Jump to content
  • Deals
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • News
  • Cruise Tips
,

Warning about consumer cellular


makai 7
 Share

Recommended Posts

We discovered that if you purchased the newest IPhone 14 models, and have consumer cellular as your carrier, you cannot use the phones outside of the United States.

 

they do not tell you this when you purchase the phone.  They simply have not figured out how to program the e-sim for roaming outside the US, so the phone is a useless brick.  They suggest using a t-mobile SIM card, which is not possible because the phone uses e-sim only, and then say, oh well, too bad, you won’t be able to make calls or send text messages.

 

other carriers have no problems using the phone overseas.  This is simply a consumer cellular incompetent business practice.  To make matters worse, even if you buy the phone outright and pay in full, they will not unlock the sim for 6 months.  They do not disclose the inability to use the phone.

 

Well, buyer beware, I was chastised by a customer service representative supervisor for being naive because I did not ask specifically if the phone could be used internationally before I purchased it.  Silly me.  I expected it to work just like my old iPhone.

 

 I recommend you do not do business with this company!  Unless you never travel outside the USA or never use a mobile phone outside the USA.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, that information is buried in the Consumer Cellular website eSIM FAQs. If you told the Consumer Cellular sales rep about your travel plans and weren't advised about the issue, that's a big fail on the company's part.

 

image.thumb.png.049ab9ef5500e888a1ba3bfb7f54a115.png

 

eSIM Information (consumercellular.com)

 

T-Mobile offers eSIM and since the iPhone 14 has support for at least 8 eSIMs, you should be able to use T-Mobile (or whatever MVNO/MNO you choose for cellular service that supports eSIM). Just make sure you set up the phone properly so international service/roaming (if appropriate) is directed to the proper eSIM.

 

SIM card & eSIM | T-Mobile Support

Edited by dwc13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/22/2022 at 8:20 PM, makai 7 said:

 

Well, buyer beware, I was chastised by a customer service representative supervisor for being naive because I did not ask specifically if the phone could be used internationally before I purchased it.  Silly me.  I expected it to work just like my old iPhone.

 

 

 

I re-read your post. The highlighted text is alarming and unprofessional, to say the least. Any knowledgeable and helpful wireless rep would know the limits of their network (or virtual network, in Consumer Cellular's case, since they resell AT&T and T-Mobile) and therefore ask the customer appropriate questions. Given how many people travel overseas and rely upon their smartphone while there, this line of questioning by the wireless rep should have been automatic given Consumer Cellular doesn't support international roaming on eSIM. 

 

Sounds like you got a lemon from a customer service standpoint. Perhaps file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is this just a iPhone 14 problem?

We have always known the Consumer Cellular did not support International service for any phone.  My wife could not use her iPhone 13 but she could hook up to WiFi anywhere in Europe and use it for texts and internet, but not for calling.  Same with my Moto G5 Plus.

But we could always buy an E-Sim card in Europe and used it all over the EU with no roaming.

 

Stan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, travelingman said:

Is this just a iPhone 14 problem?

We have always known the Consumer Cellular did not support International service for any phone.  My wife could not use her iPhone 13 but she could hook up to WiFi anywhere in Europe and use it for texts and internet, but not for calling.  Same with my Moto G5 Plus.

But we could always buy an E-Sim card in Europe and used it all over the EU with no roaming.

 

Stan

 

Current US iPhone 14 models are eSIM only; there is no SIM (physical card) tray, a change from previous iPhone models. As such, OP's iPhone 14 is loaded with a Consumer Cellular eSIM. Consumer Cellular doesn't support international roaming when an eSIM is used with its service. Unfortunately, that disclaimer is not prominently listed on the company's webpage where international roaming rates are listed, but rather it is somewhat hidden in the eSIM FAQs. Per the OP's post, the CC sales rep didn't mention this significant limitation at the time of purchase, which IMO is a big fail. 

 

If a SIM (physical card) is used with Consumer Cellular, international roaming is (apparently) available. There are international roaming rates listed on Consumer Cellular's website which support the notion such service is available under the right circumstances. That being said, I am not a Consumer Cellular customer so grain of salt. 

 

It is easier and more cost effective for MVNOs such as Consumer Cellular to implement eSIMs on smartphones that support such technology. Thus, your wife's iPhone 13 (and your Moto G5 Plus) might have a Consumer Cellular eSIM loaded rather than a SIM (physical card). That could explain why both of you were not able to use CC services in Europe via cellular (international roaming). Remember, Consumer Cellular doesn't support international roaming on eSIM. 

 

In order to use Wi-Fi calling: (1) Wi-Fi calling must be supported by and enabled on the smartphone; (2) Wi-Fi calling must be included in the wireless plan and enabled by the MVNO/MNO (in your case, Consumer Cellular) in its back office; and, (3) Wi-Fi calls are not being blocked by the MVNO/MNO. Not sure why you weren't able to use Wi-Fi calling while in Europe but that's a discussion you might consider having with CC.

 

Anyone on a Mediterranean or Baltic cruise, or traveling in Europe for several weeks, it's worth looking at prepaid wireless plans covering multiple European countries from Vodaphone, Orange or other providers. If for no other reason, to avoid the pain associated with getting throttled at 2G speeds once a 'high speed' international roaming data usage cap is hit. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanation.  i guess the good thing is there are multiple eSIM "slots" available on the iPhone 14 so another international eSIM can be loaded on to the phone.

As for us, we went with Consumer Cellular for the rates and n ot for the international service.

 

Stan

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Forum Assistance - Welcome to Cruise Critic
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of the TripInsuranceStore.com - November 2022
      • Holiday Exchange - Jingle and Mingle 2022
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • Canadian Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...