Just a couple of weeks ago, Consumer Cellular launched an offer giving new lines of service $25 account credits. The offer was scheduled to last until September 30, 2021. Well, things have now changed. Consumer Cellular has upped the ante. New lines of service with Consumer Cellular will now get $100 account credits. Current customers that add a line are also eligible for the credits. A credit will be awarded for every line added to an account. This new offer is scheduled to be available at least until October 31, 2021.
$100 Account Credit Offer Fine Print
Consumer Cellular hasn't really specified any fine print with the offer. There usually isn't much fine to unravel with their offers anyway. So I imagine it will be the same as before. The $100 account credits will most likely be applied to the customer's first invoice following activation of each new line of service. Lines must remain active and in service at the end of the first billing period to claim the credits.
To qualify for the credits, new lines of service do not have to be just with a Consumer Cellular phone plan. Customers can add a new tablet line or convert their landlines to a line on their accounts and still claim the credits. An unlimited GrandPad tablet or CC ConnectPad data tablet line costs $40/month. Customers can also grab a "home phone base" from Consumer Cellular to convert their landlines into cellular lines. Home phone base subscriptions cost $15/month.
Available Phone Plans
Consumer Cellular's phone plans start at $25/month for unlimited talk and text with 500MB of shared data. It's $15/month for talk only plans with 250 minutes and $20 for unlimited minutes. Additional shared data lines can be added to any unlimited talk and text plan for $15/month. A summary of Consumer Cellular's monthly unlimited talk and text shared data plans follows below:
$20 - 500MB shared data
$25 - 4GB shared data
$35 - 10GB shared data
$45 - 15GB shared data
$55 - 35GB high-speed shared data before throttling
Subscribers that go over their plans monthly data allotments automatically get upgraded to the next higher tiered data plan except on the $55 plan where data is throttled after 35GB.
Why The Sudden Promo Change?
It is unusual for Consumer Cellular to be altering its promos just days after launching. I don't recall seeing a dramatic and aggressive promo change like this from the company before. It would seem that the original promo, despite being marketed on TV, is not performing as nearly as well as hoped.
Consumer Cellular is sold in Target stores. Sales for Consumer Cellular in Target stores may have slowed over the last year and a half due to Target revamping its cellular department and a loss of third-party staffing in some locations. Third-party staffing offered customer care and support for Consumer Cellular customers. The Covid pandemic also likely hurt in store sales. It is unclear whether the promo is online only or also available in Target stores. Consumer Cellular doesn't usually offer online only promos. Either way, an aggressive promo change such as this may help to offset slowing sales in the retail channel.
Consumer Cellular was acquired by GTCR last year for $2.3 billion. GTCR may be looking to more aggressively grow its subscriber base through the promo change to help spawn a quicker return on its investment.
I asked Jeff Moore, Principal of Wave7 Research, what he thought about the sudden promo change and he responded: "Since Consumer Cellular was acquired by GTCR, the company has operated the same as before, until now. This $100 port-in offer is a break from that and shows that Consumer Cellular is getting more aggressive."