My wife and I switched to Consumer Cellular several years ago when she retired and we lost her employer discount at ATT. Our only regret is that we did not switch to CC sooner, as we now average $42/month for two iPhones. We aren’t interested in joining AARP but we do enjoy a 5% discount when using an American Express credit card. (Apparently some cellular resellers do not qualify for credit card-related discounts.)
I appreciate that almost everything I usually need to do can be done on the CC website. I’ve only needed phone service at the very beginning and it was excellent. CC regularly rates #1 for customer service; it’s certainly much better than our experience with ATT.
A couple of years ago we decided to upgrade our 5 year old iPhone 5S units. CC had brand new 32GB iPhone 6S for $250, the only place I could find new phones. Elsewhere the iPhone 6S was going for around $240 for used/refurbished units. CC has an interest-free financing option too. The only “downside” is that buying a phone from CC requires a 6-month contract but it was a non-issue for us since we were already sold on CC.
One thing I haven’t seen mentioned is Consumer Cellular’s SIM lock service. The lock can be done by phone and when I did it I was told that I could use any passphrase I wished vs. just a PIN. Unfortunately, the customer support person did not tell me that until after I had provided a 4-numeral PIN. . .
Unlocking and changing the passphrase cannot be done by phone. CC has a process that requires various forms of ID and it is only done via mail. The change is handled by a dedicated customer security department. I consider this to be a significant benefit because it makes a SIM swap via social engineering impossible.
I don’t know anything regarding the availability of SIM locks and how they are handled at other carriers. But I consider this single feature to be a big plus. . . IMO it should be offered as an opt-out default at all cell carriers.