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Low-Cost, No-Contract Consumer Cellular Service Targets AARP, Seniors

By July 26, 2009

Consumer Cellular
Image Consumer Cellular
Here's a niche offering: Consumer Cellular wants seniors aged 50 and over to use its low-cost, no-contract cell phone service.

As the official wireless provider of the AARP, Consumer Cellular says 80 percent of its customers are 50 or older. Consumer Cellular is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means it doesn't own its own spectrum or have its own network infrastructure.

Instead, Consumer Cellular buys minutes from the traditional cell phone carriers for resale to their niche customers.

Plans at Consumer Cellular start as low as $10 per month and go up to $60 per month for 2,000 minutes and 10 cents for each additional minute. A mid-range plan prices at $30 for 500 minutes with additional minutes running 25 cents each.

There are no roaming fees and no long-distance charges with Consumer Cellular. You can add a second phone to any plan for an additional $10 per month and share all the free minutes. The company, which describes itself as a wholesale wireless service provider, was founded in 1995.
July 29, 2009 at 12:42 pm
(1) Consumer Cellular says:

Adam, thanks for the piece. I work with Consumer Cellular and I also wanted to point out that AARP members receive a 5 percent discount on services and a 30 percent discount on certain accessories. For example, AARP members can get the $10 a month plan for $9.50 a month and the $30 a month plan with 500 anytime minutes at $28.50 a month. Thanks again!

August 4, 2009 at 12:04 pm
(2) fransie says:

I think it is wonderful.At last somebody is thinking of us pensioners!Hope they will do it here in South Africa too!!

August 10, 2009 at 9:23 pm
(3) Malcolm says:

Would be nice to find a valid link displayed; the “consumer cellular” link doesn’t work.

August 11, 2009 at 5:51 pm
(4) Adam Fendelman says:

I just tested the link again and it does work. Please do try again. Thanks!

August 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm
(5) r c says:

What good is a phone plan that has NO minutes??? Your $10 plan is a farce.

September 2, 2009 at 9:05 am
(6) c.f. says:

The $10.00 plan with no minutes was exactly what I wanted. The phone is resting nicely in my glove compartment in case of emergency only. I also take it hiking, etc. Of course, if you are interested in alot of talking, it may not be for you.

September 12, 2009 at 1:54 pm
(7) Vladimir says:

Major cell companies prepaids are better deal. $25 buys you 3 months of service (not $30, as is here) with 25c/minute, which is not bad if you don’t use minutes much.

This company targets older delirium patients who just can’t count.

September 20, 2009 at 12:38 am
(8) Daniel says:

$10 a month would buy you 50 minutes on Virgin Mobile with $0.20 for each additional minute (as compared to 0 minutes on Consumer Cellular with $0.25/min). Low minute users can buy as little as $5/month (=25 minutes). $20/month gets you 200 minutes and free night and weekend minutes. I’ve used it for quite a while and found it great for just a call here and there. You can buy a phone at Target or Walmart for around $10 and they sometimes have free phone offers online.

October 19, 2009 at 9:05 pm
(9) JP says:

I’m not sure what exactly your referring to when you say $10 a month…. you mean your paying for the phone service AND the minutes for $10 a month? or are you paying just $10 for the minutes?

My first phone I got ages ago was from Nextel… who later became Sprint. I don’t use my phone too often so I opted for the lowest plan they had with no extras, such as text messaging or web data plan.

My plan is $30 with 200 minutes included each month. I soon realized this was an expensive loss because at most I was only using about 20 minutes per month, or not even that.

Now for a bit of perspective, my brother has used nearly every prepaid phone services out their (net10, tracfone, ect). When I did the math I found that he was paying WAY more than I do with Sprint, but being stubborn I couldn’t convince him of it. (And you have to keep re-charging the phone with minutes)

Then I saw the commercial for consumer cellular and decided to check it out online. It was perfect for me! $10 a month and 25 cents per use… almost like one of those prepaid phones, but I didnt have to recharge it with minutes. PLUS the phone I am getting, although not top of the line, is still full of great features. I honestly cannot find anything wrong with them. It almost seems too good to be true. I guess I will just have to see how things work out after a few months.

January 8, 2010 at 5:57 pm
(10) Linda says:

Can someone compare this service with reachout free phone service? We have to have medicaid/food stamps for the reachout plan. I do see AARP has a lot to offer. I don’t know what phones to purchase, reach out sent a phone but it worked for a couple of hours. I will wait and see if it works once they send me another charger.

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