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In your opinion, why hasn't US Cellular had the growth in customers?

yourvoiceofreason

Sep 12, 2011, 2:53 PM
For those who work for US Cellular or who are very familiar with it, why do you think US Cellular has struggled to have customer growth in the last couple of years? Is it due to:

- lack of handsets

- price of plans

- being a small carrier

- too much fierce competition

- something else

I am not intending on this being a US Cellular bashing thread, but rather I want to get people's opinions who are familiar with US Cellular. It seems as though this company has good coverage, including rural coverage, and good customer service. So I am curious to see why you think it is struggling to grow the customer base.
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HeCellsCellPhones

Sep 12, 2011, 4:47 PM
Oh Oh Oh Pick Me!!!!

Can I choose all of the above?
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yourvoiceofreason

Sep 12, 2011, 4:57 PM
But US Cellular has always had many of the challenges listed; however, in the past, it had some growth. Why isn't it the same now?
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retrowhitey

Sep 12, 2011, 6:08 PM
Because the market is moving to smartphones. The latest and greatest. U.S. Cellular is always the last to get new phones ALWAYS! And it's not by a week or two it's months. People don't want to have to wait for them to get with it. Another is data roaming they're not a nationwide company who wants to get a smartphone and then be shut off if they use 50% of their usage off of USCC network? I know other carriers have the same rule however their network is a lot bigger, a lot bigger.
I do love the fact that there is only 1 contract, but prices for current customers with family plans jump at least $20. I would be ticked enough to leave if I was told I couldn't get all those benefits without paying more $$$ per month.
Maybe if they would get th...
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geoslay53

Sep 12, 2011, 7:07 PM
Once again, people are making comments about USCC that they do not know why no growth. It is not because USCC do not have the greatest and lastest phone. Over the last two years, USCC has been coming out with Great phones quick and same time as other carriers. Example. Blackberry Torch, came out on Sprint first. Two weeks last USCC. Verizon Wireless Two weeks last. VZW is Last! The data roaming issue is a data rule. It is a voice rules. So what if USCC is not nation carrier. Lowest issue on roaming then zny other carriers. If it works no issue. Last if you are talk about Belief Plan. Family Plans with you get more features. And if you are current customer, you do not have to change your plan. And getting iPhone will not help sales or custome...
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SAWig

Sep 13, 2011, 1:32 AM
Not everyone wants an iPhone, I usually try for something new and different. I live in a rural area and USCC and I believe VZW are the only two companies that have service here. Only issue VZW is too big of a company to come here.

So my money will still go to USCC for having coverage and customer service.
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retrowhitey

Sep 13, 2011, 6:07 PM
U.S. Cellular has 2 high end devices. Samsung Mesmerize and HTC Desire. Granted they did release the Desire before anyone in the US, but the phone was going on a year old in Europe. Yes they did release the Torch in a timely manner, but BB is dying, really fast. When you compare their smartphone lineup to any national carrier it still has a long way to go! Now I know they are releasing the Motorola Electrify, Desire 2, and a few other high end phones soon, but this should've been done a long time ago.
#2 To say "Who cares?" about the national carrier thing makes no sense. Who wants to go on vacation have a problem with their phone and not be able to go to a store in the local area because there is no store? Oh PS The 50% rule is DATA and V...
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vzbanger

Sep 13, 2011, 7:35 AM
Question: looking at uscc for my parents. Does the 50% roaming shut off apply even with the new beleif plan?
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retrowhitey

Sep 13, 2011, 6:08 PM
yes
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drksyde

Oct 18, 2011, 2:02 PM
Just as a heads up. I have been with US Cellular as an agent for 10 years and live in an area (New England)where roaming can be rampant due to the smaller nature of our states. NEVER have I seen anyone get shut off.

FACT: MOST people use the phone 99.9% of the time in the areas they live in.

I would not worry about this rule and yes it does apply to every carrier.
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bid you well

Sep 15, 2011, 5:19 PM
LOL! iPhone would create more problems!!!!
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retrowhitey

Sep 15, 2011, 8:37 PM
Why is it that people that if a carrier doesn't have iPhone everybody is like iPhone is the worst/causes problems/is nothing but garbage/stole my 401k/lost my grandmother's dentures ect., but when you ask any other company what the best selling handset in their lineup is it's the iPhone. Now if it is such a popular device how could it not help by adding it to the lineup?
I know they have been adding Android phones and that's great, and I'm not trying to be some kind of Apple fanatic, but this is common sense. iPhone sells and it sells better than any device on the market.
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krickt

Oct 1, 2011, 10:51 PM
It sells, but there is no margin on it. You barely make enough to cover the cost of the bag, box and papers. Apple won't allow anyone else but them to make any money on it. I have a RadioShack Franchise as well, and I promise you there the profit on the Iphone is laughable.
k
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bjoyen

Oct 18, 2011, 2:29 PM
I don't think as a carrier, you should be concered with profit margin on the handset. USC makes plenty of money on their plans/data that they could still be competitive with the iPhone.

From your response, I'm assuming your an agent though, and USC is notorious for screwing over agents, so I do somewhat understand your point.
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n.blanchard

Nov 22, 2011, 5:01 PM
Unfortunately with Apple wanting USCC to contractually agree to purchasing more iphones then they have customers, its just not a good business decision. Sprint bought something like 20 million....they aren't going to turn a profit for at least a year. I'm not going to argue that the iphone sells great and people DO still want the iphone....but USCC as a company doesn't want Apple dictating what they do. I will agree that it would grow their customer base, but as a company it just wasn't a smart decision.
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drksyde

Oct 18, 2011, 2:03 PM
The iPhone sells because of incredibly well done marketing. NOT because it is the best phone. THats just a fact in today's world. Whomever markets the best outsells the rest.
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maxymax

Sep 13, 2011, 1:31 PM
It's all the above. I've noticed USCC's handsets seem to be going backwards in features too. The previous batch of feature phones had 2 megapixel cameras and now the latest have 1.3. I would have thought the latest would have 3.0 not 1.3. They are cutting the quality to increase profits because the phone prices sure aren't going down any. US Cellular is undeveloped in some areas too like St Louis which isn't even 3G. How can you compete when you are about 5 years behind the competition? Nobody in their right mind would have US Cellular in St. Louis when they are in the stone ages there. US Cellular also doesn't own any major markets except Chicago and St. Louis and they don't have any money to expand into new markets. They also lack...
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bid you well

Sep 15, 2011, 5:40 PM
Its not that USC is going backwards feature phone wise, it's that the manufacturers are going backwards. Phone manufacturers are trying to transition consumers from feature phones to smart phones. Basically forcing consumers to buy smart phones if they want a decent camera or touchscreen. And US Cellular will expand if/when they want to. I don't think they necessarily want to expand. And finally in reguards to their plans; they are bundled but there are still add-on options available for all of them.

Post Script: $50 modem plan is not the only modem plan Smile
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retrowhitey

Sep 15, 2011, 8:31 PM
Yeah you can add insurance lol. That's about as customizable as it gets.
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bid you well

Sep 17, 2011, 4:26 PM
There are two types of data add-ons available, there is a text messaging add-on available, and USC includes a lot of features in their plans that are normally add-ons at other companies. Take, for instance, nights and weekends. AT&T's nights and weekends start at 9pm but you can buy the extra add-on to make nights and weekends start at 7pm. At USC nights and weekends always start at 7pm.
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mobilemadness

Sep 19, 2011, 1:15 PM
That sounds like a scam going on. The phone manufacturers have the ability to make feature phones with better resolution cameras, but are now purposely going backwards in order to "nudge" customers into buying smartphones and paying more to their carrier for the data service.
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Joshiwa

Sep 21, 2011, 10:59 AM
Your right. Camera's on cell phones are the only thing people look for and will dive into a high bill and pricey phone just for a camera that makes calls. Rolling Eyes
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mobilemadness

Sep 21, 2011, 11:12 AM
Obviously you don't get it. Manufacturers are deliberately making their feature phones less appealing to give people no choice but to switch to a smart phone. I guess you're okay with that though. Rolling Eyes
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woody84

Sep 23, 2011, 1:33 PM
Look again if camera is important to you. They have a bunch of 3.0, a few 5.0 and one 8.0 cameras
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Anonymously

Oct 1, 2011, 10:11 PM
U.S. Cellular's state of mind has and always will be, "We're NOT a nationwide carrier and we have no interest in being one." Those words came out of Jack Rooney's mouth on more than one occasion.

Fast forward a few years and you'll see the U.S. Cellular of today. Having stumbled backwards through the past five years of rushing lackluster phones to market and undertaking a branding scheme that confused its associates more than its customers, U.S. Cellular's customer base sits at or below the level it did in the years prior.

If you think that the loss of customers and constant defeat from more powerful competition is not weighing heavily on everyone from frontline reps to senior leaders, you're gravely mistaken. Nearly every conversation...
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yourvoiceofreason

Oct 3, 2011, 11:47 AM
Wow....what a reply!
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mobilemadness

Oct 3, 2011, 2:01 PM
That is one of the most well written statements I've ever read! I think you should look into a journalism career. Excellent job. I think that pretty much sums up the whole thread. I also agree, USCC was always trying to mirror Verizon in the 2000s with people thinking it was because they anticipated being bought out by them eventually. Now it's too late. By fighting takeovers in the past, USCC is now of little value to the big guys. I think what will happen is USCC will keep losing customers and their stock will continue to drop until it becomes so low that a big carrier will buy them out at 1/4 the price they should have paid. I think USCC is in panic mode now and are looking at cutting jobs to streamline the business and increase r...
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krickt

Oct 8, 2011, 1:18 PM
Nailed it, both of you, on the head!

k
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krickt

Oct 1, 2011, 10:48 PM
Can't answer the question thoroughly or in detail without putting my agency in jeopardy, but it's something else.
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yourvoiceofreason

Oct 3, 2011, 11:49 AM
Humm..curious about the "something else"...

But I dont want you to get your agency in trouble.
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krickt

Oct 7, 2011, 10:58 PM
My agency wouldn't get in trouble, it would get shut down. Trouble I can handle. I'm thinking others know what "something else" is. Part of the topic keeps getting necroposted elsewhere in the forum....
k
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hogdogs

Oct 3, 2011, 10:29 PM
I believe it was Jay Ellison who said, "We may always be last to the party, but we are always the best dressed." This may be true, but it doesn't matter how well you are dressed if you show up and party and it is already over.

From the launch of CDMA in 02 for many years after US Cellular was months if not years behind the competition in phone selection. It seems this developed into such a stigma that customers still associate US Cellular with sub par equipment when in fact it has gotten better. Not great, but better. First impressions are hard to change.

The Iphone accounts for 25% of the users in the smartphone market. Roughly 50% of users in the country have smart phones. So, if my math is correct, this is 1 out of every 8 custo...
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carthian

Nov 16, 2011, 8:07 AM
simple reasons really and they are blind to see them under their noses.

advertisements suck!!

little selections in handsets

slow data speeds 1.3 mbps at its best.

Belief plans are a failure, did not attracted 2 million customers as expected. only 3 belief plans to choose from. would rather see those plans plus more a la carte plans.

they have internal commission problems that all sales associates complain and the company simply turns a blind eye to it. Saves them money. so sales associates have not even motivated, they are there just for the paycheck.
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disater112

Nov 23, 2011, 12:16 AM
It's the phones and the bad planning by upper management.

Here's an example, dealt with a family of 4 lines 3 were happy to stick with U.S. Cellular 1 wanted a new phone at Verizon. They all left.

Change Verizon to AT&T or T-Mobile or any phone, but I see the same thing happens on a daily basis.

Beyond that we keep getting pay cuts, commissions are always wrong, and the majority of front-line employees are no longer motivated.
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mobilemadness

Dec 1, 2011, 2:06 AM
"It's the phones and the bad planning by upper management."

Funny you should mention that. USCC and other US carriers chose CDMA which never had a lot of phone choices to begin with. The company wants to have a limited selection of phones thanks to their network technology. GSM carriers don't care what kind of phone you're using and you can unlock all with software, if needed. What I'm getting at is USCC has "unhappy" customers with their lacking phone selection, but yet they steadfastly hold the line that you can only use a cell phone that they provide to you. They have this "award winning network" that only allows for about 20 phone models to access it. Just think how happy their customers would have actually been if they could hav...
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