Issue 30, January 2012
In This Issue
- Dialing In by CEO John Marick »
- Feature Focus: What's the Deal with Smartphones? »
- We're #1 in the Nation, Two Years in a Row! »
- Customer Star: Mary D. Redd »
- Your Questions Answered »
- Refer A Friend: An Easy $10 for You »
- Kiplinger Picks Consumer Cellular for Best of Everything 2011 List. Read More »
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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
According to the Chinese horoscope, 2012 is The Year of the Dragon, a creature that symbolizes excellence and perseverance, among other traits. It is said a dragon succeeds by overcoming obstacles through its energy, intelligence, and optimism. What’s not to like?
As we enter our 17th year providing cell service, I see this definition of a dragon as similar to the path we followed. From a handful of customers in 1995, we’ve grown to serving nearly three quarters of a million customers.
We’ve grown, I think, because “excellence” has been our driving philosophy. Our goal was — and always will be — to provide excellent value and service to our customers. Toward that end, we believe in allowing our customers the freedom to make choices that fit their lifestyle, from plans to phones to usage. We want customers to stay with us because we deliver, as promised, and not because they signed a contract. We’d rather listen to our customers than dictate to them.
Likewise, the technology has grown and improved by leaps and bounds. Did you know the earliest cell phones weighed about two pounds! They started adding PDA-like features (such as an address book and calculator) to cell phones in the mid-Nineties, around the time Consumer Cellular started. Now, we have smartphones that seemingly can do everything except drive a car and make coffee.
I’m optimistic (another dragon trait) about wireless communication in 2012 and look forward to the year ahead. I especially look forward to you joining us on this year’s amazing journey.
For more comments and industry insights from John, read his latest blog.
What's the Deal with Smartphones?
If you don’t already own a smartphone, you might wonder what all the fuss is about and why it’s different from other cell phones. In many ways, having a smartphone is like carrying around the Internet — or your home PC — in your pocket.
One of the greatest benefits of owning a smartphone is the ever-increasing number of free or affordable “apps” available. For example, there are apps that turn a smartphone into an eBook reader or a barcode scanner for checking price comparisons and product reviews while you’re out shopping. Other apps enable you to use your phone to search Google maps, connect to Facebook, or play Scrabble with friends. In the case of Consumer Cellular’s smartphone, the Motorola Bravo, you can browse the Android Market to find and download the apps that make sense for your lifestyle.
Sounds good, but are Boomers using smartphones? You bet. Smartphones are not just for kids or twentysomethings. For example, 40% of Boomers use their smartphone to log on to the Internet. Additionally, 72% of smartphone users between the ages of 61 and 70 said they were very likely to buy another smartphone. Those statistics reflect current attitudes and are from two 2011 surveys of smartphones and Boomers.*
A smartphone may sound intimidating at first but don’t worry. You can take your time mastering it. We even offer free YouTube videos to help you become proficient. Best of all, when you get a smartphone from Consumer Cellular, you still enjoy all of our other customer-friendly benefits: No contracts, affordable plans, a family share program, and customer support that’s totally U.S.-based. Plus, our Web-connect plans support casual needs— you pay only for what you need.
Are you ready for your smartphone? If so, visit our phones page for more details and to see what our customers are saying about their smartphone. Getting your smartphone from Consumer Cellular is not just a great way to start a new year, it’s a smart way.
*Data based on responses to questions on the surveys of older smartphone users. Surveys were facilitated by Flying Coyotes Marketing Research and Consumer Cellular, March 2011 and October 2011.
We’re very pleased to announce that for the second year in a row Consumer Cellular is the #1 rated cell phone service. Once again, Consumer Reports subscribers who rate wireless carriers via an online survey consider us the best cell phone service value in America.
That’s according to survey results of actual cell phone users who participated in the Consumer Reports annual ranking of cell phone plans and service.
We were especially recognized for our plan and usage options, as well as our customer-friendly billing process. Consumer Cellular’s support team, which is totally U.S.-based, received the highest rating possible for every category under Customer Support (Phone, Staff Knowledge, and Issues Resolved).
Survey results were published in the January 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
Mary D. Redd
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) in a nursing home in Atlanta, Georgia, Mary Redd was at first skeptical when she selected Consumer Cellular. A grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one, Mary depended on her cell phone but couldn’t afford to see her phone bill increase each month. Using cell phones for more than 10 years, she had been a customer of just about every major wireless phone company.
All of which helps explain Mary’s skepticism. She couldn’t believe she could get a plan for just $10 a month, control her own minutes, and not be stuck in a contract.
“At first I selected a plan with low minutes to ‘test the waters.’ After using the phone and getting my number out to others, I fell in love with Consumer Cellular,” said Mary. “I couldn’t stop telling everybody about the company, its plans and website.”
Encouraged by her grandchildren, Mary recently upgraded to the Motorola Bravo to get access to a range of Android applications. Browsing the web and texting are daily activities for her, and she especially likes being able to lock her phone.
There are good reasons why Mary is a true Consumer Cellular believer. She’s not stuck in a contract. She’s totally in control of her monthly usage, as well as the size of her cell phone bill. And she was thrilled to find out that she gets service when she travels to visit her relatives in West Virginia.
“Most people are locked into a contract and are told to pay a fortune to get out of it. I was there and I know how they feel,” concluded Mary. “Consumer Cellular is the #1 cell phone service in my book.”
In each issue we ask our Support team to recommend — and answer — commonly asked questions about our products or services.
I'm on a tight budget and I'd like to keep track of my usage. What's the best way to do that?
The Account Overview page displays your Account Usage so you can see how many minutes you’ve used, as well as your text messaging and Wireless Web usage.
Another alternative is to simply call our Automated Voice System by dialing 888-373-1777 from your cell phone at any time. You can also check usage from your cell phone via our mobile website or our free Android app, if you’re using the Motorola Bravo. If you use your cell phone to place the call, it’s a free call.
Have more questions, need more answers?
We can help you learn how to get the most value out of your phone and plan. Just call us at 1-888-345-5510, go online to view our How-To Videos or see the answers to our most Frequently Asked Questions.
What a way to end one year and begin another. Consumer Cellular’s Anywhere100 plan made Kiplinger’s Best of Everything list for 2011 as the best cell phone plan for regular chats or emergencies. Our Anywhere 100 plan was chosen for its great value: 100 minutes for $15 a month. We were also recognized for having a nice selection of affordable phones.
We’re especially proud of this recognition because Kiplinger is universally known and trusted for its reliable advice and astute reports. The Kiplinger website reaches over 1.5 million unique readers per month.
Check out our range of no-contract, affordable cell phone plan options, including our Anywhere 100 plan. And don’t forget, you can change your plan at any time without penalty or paying a change fee.