I can verify that I have had tethering working since the first day I activated. As I mentioned earlier, the fact that they offer hotspot tethering is completely absent from their website but speaking with customer service rep they assured me that they could enable it for me. It has worked flawlessly for me, just as well as Verizon and AT&T before it. You receive tethering for the full amount of your data plan.
Regarding selecting AT&T as the provider under Consumer Cellular, the service rep told me the best way to ensure that is to just go to the Target store and find a package that is marked for Consumer Cellular with AT&T. That’s what I did, although I had a couple of glitches in trying to self activate the SIM as Josh did, but calling them and finishing online completed the process. They had told me that if you just order the service on the web or over the phone you may not get an AT&T SIM which is why they advise people who want that provider to go to the store to make sure. They do end up refunding you the cost of what you paid for the SIM at Target so that’s a wash.
Overall, the performance has been excellent, equal to the many years I had AT&T on my iPhones prior to switching to Verizon. The same is true for when I travel out of the bay area — there are no obvious-to-me holes in the nationwide roaming. And finally I pay about $80 a month for unlimited data, text and calling for two phones on our shared plan. The best I was ever able to do for equivalent service under Verizon or AT&T was about $125 a month for the two phones. Based on my experience at least, I can’t recommend Consumer Cellular highly enough.