Most consumers are familiar with the big-name wireless carriers like Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Not nearly as many, though, are as well-versed when it comes to the topic of Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs).
Companies such as Metro, Boost Mobile, and Cricket Wireless license the towers and coverage from tier-one providers but offer their own phones, rate plans, and customer service.
Let’s take a look at one in particular: Consumer Cellular — a customer friendly MVNO which caters to the senior citizen demographic.
Founded in 1995, this Oregon-based carrier prides itself on customer satisfaction especially within the 50+ demographic offering low-cost flexible plans with additional savings/perks for AARP members.
In the category of non-contract value wireless providers, Consumer Cellular is consistently ranked well by J.D. Power for customer service having earned that distinction six times in a row.
Consumer Cellular leverages AT&T and T-Mobile network technology to cover a purported 99% of its three million US customers.
Consumer Cellular’s rate plans include unlimited talk and text with variable amounts of data.
Flexible Monthly Plans (Unlimited Talk & Text)
- $20/mo. – 1GB
- $25/mo. – 3GB
- $35/mo. – 7GB
- $40/mo. – 10GB
- $45/mo. – 15GB
- $55/mo. – Unlimited
There are options for customers which offer just talk; $15 includes 250 minutes, $20 includes unlimited talk.
Buyers can also purchase text and data plans with a limit of 250 minutes but it only saves $5 per month.
Consumer Cellular offers the ability to have up to three lines on an account. Adding a second or third line brings the cost down few bucks per line each month but the data is shared across the full account.
Consumer Cellular has a great deal for AARP members, giving them a 5% discount off of monthly fees and usage charges, a 30% discount off select accessories, plus an extended 45-day money back, risk-free guarantee.
What’s more, new subscribers can sign-up for AARP membership during checkout after selecting service and devices.
Consumer Cellular offers a wide array of phones, from the most basic of devices all the way up to current flagships. Interestingly enough, and considering its target demographic, there’s a decent selection at the upper end.
A financing option called EasyPay allows customers the peace of mind in spreading device payments out over time. Rather than charging them hundreds of dollars at time of service, its subscribers can pay $25 per month with the phone bill.
Bring your own device
Do you already have a phone or possibly looking to buy an unlocked device for use on Consumer Cellular? If the equipment in question meets certain criteria (GSM unlocked, previously used on AT&T or T-Mobile), you can get a free SIM card.