITSAP Surcharge.............$0.01
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
E-911: County............$2.50

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?
_________________________
06 Honda Accord EX-L 3.0L – Mobil 0W-20 AFE | Fram XG7313
02 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L - PP 5W-30 | Fram Ultra XG8A
69 Plymouth Road Runner 383 - Restoration

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#4489259 - 08/15/17 01:06 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2962
Loc: USA
I've been with CC for a few years now and have no complaints. I upgraded my phone earlier this year and CC told me that they could mail me a new 3in1 SIM card or I could buy one of their $10 kits at Target and they would give me a $10 credit on my next bill.

I can't imagine any of the major cellular companies offering that type of transparency.

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#4489318 - 08/15/17 02:00 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20446
Loc: Upstate NY
I had CC for several years with 4 phones. The only issue is if you max out 5Gb they stop your data I was told. One daughter is a data hog.

Now wife and I are on Project Fi and daughters still on CC.

Note if its better for you, you can get SIM cards from CC that will use T-Mobile rather than AT&T.


Edited by Donald (08/15/17 02:01 PM)
_________________________
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5 engine/CVT
2015 Ford F250 w/Powerstroke
2016 Subaru Crosstrek CVT (wife's)


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#4489322 - 08/15/17 02:04 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
John_K Offline


Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 2712
Loc: Columbus, Ohio
This is the reason we have Consumer Cellular.

Oh, and I am an AARP member I get another 10 percent off!

getdown
_________________________
2009 Mercury Grand Marquis, 8 cyl auto, 77xxx miles, PU
2005 Hyundai Sonata, 4 cyl auto, 93xxx miles, Maxlife
Current oil stash: 518 qts.



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#4489363 - 08/15/17 02:37 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
MoneyJohn Offline


Registered: 03/01/12
Posts: 171
Loc: Southern NY
You could get unlimited talk and text with 1GB data at AirVoice Wireless (at&t MVNO) for $30. I have been with Airvoice wireless for more than 3 years with their $10 plan, no data.

Howardforums is a great place to learn about MVNO offerings. You could find even cheaper with other MVNOs but their customer service isn't at par. AirVoice Wireless (at&t MVNO), PTel (TMo MVNO), PagePlus (Verizon MVNO) are among the best.


Edited by MoneyJohn (08/15/17 02:40 PM)
Edit Reason: added more info.
_________________________
2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Premium w/ EyeSight
2006 Nissan Sentra 1.8S Special Edition

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#4489369 - 08/15/17 02:40 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
bubbatime Online   shocked


Registered: 03/18/08
Posts: 5621
Loc: South Florida
I was on Sprint for a decade or more. Went to Boost Mobile. Same towers. Same phone. Saved oodles.

Unlimited talk
Unlimited text
Unlimited music
3.5GB of data

All the above for $30 a month. Taxes and fees are exactly $2.50, so my monthly cost is $32.50. I will never go back to the legacy carriers with the $100/month cell phone bills.
_________________________
17 Chrysler Pacifica Mobil 1 5W30
13 Yamaha XT250 Valv MC 10W40
12 Suzuki S40 Rotella 15W40
10 Acura TSX 2.4 PZL Plat 5W30
06 GMC Sierra Nextgen 10W30



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#4489420 - 08/15/17 03:32 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
Chris Meutsch Offline


Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 2631
Loc: Cincinnati
I'll be switching over to CC whenever my nearly 3-year old phone quits. Highly recommended and cheaper.
_________________________
2005 Honda CR-V EX, 254k.
2008 Honda Pilot EX-L, 96k.

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#4489425 - 08/15/17 03:38 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
RF Overlord Offline


Registered: 11/08/03
Posts: 3753
Loc: Cape Cod, MA
Not sure why anyone would go with AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint. I have Cricket, which uses the AT&T network, and pay $35/month (all fees included) for unlimited talk/text and 3GB data.
_________________________
Supercharged '03 Mercury Marauder - Trilogy Motorsports #61
PP 5W-30 / MC FL820S

'00 Grand Marquis GS - daily driver
MC 5W-20 / MC FL820S

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#4489429 - 08/15/17 03:42 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
Trav Offline


Registered: 11/20/06
Posts: 18832
Loc: MA, Mittelfranken.de
I kicked AT&T to the curb last month after 10 yrs and went with CC. I was paying $127 a month for a old grandfathered unlimited date plan which included 500 min and 10 text messages the min were shared with my wife's phone.
I checked my data use and found the most I ever used was 850mb in a month as the phone is on wifi most of the time. The 2 yrs was up so I was going to just go with AT&T again but now they want $400 for the iphone SE (no interest in a 6 or 7 i don't want to carry a suitcase for the phone) and paying for it over 30 months is nothing I am interested in either.

CC sold the SE 32gb for $170 all in (inc $10 MA sales tax), unlocked one time payment, 1500 min, unlimited text and 1.5 gb data with a sim card for my wife's phone for $56 a month inc fed taxes and no activation fees.

AT&T would have been $127 a month + $400 + $24 sales tax and $35 activation, my next bill would have been $586 with CC $40 summer savings of the $50 for 2 lines, $170 + $6 tax for a total of $186 I saved $400 and $70 every month right out of the gate.
The signal is just as good everywhere I got a good signal before I get the same now, the iphone is brand new not a refurb and unlocked (i tried my German Aldi card in it and it accepted it with no trouble).

My only mistake was not doing this a long time ago. The $840 a year I saved pays for one cars yearly insurance and I sacrificed nothing, in fact I gained 3 time the minutes and unlimited text.
_________________________
ASE L1, Master. Deutsch Meisterbrief.

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#4489466 - 08/15/17 04:26 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: MoneyJohn]
GemStater Offline


Registered: 10/27/14
Posts: 284
Loc: Pacific NW USA
Originally Posted By: MoneyJohn
You could get unlimited talk and text with 1GB data at AirVoice Wireless (at&t MVNO) for $30. I have been with Airvoice wireless for more than 3 years with their $10 plan, no data.


Why can't I easily find out what two lines of service would cost through AirVoice?
_________________________
06 Honda Accord EX-L 3.0L – Mobil 0W-20 AFE | Fram XG7313
02 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L - PP 5W-30 | Fram Ultra XG8A
69 Plymouth Road Runner 383 - Restoration

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#4489480 - 08/15/17 04:42 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: bubbatime]
GemStater Offline


Registered: 10/27/14
Posts: 284
Loc: Pacific NW USA
Originally Posted By: bubbatime
I was on Sprint for a decade or more. Went to Boost Mobile. Same towers. Same phone. Saved oodles.

Unlimited talk
Unlimited text
Unlimited music
3.5GB of data

All the above for $30 a month. Taxes and fees are exactly $2.50, so my monthly cost is $32.50. I will never go back to the legacy carriers with the $100/month cell phone bills.


Maybe you're grandfathered to an older plan? On Boost Mobile's web site, I see $35 plus $30 for each additional line. So that's $65 for two lines plus what? $5 dollars for taxes equals $70 per month. I'm paying $45/mo including tax for two lines, granted, less data. But if I wanted the same 3 Gigs through CC, I'd pay $20 more per month.
_________________________
06 Honda Accord EX-L 3.0L – Mobil 0W-20 AFE | Fram XG7313
02 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L - PP 5W-30 | Fram Ultra XG8A
69 Plymouth Road Runner 383 - Restoration

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#4489491 - 08/15/17 04:56 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: Chris Meutsch]
GemStater Offline


Registered: 10/27/14
Posts: 284
Loc: Pacific NW USA
Originally Posted By: Chris Meutsch
I'll be switching over to CC whenever my nearly 3-year old phone quits. Highly recommended and cheaper.


Hey, if anyone wants to switch to Consumer Cellular and wants an instant $10 dollar credit on their bill, send me a PM and we'll get it done.
_________________________
06 Honda Accord EX-L 3.0L – Mobil 0W-20 AFE | Fram XG7313
02 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L - PP 5W-30 | Fram Ultra XG8A
69 Plymouth Road Runner 383 - Restoration

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#4489521 - 08/15/17 05:27 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
AirgunSavant Offline


Registered: 07/22/15
Posts: 3772
Loc: MD
I had CC for years. Good company but I like Cricket better and it is cheaper.

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#4489530 - 08/15/17 05:39 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: AirgunSavant]
GemStater Offline


Registered: 10/27/14
Posts: 284
Loc: Pacific NW USA
Originally Posted By: AirgunSavant
I had CC for years. Good company but I like Cricket better and it is cheaper.


For my needs, I'm not seeing that Cricket would be cheaper for me. Plus I look down at the fine print and see fees, fees, and more fees. No thinks, that's just what I switched away from. I paid no activation fees or anything for that matter to switch over to CC. What a refreshing company to work with. Not a bunch small fine print or hidden fees.
_________________________
06 Honda Accord EX-L 3.0L – Mobil 0W-20 AFE | Fram XG7313
02 Dodge Grand Caravan 3.3L - PP 5W-30 | Fram Ultra XG8A
69 Plymouth Road Runner 383 - Restoration

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#4489582 - 08/15/17 06:45 PM Re: Consumer Cellular? UPDATE [Re: GemStater]
SF0059 Offline


Registered: 08/06/12
Posts: 789
Loc: Lynchburg, VA, USA
I used to spend $180/month through Verizon for two data plans. I then switched to Republic Wireless and I'm currently with Google Fi. I now pay $80/month for two lines with phone insurance. That is $1200/year savings. Everytime I think about it I smile. I may give Cricket a whirl just because AT&T's coverage is awesome here.

In any case, there is no reason to pay more for one of the major carriers.
_________________________
2014 Honda Odyssey EX-L/RES: 54K mi, M1 0w-40 & FU, VCMuzzler V2
2017 Mazda 6 Touring 6MT: 22k mi, M1 AFE 0w20, OEM Filter

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