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Helpful answers to frequently asked questions.

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FAQ Answers

Selected Subtopic: Misc

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My phone keeps turning off or going blank.

When not in use, your cell phone is designed to conserve battery life by dimming the display screen. This is called Standby Mode. Although the display is dark, the phone is still on and ready to use.

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It says "No Service" on my phone display.

When the phone is first turned on, it displays “No Service” for about 30 seconds while it connects to the cellular network. This is normal. The message should disappear after 30 seconds.

If the "No Service" message stays on, you may be in a location where the cellular signal is too weak, such as a subway or mountain valley, or where a cellular tower is not close enough to your phone. Weather or environmental conditions may also be a factor. Try your call again from another area.

If "No Service" stays on in an area where you think you should be getting reception, turn the phone off and back on. If you still get "No Service," use a land line to call our Customer Support team at 1-888-345-5509.

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I hear a beeping sound.

A beeping sound usually indicates one of the following:

  • Your battery may be low. Check the battery-charge indicator.
  • If you have Call Waiting, someone may be trying to reach you. Press the green key (above the 1) to answer the second call. See Call Waiting for more details.
  • One of the phone keys may have been pressed accidentally.
  • You may have a voice or text message in your mailbox.
  • Your alarm clock feature could be activated.

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Where will my phone work? Why do I have problems in some areas where I think I should have good service?

Consumer Cellular operates from the AT&T network, which provides coverage to 98% of the households in the United States. See our coverage map.

Cellular networks operate on a nationwide grid that divides cities or regions into smaller cells. A cell might cover a few city blocks or up to 250 square miles. Every cell uses a set of radio frequencies, or channels, to provide service in its specific area. The power of these radios is controlled in order to limit the signal's geographic range. Because the shape and size of cells vary, there may be gaps between the areas covered by two or more cells. These gaps, or "dead spots," can also be caused by trees, tall buildings, or other obstructions that block the signal from reaching a nearby antenna. If a local government or landowner won't allow placement of a cellular antenna, that too can create a dead spot.

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I have a non-Consumer Cellular phone. How do I set up messaging and web access?

If you are using your own phone with your Consumer Cellular plan, you can sign up for one of our Text & Data plans for messaging and web browsing:

  1. Sign up for the Connect! service:
    1. Log in to My Account.
    2. Click "Change Text & Data Plan" in the box on the right.
    3. Select the Connect! plan that best fits your needs.
    4. 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.
    5. Click "Submit."
  2. Configure your phone to work with the Connect! service. Each phone is different, so you will need to refer to your phone's user manual to find out how to change the following settings:
Service Name MMS Web
Proxy Address <blank>
Proxy Port 80 <blank>
Proxy Push Disabled Enabled
Authentication Type Secure Secure
Username (CSD/GPRS) <blank> <blank>
Password (CSD/GPRS) <blank> <blank>
GPRS access point att.mvno att.mvno

As an alternative, for many phone models, we are able to remotely configure your phone to our data service. Contact a customer service agent with the IMEI number (serial number) of your non-Consumer Cellular phone to receive the settings via free text message. If your cell phone is not remotely configurable, we often have instructions specific to your model of cell phone. We can instruct you over a phone call or we can provide these instructions to you via email.

Other notes:
  1. Our Connect! service is a great deal for casual data use. However we do not offer unlimited plans for heavy data use, such as watching videos or listening to streaming audio.
  2. Please understand that, while our Customer Service representatives do everything they can to help solve customers' problems, we can’t guarantee every cell phone model can be configured with our data service.
  3. Many phones that are compatible with our service will allow you to modify the settings and begin using our picture messaging and web service. However, there are some phones that will not work. If you have difficulties we can help you select one of our affordable data capable phones that will arrive fully programmed.
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