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Old 02-25-2022, 12:38 PM   #1
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Consumer Cellular Warning

I’ve been a happy Consumer Cellular customer for years. We’ve been on the road for a month, happily using our phones for everything including streaming movies etc. Everything’s been working fine.

This morning, I get an email stating that since we’ve exceeded 50gb this month our internet speed has been slowed! And they weren’t kidding. It’s so slow it’s near unusable for almost everything.

I don’t remember anything from them that warned us of this policy and now am caught with my pants down. This is serious since we anticipated heading home on Monday and now have essentially no access to search for campgrounds, GasBuddy etc.

I’m irritated enough to switch carriers but for now, this is a warning to all Consumer Cellular users — BE CAREFUL, THESE GUYS WILL LEAVE YOU HIGH AND DRY WITH NO INTERNET! PLAN AHEAD!
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Old 02-25-2022, 12:45 PM   #2
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Most "unlimited" plans have limits, especially discount plans.

I don't know what your contract says, but Consumer Cellular has this disclaimer on their unlimited plan page:

Quote:
On unlimited data plans, access to high speed data may be reduced after 50GB of use, and you may experience slower speeds for the remainder of your billing cycle.

https://www.consumercellular.com/shopping/choose/plan
Technically it's still unlimited, but you'll get much slower speeds after 50GB.

For comparison, I checked T-Mobile's pricing page and it looks like their top tier Magenta Max truly is unlimited to the handset (with a 40GB hotspot limit), but the lower tier plans are subject to throttling, though probably not as severely as Consumer Cellular's throttling):

Quote:
During congestion, Magenta customers using >100GB/mo. may notice reduced speeds until next bill cycle due to data prioritization; Essentials customers may notice speeds lower than other customers and further reduction if using >50GB/mo., due to data prioritization.
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Old 02-25-2022, 12:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by rlw999 View Post
Most "unlimited" plans have limits.

I don't know what your contract says, but Consumer Cellular has this disclaimer on their unlimited plan page:

Technically it's still unlimited, but you'll get much slower speeds after 50GB.


I am aware of most carriers throttling after certain limits but somehow missed the fine print on Consumer Cellular’s info. Can’t fix it now, but I just wanted to warn others to be careful lest they end up pantless too.
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Old 02-25-2022, 02:37 PM   #4
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They are all deceitful when they use the word “unlimited”. I recently added a phone to my plan and the guy at the AT&T store said I was eligible for a new 5G plan for a lower cost. ‘And” it included unlimited data. I said my plan was already unlimited. He said, yes, but during high congestion periods my data “could” be throttled after some limit. This new plan would never be throttled. My guess is there is some clause in the fine print that would allow them to slow my data under certain circumstances. They definitely do not want people using unlimited data plans on phones to replace home internet.
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Old 02-25-2022, 06:45 PM   #5
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Throttling at a certain point is a part of most pseudo-'unlimited' plans and recently carriers have begun to enforce this more rigidly even though they love to bury it all in the fine print. The only answer is to find a true unlimited plan, there are a few out there such as Magenta Max, Visible, etc.
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Old 02-25-2022, 09:56 PM   #6
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Throttling at a certain point is a part of most pseudo-'unlimited' plans and recently carriers have begun to enforce this more rigidly even though they love to bury it all in the fine print. The only answer is to find a true unlimited plan, there are a few out there such as Magenta Max, Visible, etc.

Magenta Max is only unlimited on your phone. As a hotspot it is limited to 40 GB before being throttled. Visible says right on the main page you will be throttled.
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Old 02-25-2022, 11:02 PM   #7
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Magenta Max is only unlimited on your phone. As a hotspot it is limited to 40 GB before being throttled. Visible says right on the main page you will be throttled.
Both statements are correct. I didn't say unlimited hotspot as there is no such thing as an unlimited, unthrottled hotspot data plan (not currently at least, and not counting shady eBay deals) unless you can make one of the Home Internet plans work for you (these are not officially allowed to be mobile although that restriction often isn't enforced, for now.)

There are however ways to utilize Magenta Max hotspot data without limits (not going to go into that here), and while Visible is subject to throttling it does have unlimited hotspot. Visible works great for some and not as great for others, not going to get into that debate either. The point was that neither has a hard 'throttle you down to useless '3G' speeds' as many other so-called unlimited plans and while not perfect (no plan is) they are among the best things going right now. If you can find a better plan (and not one of those third-party hot deals that never seem to last more than a few months) then buy it.
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Old 02-26-2022, 06:53 AM   #8
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A problem with Consumer Cellular is that their site is ambiguous.

If you go here https://www.consumercellular.com/shopping/choose/plan click on the $55 unlimited and look to the right, it says "may be reduced after 50GB". Fair enough, that sounds like deprioritization that most unlimited plans have after some limit and often doesn't make much difference especially at off-peak times.

Now look at the FAQs here https://www.consumercellular.com/hel...s-and-usage/98 it says "access to high speed data will be reduced". That sounds more like a hard throttle.

If nothing else that's just careless and confusing.
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Old 02-26-2022, 11:21 AM   #9
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That's an interesting contradictory set of statements.
Also, it was interesting to note in the same statement that you can contact Customer Service to purchase additional high speed data.
I'm going to try that now. Not expecting much since wait times are outrageous.
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Old 02-26-2022, 11:47 AM   #10
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Yep. We get it with our hotspot over a certin amount of hotspot. The phone slows down. But we have one phone unlimited and the other 1G and use the other phones hotspot.

I had read a few years ago one of the carriers moved you to 3g. Sure that's not the case but it sounded good.
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Old 02-26-2022, 09:25 PM   #11
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We have 50 gigs on the hotspot and 50 on each phone. When the hot spot maxes out we finish out the month hotspotting the phone.
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Old 02-26-2022, 10:03 PM   #12
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Finally got through to Consumer Cellular. They told me you cannot buy more data after 50gb despite their own website saying you can.
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:16 AM   #13
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I realize this post is over 4 months old but I would like to ask a question. We don't usually stream much because we don't watch much TV, especially when we camp. We do, however use our laptops to browse, do email, and the occasional video or TV show.
I am thinking the 50GB "limit" would be fine for us. We are not full-timers but we want fast, reliable internet. We want to be able to use our phones as a hotspot for the laptops.
How well does this work with Consumer Cellular? I will probably buy a new 5G capable phone if we switch (currently with Verizon with a Samsung S7) and my wife will likely keep her iPhone 7
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Old 07-06-2022, 08:33 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by baraff View Post
I realize this post is over 4 months old but I would like to ask a question. We don't usually stream much because we don't watch much TV, especially when we camp. We do, however use our laptops to browse, do email, and the occasional video or TV show.
I am thinking the 50GB "limit" would be fine for us. We are not full-timers but we want fast, reliable internet. We want to be able to use our phones as a hotspot for the laptops.
How well does this work with Consumer Cellular? I will probably buy a new 5G capable phone if we switch (currently with Verizon with a Samsung S7) and my wife will likely keep her iPhone 7


Why not do this instead?

$25/month unlimited internet....interested?
https://www.irv2.com/forums/f53/25-month-unlimited-internet-interested-442091.html
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