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  1. #1
    maximuslyricus
    maximuslyricus is offline
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    I am a pretty budget conscious person when it comes to cellular service providers. Yes, I'd love to have all the bells and whistles of the newest smartphone and wireless plans, but in today's economy I just have other priorities and really can't afford the whims of cellular providers' contracts and pricing schemes. That being said, I decided to check out U Prepaid, the service offered by U.S. Cellular in partnership with Alltel (the originator of the brand). I live in the U.S. cellular coverage area, so I am only going to review the U.S. cellular side because I suspect that the two providers draw a line between what the customer experiences on the web site depending on a customer's zip code.

    My biggest problems with the U Prepaid web site is that it lacks information. There is only general information about their service and phones. There is no "faqs" link, or even a just a simple question and answers forum. You have to dig deep for information by going through the T.O.S., and even then information is lacking. Moreover, there is scant information or U Prepaid reviews on the web. I was trying to find out things like whether or not I could bring my own U.S. Cellular or Altell phone (because their choice of phones leave a lot to be desired according to so-so reviews that were "all over the place"). I wanted to find out what type of speed I would be dealing with for data, and whether the speed was throttled at any particular point. The web site just lacks information, such as what extra fees will be applied, if any, to the total cost of the plans. To me, these are simple questions that should be somewhere fairly obvious on the U Prepaid site. Currently, you can't even purchase or activate a phone online. When I initially visited the web site I hit the contact us link, thinking that there would be an email address, or the possibility of a chat session. All they provide is a phone number, which I don't mind, but when someone from India answers the phone and doesn't quite understand all your questions due to language and/or accent barriers, you become even more frustrated. But, you know, I decided to "let all of that go", and decided to go to the Wal-Mart in the next town to check their phones out for myself (which further agitated me because their is a Wal-Mart Supercenter about two-thirds closer to my home that is also in U Prepaid's coverage area). As fate would have it, this particular Wal-Mart only carried the basic flip and candy bar phone. Moreover, they just had packages on the rack, as opposed to having a spot where you could actually touch "dummy" phones like seemingly every other carrier in the place. And, to top it off, they didn't have two out of the four phones that U Prepaid offers. That was the last straw.

    This brought me here reviewing and ranting about the lack of customer service on the U Prepaid web site which makes me question U.S. Cellular's true commitment to U Prepaid, and its own customer service. I made my feelings known via U.S. Cellular's web site. Like I intimated earlier, there is a stark difference between U.S. Cellular and its U Prepaid service. I had to rate my lack of customer service about U Prepaid's website via U.S. Cellular's site because there is really no way to write or rate anything on uprepaid-uscellular.net, save for suspect cell phones.

    U.S. Cellular is going out of its way to laud its superior customer service, but apparently U.S. Cellular must have forgotten that its U Prepaid service is just as much a part of U.S. Cellular in the minds of knowledgeable customers. I understand that it's a value service, but if U.S. Cellular is going to provide U Prepaid, then they need to treat it like much more than an afterthought.


    See More: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?
    Last edited by maximuslyricus; 08-14-2012 at 01:00 PM. Reason: Felt compelled to get the word "review" in the title/thread
    tavenger5 likes this.



  2. #2
    avenue
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    I'm surprised they don't have a way to contact them online. Even the cheapest prepaid providers still have a forum or some way of contacting them over the Internet.

    Are there any U.S Cellular stores in your area that you can go to?

    Also, have you thought about getting another provider that is easier to get in touch with?



  3. #3
    maximuslyricus
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    According to uscellular.com they do have a store within minutes of that particular Wal-Mart, but that location is not listed on U prepaid's site. I would imagine, much like other subsidiaries, that the lines of demarcation are pretty much set in stone, and that it would be a lesson in futlilty to try and get reps at a U.S. Cellular store to give me any information about their budget, red-headed stepbrother. You know how corporations do. They'd ultimately end up telling me to call the number in India or write to corporate. I am hoping that making my feelings known on the web will ultimately lead to quicker changes.

    I have three lines with Walmart Family Mobile (the MVNO powered by T-Mo). The service was quite adequate for my needs until I moved. Now I have a crappy signal indoors, and that's the reason why I was considering U Prepaid. Their tower is much closer, plus it's CDMA as opposed to GSM. And, yes, I have been considering another carrier like Sprint (Boost or Virgin), Cricket (skeptical), Straight Talk or, Lord forbid, Verizon. Metro PCs hasn't quite made it here yet.



  4. #4
    avenue
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    If Verizon and Sprint are both in your area then you have some good prepaid alternatives, some of which you've mentioned, like Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, or Straight Talk. Please let us know which carrier you decide to switch to and how you like their service.



  5. #5
    goodsellryan
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    I completely agree with maximus lyricus about the customer service provided. I went ahead and bought the cheap $20 phone with the $30 plan, and i can not figure out how to handle my payment options online. They have no way for you to set up an account to be able to pay online, but yet they tell you that you will be automatically charged. I dont understand it because you need a way to cancel, or upgrade your plan online.



  6. #6
    EmmaKille
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    I too agree with maximus lyricus.
    For Mobile Device Management, Enterprise Mobile Apps and Beyond,Mobility Management and the CIO search Enterprise Mobile Hub



  7. #7
    Mr Phone
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    Here's the Deal with U Prepaid. You need to call US Cellular at 1-888-944-9400 and ask for the Prepaid Dept. When you get them on the phone you can then Activate. Setup Auto Pay Cancel Ect. Hope this helps.



  8. #8
    molife
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    Anyone have an update on U-Prepaid.
    For my needs the $30.00 plan is very attractive and would save me money over my existing plan with U.S. Cellular. I called customer service and made absolutely no headway and could barely understand the rep, he even told me I couldn't port my existing phone number over to U-Prepaid because I was on U.S. Cellular.
    I am in the same situation as maximus with U.S. Cellular being about the only option for service in my area and they are not sold at my local Walmart.
    I am wondering with this kind of service if they will survive, does anyone know how many customers they have?



  9. #9
    maximuslyricus
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    Quote Originally Posted by avenue View Post
    If Verizon and Sprint are both in your area then you have some good prepaid alternatives, some of which you've mentioned, like Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, or Straight Talk. Please let us know which carrier you decide to switch to and how you like their service.
    OK, people, mainly due to being cheap (at least for now) I decided to get a signal repeater. The SOHO repeater is not perfect by any means, because I think I get a small amount of signal oscillation at times being that my place is small. Sometimes the bars are at 5 and sometimes 0, but I pretty much know where I can hold a decent conversation in the house. I was more concerned with the texting however, and I can pretty much text without issue from my couch, so I am going to deal with not having a perfect signal for now.

    It doesn't look like U.S. Cellular's U Prepaid is gonna change its customer service issues anytime soon, so I have given up on that idea. I am still considering Straight Talk and Verizon's prepaid, and being that my wife started working again, I just may switch altogether. If I do, I will probably let you know. Lastly, I have my eyes on the Sprint-Softbank merger which in turn has made me aware of Dish and Google's seemingly imminent inroads into the cellular service market. If Softbank mirrors what they did in Japan, then I will be a contracted Sprint customer before its all said and done.



  10. #10
    avenue
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    re: U Prepaid (via U.S. Cellular) Review: Lack of/Bad Customer Service?

    Quote Originally Posted by molife View Post
    Anyone have an update on U-Prepaid.
    For my needs the $30.00 plan is very attractive and would save me money over my existing plan with U.S. Cellular. I called customer service and made absolutely no headway and could barely understand the rep, he even told me I couldn't port my existing phone number over to U-Prepaid because I was on U.S. Cellular.
    I am in the same situation as maximus with U.S. Cellular being about the only option for service in my area and they are not sold at my local Walmart.
    I am wondering with this kind of service if they will survive, does anyone know how many customers they have?
    I've heard something similar with other providers regarding that porting issue. It seems some providers can't port within their network. So, although your number is within U.S Cellular's network, since it is on their contract side, they can't easily transfer it to prepaid. You can try talking with a supervisor to see if they can escalate the issue and find a way to push it through.

    Quote Originally Posted by maximuslyricus View Post
    OK, people, mainly due to being cheap (at least for now) I decided to get a signal repeater. The SOHO repeater is not perfect by any means, because I think I get a small amount of signal oscillation at times being that my place is small. Sometimes the bars are at 5 and sometimes 0, but I pretty much know where I can hold a decent conversation in the house. I was more concerned with the texting however, and I can pretty much text without issue from my couch, so I am going to deal with not having a perfect signal for now.

    It doesn't look like U.S. Cellular's U Prepaid is gonna change its customer service issues anytime soon, so I have given up on that idea. I am still considering Straight Talk and Verizon's prepaid, and being that my wife started working again, I just may switch altogether. If I do, I will probably let you know. Lastly, I have my eyes on the Sprint-Softbank merger which in turn has made me aware of Dish and Google's seemingly imminent inroads into the cellular service market. If Softbank mirrors what they did in Japan, then I will be a contracted Sprint customer before its all said and done.
    If you're looking for a better repeater you can purchase something from Wilson Electronics. From what I've heard, they work good. I think they're for sale at Best Buy, and online of course.



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