Friday, March 21, 2014

Consumer Cellular is made of Awesome!

I am so confused and elated.

So, the hubby agreed I needed a new phone to update my 10ish year old flip. My birthday was the event that sealed the deal. I did my homework and found a phone and plan that didn't break the bank (go Consumer Cellular! The old folks plan! AARP Discount FTW!) The website was a breeze to sign up. Super clear and easy to follow. Then they asked for my AT&T Wireless account number.

As far as I knew, that is my cell #. Right? I log on to the AT&T website, and then on to the Wireless site, then the Go Phone site and look up my account. First pain in the ass.

No sign of "account number" and just my cell #. Second pain in the ass.

OK, so I put that into the Consumer sign-up page. They send out my new Moto G (great discounted price!) and give me a tentative activation date of 3/20. Then I get the call from Consumer. They need my "account number" to transfer my old phone #. It's not my cell #. *sigh* 3rd pain in the ass. Not Consumer's fault.

So John calls AT&T Wireless because, apparently, they HIDE the account number on PURPOSE so you HAVE TO CALL THEM. 4th pain.

He gets the full court press to not switch. 5th pain. Including an offer to use our banked minutes to pay for our new plan. Oh? Plus they are able to match Consumer's pricing pretty closely. *double sigh* I already have my Moto G in hand. A&T asks, is it locked? John fiddles.

Yup. 6th pain. Locked phone. Pretty standard. He gets his options. We can send the new phone BACK to Consumer, cancel with them, buy the same phone, unlocked, from Amazon (for $50+ more) and go with AT&T and use our banked minutes to pay the bills. More than enough to pay for, like, a year of service. We can't refuse that offer. So John calls Consumer Cellular back to cancel with them and arrange to return the phone.

But wait...what's this? The super nice customer support guy GIVES JOHN THE UNLOCK CODE so I can keep my new phone and use it on ANOTHER SERVICE. What? WHAT?? John is now at an AT&T Wireless store to get a new sim card for my new phone so we can finally activate it with my old account info.

Stay tuned. That may be the 7th pain in the ass. But honestly, how awesome is Consumer? I am still scraping my chin up off the floor. I tell you what...when my AT&T minutes run out, I am going back to Consumer in a heartbeat. I was a customer for about 4 days but I love those guys. :D

Edit: *facepalm* Yep. I jinxed myself. The AT&T Wireless store was unable to unlock the phone. Something to do with it never being activated on any network and the Motorola database taking days to update and recognize activated phones. They did try to activate it with a random available phone number, then deactivate, then unlock and transfer...every permutation they could think of. SO...the phone is going back to Consumer and we got the same phone, unlocked, off Amazon, at a higher price. *le sigh*  It would have been awesome if it had worked out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what happened that put you through all that agony. If I remember right, I got my phones (wife and me) at Sears then called Consumer Cellular to do all the setup.

Everything has been a breeze for a couple of years now. That is, except for the Huwaii smart phone - not good - changed to Samsung Galaxy. Thank goodness for Sears warranty plan. The change didn't cost me a penny. This was after one year of frustration with the Huwaii (or however you pronounce / spell it).

I'm AARP as well. I've got the 500 minute, 1,000 text, 500MB data plan. I have only one "smart" phone. Wife has the flip Doro.

Total bill per month is about $46 per month. You can't beat that.