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Thread: Should my brother switch from Verizon to Consumer Cellular?

  1. #1
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    Should my brother switch from Verizon to Consumer Cellular?

    I think that my brother is overpaying and getting bad service from Verizon. I am a former customer with Verizon, now with Consumer Cellular (CC). CC is cheaper and their tech support seems better.

    In his case he has been having lots of trouble migrating data from his old Moto X to Moto G7 Power (especially contacts, call logs, and message history). Both are Verizon branded phones. He is not very tech savvy and has found this process to be time consuming and frustrating.

    His wife has a Verizon branded Samsung J3. Would the J3 and Moto G7 Power operate on the CC network? Or would they need new phones?

    He lives in Westlake, OH, which is on the west side of Cleveland. I believe the cell service on either AT&T or T-Mobile would be good there (CC of course uses those 2 as an MVNO). So, should I recommend that he make the switch? He sort of depends on me for tech advice and support.

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    How much is he paying Vzw? Pre or post paid?

    How many minutes, texts and MB does he use monthly?

    As long as he logs into the same Google account as on the old phone, most of the data, including contacts, call logs, and message history should repopulate on the new phone.

    Are the J3 and Moto G7 Power unlocked for use on any carrier?

    Answering all the questions in this post will help make recommendations. There may be better options than Consumer Cellular.

  3. #3
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    Getting into and becoming aware of the big, wide, wonderful world of MVNO service is a large chunk of information to encounter and make useful.

    My opinion, for Android phone users, is to get on the Google train and make use of the available syncing functions, as far as they go.

    This would cover contacts, photos, and apps, but (Boz1 correct me if I'm wrong) I don't believe things like call logs and message history (assuming this to be SMS messages themselves) would be included in this.

    There are other utility apps that can transfer SMS messages and logs, but the nature of that information as it is currently transferred technically, is not cloud-based. It is direct to the phone and typically not used as reference outside the phone, which is why there is typically no cloud-based entity those items can easily be centralized at to provide access to other devices wishing to gain it via download; unlike contacts and previously downloaded apps (from a central source like Google). SMS and log info tech originated in the era before separate mobile web data access.

    TL;dr version - get both devices hooked up to his Google account and sync them. Then see what can be done for SMS and call logs.

    But realize (and this is for everyone): These little devices only have so much memory for storage on them. Trying to keep things like call logs and SMS messages forever accumulating (especially between device changes) is a losing proposition, as they do take up considerable space.

  4. #4
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    <Tracfone < Boom < Selectel < Consumer Cellular,AT&T, H2O, Alltel
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    Phone compatibility from Verizon to ATT - enter IMEI on Consumer Cellular website, or go to GSM Arena to figure out bands / cdma - GSM.

    I think CC has voice roaming, not data roaming - only applicable if traveling to roaming areas in western USA typically.

    Like whacker, Boz1 said, their usage is key to finding the best mvno match - price is NOT the primary factor - reliability, durability of company, ease of customer service, etc....are important factors.

  5. #5
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    As far as Consumer Cellular goes, I've got a friend on it, using the AT&T side. He's using an AT&T Prepaid Huawei phone and getting VoLTE service with no problems. He does their UT/UT/3GB plan for $30/mo.

    CC is fine, especially for those disinclined to fiddle with the myriad of issues so many prepaid MVNOs present (CC being postpaid). Cheaper service is certainly available. CC's high mark is their customer service, which goes along with the fiddle-free idea.

    This friend of mine (around 60 y/o) is the type who kind of had to dragged into smartphones due to a new girlfriend being into them and being pretty hip to being connected, using texting and whatnot. In dealing with the device he'll occasionally turn to me and mention in an exasperated tone "why can't a phone just be a phone," which always gets a chuckle from me.

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    In line with what was mentioned above. When I have friend or family that isn't tech savvy I recommend stick with a major, not an MVNO. The extra $ is worth not having the headaches. Now if you're looking for heavy plans with multiple accounts, or if saving a couple Starbucks coffees a month is meaningful, the headaches may be worth it.
    That said, from also having a non-savvy friend on Consumer, talking to him, they do have much better CS then other MVNOs.

  7. #7
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    <Tracfone < Boom < Selectel < Consumer Cellular,AT&T, H2O, Alltel
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    I suspect the Moto G7 power is compatible with all carriers. The Samsung J3 - don’t know.

    The cellular coverage looks really good for Verizon, ATT, T-Mobile, Sprint in that area per maps - which may not be completely accurate.

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    How much info transfers may be phone and method used dependent. I know from Moto G4 Play and Moto E4 to Pixel 3a, and Pixel to Pixel, using a direct connection, everything transfers.

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    Agreeing with the other posts here. Also going to toss this in, consider moving to prepaid if on VZ post paid. Post paid advantage, if you can call it that, it the opportunity to set up phone purchases as payments on the bill. It is almost always better to buy a device, new or used, outright.

    So, have a look at the prepaid plans and also know that you can request double data on the phone or in chat on these plans. VZ is also giving an extra 15 GB a month for pandemic relief, no telling how long this will go on, however.

    Switching can probably be done on phone or chat, they do have drive up at our local VZ stores but why go out if no need. Advantage is you know the current devices work. Also, perhaps with the Samsung switch app that transfer might work out, see if you can get it in the play store?

  10. #10
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    Thank you everyone for the helpful replies. He is in his early 50s. Like the situation described by whacker above, he has said a few times "why can't a phone just be a phone?" So he does get frustrated with the complexity of the tech. This is one reason he may like CC as they are good with old folks who are not techies.

    As for his usage patterns, he is married with 2 kids, only he and wife have smartphones and she rarely uses hers. I think he mostly uses talk, not much data or text messaging, but will verify this.

    His family is Verizon post-paid, and their bill is around $140. My CC plan is $58 after all fees, so it seems he could cut the bill in half.

    The Moto G7 Power was just activated on Verizon about 2 weeks ago. The Samsung J3 about a year ago. Would they need to have the devices unlocked before switching to CC?

    I looked around but could not figure out a way to determine if the LTE bands on the J3 were enough to operate on AT&T or T-Mobile networks. They could always replace the J3, it was free from Verizon and is an unspectacular budget device. I suspect they received it because the wife had an older cell phone that would not work on Verizon as CDMA was shutting down and the carrier transitioned into LTE only.

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    From what I've seen for the Verizon version of the J3 I'm 99% sure it's a no go as far as the bands. Has a couple (I think 2 out of 4) but not what you'd need.
    The G7 should be good but your issue is it's not unlocked since you've only had it 2 weeks (unless you bought it unlocked somewhere else). Don't know Verizons policy or if you can pay an early unlock fee.

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    I found this that says Verizon automatically unlocks phones 60 days after activation:
    https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhone...nlocking-guide

    Article is dated 4/22/2020, so probably still accurate. That gives him about a month and a half to think about CC and other options if quitting Verizon.

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