Consumer Cellular is an MVNO that operates on either AT&T or T-Mobile’s nationwide network. You get to choose which one you use, which is nice, but it is a hassle to switch from one to the other. Consumer Cellular has some nice deals and pretty great multi-line savings, but from the public opinion, their customer service is pretty seriously lacking.
Consumer Cellular’s amazing multi-line savings set them apart. Up to three lines, adding an extra line to your plan only costs an extra $15 dollars a month no matter what plan you are adding it to. That creates amazing savings across the board, but none of them as much as Consumer Cellular’s unlimited plan. In their unlimited plan, the first line costs $50 a month, and the second only costs $15, which is amazing! On their own, Consumer Cellular’s single-line plans are not that cheap, but once you add on your second and third line the savings become increasingly apparent.
Consumer Cellular has a handful of plans that start at $20 a month and end at $50 a month. Their unlimited plan, which is $50 a month, comes with 50 GB of high-speed data before your plan gets throttled. That is a ton of data for a one-line plan but be warned that their multi-line plans share data. If you have three lines you will have to share the 50 GB between them all. If you go over your data, you can still use data but it will be at very slow speeds. That is the one downside to their multi-line savings.
If you are considering Consumer Cellular, keep in mind that your whole unit should be using less than 50 GB per month. Even with three or four lines, 50 GB is a lot to share!
Consumer Cellular offers two kinds of plans: limited and unlimited data plans. Their Unlimited plan, as mentioned above, gives users 50 GB of high speed data before throttling the speeds down to 2G speeds. This plan has the most value, but the single-line plan priced at $50 is a bit higher than we would like. As with all MVNOs, Consumer Cellular’s customers run the risk of getting deprioritized data at any time if they are in a high-volume area of service.
Their other kind of plan is the limited data plan, but those are nothing to write home about. They are a little pricier than other MVNOs' plans by the gig and they don’t have too many bells and whistles to justify those extra costs.
Consumer Cellular allows customers to choose between T-Mobile and AT&T, giving them fantastic coverage all over the country.
Yes! Consumer Cellular allows customers to bring their own phones as long as they are unlocked. Make sure to check your device’s compatibility before you switch, as there are some cases where your phone will not function on its network.
It is crucial to understand the pros and cons of a carrier before starting the switching process. No carrier is perfect, but understanding Consumer Cellular’s pros and cons help figure out if it's the one for you or not. Without further ado, here’s what we like and what we don’t like about Consumer Cellular!
Consumer Cellular offers international calling to Mexico and Canada for free, and other select countries at a fixed rate. They have a lot of physical stores, making it easy to find a store when you run into problems with their service. Other than that, Consumer Cellular offers a slight discount to AARP members, but not too many services and features apart from those.
Consumer Cellular has six plans, five of which are limited data plans and the final one being their unlimited plan. Understanding each of Consumer Cellular’s phone plans is essential to making the decision whether or not this carrier is right for you. Their plans are as follows:
Consumer Cellular’s unlimited plan is a bit pricey for our liking, but getting 50 GB of high-speed data is some of the best numbers we’ve seen when comparing MVNOs. The plan is most valuable for those who use a ton of data each month, with their 5 and 10 GB plans priced at $25 and $35 affordable options for low-data-using people. The real value comes when you look at their multi-line plans, as each additional line only costs another $15 a month no matter what plan you are on. That means the unlimited plan goes from $50 a line with one line to $32 a line for two lines, and then only $27 a line for three lines. Those are huge savings. The same goes for their other plans. We do not recommend going as low as the 1 GB plan. There are many other competitors that have a much better deal on a very low-data plan like that one.
You can bring your own phone to Spectrum Mobile, but if you are looking to purchase one new, they have a huge selection of phones for upgrades. When you are switching to Spectrum Mobile, you can choose from one of these cell phone options from Apple, Samsung, Google, and more. You may choose from a list that includes:
You can bring your own phone to Consumer Cellular, but if you are looking to purchase one new they have a great selection of phones for upgrades. When you switch to Consumer Cellular, you can choose from one of these cell phone options from all of the major brands. The list includes:
Consumer Cellular’s call and text performance are excellent. We recommend looking at both AT&T’s coverage map as well as T-Mobile’s coverage map to see if one is better than the other in terms of providing you with fast and steady coverage on your Consumer Cellular plan. There are few instances of dropped calls or unsent texts across the board.
Consumer Cellular suffers from the fate of all MVNOs in that your data can be deprioritized if you are in a situation where the parent company’s network is under a lot of stress. There is no warning when that happens and there is also no telling how often it will occur for you. Other than that, Consumer Cellular’s data speed is great!
We want to include both of these companies in the discussion because you are using one of these two networks, but the Consumer Cellular review versus these two major wireless networks hits on the same points. Both of these major wireless companies provide faster data speeds, better customer service, and more add-ons to plans. There are entertainment perks and greater security that come with getting service from a major wireless network.
That said, both of these companies are much more expensive than Consumer Cellular, making it a much more affordable option. The major downside to using an MVNO is that your data can get deprioritized if its parent network is ever overbooked, but if you are okay with that you can save some serious money on your cell phone bill when you use Consumer Cellular.
Mint Mobile has some spectacular prices and perks on T-Mobile’s network. Their unlimited plan (which comes with a ton of high-speed data and excellent service) is only $30 a month, which is a fantastic price. There is, however, one catch. To unlock that amazing monthly price you have to enter a yearlong contract. Their 3-month and 6-month options both cost a little extra while giving you a less serious contract.
Consumer Cellular’s prices cannot compete with Mint Mobile’s even with their 3-month plans. Coupling that with the less-than-stellar customer support reported by a wide variety of users, we give Mint Mobile a significant upper hand in the comparison between these two companies.
Visible is an excellent MVNO that runs on Verizon’s network. They offer two unlimited plans, a basic plan and a premium plan priced at $30 and $45 a month, respectively. While Visible does not have a hyper-cheap option like some MVNOs, Consumer Cellular’s cheapest plan is still $20 a month and it is only 1 GB of data. Visible’s base unlimited plan, like Mint Mobile’s, is so much cheaper than Consumer Cellular’s plan that we give Visible the upper hand over Consumer Cellular as well.
Many reviews regarding Consumer Cellular are negative specifically regarding their customer service. That being said, people are much more likely to write a review when they have a bad experience, so there is always a possibility that you will have a smooth customer service experience with Consumer Cellular when you have any issues. You can chat with an agent following this link and you can call one of their U.S.-based support specialists by dialing (888) 345-5509
“Changing from Consumer to another company: l was on my brother's plan. I was happy with my service but I wanted to get on my daughter’s plan. I called Consumer to be sure I had all the info I needed to make a smooth transition. The new company could not get things to go through. They called Consumer. I had to call my brother. More info didn’t work. He called Consumer. Still didn’t work. After a conference call with Consumer Cellular and the new company, it was finally done after almost three hours. I am an older person and my daughter has back problems. Needless to say, we were not happy. I felt like I was trying to do something underhanded. I have changed to a different company before and never experienced anything like this. I am not one to complain but something about this is all wrong.” - Carolyn Miller. (via Trustpilot)
“Worst customer service I ever dealt with. After my Aunt passed away and we paid off the phone and closed the account they will not unlock the phone due to not having long enough and trying to get me to come back. The phone is paid off... The account is closed... What is the problem? Spent hours on phone trying to resolve everything and the phone is still locked. They don't care about you just want your money. Stay away from consumer cellular. Wow. I Can't believe this just happened.” - Mark Komperda. (via Trustpilot)
“The service is good, however, customer service is horrible. It took over 7 hrs of back and forth with CS to get phones activated. Our rep was unable to guide us efficiently toward the activation of our second phone, both of which were purchased from CC. Had to hire a professional who was successful after 2 hrs of talking to our 3rd CS rep. Only hope these phones last a very long time.” - Yuortye. (via Trustpilot)
Consumer Cellular offers its customers the choice between AT&T and T-Mobile’s network based on where they are located.
Yes! Consumer Cellular offers 5G for its AT&T and T-Mobile customers as long as you have a phone that is compatible with the new network.
Yes, but you have to go through some extra steps. Important! Do not cancel your previous service before you start the switch. If you cancel your service they may deactivate your phone number, and if they do that it is very unlikely to make a successful switch.
We like Consumer Cellular as a carrier for multi-line plans because their savings are huge. That being said, the abundance of negative reviews coupled with the fact that their single-line plans don’t hold up to the competition means that we do not recommend Consumer Cellular in our review. If you plan on switching to another MVNO, we think that something like Visible or Mint Mobile are your best bet.