Wireless conversations may not end up in landfill, but many cell phone devices do. Plus, cell phones require the creation of additional physical products, such as SIM cards and paper for billing statements, all of which must be disposed of at some point. The good news is… it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are three simple, painless ways as a Consumer Cellular customer you can reduce your carbon footprint:
- We already have one of the best and easiest phone recycling programs in the country. Any proceeds we make from recycling your phone are directly donated to Doernbecher Children’s Hospital Foundation at Oregon Health & Science University. Do not send us your confusing remote control, jammed VCR or small-screen, flat-screen, wide-screen or any screen TV. To channel Jack Webb of Dragnet days: “Just the phones, ma’am, just the phones.” And, of course, you may send us your batteries as well.
- We recently introduced EcoSIM cards, which require less energy to produce, package, and distribute. EcoSIM cards are approximately half the size of traditional SIM cards and use 50% less plastic yet maintain the identical characteristics of a regular card. This is the latest in environmentally friendly SIM cards and we’re pleased to offer this to our customers.
- We also offer two easy-to-use electronic billing and payment systems. With our Email Billing option, we’ll email you a detailed invoice as a PDF document that’s super easy to read, as well as convenient to save to your computer for your personal bookkeeping. Our AutoPay program enables you to set up automatic payments for your cell phone bill using your credit or debit card. Together, these two electronic options mean one less bill to worry about and one less check to write each month — and two easy ways to lower your carbon footprint. See our FAQ later in this issue for step-by-step instructions or log in to My Account to start using these green-friendly programs today.
Does recycling matter? The numbers in favor of recycling are compelling. iSuppli Corporation, a leading market intelligence provider, found that over 10 percent of cell phone users threw away their old cell phone, while nearly 40 percent stashed their old cell phones in closets and drawers. If 100 million cell phones are recycled and not discarded, according to the EPA, we could save enough energy to power 194,000 U.S. homes for an entire year!
Recycling your old devices and taking advantage of “green” programs as they come online will help everyone, especially our not-so-lonely planet. Thanks, in advance, for your participation. And don’t forget, we’ll be selecting the winners of our Grandparent of the Year contest soon. We have wonderful prizes for our winners to share with their family. For more about the contest, go to www.consumercellular.com/Grandparents.
P.S.: Please join us at Orlando@50+, AARP’s annual members’ event full of exhibits, concerts, and life path seminars. We’ll be there, so make sure you stop by our booth and say hello.
For more comments and industry insights from John, read his latest blog.
Catherine Anne McGilly (Kate)
Catherine Anne McGilly of St. Louis, Missouri, prefers to keep things simple and goes by the name of Kate. She’s the Senior Manager of Special Projects at Parents as Teachers, an education non-profit organization that helps professionals reach children during the critical early years of life — and with powerful results.
With a busy work schedule, two children of her own, plus one gerbil and one gecko to look out for, Kate strives to keep the rest of her life uncomplicated. The last thing she was looking for when she sought her first cell phone was to get tangled up in a long-term contract or to spend time learning a complex phone, with a lot of bells and whistles.
As a dedicated bargain hunter who, in her spare time, clips coupons and searches high and low for the best deals, Kate knows a sweet deal when she sees one. That’s why she was more than pleased to find Consumer Cellular.
“I loved the low price, free starter phone, and no contracts,” said Kate. “I also appreciated the reasonable number of minutes I could get for the money. And, at the risk of repeating myself, did I already mention I loved the idea of not being locked into a contract?”
Three years ago Kate selected Consumer Cellular as her first cell phone services provider and is very happy with her decision. When it comes to cell phone usage, she considers herself a casual user, not a power user, and finds her free, simple-to-use phone more than adequate for her needs.
When Kate is asked by friends why she likes Consumer Cellular, she’s quick to talk about their “good customer service” and point out that it’s the perfect fit for her needs as “a casual user of cell phone minutes.” What’s even better for AARP members, Kate reminds her friends, are all the discounts you get.
By discovering Consumer Cellular, Kate found a great product backed by great service and at a great price. Isn’t that what smart shopping is all about?
Name: Tina G.
Role: Customer Service Supervisor
Start Date: June 1, 2008
Hobby: Camping, fishing, singing, playing the piano
Favorite Book: I have children so Fox In Sox by Dr. Seuss. I bet I can read it faster than anyone without getting tongue tied.
Favorite Movie: Rocky Horror Picture Show
Best Meal Ever: PIZZA PIZZA PIZZA!
Best Vacation: You can’t beat camping and fishing. That’s always the best. Pack the kids, pack the car and blaze a trail to sleep under the stars.
What you love most about living in Oregon: You can find everything here in Oregon. Microbrews, wineries, great food, entertainment, skiing, the beach, forests and deserts, extreme sports, wildlife… everything is within one day's drive.
Favorite quote, saying or fortune cookie message: The author of this quote is unknown but it’s my favorite quote: “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming: WOO HOO, WHAT A RIDE!”
Grandparent of the Year Winners to be Announced Soon!
Did you win our fabulous six-night Caribbean cruise for four or one of our other top prizes (four roundtrip airline tickets; two nights stay for four)? Approximately 200 of you took the time to write an essay or make a video explaining how the role of grandparent is so special in your life. The response has been heart-warming, with stories full of love and compassion and humor. Truth be told, picking the winners will be not easy.
But pick we must and we will be announcing the top three entries, including our Grandparent of the Year, at the end of September in Orlando, Florida. So, stay tuned. Meanwhile, please visit our Gallery of entries at and treat yourself to some wonderful tales of grandparenthood. To all who entered and to those who voted, we thank you… and we look forward to your participation again next year!
Join Us at AARP’s Orlando@50+
Consumer Cellular had so much fun last year at AARP’s Las Vegas convention that we thought we’d go again this year to the event in Orlando, Florida. And as AARP’s exclusive wireless service provider, we can’t wait to get there:
- Guest speakers will include award-winning actor and comedian Whoopi Goldberg, the king of interviewers Larry King, Cesar Millan (that amazing Dog guy), Broadcast Journalist and AARP Ambassador Jane Pauley, and the always hilarious Dave Barry, to name but a few of the event’s special guests.
- Entertainment will be provided by the immortal likes of Gladys Knight; B.B. King; Los Lobos; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Judy Collins; and Richie Havens, as well as others.
- There’s a Meet and Greet planned, special excursions, discounts galore, and, well, you have to experience it to believe it. Let’s just say AARP knows how to show its members a good time.
If you do attend, remember to stop by the Consumer Cellular booth. At some point during the three days, we’ll announce the winners of our Grandparent of the Year contest and you won’t want to miss the celebration. Best of all, attending Orlando@50+ gives us a chance to meet many of our customers face-to-face!
So save the date: Sept. 30 - Oct. 2, 2010. For a complete schedule and registration information, go to www.aarp.org/about-aarp/events/. We look forward to seeing you there!
Five Ways to Master Your Cell Phone
Today’s cell phone has become the Swiss Army knife of communication. If all you’re doing with your cell phone is placing or receiving phone calls, you may be missing out on some of your phone’s other useful features. Here are five ways Consumer Cellular makes it easy for you to master your cell phone and help ensure you’re getting the most value out of it:
- Knowledgebase (FAQs) — To help yourself to an answer at your own convenience, visit the Support page of our website. Knowledgebase, our online customer support tool, is designed to help you quickly find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Answers are arranged by topics, such as Phones or Billing and Payments. Simply click the topic that interests you. Under each topic heading you’ll find several commonly asked questions with answers. You may read the answer displayed on your screen or print it to keep and read later. Help yourself to answers at Support.
- How-To Videos — Blending “seeing is believing” with “a picture is worth a thousand words,” we offer dozens of How-To Videos in the Support section of our site and on our YouTube channel. Best of all, these videos are just one click away. Customized by phone model, these how-to videos are designed to help you perform a specific task. You’ll learn how to make and receive a call, set up and use voicemail, take and send pictures, create and use your contact list, perform text and picture messaging, and manage your SIM card. We also feature videos of useful industry news, commercials and customer testimonials.
- Cell Phone Manuals — When you received your phone from us, you should have also received our “getting started” book that explains a few phone basics in plain English, as well as tells you how to get in touch with us. You can get more phone details by going to our website and downloading your phone’s quick start guide and full manual. The books are totally free and in the reader-friendly PDF format. If you don’t already have the PDF reader, download your free copy of Adobe Reader.
- Network — One of the better ways to get practical tips and tricks is to connect with other Consumer Cellular customers through Facebook. More than 2,000 of our customers have joined our Facebook page, with many of those contributing great suggestions. Plus, you may ask a cell phone usage question on Facebook and someone from our Support team will answer it. Participating is easy.
- Practice, Practice, Practice! We said it before and it bears repeating: practice with your phone. It may not result in perfection, but it will help you master your phone’s usage. And you may be surprised at how many things you can do with such a small piece of technology. How did the musician get to Carnegie Hall? He used his cell phone to call a cab.
To find out more, call us at 1-888-345-5509 or log in to your My Account page.
In each issue we ask our Support team to recommend — and answer — commonly asked questions about our products or services.
I’ve just received my new cell phone. What should I do with the old one?
Recycle it. Send your old phone to us and we’ll take care of the rest. The Consumer Cellular product box that included your cell phone also included a postage-paid envelope to make it easier for you to recycle. Put your old phone — even if it still works — in the provided envelope and mail it back to us.
What if you can’t find the envelope? Don’t worry. Simply go to our Recycling Page on the Consumer Cellular website and print out the postage-free mailing label.
I would like to receive and pay my bill electronically to cut down on my paper usage. How do I sign up for this service?
Signing up for electronic billing and payment is easy:
- Log in to My Account and choose Billing.
- Click on Account Information to edit the content.
- To receive your bill electronically as a PDF document, choose “Email Billing” as your Billing Type.
- To have your cell phone payment made automatically, choose “AutoPay” as your Payment Type. Follow the prompts for payment details.
- When done, click the Submit button to activate the changes. Your next billing statement (and payment) will be by the method you selected.
The result of doing more of your transactions online is less paper used, more trees saved, and a simpler, cleaner accounting process for both you and Consumer Cellular.
For more quick answers to your questions, visit our Customer Support page.
Put $10 in Your Pocket! That's what you'll do every time you refer someone who signs up with Consumer Cellular. And they'll be happy, too. Not only will they get cell service at great rates, they'll also get a $10 credit on their first bill. Each $10 credit is our way of saying "Thank You!" for telling friends and family about Consumer Cellular.
Spread the word and share the wealth. Email a friend now.