Issue 23, June 2011
In This Issue
- Dialing In by CEO John Marick »
- Feature Focus: Consumer Cellular Launches in Sears Nationwide »
- What Customers Think of Our Rate Plan Changes »
- Customer Star: Bob & Paige Bingham »
- Your Questions Answered »
- Refer a Friend: An easy $10 for you »
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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 invoice. Don’t wait to share the wealth! The best gifts don’t require contracts.
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by John Marick
As we know, Father’s Day takes place in June. And whenever I think of dads and June, I think of warm summer days and unforgettable vacations with the family. Such trips can form a crucial part of any father’s legacy: creating precious moments with loved ones.
Helping to keep families connected is one reason I started Consumer Cellular. And now, as president of the company, I am enormously proud to tell you about an agreement we recently signed with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) that can help generations stay connected in other ways. Starting June 1, 2011, every time one of our customers signs up for our Email Billing program, Consumer Cellular will donate $5 to the NPCA! This donation will help ensure that your children and grandchildren will be able to enjoy America's greatest treasures for years to come. In fact, we’re so committed to assisting the NPCA with their mission that we’ve agreed to contribute up to $150,000 over the next year.
Did you know that the world’s first national park, Yellowstone, was created in 1872 and that today, America’s National Park System includes 394 distinct sites, covering more than 83 million acres? The NPCA works diligently every day to ensure our national parks get the care and support needed, enabling these marvelous creations of nature and wonderful examples of Americana to be passed down through the generations. And now, by simply signing up for email billing, you can help support America’s legacy, too. For more information on those hard-working folks at the NPCA and the admirable work they do, visit them online at www.npca.org.
It is difficult for me to express in only a few words how proud I am of this agreement. Together we can make a difference to help preserve the best of America for future generations. It’s really easy to switch to email billing and I encourage you to do it soon. For details, go to My Account.
This legacy concept is also the inspiration behind another Consumer Cellular program that is very close to my heart — our annual Grandparents Day contest, which runs from June 1st through August 1st. Winners will be announced by Consumer Cellular during Life@50+, AARP’s National Event & Expo in Los Angeles, California September 22-24, 2011. Last year, we received hundreds of stories from 46 states — and ten thousand votes were cast. Our top winner this year will receive a Caribbean cruise for four! I encourage you to read the article in this issue for more contest details or visit our Grandparents Day 2011 site.
Finally, I’d like to note — again, with pride — that several of our phones are now available at one of the most trusted and iconic retail names in America: Sears. Please read our story about this important development or visit your local Sears store to check out our display.
As co-founder and president of Consumer Cellular, you could say I’m a proud papa this Father’s Day. But I couldn’t do it without the support of so many dedicated employees and loyal customers. Thank you, one and all, and may your summer be full of precious new memories!
For more comments and industry insights from John, read his latest blog.
Consumer Cellular Launches in Sears Stores Nationwide
Without a doubt, Sears is one of the most trusted retail names in America. Starting as a mail order company in 1888, Sears-Roebuck catalogs became famous for reliable brands. By the mid-20th century, the company had grown to become the largest retailer in the entire country. Today, Sears remains a retail giant, providing goods and services to consumers from coast-to-coast as well as around the world.
We are proud to announce you can now buy Consumer Cellular phones at 800 Sears stores nationwide!
Cell phone buyers will have their choice of three popular, diverse models: Our affodable flip style Motorola, the big button/big screen boomer-friendly DORO phone, and full keyboard option from Nokia. The phones will be showcased on Consumer Cellular retail displays within Sears electronic departments. Fully trained Sears staff members will be available to answer questions and shoppers will be able to see and handle the phones before buying. Upon purchase, customers can call Consumer Cellular’s customer support team for activation or even activate online themselves.
"Both Sears and Consumer Cellular believe in putting customers first and building strong customer relationships. That's why I am so proud to have our phones and plans available at one of America's retail leaders," said John Marick, co-founder and CEO of Consumer Cellular. "I encourage you to stop by your local Sears store in the coming days and see our display."
With our new rate plans, we gave you more minutes and data for the same price, not to mention a new rate plan named “Anywhere 100.” The reviews keep coming in and so far it is a resounding two thumbs up for the changes. Here’s what some of you told us:
I just wanted to commend you! Whoever heard of a cell phone company increasing minutes on your plan and not charging extra for it? You guys are awesome! Susan H.
Hi. You guys have blown me away with your thirty percent increase in the monthly minutes. That is so great. Thank you. Les A.
I just went online to pay my April bill and was pleasantly surprised to read that 50 additional minutes had been added to my plan at no extra charge! I want to thank you so much for this at a time when I am trying to figure out how to cut back on my monthly expenses. Karen L.
You really go the extra mile to satisfy your customers... and NOW you've added more minutes to all the plans!! Amazing. Sharon S.
Who could ask for more? Great customer service and now more minutes and data usage for the same price! I tell everyone about you! Thanks!! Donna L.
Bob & Paige Bingham
Bob and Paige Bingham have been happily married for 30 years, an amazing achievement for two people whose own parents had a combined total of 14 marriages. What's their secret? Well, let's just say it's covered in their new, and first, book, Marriage: Building it to Last.
They have also been Consumer Cellular customers for nearly three years and that's a secret we can share right now.
The Binghams originally selected Consumer Cellular because of our low-price, no-contract service model and wide cell phone coverage. Those are still valid reasons why they remain loyal customers, of course, but they have since grown to appreciate the freedom they have to control their own usage. With Consumer Cellular, they can adjust their plan from month to month as their needs dictate.
Previously, they were spending more than $100 per month on cell phone charges no matter which company they signed up with. And they were stuck with cancellation charges, too! With Consumer Cellular, their bill is consistently under $60 a month and they can adjust their usage at any time, without having to pay penalties or extra fees.
"Consumer Cellular does everything they promise and more," said Bob. "They partnered with us to keep our cell phone costs as low as they can be and that is more important than ever since our income is far less now."
Bob uses the Motorola W259 flip phone that came with their plan and is about to order a Doro PhoneEasy 410. Although they text frequently, Bob finds it more difficult than Paige to "push those little buttons with his big fingers" so he feels it might be time to upgrade to a phone, such as the Doro 410, that is easier to use. Likewise, Paige replaced her older phone with a new text-friendly Samsung A177 because she is texting more than ever before.
"So many people are being ripped off by the big companies. But not us," said Paige. "Consumer Cellular truly made a business plan work not only for themselves, but also for their customers. It is nice to be partnered with a company that actually cares about its clients!"
Those are meaningful words coming from the Binghams, a couple who truly understand what it takes to build a caring and long-lasting relationship. "Consumer Cellular is where it’s at," concluded Bob.
We’re planning a vacation and will be driving across the country, visiting several states. If we exceed our plan’s allotted minutes in a month while on the road, can we upgrade our plan on the spot?
Ah, a road trip. Definitely bring your cell phone with you and keep it charged. The good news is… with Consumer Cellular you never pay roaming fees or long distance charges while traveling within the U.S. Plus, you'll get great national cell phone coverage through the largest GSM network in the country. And yes, you can upgrade your plan at any time from the road. Here's how:
- Log in to My Account.
- Click "View or Change Plan."
- Change your plan as desired. It's that simple.
If you need assistance, just call our Customer Support team at 1-888-345-5509 or dial 611 from your cell phone. Enjoy your road trip and don't forget to take your car charger with you.
We can help you learn how to get the most value out of your phone and plan. Just call us at 1-888-345-5509 or go online to view our videos or see the answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions.
Our 2nd Annual Grandparents Day Contest Begins
It’s that time of year again: time to enter our Grandparents Day contest. Tell us your story and you could win a free six-night Caribbean cruise for four, provided by AARP® Travel Center powered by Expedia®! Our second place winner will receive four roundtrip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States. And third place will earn a two-night stay for four at any Marriott property.
We held our first contest in honor of National Grandparents Day last year, which is celebrated each year on the first Sunday after Labor Day, and were pleasantly surprised by the huge response. Close to 500 essays and videos were submitted, representing nearly every state in the union. We heard from kids as young as 13, parents in mid-life, and grandparents in their 90s. Some of you told us about one grandchild. Many of you shared details about several grandchildren. One man’s story included 63 grandchildren and great-grandchildren!
In last year’s contest, one of you told us grandparents are the luckiest people on earth. Another said a grandparent’s love is the unconditional stuff of fairy tales. Still another said she wouldn’t trade the joys of grandparenting for anything in the world.
Pam, from Ironton, Ohio, would agree. She won last year’s grand prize, a Caribbean cruise, with her essay “The Grandparent That I Want to Be,” a tender story about the special “grandparenting” skills she learned from her own mother who passed away from cancer 13 years ago. “It was a vacation we will never forget,” said Pam. “Thank you, Consumer Cellular, for giving grandparents and grandchildren the opportunity to share their stories with everyone. I am a fan and will be logging on this year to vote on my favorite story!”
Now it is your turn to tell us your story and possibly even win. The rules are simple:
- Submit a 500-word (or less) written essay or a 3-minute (or less) video telling us, from your perspective as a grandparent, grandchild or parent, what is so extraordinary about being or having a grandparent.
- Entries are accepted from June 1st through August 1st, with voting taking place through August 10th. Winners will be announced by Consumer Cellular during Life@50+, AARP’s National Event & Expo in Los Angeles, California September 22-24, 2011.
- You do not have to be a Consumer Cellular customer to enter. In fact, anyone who is 13 years or older can enter our contest and there is no cost to participate.
Be sure to create and upload your video or essay as soon as possible. The longer it is posted, the more opportunities you’ll have to collect votes. For full contest rules and prize details, go to our Grandparents Day 2011 site.
Remember, your essay or video could win you a fantastic prize and give you a chance to make new special memories with your family. So don’t wait too long to start your pens and cameras. We look forward to hearing your story.
How’d you like to win a signed guitar from Reba McEntire or Trace Adkins! Well, you can. And the rules couldn’t be any easier. From June 1st through June 30th, just download a ringtone from the “Hot Country” category to your Consumer Cellular phone and you will be automatically entered into the sweepstakes.
To enter, go to My Account and click on the Content Store link. Then, follow the directions for downloading a tune — and make sure it is from the “Hot Country” category. Who knows? This summer you could swap your air guitar for a real one.