Issue 36, July 2012
In This Issue
- Dialing In by CEO John Marick »
- Feature Focus: Our Best Smartphone Yet! »
- Grandparents Day 2012: How'd You Like to Win a $10,000 Vacation? »
- Customer Star: Peter A. Poccia »
- Your Questions Answered »
- Refer A Friend: An Easy $10 for You »
We’re Here to Help
In addition to the extensive support you'll find on our website, check out these other resources:
Give yourself and your friends $10! Refer someone who signs up with Consumer Cellular and you’ll receive a $10 credit on your upcoming invoice. Your friends will be happy, too. Not only will they get fantastic cell service at great rates from the best cell phone service company in America, 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.
Want to tell a friend? Click here to send an email.
Grandparents Day Contest Dates
Can’t wait to write or make a video of your story? Hang on. Here are the key 2012 contest dates to keep in mind:
- July 1 (Sunday) – Contest opens
- Aug 15 (Wednesday) – Contest closes
- Aug 31 (Friday) – Public voting ends
- Sept 10 (Monday, the day after the official Grandparents Day recognition) – Winners announced
by John Marick
If you are like me, one of the best uses for the summer months is the chance to take a trip with my family. And a favorite destination for my family has always been visiting one of America’s many incredible national parks.
That’s one reason why I’m pleased to talk about how, for the second year in a row, Consumer Cellular is making contributions to the National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), a group dedicated to the preservation of our nation’s legacy. Each time one of our customers signs up for our Email Billing program, we'll donate $5 to the organization. This commitment began in June of last year and is continuing into 2013.
When planning your next road trip, don't forget to pack your fully-charged cell phone (and always bring your charger with you). A cell phone on the road can be a life-saver, especially if you have car problems.
Beyond its survival uses, however, a mobile phone can make any trip more enjoyable. Now that I’ve been using a smartphone, for example, I find it to be an indispensable travel companion. A smartphone comes with a GPS chip inside, so it always knows your location. This means a smartphone can help you find the nearest restaurant, lodging, gas station, or landmark. And with the right app, you can get everything from dining reviews to local traffic conditions.
In short, a smartphone means you are never truly lost or without timely answers. That’s because there are tons of cool smartphone apps designed to make your summer travels easier, including games for the kids and grandkids.
And speaking of traveling with the grandkids, our annual Grandparents Day Contest starts this month. Please read the article about our contest in this issue. We sincerely look forward to receiving your entry and to learning more about you and your family. Who knows? You could surprise your family by winning a vacation worth up to $10,000!
No matter where you travel this summer, remember you can temporarily upgrade your Consumer Cellular plan and avoid potential overage fees. Plus, our Usage Alerts will notify you in time to make any desired changes to your plan.
My smartphone? As the old commercial used to say about a different product, I never leave home without it.
For more comments and industry insights from John, read his latest blog.
Our Best Smartphone Yet!
We’re happy to announce the newest — and most powerful — member of our cell phone family: the Huawei 8800, by one of the world leaders in wireless phones and telecommunications equipment.
It may not be a household name right now, but soon you could be bragging about your new Huawei, pronounced as “WAH-way,” to friends and neighbors. With a name that means “magnificent or splendid act,” the Huawei company has been making high quality, award-winning phones for AT&T for years. Although Huawei is just starting to gain momentum in the USA, the company is one of the largest suppliers of mobile telecommunications infrastructure equipment in the world.
Simply put, this is a robust smartphone that’s fully loaded. It comes with an 800Mhz processor and a wealth of features, including WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, customizable home screens, lots of e-mail support, and call clarity that’s as good as it gets. All that and more for only $175, with free activation and free shipping to your door. Plus, you don’t have to sign a two-year contract, either.
This powerful smartphone is easy to use, with a colorful and intuitive 3.8-inch touchscreen display. The phone’s 5-megapixel camera, which includes autofocus and LED flash, has both landscape and portrait modes, and will produce higher quality images than many other phones. Additionally, the phone makes videos at 720p HD (high definition), suitable for sharing and posting on YouTube.
Predictive text for fast typing makes the phone ideal for messaging. And when text messaging, you can insert pictures, video clips and sound clips easily. You can use voice and data at the same time, and it has a hands-free speakerphone. The Huawei 8800 also comes with a USB cable and is hearing aid compatible.
From voice recorder to speakerphone, alarm clock to calendar, you’ll be able to stay in touch with loved ones and stay on top of what’s going on with the Huawei 8800. This Android smartphone is perfect for anyone who wants to test the smartphone waters without taking a bath.
How'd You Like to Win a $10,000 Vacation?
Our third annual Grandparents Day Contest started on Sunday, July 1st, and it is destined to be our biggest and most exciting contest ever.
We inaugurated our annual storytelling contest in 2010 to honor the role grandparents play in families. The results that first year surprised us: we received nearly 500 entries and thousands of votes were cast. If those results surprised us, the following year we pleasantly stunned with more than 2,000 entries!
The rules are simple. Our Grandparents Day contest is open to anyone who is 13 years or older. There's no entry fee and you don't have to be a Consumer Cellular customer to participate. In short, it couldn't be any easier. Just write an essay or create a video telling us a grandparent-related story. All entries must be submitted online via our website.
You may enter as many times as you like, but only entries with the most votes will become the top finalists. It's a good idea to post your entry as soon as possible and anyone can vote for your entry once per day — you may even vote for yourself. Complete rules and regulations, as well as a contest FAQ, are available on our website.
This year we've expanded the number of categories to ensure we'll have plenty of winners. Instead of just one Grand Prize winner, we created two Grand Prize categories and added eight smaller categories as well, including:
- Best Video
- Best Essay
- Best Submission by Grandparent
- Best Submission by Parent
- Best Submission by Grandchild
- Best Travel-related
- Best Cooking Story
- Most Humorous
Now, what about those prizes—what can you win? A lot. Thanks to our business partner, AARP® Travel Center powered by Expedia®, winners in our eight smaller categories will each receive a $200 gift certificate for hotel reservations.
Not only that, but we have two Grand Prize categories this year. The first is our Voter's Choice award, which is the entry that receives the most votes. The second is the Consumer Cellular's Choice award, where the winning entry is determined by a team of judges from our company. Also courtesy of AARP Travel Center powered by Expedia, our Grand Prizes winners will each receive a prize worth up to $10,000:
- 7-Night European River Cruise for 2, including airfare, by Viking River Cruises, the world's favorite river cruise line, and an additional 3-night hotel stay which can be used by the winner just prior to the cruise or immediately after
- 7-Night Orlando Vacation Package for 4, including airfare, rental car, two hotel rooms and theme park tickets
Wow, two prizes worth up to ten grand each! Okay, ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys… start your stories.
Peter A. Poccia
Peter Poccia, a retired ER nurse and Consumer Cellular customer since 2009, and his wife, Susan, like to travel, which is a key reason why he upgraded to a Motorola Bravo smartphone. Case in point: New Orleans. This year Peter and his family spent three weeks in New Orleans for Carnival and Mardi Gras. Thanks to his Bravo phone, he was able to keep in touch with his kids, in spite of the whirlwind of festivities going on in The Big Easy.
“I had, in the palm of my hand, the complete parade schedule,” recalled Peter. “And, for those who have never been to Carnival, there are many parades. With my Bravo I could tell which route a parade would take, when it kicked off and where it was at any particular moment.”
Peter likes his Motorola Bravo and finds it useful, especially with all the traveling they do. And they do travel a lot. They’ve toured many of America’s natural wonders, from the Olympic National Park in Washington state to the Everglades National Park in Florida.
What Peter wanted in a smartphone above all else was a telephone that provided Internet access. Although he has yet to try his thumbs at text messaging, he frequently accesses data services and occasionally logs onto the Web directly. Peter had no interest in a phone with a lot of what he refers to as “toy” functions.
A cell phone user for more than six years, Peter selected Consumer Cellular for our modest costs, wide coverage and superb service. He loves the opportunity to change his plan at the last minute to avoid overage fees and has done so often.
“Unless you’re an adolescent who spends his or her entire life on the Internet, go with Consumer Cellular,” Peter likes to tell others. “They’re cheaper, especially since you can adjust your rate plan at any time. They have the same or better coverage than what you already have. And their customer service is excellent.”
If you’re going on a road trip this summer, you may want to follow Peter’s lead and upgrade to a smartphone. It’s easy to pack and can help you stay in touch, no matter where your travels take you.
In each issue we ask our Support team to recommend — and answer — commonly asked questions about our products or services.
I just read where you're offering free activation. What exactly does that mean to me, as a current customer?
You no longer have to pay a separate activation fee when starting a Consumer Cellular plan or upgrading to a new phone. Charging an extra fee for activation is a common industry standard in the wireless phone business but we like to keep things transparent and simple. So as a Consumer Cellular customer, the price of the phone is the total price you will pay. Again, there are no separate or additional activation fees.
The same holds true for new customers: they just pay for the phone. Of course, you still need to follow the usual activation process, but unlike with wireless providers who require contracts, you don’t have to pay an upgrade fee. We want you to have the freedom to customize your cell phone usage to fit your lifestyle, whether it’s upgrading your plan or phone.
Have more questions, need more answers?
Go online and see the answers to our most frequently asked questions.