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Thread: Consumer Cellular (AT&T Postpaid MVNO) Lowers Prices

  1. #1
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    Consumer Cellular (AT&T Postpaid MVNO) Lowers Prices

    Consumer Cellular is a good deal for a family plan if you don't need massive amounts of data. Not a good deal for a one-person plan.

    They recently changed their plans, moving to unlimited minutes on the $30 plan, and dropping the two higher tiers. The $20/1500 minute plan is actually enough for a lot of users since intra-plan calls are not counted.

    They upped the amount of data, but the biggest plan is only 5GB for $40.

    Each extra line after the first one is $10.

    They will bump you to the next plan if you exceed the limits in your plan, but they won't bump you back down the next month automatically.

    I'm currently paying about $90, with taxes and fees, for four lines, with the 5% AARP discount (anyone can get this discount even by joining as an "associate" member).

    Consumer Cellular is the only AT&T MVNO that offers the full AT&T extended-network, with roaming. Not even Cricket or GoPhone, AT&T's prepaid services, offer this.

    The downsides:

    If you exceed 5GB, they charge you $10/GB (kind of reduced form 1.5˘/MB) AND they throttle. You can't go over 12GB no matter what, they cut you off.

    No international roaming, not even in Canada and Mexico.. at least not officially. Very annoying about no North American roaming. Be sure to get a Maxroam or Truphone SIM card if visiting those countries.

    Actually, based on some responses from Consumer Cellular's customer support people, the service actually does support some international roaming, at least in Canada, but they tell you not to use it, and they don't publish how much it will cost. In one place on their web site they state: "Our service is meant to be used within the United States, so it won’t be available if you are in Canada. You may be able to get service, but you may be subject to costly international roaming fees." In another place on their web site they state: " And their Consumer Cellular phone will not work beyond the U.S. borders, thus protecting them from any outrageous international roaming fees, which are mostly unregulated and can vary widely." It has been this way for years, there is no way to get a straight answer on this question because either they don't know the answer, or because they know it but don't want to disclose it. Mu suspicion is that it will actually roam on the same international networks that AT&T roams on, and that you'd be charged AT&T's regular, extremely high, roaming rates for voice, SMS, and data.

    Also, Consumer Cellular now also sells T-Mobile service, and there is no discount over AT&T service, despite far, far poorer coverage on T-Mobile, so be certain to get AT&T service.

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    I'm seeing this as a HIGHER plan than any of the other prepaid carriers. Am I missing something?

    Even on the unlimited TALK plan (which is $30).... THEN add your data plan $40 / 5GB.

    This is $70 a month already for a single line (ok, op said not a good deal for a single line plan)...

    Only thing that saves them is only adding $10 for an additional like..... so $80 sharing 5gb......

    Even with that 2 lines sharing 8GB on Total Wireless is only $60.

    So, not seeing the value in Consumer Cellular.....(and AT&T got ya there, $10 overage exceeding data allowance)

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    Quote Originally Posted by smsgator View Post
    .....Consumer Cellular is the only AT&T MVNO that offers the full AT&T extended-network, with roaming. Not even Cricket or GoPhone, AT&T's prepaid services, offer this.
    .....
    Do you have any evidence that they have that ?

    It has been challenged repeatedly.

    Their map does not show it.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...-Roaming/page4

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    Quote Originally Posted by greg4android View Post
    I'm seeing this as a HIGHER plan than any of the other prepaid carriers. Am I missing something?

    Even on the unlimited TALK plan (which is $30).... THEN add your data plan $40 / 5GB.

    This is $70 a month already for a single line (ok, op said not a good deal for a single line plan)...

    Only thing that saves them is only adding $10 for an additional like..... so $80 sharing 5gb......

    Even with that 2 lines sharing 8GB on Total Wireless is only $60.

    So, not seeing the value in Consumer Cellular.....(and AT&T got ya there, $10 overage exceeding data allowance)
    For some people, price isn't the only determining factor. Consumer Cellular has a reputation for excellence customer service, so some people are willing to pay a premium for better customer service. Also, since calls between lines on the same account are free, CC can potentially be a good deal for account with a larger number (2+) of lines that don't use a lot of data. It is especially a good deal if you don't need unlimited minutes (as OP mentioned).

    CC has never been competitive in the straight-up unlimited t&t race-to-the-bottom pricing game.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 using HoFo mobile app

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    Quote Originally Posted by greg4android View Post
    I'm seeing this as a HIGHER plan than any of the other prepaid carriers. Am I missing something?

    Even on the unlimited TALK plan (which is $30).... THEN add your data plan $40 / 5GB.

    This is $70 a month already for a single line (ok, op said not a good deal for a single line plan)...

    Only thing that saves them is only adding $10 for an additional like..... so $80 sharing 5gb......

    Even with that 2 lines sharing 8GB on Total Wireless is only $60.

    So, not seeing the value in Consumer Cellular.....(and AT&T got ya there, $10 overage exceeding data allowance)
    As I stated, it's not a good deal for a single line (or even two lines). But I find it to be a good deal for four lines. My kids don't use much data, one is in college with wi-fi everywhere on campus, and another has connectivity at both home and work and has no need for a lot of data.

    I'm paying about $90 for four users, or around $22.50 per line.

    Boom is also a really good deal, since they also include roaming, and it's on Verizon. When our phones need replacing we'll get CDMA/GSM phones like the LG G4, G5, or iPhone, or Pixel so we have the option of moving to Boom.

    The issue with most MVNOs is that they either have no roaming. There are a lot of areas in the western U.S. where roaming off of AT&T is necessary, and a couple of areas where roaming off of Verizon (onto U.S. Cellular) is necessary. If you look at the coverage maps of CC versus other AT&T MVNOs (as well as Cricket and GoPhone) you can see the coverage differences.
    Last edited by smsgator; 02-03-2017 at 01:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmoose View Post
    For some people, price isn't the only determining factor. Consumer Cellular has a reputation for excellence customer service, so some people are willing to pay a premium for better customer service. Also, since calls between lines on the same account are free, CC can potentially be a good deal for account with a larger number (2+) of lines that don't use a lot of data. It is especially a good deal if you don't need unlimited minutes (as OP mentioned).

    CC has never been competitive in the straight-up unlimited t&t race-to-the-bottom pricing game.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S7 using HoFo mobile app
    One of the main reasons I went with CC several years ago is because I needed coverage in roaming areas, even though only occasionally. None of the other AT&T MVNOs offer this. I don't know how CC was able to get AT&T to offer this. But since CC is marketed heavily to seniors, I think that they may have insisted on it due to the RV retiree population that won't use the carriers with poor rural coverage like T-Mobile and Sprint.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    Do you have any evidence that they have that ?

    It has been challenged repeatedly.

    Their map does not show it.

    http://www.howardforums.com/showthre...-Roaming/page4
    Their map does show it, and they have insisted that it was never ever actually removed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smsgator View Post
    Their map does show it, and they have insisted that it was never ever actually removed.
    To confirm that CC has better coverage than GoPhone (and MVNO's) it would be helpful if you could name one single place in the U.S. where Consumer Cellular has coverage and GoPhone does not. Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by smsgator View Post
    Their map does show it, and they have insisted that it was never ever actually removed.
    Looking at the Consumer Cellular map and then the AT&T postpaid map, it appears that roaming is only voice. Western Nebraska is a good comparison. The Cricket map only shows native AT&T coverage and Gophone shows some voice roaming but less than what Consumer Cellular shows. It really would be nice if someone was in position to do some real world tests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by comintel View Post
    To confirm that CC has better coverage than GoPhone (and MVNO's) it would be helpful if you could name one single place in the U.S. where Consumer Cellular has coverage and GoPhone does not. Thanks
    Ticaboo, UT Tuba City & Kayenta, AZ Lake City, CO Quemado, NM Grand Canyon Village, AZ

    These are all voice roaming areas where CC map shows coverage & GoPhone does not. Many other examples can be found on the maps.

    I know, kind of out of the way places for the most part. CC maps, as noted above, do not show data roaming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by trek83 View Post
    Ticaboo, UT Tuba City & Kayenta, AZ Lake City, CO Quemado, NM Grand Canyon Village, AZ

    These are all voice roaming areas where CC map shows coverage & GoPhone does not. Many other examples can be found on the maps.

    I know, kind of out of the way places for the most part. CC maps, as noted above, do not show data roaming.
    I see you are right. Thanks.

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    The downside to CC is that their phones are HARD locked. I went rojund and round with them when asking c/s their unlock policy and could not get affirmative answer. One rep said 12 months. Unlockers cannot unlock them either. So if one buys their phone and you don't like the service, you are limited as to who would want to buy it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimxx200 View Post
    The downside to CC is that their phones are HARD locked. I went rojund and round with them when asking c/s their unlock policy and could not get affirmative answer. One rep said 12 months. Unlockers cannot unlock them either. So if one buys their phone and you don't like the service, you are limited as to who would want to buy it.
    https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides...unlocking-faqs

    They have to let you unlock the phones. Ask to see their policy written out. It's the law.
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    Quote Originally Posted by music4praise View Post
    Looking at the Consumer Cellular map and then the AT&T postpaid map, it appears that roaming is only voice. Western Nebraska is a good comparison. The Cricket map only shows native AT&T coverage and Gophone shows some voice roaming but less than what Consumer Cellular shows. It really would be nice if someone was in position to do some real world tests.
    Yes, it looks like roaming for data has been removed, which is too bad. Still, at least having voice and text coverage in these areas is of some value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jimxx200 View Post
    The downside to CC is that their phones are HARD locked. I went rojund and round with them when asking c/s their unlock policy and could not get affirmative answer. One rep said 12 months. Unlockers cannot unlock them either. So if one buys their phone and you don't like the service, you are limited as to who would want to buy it.
    They have stated that they will unlock their phones, but as you have stated it's hard to get a straight answer on anything from their CS people, and it's not because they are lying or obfuscating, they just don't know.

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