Issue 17, December 2010
In This Issue
- Dialing In by CEO John Marick »
- Feature Focus: Two Great New Phones from Samsung (A177 & A697) »
- Customer Star: Gini Conn »
- Your Questions Answered »
- Refer a Friend: An easy $10 for you »
- ’Tis the Season to Download Holiday Tunes. Read More »
- Last Call: Add a Line and We’ll Double Your Minutes. Read More »
- Meet Consumer Cellular’s Grandparent of the Year. Read More »
We’re Here to Help
In addition to the extensive support you'll find on our website, check out these other information sources:
Put $10 in Your Pocket! That's what you'll do every time you refer someone who signs up with Consumer Cellular. They'll be happy, too. Not only will they get fantastic cell service at great rates, they'll also get a $10 credit on their first bill. Don’t wait to share the wealth! The best gifts don’t require contracts.
Want to tell a friend? Click here to send an email.
5 tips on texting
- Keep messages short – abbreviate!
- Use a cell phone with a great keypad
- Use a cell phone with an easy-to-read display
- Never text while talking to someone
- Never text while driving
5 tips on taking pictures
- Keep your camera lens clean
- Hold the phone steady with two hands
- Take photos in bright light
- Take a lot of photos – experiment!
- Stay close to your subject (about 2 feet)
For more tips and instructions, don’t forget to check out our how-to videos posted on our Support page.
by John Marick
According to a recent survey, 77 percent of people 50 and older own a cell phone, enabling them to conveniently talk, text, share pictures or send and receive email. And why not? Mobile communication is instantaneous, downright easy on the budget (if you are with Consumer Cellular), and can be visual if you choose.
Which leads me to this issue’s theme: Staying connected. The truth is keeping in touch with loved ones during the holidays has never been easier. Even if you’re unable to visit them physically, you can still visit using your cell phone — and from just about anywhere in the U.S. In fact, there is perhaps no better time to take advantage of what the wireless world has to offer than over the holidays.
Consumer Cellular has several ways to help you stay connected and in the holiday spirit. We offer text and picture messaging plans starting at only $2.50 a month, for example. And among our many phone choices, I think you’ll especially find the text and picture messaging capabilities of the Samsung A177 worth a close look-see.
If you’re not sure about texting, read our story this month about customer Virginia Conn, a recent convert to the convenience of texting. She didn’t think she’d ever want or need to text, and now she not only loves it, she considers herself a “Text Fan” and often prefers to keep in touch by texting.
Speaking of touch, a touch screen phone is one of today’s most desirable wireless devices. I’m pleased to announce we’re now offering one of the best touch phones for the price: the Samsung A697. The A697 has a large bright screen, an easy to use interface, and long battery life. If you haven’t tried a touch phone, we think you’re in for a real treat. They’re fun.
Did you know we offer an easy and affordable way to change your phone’s ringtone from its standard sound to a snazzy holiday tune? Check out our suggestions in this issue for dressing up your phone for the winter season.
And since this is not just the season to be jolly but also the season of holiday sales deals I encourage you to take advantage of our special “Double Your Minutes” offer. But you’ll want to hurry up and act soon…our offer ends with the calendar year on December 31.
However you are celebrating this time of year, on behalf of Consumer Cellular I wish you all a healthy and happy season. Above all, we sincerely thank you for joining us on our wireless adventure. Stay connected!
For more comments and industry insights from John, read his latest blog.
Two Great New Phones from Samsung (A177 & A697)
Consumer Cellular is pleased to offer customers their choice of two great new phones from Samsung: the A177 and the A697.
A177: Texting Powerhouse
Boots might be made for walking but the Samsung A177 cell phone is made for texting. The phone fits in your hand nicely and has a typewriter-style keypad. With this conventional keypad it’s easy to tap out text messages and stay connected to family and friends. The buttons are sturdy. The space bar is placed in the center of the bottom row, much like on a computer’s keyboard. Plus, the keys make a clicking sound when pressed so you always know when you’ve actually typed something.
A697: Affordable, Simple to Use Touch Phone
The Samsung A697 is a well designed, affordable touch-screen phone with a friendly user interface that includes a lot of fun features. Perfect for the hand and small enough for the pocket, the A697 makes the perfect introduction to a touchscreen phone. In fact, the phone’s design is simplified and easier to use than many. The A697 offers a big, colorful screen, great call quality and a long battery life. The 3-inch display is bright and easy to read. Other key features include a memory card slot, GPS navigation, 2-megapixel camera, stereo Bluetooth, and Samsung's popular TouchWiz interface with drag-and-drop widgets. Using one of 12 icons you can quickly launch your favorite applications with a single click.
Virginia (Gini) Conn
Consumer Cellular customer Virginia (Gini) Conn is an experienced technologist, having spent most of her working years with technology in one form or another. Before exchanging the workday world for retirement, she mastered everything from the first electronic word processors to the huge electronic publishing machines. But she never thought she would ever use — let alone become a fan of — texting. Then her sister became ill and could only keep in touch via text messaging. “Her phone has a fairy tone that lets her know she has a message,” said Gini. “My niece said it was like clapping for Tinkerbell to get well.”
It took a little practice before Gini became comfortable with texting instead of talking. At first she didn’t always get the spelling right. Figuring out what she was trying to say became a game between the two sisters.
But now Gini loves it and recently purchased her first “power texting” phone (a Samsung A177) so she can text faster and more often. “It's nice to be able to send and receive messages without having access to my computer or calling someone,” said Gini. “With a text message, I can let someone know I'm thinking of them, ask a question to be answered later, and so on. It’s simply much easier to keep in touch. I love it!”
Gini and her husband, Joe, became Consumer Cellular customers a year and a half ago because they were tired of paying a lot for cell phone service they didn't use. “My husband and I share minutes and have never used them all, but know that it's so easy to add minutes only when needed,” said Gini. “And thank goodness for Usage Alerts, especially now that I’m texting more.”
When she’s not texting her sister or other family and friends, Gini keeps busy as a decorative painter. With her special talent as a Treasure Box Artist, she paints boxes for children receiving treatment at Shriners Hospital. She has a son and daughter, along with two granddaughters and four grandsons.
“I tell people that Consumer Cellular is affordable and dependable. One of my friends just took advantage of the $10 off customer referral coupon and I got $10 off my bill. Now that’s what I call sending and receiving the right message,” summarized Gini.
To read other customer comments, visit us on Facebook.
In each issue we ask our Support team to recommend — and answer — commonly asked questions about our products or services.
How do I add text messaging to my phone?
You can add text and picture messaging to your phone through our Connect! plans, which also include wireless web access:
- Log in to My Account.
- Click “Change Services” in the box on the right.
- Select the Connect! plan that best fits your needs.
- Select “Messaging” and “Data (Web)” for the different phones on your plan. You can decide which phones receive each service. Turning off one of the services for a selected phone, or for all phones, does not affect the price of the plan.
- Click “Submit.”
How do I use text/picture messaging?
You can use your cell phone to send and receive text messages of up to 160 characters. To exchange text messages with another cell phone that is capable of text messaging, simply use the 10-digit cell phone number as the message recipient address. Select phones also enable you to send pictures. Every phone is different — for more instructions on sending picture messages, visit Support and watch the how-to video about messaging for your phone.
For more quick answers to your questions, visit our Customer Support page.
’Tis the Season to Download Holiday Tunes
Let it ring. Let it ring. Let it ring. From songs reminiscent of a church choir to winter tunes recalling the good ol’ days of Pop radio, now is the time to download your holiday ringtones — and wallpaper — to your cell phone!
You can purchase ringtones, wallpapers, and games directly from your Consumer Cellular account. Such items are inexpensive, at only $2.99 for a ringtone and a $1.99 for wallpaper. Plus, they’re super easy to download.
To add a holiday ringtone to your phone, follow these basic steps from your computer:
- Log in to My Account and click “Content Store” in the Purchase Content section on the right.
- Select the cell phone you’re using.
- In the Search box at the top of the page, enter the type of ringtone you’re seeking (e.g., Christmas) and click the Search button.
- You may even listen to a ringtone before purchasing it. The entire process is easy and takes only minutes. If you need additional assistance, please give us a call at 1-888-345-5509.
For more detailed instructions, go to Support.
The next time you get a call, you could hear the voice of Bing Crosby, Jimmy Buffet,
Mariah Carey, Andy Williams, or, dare we say, The Chipmunks singing your favorite
It’s that time of year again. You’re reconnecting with friends and family, and this time your mode of communication options are a little different. The holiday letter has given way to the holiday mobile conversation. That’s why we’d like to help out with our special “Double Your Minutes” offer. Open a new account or add a new line to your existing service before December 31 and you'll receive three full months of DOUBLE your voice minutes.
Sounds good but how does it really work? If you sign up for the Anywhere 500 plan during this period, you will receive 1000 minutes for three full months at no extra cost — and with no contracts to sign!
Best of all, adding a line is easy-peasy. Just log in to your
My Account page and click "Add a Line." But remember, this special
keep-in-touch offer ends on December 31, so don’t wait too long. Double up
your minutes to catch up with your loved ones!
Famous for the longest running (continuous) Memorial Day Parade in the U.S., Ironton, Ohio, also known as the “Gateway to Southern Ohio,” has something new to brag about. Her name is Pam and she recently won Grand Prize in Consumer Cellular’s first Grandparent of the Year contest.
Because we received so many personal stories — hundreds, in fact, from over 46 states — about what it means to be a grandparent, picking a single grand prize winner was not easy. First, the general public voted for their favorites. From a list of the general public’s top five, we selected three finalists. And from those final three, we picked Pam’s entry.
Pam took our top prize for her essay “The Grandparent That I Want to Be,” a thoughtful and sincere explanation of what she learned from her own mother, who passed away from cancer thirteen years ago, about being a good parent and grandparent. Now that Pam is also a grandmother, she strives to live up to her mother’s high standards. “I want to be that special ‘Granny’ in my grandson’s life that will give him memories he can pass on to his family with love,” said Pam in her essay.
Pam works midnights as a part-time nurse so she will have time during the day to watch over her 2-year-old grandson. Each year, Pam and her sister take their four children, and now Pam’s grandson, to different historic beaches, old forts, manors and museums.
Clearly, Pam has a keen appreciation for what came before as well as what lies ahead. She knows the importance of passing along the proper messages, from one generation to the next. And she knows that a grandparent can be the single biggest gateway to love.
For her efforts and her essay, she won a Caribbean cruise for four. Congratulations, Pam, on being the top prize winner in our Grandparent of the Year contest. Bravo and bon voyage!
Go to YouTube to watch our video announcing Pam as the winner that was shown at the annual AARP Orlando@50+ convention.
And if you forgot to enter our contest this year, don’t worry… there’s always next year!