Issue 24, July 2011
In This Issue
- Dialing In by CEO John Marick »
- Feature Focus: Consumer Cellular's Annual Grandparents Day Contest »
- Customer Star: Richard L. Meister, Jr. »
- A Few of Our Favorite Customer Comments »
- Your Questions Answered »
- Refer A Friend: An Easy $10 for You »
- Consumer Cellular Makes List of 100 Best Green Companies for 2nd Year in a Row. 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 invoice. Don’t wait to share the wealth! The best gifts don’t require contracts.
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by John Marick
We celebrated Independence Day, our nation's greatest holiday, on July 4th. Every year on that special day, many of us in this country celebrate with a mix of parades, picnics, barbeques, sporting events, camping trips, family reunions, and fireworks displays.
However, celebrating America doesn't need to be a one-day-a-year event. If you are in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic states this summer, I encourage you to visit one of our national parks dedicated to the founding of our country. Consumer Cellular recently partnered with the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) to help preserve our nation's heritage.
When I co-founded Consumer Cellular, one of the truths I believed to be self-evident was that wireless communication should be available to everyone. Not just the rich or the young or the tech-savvy. I thought cell phones should be democratic and equalitarian, if you will. In other words, I believed for cell phone service to reach its full potential it must be affordable, uncomplicated, and readily available.
Early on in the evolution of this company, I saw that freedom of choice was the best business model to pursue and that consumers wanted their independence. Nobody likes getting stuck in a two-year contract with increasing rates and poor customer service. That's why our customers are never bound to us by contracts. They stay with us because they want to stay. As a result, it is our daily responsibility and commitment to develop loyal customers through great plans, phones, and customer service.
Because there are no contracts, our customers have complete control over their cell phone usage. Our free Usage Alerts service notifies customers when their plan's allotted minutes or data is approached. We allow them to increase or decrease their plan without penalty, whenever needed, helping to save money and get the most out of their wireless service. Plus, our money-back guarantee eliminates all risk.
Consumer Cellular is an all-American company, with a totally U.S.-based customer support team. We are proud to follow in the tradition of American independence by offering our customers the freedom to control their own cell phone experience. No contracts required. No change fees assessed. And no strings attached. Let cell phones ring!
P.S. Don't forget to log in to My Account and sign up for our email billing option today! When you do, we'll give $5 to the National Parks Conservation Association to help those good people ensure we all have many National Parks to visit in the years to come.
For more comments and industry insights from John, read his latest blog.
Consumer Cellular's Annual Grandparents Day Contest
Have you entered our annual Grandparents Day Contest yet? By the time you read this, we'll be a little more than half-way through the contest. Whether you are a grandparent, grandchild, or the generation in-between, don't forget to tell us your story about that special experience known as "grandparenting."
We put together a beautiful video and a Web page with detailed instructions all about the contest. We encourage you to first watch the video and then check out the contest Web pages, especially our Gallery of entries. We've been impressed with the entries so far- and we're excited to see your entry too.
Best of all, your story, in either essay or video form, could win you and family members a free six-night Caribbean cruise for four, provided by AARP® Travel Center powered by Expedia®! Second place will get four roundtrip airline tickets to anywhere in the continental United States. And our third place winner will earn a two-night stay for four at any Marriott property.
Just about anyone can enter and everyone can vote. Be sure to create and upload your video or essay as soon as possible. The longer it's posted, the more opportunities you'll have to collect votes and increase your chances of winning. And remember, go to the Grandparents Day 2011 site to see, read or vote on the many wonderful stories that have already been entered.
Consumer Cellular is enormously proud to help you share your heartfelt grandparenting stories. The concept of family is as important to us, as it is to so many of you. And now's your chance: tell us your family story. Don't wait and don't let this opportunity slip by. We're looking forward to your story.
Richard L. Meister, Jr.
For the longest time, customer Richard L. Meister, Jr., a fabric cutter and part-time writer from Otis Orchards, Washington, thought cell phones were an unnecessary extravagance.
"I was one of those guys who didn't see why I needed a cell phone. I even asked my brother why he needed one when he stated he wanted one. He told me, 'Just in case I break down on the road.'" Richard replied if his car broke down he wouldn't need a phone. Instead, he would seek help the old-fashioned way: knock on doors.
Richard's brother soon had himself a cell phone. Unfortunately, he also had a one-year contract, which became a huge problem when he lost his job a few months later. From Richard's perspective, seeing his brother locked into a phone contract he could neither afford nor get out of was the final nail in the cell phone coffin.
Richard eventually saw the value in having a cell phone when he realized it would save him from running everywhere in the plant looking for his supervisor. He subscribed to a vendor, who, like Consumer Cellular, did not require contracts. However, the service provider's limited coverage proved disappointing.
"My best friend lives about twenty-five miles north of Spokane, WA and I lost coverage about ten miles from his house," said Richard. "That was no good if someone tried calling me when I was visiting."
One day Richard's brother told him Consumer Cellular offered a no-contract cell phone service with special discounts for AARP members. Richard went to the AARP website, liked what he read about Consumer Cellular, and soon became a customer.
"One thing that impressed me the most about Consumer Cellular was its coverage area," recalled Richard. "It's almost everywhere in the United States. That's what I was looking for."
In addition to enjoying great cell phone coverage, Richard likes getting the AARP discount and appreciates the convenience of tracking his own calls and minutes through the Consumer Cellular website.
"The new plans that went into effect a couple of months ago are great," added Richard. He rarely uses more than 100 minutes a month and finds the new Anywhere 100 plan a perfect fit for his needs.
With so much to like about his new cell phone service, Richard decided to write an online review of Consumer Cellular and post it on Associated Content from Yahoo! What grade did we earn? He gave us five stars out of five! Now that's what we call a pattern worth replicating.
Whether by phone or email, we love hearing from you, our valued customers. Even more, we love blushing whenever we get compliments — but only if they are deserved. Here are a few of our favorite recent customer comments:
"This month I saved $100 compared to my previous carrier's plan." Erich L.
"Wow! I feel like I'm finally dealing with a 'human' and not a huge conglomerate. Thank you!" Barbara S.
"Your service makes up for ALL the bad cellular experiences of the past I've had with other companies!" Lois S.
"I have had your service now for over a year and this is the best cell phone reception I have had in the 12 years I've been up here in the mountains." Michael G.
And our current top favorite customer comment (drum roll, please):
"I love you. Would you please buy a cable company so we can switch to you for TV and Internet?" Jane W.
How can I avoid getting telemarketing pitches on my cell phone?
Telemarketers and scam artists alike have discovered the cell phone and are contacting people willy-nilly with wild investment opportunities. Don't bite and don't call them back. Instead, take these steps to protect your cell from them:
- Register your cell phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry by dialing 888-382-1222. You can register more than one telephone.
- Get your cell number on your state's Do Not Call list, if it has one.
- Do not put your number on Craigslist, eBay or any other sales or marketing venues.
- Do not text TV shows or radio stations, because when you do your number ends up on telemarketing lists. Guaranteed.
- Opt out of third-party offers or future text messages.
When all else fails, feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to assit 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 How-To Videos or see the answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions.
Here at Consumer Cellular, "Going Green" is more than a passing fad. We recycle our paper products and shipping materials daily. We use eco-friendly SIM cards that require fewer materials to make. We run a very successful phone and battery recycling program, and much more! In short, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and are always looking for new ways to help conserve our planet's resources.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. For the second year in a row, Consumer Cellular has been singled out by Oregon Business magazine as one of the 100 Best Green Companies to Work For in the state of Oregon. To wrap some context around making the top 100 two years running, half of last year's top 100 did not make the cut this year. Results are based on employee surveys, with nearly 19,000 employees for 415 companies participating in the surveys this year. Go Green!