Everyone has different needs when it comes to cell phones and cell phone providers. For senior citizens, most of them don’t care about having the latest smartphone with the newest features and operating system, and they usually don’t need a lot of data. Consumer Cellular is a phone service provider aimed at ensuring the elderly community saves money on phone service and gets phones they can easily use and intuit.
Phones Designed With Senior Citizens in Mind
One of the great things about Consumer Cellular is that it offers phones seniors can easily use. That means phone models with spread-out buttons and a button specifically for emergency calls. Senior customers can easily make calls and send text messages without feeling as if they need a slim stylus to press small buttons.
What’s more is the phone service provider offers flip phones, meaning seniors don’t have to compromise or settle when it comes to getting a phone that suits all their needs. Those who want more expensive phones may have the option of interest-free financing.
Because Consumer Cellular isn’t one of the more popular phone service providers, many may wonder what kind of coverage the company offers. Currently, it piggybacks on both AT&T and T-Mobile. That means subscribers can expect rather dependable coverage across the nation. Consumer Cellular also provides full LTE data speeds. That said, subscribers who surpass more than 20GB of data within a single month can expect throttling.
Consumer Cellular subscribers who are also AARP members can expect plenty of discounts. For instance, AARP members qualify for a 30% discount on some accessories, and they can also save 5% on their monthly bill. Rather than the usual 30-day, 300-minute, 300-text/300MB-of-data (whichever the customer reaches first) trial period, AARP members have 45 days with 450 minutes to try the service.
The provider also gives the option to add a second line for $15. One thing to be aware of with adding a second line (or more than two) is that every line draws from the same data, talk and text allotment.
Consumer Cellular offers free activation, which can go a long way in saving budget-conscious subscribers even more money. Once a phone is activated and seniors start using their phones and the service network, they don’t have to worry about being locked into a contract with Consumer Cellular.
Also, seniors can pay for a new phone with financing. Consumer Cellular offers $25-a-month payments until the phone is paid for in full. It’s not necessary for customers to pay the full cost of the phone before starting service, which can make it easier for them financially.
Consumer Cellular Plans and Cost
Here’s a quick look at Consumer Cellular’s data and pricing:
Here’s a table of talk plans and monthly pricing:
|Number of Minutes||250 Minutes||Unlimited Minutes|
The monthly bill would be the combination of the chosen talk plan with the chosen data plan. For instance, with a plan of 250 minutes a month ($15) and 5GB of data a month ($20), the monthly bill would be $35, excluding tax.
Thankfully, seniors don’t have to feel stuck with a plan once they’ve chosen one. That’s because Consumer Cellular gives subscribers the option of switching to a different plan in the middle of their billing cycle. Customers may find they don’t need as many minutes or as much data as they thought. Being able to change a plan whenever needed can go a long way in saving money. On the flipside, customers may have underestimated how much data or how many minutes they’d use. In that case, Consumer Cellular can provide an automatic upgrade to the next available tier.
Phone Options and Equipment
What’s the use of a phone service offering great prices on talk and data plans if users don’t like any of the phones? In regard to phones designed specifically for senior citizens, Consumer Cellular offers two in particular: the Alcatel Go Flip and the Doro 7050, both of which are flip phones.
The Alcatel is the less expensive of the two, coming in at $30 in either red or black. The phone offers a number of senior citizen-friendly features:
- Compatibility with M4 or T4 hearing aids
- Twelve-button keypad with genius button size
- External screen display
- Well-lit main display screen
- Compatibility with Bluetooth 3.0
- 2 MP digital camera (6x digital zoom)
- FM radio
- Battery life robust enough to handle seven hours of talk time, 12 days of standby time
The Doro 7050 is offered at $50 in graphite or red. Seniors may like this particular option a bit better for their unique needs:
- Compatibility with M4 or T4 hearing aids
- Assistance button for a quick connection to an emergency contact
- Large, well-spaced keys
- 8-inch lit main display screen
- External display screen
- Battery with 14.5 hours of talk time, 16 days of standby time
- Video recording
- Compatibility with 4G LTE and Bluetooth
In addition to phones, Consumer Cellular also offers subscribers the ability to switch their current landline phone service to their cellular service. The service switch is treated like adding a second line, totaling to $15 a month. There are plenty of features to enjoy with the ZTE wireless home phone base:
- Keep current phone numbers
- No wall jack is necessary – just plug the phone base into the device
- Service is fully wireless
- Remain connected during a power outage, thanks to the battery backup
- Home phone base device can be transported and used anywhere there’s a good signal and an electrical outlet
Finally, Consumer Cellular also features an 8-inch tablet, known as the Grandpad, for $200. With it, senior citizens can easily stay current on the news, keep in touch with family and friends through video chat, play games and stream music and video.
Senior citizens deserve a phone service provider that understand the unique challenges they face and what they want out of a provider. For more information about Consumer Cellular, check out our review here.