US Cellular Corporation US Cellular USCC USM ,NYSE, US Cellular will treat you like a number and may be up to shady operations. any any Nationwide!!. When I joined US Cellular I had just got a great job which allowed me to buy a nice cell phone plan. At the time US Celllular had an unlimited plan which included data, calls, and the works. It wasn’t too expensive (maybe a little over $100 per month + the phone and fees) and I never experienced a dropped call or any service problems. That is, until I had troubles paying my bills. Whenever you become behind on your US Cellular plan they will shut your line off, and that is completely fair and normal. The troubles I see are when you want to reactivate… they will charge you a fee for them to click a few boxes and reactivate your phone. I don’t remember the reactivation fee amount, but it’s significant especially when you scrape money together anyway to put the phone back on. Again, this is probably something listed on the contract you sign. So you agree to it, however it is how the company views its customers. They have to say they want to help and want their customers to be happy. So far the points I’ve made are only small and only bicker-worthy. The problem with huge companies like US Cellular is that they are incredibly large and handle such volume of customers, that they have difficulty treating your case with care and precision. Consider my ending relationship with them: I couldn’t keep up with the bills again. I decided to call them and try anything to reduce the amount… or close it if necessary. I called customer service and explained my situation. They redirected me to a Solutions person, and she was very knowledgeable and helpful. She explained I could eliminate my insurances on the phone, and if necessary, temporarily suspend the account until I could pay more. Eliminating the insurance would save me $40 a month, but I still had to suspend it. I was no longer on an unlimited plan (which US Cellular can create and destroy at their leisure) and didn’t feel that $140 a month for 2GB of data was worth it. I suspended the account and was told I could call back later to reactivate. Wouldn’t you know it… when the two months came up I did NOT call to reactivate. They cancelled my account and everything got messed up. It was my responsibility to call back, however I had found a very nice plan with AT&T. I forgot about it, and that is my fault. But the following is certainly not my fault. Immediately as those two months expired there was an account on my credit under the name of MRS (a debt collector for USC) from five years earlier. Convenient how I was never told about this, or was allowed to create a new account and phone line while having this oustanding debt from five years ago. I called and asked about this coincidence. No one gave me a clear answer. USC told me they have no paperwork on the debt, just a note on my account that this was owed. So I called MRS to inquire; they said US Cellular would have the info. Instead of calling MRS then USC then MRS then USC I asked two questions: 1) Why is USC saying they have no info also, and 2) can i settle? Suddenly the MRS representative found something, further down the screenI suppose. MRS had more info on the account than USC did. So we talked and resolved the issue. No gripes with MRS, because they actually worked with me. I called US Cellular a few days later. Suddenly my PIN was wrong, and my name was not the one on the account. HUH? My girlfriend and I opened a joint account there those five years back, but since opened our own accounts seperately. For some reason USC either fumbled my account into my girlfriend’s, or they purposely (and shadily) made it difficult for me to access my account so that it would go to collections?? This doesn’t seem logical. However there were several more phone attempts to access my account. Still the PIN and name were wrong. I couldn’t do anything. This is where Diversified Adjustment Service (DAS) came into the picture. Again USC had mysteriously been unreachable about the account. I do realize that I neglected the account and my responsibilitikes as outlined in the contract. But the pattern was unmistakeable. Once my account became oustanding, access to accounts became difficult and there was some cat-and-mouse with USC and collections. I am still paying DAS but my gripe is with USC. They are too large a company (a tech company at that) to have such technical mistakes. I called again a few weeks ago – this is when USC finally let me into my account, recognizing both my name and PIN, and this is where they told me how the debt got so high. Cancellation fee plus once the suspension was over I never called back, so they assumed I quit them. That’s fair, but why did it take so long to get an answer, why the sudden access now, and why after I talked extensively with the collector? To me there are patterns in the way a company does business. Once they deviate you must be suspicious, especially when it comes with settling debts. USC obviously has several comapnies it uses for debt collections, but on each occasion that I dealt with one of these collectors it’s as if USC woke up and unmuddied their tracks. I don’t think USC is a BAD company; no, they provide a good service and product. However, their underlying structure and problem-solving is horrendous. But you can afford to push people around when you are that big. If you’ve experienced similar situations please speak up. There’s always three sides to every story, just like to every consumer report. There’s your side, their side, and the thin line connecting the two. That’s where we find truth. Pay attention to your business relationships and alwasy be suspicious when patterns change, new patterns emerge, and when things start to change when you stir the pot. Dont let USC treat you like cattle. But remember to be honest about your part. Even if you are in the wrong, there is no reason for the company to mislead you, cover things up, make things difficult, or whatever. I used to love USC, but now I’ll do fine with my $25 /mo AT&T plan.
US Cellular Corporation