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US Cellular roaming rules/plans/enforcement?

Discussion in 'US Cellular Forum' started by JasonWells, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    I was wondering if USCellular has or enforces a 50% rule on their National plans. What are the primary roaming carriers and do they even have a 50% roaming rule?

    For example: some snowbirds from Iowa travel to their winter home in Mesa, AZ Nov-April, where they would use a National plan but not be using the home, native network for 5-6 months. And for a month during the summer again be in AZ.
    Two USCellular representatives said USCellular prefers to keep users in the native network, yet will not cancel the service if the usage is 'out of area' for extended periods. Any information is appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. tyler101868

    tyler101868 Junior Member
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    US Cellular reserves the right to cancel service if you use more than 50% of your minutes, 1 month out of three, outside the home calling area. I have sold US Cellular for almost 5 years and I do not know of any instances, personally, where US Cellular has opted to cancel service. That is not to say it can not happen.
     
  3. applebanana

    applebanana New Member

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    Jason, I just signed up so I could reply. US Cellular just cancelled my service yesterday for this exact rule. About a year ago I had no idea I'd start a traveling job & signed a 2 year contract with USCC. Last summer I called to change my address to my new Washington address, & they told me they don't provide service in this area. I would have to roam off Verizon & they informed me about the 50% rule.
    Funny thing is after the call I went to the store I got the phone from to clarify & they said to keep using it, they've never heard of US Cellular enforcing this rule. I then called customer service back & the lady on the phone told me she'd also never heard of US Cellular cancelling service & to take the phone out to Wa. USCC wants to keep there customers & will not cancel a member. I switched to the national plan, & roamed off Verizon while in Washington.
    5 months later I moved to NM & called to update my address. Customer service told me due to making more than 50% of calls from out of area I had 2 options.
    #1 Cancel & pay the $200 fee
    #2 Have someone in a USCC area take over my phone & service. Of course I didn't have anyone to take over my phone, so I was left with the option of getting my service cancelled & paying the cancellation fee. :(

    Now I'm on here researching for a new provider. Know anyone?
     
  4. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    I am very surprised that you had to pay the ETF if they were canceling you. Sprint went through and dumped a few thousand customers over the summer, but I think they just sent a notice that said your service will expire at the end of this month so find a new carrier. I am very surprised USCC cuts you off and makes you pay the ETF.

    Since you have a job which requires a lot of travel I would suggest you use one of the nationwide carriers. AT&T is a solid choice. T-Mobile is the 4th largest carrier in the country, but they have better than average customer satisfaction.

    I have been very happy with Sprint. Prices from Sprint seem to be slightly cheaper than Verizon and AT&T. Sprint has a strong network and they have great roaming agreements to fill in areas where native coverage is unavailable. I personally don't like Verizon because of the UI installed on their phones. They cripple features and lock down the handsets. The user interface annoys me to no end. On the positive side, switching between Verizon phones is not a big deal because they all have the same user interface. Verizon has a well built out network.

    I wish you the best of luck in your search for a new provider.
     
  5. Andy

    Andy Diamond Senior Member
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    Wow...I am surprised that ALLTEL made you pay the $200 cancellation fee, but I am sure that it is in their contract that they reserve the right to cancel you if you roam over 50% and you are liable for the ETF.
    I see you are in New Mexico as your primary location. I would strongly consider Alltel.com - Official site if they are available in your neck of the woods in NM. They generally provide excellent service in their licensed coverage areas and free roam outside their native coverage area. Also, ALLTEL is not enforcing any roaming rules.
    Cell Phones, Cell Phone Plans, Cell Phone Accessories - Verizon Wireless is a national carrier that has a very extensive and well build network and roams on many carriers in areas they don't natively cover. Verizon also does not enforce a roaming rule.
    Next, I would consider Unsupported Browser. While their native network is not as extensive as that of Verizon, T-Mobile generally offers great service within their coverage area and roams outside of their native coverage area. They barely sent out letters to cancel 600 customers that roamed 100% of the time, so unless you perma roam, T-Mobile would be a good solution.
    Cell Phones and Cell Phone Plans from AT&T, formerly Cingular Wireless is a nationwide carrier, but they do have a very restrictive roaming rule that limits your voice usage, your data usage as well as your text messaging usage while off network. IF you are going to see yourself outside the at&t network a lot, I would not consider them.
    Hope this helps,
    Andy
     
  6. applebanana

    applebanana New Member

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    Good point regarding US Cellular canceling me. I'm going to call them about this & they'll probably respond with, we gave you the option of having someone else take over your service. Since you couldn't do this, you decided to cancel.
     
  7. Bill Clinton

    Bill Clinton 10 years scandal free....
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    You can try to work something out with US Cellular but they probably had something in that long list of terms and conditions that says what the customer is responsible for in the event a company initiated cancellation. I am disappointed that US Cellular just cut you off and expected you to pay the ETF. I always thought the ETF was when the customer wants to get out of the contract early, not when the company decides you are costing them too much in roaming fees.

    It is possible that US Cellular had customers looking for a way to get out of contracts without paying an ETF. Those folks would go out into a roaming area and make tons of calls hoping US Cellular would cancel them. I heard of this happening with other carriers. US Cellular may have gotten wise to this and decided to charge the ETF to excessive roamers so you can't get out of a contract without the fee.

    Thanks for posting thought and I am sorry that you got the shaft from US Cellular.
     
  8. applebanana

    applebanana New Member

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    Andy I think you meant to say US Cellular making me cancel, not Alltel. :)
    Wisconsin is my home base and where I'll be spending this spring and summer at.

    Verizon is who I tried to sign up with, but they don't provide start up service in SE NM.
    Alltel is who I've been researching the most about & will probably go with. I've read good things regarding them & have also read about the liberal roaming rules. Though I just read on the terms and conditions page that they can terminate you if the majority of your service is used roaming. If they terminate me & I don't have to pay a fee though I can definitely live with that.
    They have an option of starting service without a 1 or 2 year agreement. Catcher is you pay full price for the phone. I wonder if you could get a phone elsewhere then still get start service without signing a contract?
     
  9. tearsonurcheek

    tearsonurcheek Junior Member
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    And that's the key. If you had been cancelled by uscc, you would have first gotten a letter informing you of the violation, giving you your options, not simply being informed by a CSR.

    Oh, and the ETF is $150, not $200. You might try selling your phone on eBay or craigslist to recoup some of that cost.
     
  10. applebanana

    applebanana New Member

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    I called US Cellular yesterday & they basically said that I'm the one who canceled.
    I told them at the end of Jan I'll be in Wisconsin. The customer service lady said to let them know that at the beginning of Jan & they'll hold shutting the phone down for good. (I have 60 days) When I'm back in the US Cellular area they will reimburse the $150 fee & reactivate the phone.

    So for the time being I'm going to get a pre-paid phone (tracfone or Alltel) & then reactivate my account end of January.
     
  11. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    applebanana-
    Wow! What an ordeal! It is disgruntling to hear of your bad experiences with USCellular. Thank you for sharing your situation. It is good to know, and I don't doubt you.

    I have stopped in a few stores and called several times to USCellular CS asking about our situation from the beginning of the thread. I even spoke with two supervisors. All said as long as they have a national plan, and keep a national plan, use it wherever they like as much as they like. However, the did say to keep some form of address in their licensed areas or things can become sticky. We are in an area where our cellular providers keep selling, buying and getting divested. Personally, I originally started with Western Wireless 12/05. After being divested to Alltel then Unicel, I am now divested back to Verizon...two years after leaving them for various reasons. So, because we are all on a border, USCellular can serve our needs with free incoming and early nights and weekends.

    When we did have Alltel, we were all VERY happy with the service, prices and roaming capabilities the company allowed. There were times with more than 50% roaming, but never did the company care. For $59.99 they have 900mins, free MyCircle with 10#s, option for early N&W, great roaming (free), etc. However, if USCellular will reconcile everything, I wish you good luck.
     
  12. JasonWells

    JasonWells Junior Member
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    BTW- I have been quite pleased with my T-Mobile service. The customer service is exceptional!! The coverage is surprising, at least in my experiences, and the prices are good. T-Mobile also offers MyFaves for 5 numbers of free calling. However, I don't think they offer early N&W. 9pm is it. It's a work phone for me, so I don't get too concerned, but I agree with the others that T-Mobile is a good carrier.
     
  13. tyler101868

    tyler101868 Junior Member
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    It was probably the address change more than anything that caused the problem. If you just moved to a national plan, and just had your mail forwarded, it probably wouldn't be a problem. That's what most of the snow birds around here do, and I've yet to hear of any problems.

    It is in the fine print of the contract, in fact the agent I work for has that in a seperate sign off just for that.
     
  14. tearsonurcheek

    tearsonurcheek Junior Member
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    The two biggest problems with someone roaming 100% of the time are:

    1) uscc has no control over the network. If you have problems, you'll talk to Roamer Support, but they are limited as to what they can do for you.

    2) No nearby stores. If you have equipment issues, you'll either have to drive to the nearest store, or ship it to the manufactuerer yourself.
     
  15. Gonz

    Gonz Senior Member
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    USCC, American Roaming Network... LOL
    On billing, remember, you can almost always go paperless these days....

    I did with AT&T for a while when living out of area.
     
  16. tearsonurcheek

    tearsonurcheek Junior Member
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    Yes, once you sign up for My Account on uscc.com, you can go paperless. Initially, you'll only have online access to your last 3 bills, but each month will add to that, until you have an archive of your last 18 bills there.
     

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