I am in metro Chicago and I am intrigued about USC. I am on verizon with the iPhone but I wouldn't mind a dedicated car phone to be on USC or have it as my backup.
So what are they like honestly
http://www.isu.edu (Idaho State University)
A bunch of spoiled brats. The education is alright though.
http://www.isu.edu Oh yeah, back to USCC-
In our area (Mendocino County in Northwestern California) USCC has the best coverage of the providers here (AT&T, VZ, USCC, TMO, Metro PCS), though Verizon is almost neck and neck with them now, and AT&T is getting close too. They have usually been a very reputable and honest company, and least from my experiences with them, I think most others on here would agree. I guess your best bet would to try them out for 30 days and see how they do for you, which is the most important thing.
You stole my thunder anyways. LOL But I still couldn't resist.
I'm in the Chicagoland area as well and their service is excellent. No dropped calls, data always works and texts go through without a problem.
Their drawback is they generally don't have the top tier phones the day they are released, if ever.
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I was a big USC fanboy for years, and I even held out for them to get Android despite how bad I wanted an android phone when they came out. However, I would say now is a bad time to jump on board with USC. You live in Chicago (as do I), and they have absolutely zero LTE buildout plan here, if that is important to you at all. If all you're interested in is a dumbphone with a voice plan, you can't go wrong, but unfortunately that's the only thing USC doesn't go wrong on. For me, the combination of never having great phones, overpriced phones when they do get them, slow 4G rollout, no 4G even possible in my hometown because USC doesn't have spectrum, and increasingly pricier plans, means I will be switching to Sprint or Tmobile in the next few months when my contract is up.
grab a 3g phone at the store and make sure it isnt hooked to wi fi and go to a full page like ebay or Brewers and watch it load on 3g. Then sit it down and walk away and wait for it to load. If you can get 4g then get it. As for phones .... just dont visit a verizon store first or at all and you will be fine. Its kind of like grandma thinks her TV is just fine until she sees a HDTV in a store.
USCC has great great coverage, pretty good customer service. They ABSOLUTELY SUCK at technology though. You will never have anything close to a cutting edge device; in reality, you are looking at devices that have been out for 1-1.5 years on other carriers.
Not sure if your a big technology junkie, but i'm getting real sick of paying for outdated devices.
If you can get past not having bleeding-edge* phones available, you'll likely be very happy with them. Their network is great (reliable, fast, well distributed), the features are great (free incoming everything essentially cuts your billable time in half), and their customer service has no peer in this industry (I am forced to deal with AT&T, Verizon and Sprint all the time at work, they just don't compare in my experience).
Folks online make a huge stink about "old" handsets, but either you need the latest and greatest* or you don't. Keep in mind (and the rest of you, don't go taking this wrong), when you come to an online forum chock full of enthusiasts, you're going to get opinions slanted in that direction. US Cellular, being slow to adopt the newest hardware, is likely to take it in the shorts here. Now if you ask around in real life, you'll probably get a much different answer. I, for example, don't know a single person that would even think about leaving them. These are the people that only look at phones when it's time to upgrade though, they aren't obsessing over every new release. Probably a good case of you don't miss what you don't know.
*keep in mind, just because they don't offer phones that could be labeled "bleeding edge" or "latest and greatest" doesn't mean all they DO offer is crap. they generally offer some pretty nice handsets, just do your research.
Well, locally USCC's network itself is not too far behind the times . Here in Iowa City, VZW got LTE here first, but USCC also already has LTE (along a corridor along highway 151, from Iowa City to Madison, WI), USCC actually has a larger LTE network locally. IWireless has done the old game of claiming their 3G network is 4G. AT&T has not even done the upgrades to their 3G network to claim it's 4G. Sprint is an affiliate market but has EVDO. So, USCC is in the top two out of 5 carriers here technology-wise.
Have to agree about devices though, they get them a year or so behind. In fact, it seems USCC is in the situation here where they've got LTE, but only 1 tablet to use on it (and zero phones.) Of course, for a car phone you could even get a plain 1X phone and miss out on nothing at all.
I have not had USCC service personally, but my friends with USCC have been happy with it. In rankings for coverage, call quality, and dropped calls, they tend to either be 1st place or tied for 1st place. (Locally, VZW and USCC have been tied on rankings I've seen.) People don't seem to comment about data. To me this means it's probably not ridiculously quick (no braggers) or ridiculous slow (noone complaining about slow data.)
edit: I've been to Chicago with a few different friends with USCC. I really have nothing to say, the service worked fine. It got a bit weak inside the Downer's Grove Fry's, but that is a very large store so I'm not that surprised.
USC has amazing coverage in WI and IL. From Milwaukee to Chicago I never had an issue.
Home ISP, RR-Ultimate WiFi, $90/mo | Verizon 4G, $30/mo Unlimited
School, $5,000/semester | Work
I have been with U.S. Cellular for 19 months. I live about 20 miles south of GreenBay WI. I spent countless hours looking at all options available before we went with USCC. For me the deciding factor was the AMAZING customer service I received when I stopped in the local store. Their service is 2nd to none.....
The coverage is awesome, for sure better than the others available in my area.
If your not a tech junkie and can live without the latest phone on the market, than USCC is for you.