A Comparison of Two U.S. Cell Phone Carriers

Disclaimer: This article is published on one of the reviewee’s sites, so it is not without bias. Please make sure you verify our claims using independent, 3rd party services in order to make the most informed decision.

What are Consumer Cellular and Community Phone?

Consumer Cellular and Community Phone are “virtual operators.” They both lease towers from the network operators (Verizon and Sprint, respectively) and repackage it for customers, often at lower prices than customers can get directly from the network operators.

Several Large Differences

Consumer Cellular was founded in 1995 and Community Phone was founded in 2017, so Consumer Cellular is a far more established company. At the time of this writing, Consumer Cellular has millions of customers while Community Phone has close to a thousand.

Both companies serve individuals across all 50 states. However, Community Phone offers in-person set up and support in Boston while Consumer Cellular will require you to come to its select retail stores or use email/phone support exclusively. It is important to note that Consumer Cellular’s locations in Target will not be able to assist with set up.

Community Phone takes a broad look at customer support, helping them with annoyances like iCloud, online scam prevention, and maintaining privacy while browsing the web. Consumer Cellular’s support sticks to the standard: making sure your service is connecting to the network and handling complaints with the monthly bill.

Community Phone’s modest scale allows it to focus 100% of its energy on exciting and delighting existing members. On the other hand, we often hear that Consumer Cellular has multiple-hour wait times when calling in, due to its massive scale.

Community Phone uses the Sprint network, while Consumer Cellular uses the T-Mobile and AT&T networks. Consumer Cellular offers a 5% discount for AARP members, while Community Phone currently has no discount for AARP members.

Community Phone offers a 60-day risk free money back gaurantee, while Consumer Cellular offers a 30-day risk free money back guarantee.

Shared Interpretation Of “No Contract”

Consumer Cellular and Community Phone both advertise no contract cell phone plans. And that’s true for monthly service charges for accessing the network. However, both companies do offer device amortizations via monthly installments and both do require full payment for those devices.

Consumer Cellular will require a “hard” credit check which may affect one’s credit score, while Community Phone currently does not perform credit checks.

Community Engagement

Community Phone is a community driven cell phone company. That means Community Phone promotes the lives and work of its members each month in its newsletter, and encourages other members on the network to do the same. The goal of Community Phone is to make technology both more powerful and more accesible by focusing exclusively on improving the lives of people who use technology.

Community Phone champions its customers, and you’ll see some of the photos we’ve gotten to take with them throughout this site.

Conclusion

Community Phone focuses on service and community engagement above and beyond what traditional phone companies like Consumer Cellular offer. Community Phone is also substantially smaller than Consumer Cellular. Again, please review all 3rd party reports like Yelp and other testimonials to get a less biased sense of which company is a fit for you.