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U.S. Cellular Kills Its Reward Program, Other Perks
by Karl Bode 08:52AM Wednesday Sep 04 2013
U.S. Cellular has very quietly migrated away from several consumer-friendly policies that had differentiated the carrier from larger competitors like AT&T and Verizon. The company has shelved their "Belief Project" brand and program, which was introduced back in 2010, which eliminated the requirement that customers sign a new two-year contract after completing the first one. Also killed? A program that provided free replacement batteries, a 3% discount for those who signed up for auto-pay, and an early (every 10-11 month) handset upgrade program. The changes are courtesy of new U.S. Cellular CEO Kenneth Meyers.

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drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

more benefits

Other benefits lavished on US Cellular customers in the last 6 weeks is a new billing system. The conversion had their system down for a week, no phone activations, no access to customer accounts. The online customer account access has been spotty, online account does not show data usage when it does come up. Hold times for customer service are an hour or more. Meyers has taken the company straight in to the ground. While not signing contracts sounds like a good idea, anybody with half a brain would know that somebody could get new phones at a discount, cancel and sell the phones and go to a different carrier with no ETF. Not a smart business model. Phone signal has gone down recently and "4G" speeds are virtually non existent in populated areas.
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Bengie25

join:2010-04-22
Wisconsin Rapids, WI
Reviews:
·Solarus

Re: more benefits

I've been when them for over 10 years, so I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt.

As someone who worked in IT and other related fields, I can appreciate down time and transition issues if the old system was broken. It may appear to the outside users that it worked, but it may be because of lots of bandaids that made the transition worse.

When the battery swap went away, my wife asked someone what was up with that. They said it was costing the company millions per year to keep many types of batteries stocked, but almost no one used it.

As for the "Belief" system, maybe they're going to replace it with something else.

I'll wait and see.

cb14

join:2013-02-04
Miami Beach, FL
Reviews:
·callwithus
·T-Mobile US
·localphone.com
·Google Voice
·Callcentric
·AT&T U-Verse
·magicjack.com

Re: more benefits

said by Bengie25:

When the battery swap went away, my wife asked someone what was up with that. They said it was costing the company millions per year to keep many types of batteries stocked, but almost no one used it.
I'll wait and see.

What an idiotic statement. that's what the corporate does, they just say something regardless how ridiculous it is.
They do not have to stick millions of batteries and they never did. they just re order them any time like we do when we need a battery.

It is a very bad policy to eliminate the positive distinction.
But then again, the same idiotic American belief in the super CEO, the God Almighty who comes in as Messiah from where ever and on his own turns around and improves everything, at the cost of a few hundred millions of dollars in salary , bonuses and golden parachute.
It has been proven again and again that this is a myth, the best performers are the long time inconspicuous employees within the company with often modest salaries, but who cares these days about the facts.
applerule

join:2012-12-23
Mars Hill, NC
kudos:1
Reviews:
·US Cellular
·Frontier Communi..
·Millenicom
I don't have any complaints about their service, but their new billing system is definitely not working. I have been on auto-draft for a long time and they have completely missed drafting my August payment. Like clockwork, my bill is drafted the first week of the month. I had a draft on June 3rd, July 3rd, nothing for August, then one this week on the 4th. Their online services have been down so much that everytime I try to look at my account it's down or something is wrong, so I've just given up. If I owe them for the missing month, they're going to have to contact me, because contacting them is near impossible.
silbaco
Premium
join:2009-08-03
USA

US Cellular

US Cellular seems to be trying to lose customers as quickly as possible. They are already coming out with family data plans that mimic the big carriers at a similar price without the network and phone selection to back it up. They are currently having huge billing issues with people not receiving their bill on time and autopay failing, causing people to have their accounts suspended. Their stores actually had to shutdown for a period of time because they couldn't do anything for customers. And the company won't even apologize for any it.

A lot of speculation that they are preparing themselves for a sale to Sprint or Verizon.

n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

Re: US Cellular

said by silbaco:

A lot of speculation that they are preparing themselves for a sale to Sprint or Verizon.

Sounds right on the money. Companies seem to go through a self-destruct phase when they want to dump themselves.
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IowaMan
Premium
join:2008-08-21
Grinnell, IA
Reviews:
·Mediacom
My money's on Sprint, It is VERY obvious they want to sell and to take your HOMETOWN of Chicago Il. and sell it just screams "Why not take the whole compony" I'm glad I jumped ship when I did because it only sounds like a matter of time before they do just buy it all anyway. I've been with Sprint a little under 1 year now and i'm happy. Speeds on 3G very from 400 to 1.5 Mbps but i'm mostly on WIFI anyway.

kg4icg

join:2003-11-16
Herndon, VA

Re: US Cellular

You are a little late, Sprint has already got Chicago from them.

atuarre
Here come the drums
Premium
join:2004-02-14
Conroe, TX
I would say Sprint also. I don't think they'll let Verizon gobble anyone else up right now.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable

Goodbye

As a long time customer who was transitioned to them when Cellular One was taken over in the area, I think it's time to say goodbye to U.S. Cellular.

4G roaming is probably never going to happen. If it ever does happen, it'll probably be all of 200MB to roam with (also a lame policy).

Have been looking at moving to another carrier anyway (Don't want a GSM based carrier, Sprint is somewhat limited in rural areas, so that leaves "Big Red"), and after I learned about this, I think it's time. How convenient that the "no contract!" bullshit lasted all of *just about exactly two years.*

Also funny to see an article above this one about "extending the life of your phone with ROMs" ...yeah, that'd be nice, except for the fact that Motorola / nVidia totally screwed me on that too with the Electrify (the "best" Android based phone available from U.S. Cellular at the time), so I'm using a phone that SHOULD BE capable of 4.x, but is stuck on 2.3.

buzz_4_20

join:2003-09-20
Limestone, ME

Turning Into Everyone Else.

They HAD 4G unlimited. I was considering it, but now it's just like everyone else, just wanting to wring those customers for every cent they can.
Technicholas
Premium
join:2010-11-11
Winterset, IA

The Program Appears to be still active.

"Reward Points" are still on their website if you go to plans, wonder if they will make customers migrate off of the plan their prices keep going up around here in Iowa and everyone is switching to Verizon for more reliable service.

drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

Re: The Program Appears to be still active.

Reward points is about the only thing that they didn't drop.

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101

Quick karl question.

Wasn't U.S. cellular bought out by sprint recently? The contractor that was putting a new front porch on the house mentioned he got a letter from U.S. cellular and sprint the same day in the mail.

drslash
Goya Asma
Premium
join:2002-02-18
Marion, IA

Re: Quick karl question.

US Cellular customers in St. Louis, Chicago, and central Illinois were sold to Sprint. It was about 500,000 customers.
Bob61571

join:2008-08-08
Washington, IL
Reviews:
·MTCO Communicati..
·DIRECTV
·Frontier Communi..

Re: Quick karl question.

Above is true. They sold their I-55 and I-57 corridors(places like Springfield, Decatur, Champaign-Urbana, and Bloomington-Normal). Did not affect Peoria though. Heard rumors that majority of customers are not going w/Sprint. They have until late October to switch from USC. Chicago customers get until around January 2014.
Pair Gain

join:2002-12-23
Washington
»gigaom.com/2013/05/17/420000-u-s···rovider/

David
I start new work on
Premium,VIP
join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
kudos:101
Reviews:
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·magicjack.com
·Google Voice
said by David:

Wasn't U.S. cellular bought out by sprint recently? The contractor that was putting a new front porch on the house mentioned he got a letter from U.S. cellular and sprint the same day in the mail.

ok, that explains a bit.
Os

join:2011-01-26
US
Reviews:
·Comcast

USCC Is Getting Really Bad

I get dropped calls all the time, 4G is very spotty and slow here in Western MD with my Samsung Galaxy S3. 4G rarely is much faster than what DSL would be.

They dropped My Contacts Backup, dropped the Battery Swap, and raised the cost of all their plans. Now if the Rewards program goes away and they force me to sign more contracts, what am I staying for? I expect my plan for 5GB data, unlimited texts and nationwide calling for $69.99 will go the way of the dodo soon too.

If AT&T launches 4G here, I'll be tempted to switch. Verizon doesn't serve this part of MD.

jhacker

join:2001-12-11
Peoria, IL

USCC is ready to sell off its network!

Our first mobile carrier was US Cellular, back in '93. I remember that big, ugly Novatel phone! I stayed with them for a few years, went to VZW for a few, then to Sprint, and back to USCC in February of 2012. If they are indeed taking the belief program away, these will be our last phones with US Cellular. As others have said, they have taken every advantage they have over the other bigger carriers. Only problem is that I won't get raped by Verizon, and won't ever go back to Sprint! That leaves AT&T, which I also hate, and T-mobile. T-mobile has horrible coverage in our area. I guess we would just have to go back to Verizon and get raped, unless we use a prepaid carrier with a poor selection of phones!