USCellular USCC FAQ: Last updated on 11/8/13 - Please read before posting questions!

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Class of *coughety cough*
HoFo Subscriber
May 14, 2003
Tulsa, OK, USA
As my first official act as uscc forum mod, here's the FAQ y'all have been asking for. This is a work in progress, of course, and will be updated as needed. Feel free to PM me with suggestions on content, layout, or any other concerns you might have. It can't be all-emcompassing, but hopefully it'll answer the basic questions you have about either uscc or this forum in general. I'll keep this thread locked to prevent clutter.

Much thanks goes to both frail and letsgoflyers for putting up with me when we didn't have a mod.

For starters, the rules for this forum are the same as all other forums on HoFo. Because the rules can be updated at any time, I'll just provide a link.

Howard Forums Rules & FAQ

I like cruz's (Sprint mod) idea for their FAQ, so I hope he doesn't mind if I use it here. If you have a specific question in mind, just click the links in this post to be taken straight to the answer.

Watch the thread title to know when it was last updated. Material updated since the last update will be in red. If I make multiple updates in the same day, I will treat all updates on that day as a single update.

What phones can be activated on uscc?
Where do I take my phone to be checked out and repaired?
What can I do with "easyedge To Go" and the Mobile Browser? What email providers can I set up on the Mobile Email application?
What are my data options?
What are my family plan options?
How do Night and Weekend minutes work?
How do holidays minutes bill, and what days are they?
What order are my minute buckets used?
Why am I getting text messages from uscc, am I getting charged, and how do I stop them?
Wireless Amber Alerts
How do I contact uscc?
What is "ICE"?
Can I start a new line "month to month"?
How does the Excellence Guarantee work?
What numbers can I dial without using my minutes?
Where will my phone work in the U.S.? Will my uscc phone work overseas? What about dialing internationally?
What is a PRL? What does it do? How do I update it?
Signal Insurance
Phones For Sale: A Few Rules
USCC HoFo Frapper Map
USCC HoFo IRC Channel
USCC Facebook page
Where can I find the latest rebate offer and forms?
What is an authorized user, and what can they do?
Can I password protect my account?
Will Facebook updates work with my uscc phone?
What is the current firmware version for my USCC phone?
Can I use my phone as a modem?
What coverage can I expect? Where will I get EV and 1X coverage?
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What phones can be activated on uscc?

Non-uscc-branded phones
Since 7/15/03, uscc will NOT activate a phone unless it is uscc-sourced. That merely means that it was originally sold by uscc or an authorized agent. It does NOT mean you have to buy the phone from a uscc store. You CAN buy a phone from a friend, eBay, or whereever, but it MUST be uscc-branded. Also, phones can be direct-purchased from some manufacturer's, most notably Motorola. They will ask you who you're carrier is, and ship the phone uscc-branded. These phones can be activated.

New policy on TDMA, Analog, and non-1x CDMA equipment
Effective 8/22/05, uscc will no longer activate ANY of the following, even on an existing lines:

1) TDMA equipment
2) Analog-only equipment (i.e. Bag phones, Car phones, etc.)
3) NON-1x CDMA equipment (older CDMA phones such as V120, V60, 5185, etc.)
4) NON-e911 equipment: Kyocera 2235, LG VX10, Nokia 6385, Audiovox CDM-9150x (These are the only phones in this category that were carried by uscc.)

The following is a list of phones which are either for sale now or have been sold by uscc in the past that are CDMA 1x, and are e911-capable, thus can be activated. If it's not on this list, it can't be activated. If you see a model I've forgotten, feel free to PM me.

Notes: Models shown in magenta are prepay-only. This merely means you can't buy it for post-paid in a uscc store. Models shown in blue are SpeedTalk phones, but can be used on any plan. Models in green are smartphones, and require the appropriate smartphone plan. They cannot currently be used on prepay accounts unless marked with an asterisk. Models in dark orange are Premium handsets, and require the $19.95 Premium Mobile Internet package. These also cannot currently be used on prepay accounts. Models in red are net devices, tablets, mobile hotspots, or aircards. They are not voice capable and cannot be added to a family plan. They require the appropriate data package. Models marked with an '^' are LTE-capable.

Alcatel: ONE TOUCH Premier, ONE TOUCH Shockwave

Apple: iPad Air, iPad Mini, iPhone 4s, iPhone 5c^, iPhone 5s^

Audiovox/UT Starcom: CDM-7025, CDM-8410, CDM-8500, CDM-8900, CDM-8910, CDM-9500, UM175, UM185

HTC: Desire, Galaxy SII, Flyer, Hero S*, Merge*, One V*, PPC6800, PPC6850 Touch Pro, PPC6900 Touch, PPC6175 Snap, PPC6875 Touch Pro 2, 7 Pro, Wildfire S*

Huawei: Ascend II*, Ascend Y, UML397 Wireless Modem

Kyocera: 3225, 7135, DuraPro, E1000, E1100 Neo, E2000, Hydro XTRM*^, K-132 Velvet, K-312 Lightning, KE-434 Rave, KX-1 SoHo, KX-2 Koi, KX-5 Slider Remix, KX-9b Milan, KX-9c Milan, KX-13 Dorado, KX-16 Candid, KX-21 Strobe, KX-160 Xcursion, KX-414 Phantom, KX-440, Passport 650, Passport 680, SE-44/47 Slider

LG: Attune, Envoy, Envoy II, Freedom, Freedom 5, Genesis, Optimus F7^, Opimus U, Saber, Splendor, UN430 Wine II, UN510 Banter Touch, UN610 Mystique, US740 Apex, UX145, UX210, UX220, UX245, UX260, UX265 Banter, UX280 Wine, UX300, UX310 Helix, UX355, UX380, UX390, UX565, UX585 Rhythm, VX3100, UX3300, UX700 Bliss, UX830 Glimmer, UX840 Tritan, VX4400, VX4750, UX5000, LX5550, VX6000, VX6100, Wine III

Motorola: C343, Crush, Defy XT, Grasp, K1m KRZR, L7c SLVR, m800 Bag Phone, Electrify*, Electrify 2, Electrify M, Moto X^, Q, Q9c, QA30 Hint, T731, V120e (Note: only the "e" mod), V262, V265, V266, V3c RAZR, V3m RAZR, V323, V323i, V710, V810, V9m RAZR2, VE20 Vegas, W315, W385, W845 Quantico, WX404 Grasp, Xoom, X^, Z6m ROKR

Nokia: 2125i, 3585i (Note: only the "i" mod, not the original 3585), 3586i, 6019i, 6165i, 6235i, 6255i, 6265i, 6585

Pantech: CDM-8635 Coach, Verse

RIM Blackberry: 7130e, 7250, 8130 Pearl 2, 8230 Pearl Flip, 8330 Curve, 8530 Curve 2, 8703e, 8830, 9330 Curve 3G, 9350 Curve, 9630 Tour, 9650 Bold, 9850 Torch

PCD: UM175, UM185, Wrangler

Samsung: ATIV Odyssey^, Aviator (Galaxy S)*^, Character, Chrono 2, Freeform 4, Freeform 5, Galaxy Axiom, Galaxy Metrix 4G^, Galaxy Note II^, Galaxy Note 3^, Galaxy Note 10.1^, Galaxy SII*, Galaxy SIII*^, Galaxy S4*^, Galaxy Mega^, Galaxy Tab, Galaxy Tab 10.1^, Gem, Profile, SCH-i225 Exec, SCH-LC11^, SCH-r210 Spex, SCH-261 Chrono, SCH-r311 Axle, SCH-r330 Stride, SCH-u340, SCH-r351 Freeform, Freeform 4, SCH-u440 Gloss, SCH-r470 Two-Step, SCH-r500, SCH-r520 Trill, SCH-u520, SCH-a570, SCH-i500 Mesmerize (Galaxy S), Repp*, SCH-r610, SCH-r630 Messenger Touch, SCH-a645, SCH-a670, SCH-r800 Delve, SCH-r850 Caliber, SCH-r880 Acclaim, SCH-a850, SCH-a870

Sierra: 555

Sony-Ericsson: T206

U.S. Cellular: Home Phone

ZTE: Director, Imperial^, Render, Unite Mobile Hotspot

If you already have it activated, you will not be required to swap it out. However, if you deactivate the phone, you will NOT be able to reactivate it.

This policy CANNOT be overridden by a Store Manager. As many of you know, this policy is a direct result of the current FCC requirement that all carriers must have 95% of the customers on e911-capable equipment by 12/31/05. (Note: the TDMA and Analog networks were shut off on 2/10/09, so those phones will no longer work.)
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How do holidays minutes bill, and what days are they?

Thanks goes to is_that_clear, who posted the wording I'm using here. Couldn't make it clearer myself, so here it is:

On the following days, calls will be billed at off-peak rates (when applicable):

New Year's Day (January 1)
Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (First Monday in September)
Thanksgiving (Fourth Thursday in November)
Christmas Day (December 25)

Any calling plan (postpaid and prepaid) that has a Night/Weekend calling package will have minutes deducted from that allotment. All other calling plans will be billed as normal.

Note: Roaming calls (that are billed roaming or come from Roaming Minute packages) on any plan will bill normally, as the n/w feature does not count when outside of your coverage area.
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Wireless Amber Alerts


1. What are Wireless AMBERSM Alerts?
Wireless AMBER Alerts are a voluntary partnership among the wireless industry, law-enforcement agencies, and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), to distribute AMBER Alerts to wireless customers who opt in to receive the messages and are able to receive text messages on their wireless phones

2. Why were Wireless AMBER AlertsSM created?
Statistics show the first three hours after a child’s abduction are most critical to recovering the child alive. Recognizing that wireless technology can help galvanize communities to assist law enforcement in the search for and safe return of the child, CTIA- The Wireless Association™, its members, its industry partners and The Wireless Foundation are excited and honored to launch the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative.

By combining the efforts of the wireless industry with National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) and law enforcement agencies, the Wireless AMBER Alerts Initiative will be a catalyst for the wireless industry’s more than 182-million wireless subscribers to aid in the safe return of an abducted child.

3. What is the History of the AMBER AlertSM Program?
President Bush authorized the national AMBER Alert program as part of the PROTECT Act signed in 2003. The law formally established the federal government’s role in the AMBER Alert program, appointing the Department of Justice (DOJ) as the agency responsible for coordinating AMBER Alerts on the national level. DOJ has officially partnered with NCMEC, authorizing them as the agent that coordinates and disseminates AMBER Alerts to secondary distributors.

AMBER stands for “America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response” and was created in 1997 when Dallas-Fort Worth broadcasters teamed with local police to develop an early warning system to find abducted children. The AMBER Alert Program was soon adopted across the nation and is a legacy to Amber Hagerman, a 9-year-old girl who was kidnapped while riding her bicycle in Arlington, Texas, and then murdered.

According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), more than 200 children have been recovered since the AMBER Alert program began in 1996. More than 80 percent of the total numbers of successful recoveries to date have occurred since October 2002, when the AMBER Alert program became a coordinated, national effort. For more information, visit the NCMEC website

4. What will trigger a Wireless AMBER AlertSM to customers?
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) will initiate the transmission of AMBER Alerts to wireless carriers after law enforcement has issued the alert and the following criteria, recommended by the U.S. Department of Justice, has been met:
There is reasonable belief by law enforcement that abduction has occurred.
The abduction is of a child age 17 years or younger.
The law-enforcement agency believes that the child is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death.
There is enough descriptive information about the victim and the abduction for law enforcement to issue an AMBER Alert to assist in the recovery of the child.
The child's name and other critical data elements, including the Child Abduction flag, have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC).

5. How do Wireless AMBER AlertsSM work?
An abducted child, age 17 years or younger, is reported to a local law enforcement agency.
If the abducted child case meets the recommended criteria, law enforcement issues an AMBER Alert and The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is notified and provided with the information to include in the alert.
NCMEC formats the AMBER Alert message and sends it electronically to Syniverse.
Syniverse sends the AMBER Alert message to participating wireless carriers, including U.S. Cellular.
We then send the AMBER Alert message, in a text message, to customers who have signed up to receive the notices.

6. How do I sign up to receive Wireless AMBER AlertsSM?
Sign up at You’ll need to provide your wireless phone number, including area code, and designate up to five zip codes for which you want to receive Wireless AMBER Alerts.

IMPORTANT: The information you provide will be used solely for the Wireless AMBER Alerts and will not be shared with any additional parties.

7. Are Wireless AMBER AlertsSM available in all 50 states?

Yes, Wireless AMBER Alerts will be available, through participating wireless carriers, in all 50 states.
8. How often will I receive Wireless AMBER AlertsSM?
Approximately 200-250 AMBER Alerts are activated across the nation each year. You will only receive an AMBER Alert if a notice is sent pertaining to the zip code(s) you designated when you signed up.

9. Will I receive Wireless AMBER AlertsSM from all over the country?
No. You will only receive AMBER Alerts if the alerts pertains to the zip code(s) you selected when you signed up.

10. Will I receive Wireless AMBER AlertsSM that affect only the specific zip code(s) I select?
Sometimes an alert will be issued statewide or for an entire metropolitan area, which includes one of the five zip code(s) you have selected. So you may receive an alert for an area that is larger than what might be covered by your particular zip code selection.

11. Will I receive Wireless AMBER AlertsSM when I’m traveling?
Typically, you will receive Wireless AMBER Alerts when you are out of your home coverage area, just as you receive text messages of any kind when you are traveling. In some instances however your text messages cannot be forwarded to your wireless phone. Regardless of where you are, you will only receive Wireless AMBER Alert notices that pertain to the zip code(s) you selected..

12. I received a Wireless AMBER AlertSM and believe I have relevant information. Who do I contact?
Call the number that appears in the text of the AMBER Alert notice you received to report helpful information. Do not call your wireless carrier or respond back to the AMBER Alert message.

13. An AMBER AlertSM was distributed in my area, but I didn’t receive it. Why?
A vast majority of Wireless AMBER Alerts will be delivered in an expedient fashion. In some cases, factors outside of our control, such as local terrain, weather interference, technical difficulties or systems limitations of other companies could delay or prevent the delivery of AMBER Alert notices. Delivery of Wireless AMBER Alerts is not guaranteed.

14. I need to report a missing child. What should I do?
To report a missing, abducted or lost child, please call your local law enforcement agency or The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) at 1-800-THE-LOST.

15. How do I unsubscribe from receiving Wireless AMBER AlertsSM?
You can unsubscribe to Wireless AMBER Alerts at any time by going to Enter your wireless number and follow the directions to be removed from the wireless AMBER Alert distribution program.

16. If I leave U.S. Cellular and go to another company, will I still receive Wireless AMBER AlertsSM through my new company?
No, you must re-subscribe with your new carrier.

17. If I leave U.S. Cellular, then return, will I automatically receive Wireless AMBER AlertsSM through my new company?
No, you must re-subscribe each time you change from one carrier to another.

18. What is the difference between Wireless AMBER AlertsSM and other organizations sending alerts?
Wireless AMBER Alerts is the only wireless industry initiative that is in partnership with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the organization authorized by the U.S. Department of Justice to distribute AMBER Alerts after they have been issued by law enforcement. Wireless AMBER Alerts™ is the work of leading wireless industry experts, using state-of-the-art wireless technology.

These text are 100% free, whether you have a text plan or not.

To sign up:
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How do I contact uscc?

Customer Service
611 - free call from your cell phone, hours 6am to 11pm local time, 7 days a week
888-944-9400 - toll free from anywhere in the country, airtime free within your plan's coverage area
#BAL (#225) - check your minutes and texts, also gives account totals for ShareTalk/Family plans, also a free call

#369 - a free call. Use this number to check you money/minutes balance, and to refill your account, if you are set up for Instant Refill. The minimum refill over the phone or in the store is $5. The minimum refill through Western Union is $25. They also charge their own $5 fee, in addition to the amount you are adding to your account.
888-4EZ-FILL - Use this number to set up Instant Refill with a credit or debit card.

Financial Services
888-939-3900 - Toll-free, airtime free within your plan's coverage area
#PAY (#729) - check your current balance and make payments, this # is available 24/7, but live reps are not. The number itself is free.

Roamer Support
888-872-7462 - roaming issues/questions, and after hours help with lost/stolen phones. This department is available 24/7. Airtime free call from within your plan's coverage area.

Signal Insurance
800-480-0167 - to file or check the status of a claim, or for general insurance questions - to check status of a filed claim and to download any forms required - to file a new claim or continue an existing claim

877-872-1800 - to check status of a submitted rebate or for rebate questions - to check status and download the current form
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Unless specified below, "messaging" refers to text, picture, and video messaging. Belief plans include Unlimited messaging on Essential and Essential Plus plans. Basic plans are pay-as-you-go at 25 cents/each, incoming is free.

Packages for retired plans
Pay-as-you-go: 25 cents to send
Unlimited: $19.95/month
Family Unlimited: $29.95/month, only available on "Family" plans, not the older ShareTalk plans

Text-only packages
Text 250: $4.95/month, overage is 25 cents to send
Text 750: $9.95/month, overage is 25 cents to send

Picture/Video-only packages
MMS 20: $2.95/month, overage is 25 cents to send
MMS 50: $5.95/month, overage is 25 cents to send
MMS 100: $10.95/month, overage is 25 cents to send

All of the above include free unlimited incoming messages and the email address feature. You can choose to block all messages, or just the email address by calling CS and requesting it. You can also block just the Premium Text Messaging feature, without affecting normal texts. There is no way to block only outgoing texts, or individual senders, although if the sender is a known spammer, it'll likely be added to uscc's spam filter, thus blocking it for all customers. If you get a spam message, notify CS. This way, it can be tracked, and added to the spam filter, if necessary.

Note: Blocking regular texts will also disable picture messaging, as the MMS notification is sent to your phone via SMS.

Premium Text Messaging
This is when you text to a certain short code for an extra charge, such as on the game show Deal Or No Deal. USCC does not support all campaigns. The campaign itself will tell how much each text is. This fee is in addition to normal text usage fees, and will show on your bill in the "Other Charges and Credits" section.

Current campaigns that uscc supports (searchable by campaign name or short code), along with the appropriate short code and charges can be found here:

You can also see many campaigns, pricing, and even sign-up online on the uscc website, here:

Can I text while roaming?
In most areas, yes. If you are roaming on Verizon or Alltel (CDMA) you should have no problems. If you do have problems sending or receiving, call Roamer Support. There are no extra charges for texting while roaming. Sent texts will deduct from your package, or cost 20 cents each if you don't have a package or go over. Incoming texts will be free.

How can I send a text via the web?
Two ways:
1) To send from the website, go here:
2) To send from an email address, send to This is only for text messages, and should not be confused with the picture messaging address (, which is included with all pix messaging packages. The Text Messaging address (aka email address) is included with all current text packages.

International texting
A list of countries that you should be able to text to can be found here:
Locate the country the other person is in, and see if their provider is on the list. If so, for the "destination address", use the same number you would if you were calling them.

Some of the providers only support 1.5-way messaging, which means you can send, and they can respond, but they can't initiate the conversation. In this case, have them save a text from you, and they can initate by simply replying to that text. Also, they can initiate by texting to your email address: If their provider is not on the list, you can still text them by using their email address, rather than their phone number.

There is no extra charge for international messaging.

What are the email addresses to text other carriers?
Here are some, more will be added as I am made aware of them. If you know of one not on the list, just PM me. Except as noted below, use the full phone/pager number (same as if you were calling), followed by:

3 River Wireless:
ACS Wireless:
Advantage Communications:
Airtouch Pagers:
Airtouch Pagers:
Airtouch Pagers:
Airtouch Pagers:
Andhra Pradesh Airtel:
Arch Pagers (PageNet):
Arch Pagers (PageNet):
Arch Pagers (PageNet):
BeeLine GSM:
Bell Canada:
Bell Mobility (Canada):
Blue Sky Frog:
Bluegrass Cellular:
BPL mobile:
Carolina West Wireless:
Carolina Mobile Communications:
Cellular One West:
Cellular South:
Centennial Wireless:
Central Vermont Communications:
Chennai RPG Cellular:
Chennai Skycell / Airtel:
Cincinnati Bell Wireless:
Cingular Wireless:
Communication Specialists:
Communication Specialist Companies:
Cook Paging:
Corr Wireless Communications:
Delhi Aritel:
Delhi Hutch:
Digi-Page / Page Kansas:
Dutchtone / Orange-NL:
Edge Wireless:
Galaxy Corporation:
GCS Paging:
Goa BPLMobil:
Golden Telecom:
GrayLink / Porta-Phone:
Gujarat Celforce:
Houston Cellular:
Idea Cellular:
Infopage Systems:
Inland Cellular Telephone:
The Indiana Paging Co:
JSM Tele-Page:
Kerala Escotel:
Kolkata Airtel:
Lauttamus Communication:
Maharashtra BPL Mobile:
Maharashtra Idea Cellular:
Manitoba Telecom Systems:
Metrocall 2-way:
Metro PCS:
Metro PCS:
Mobilecom PA:
Mobility Bermuda:
Mobistar Belgium:
Mobitel Tanzania:
Mobtel Srbija:
Morris Wireless:
NPI Wireless:
O2 (M-mail):
One Connect Austria:
Optus Mobile:
Orange :
Orange Mumbai:
Orange - NL / Dutchtone:
P&T Luxembourg:
PageMart :
PageMart Advanced /2way:
PageMart Canada:
PageNet Canada:
PageOne NorthWest:
PCS One:
Personal Communication: (number in subject line)
Pioneer / Enid Cellular:
Pondicherry BPL Mobile:
Price Communications:
Public Service Cellular:
Qualcomm Pagers:
RAM Page:
Rogers Canada:
Satelindo GSM:
SBC Ameritech Paging:
SFR France:
Skytel Pagers:
Simple Freedom:
Smart Telecom:
Southern LINC:
Sprint PCS:
ST Paging:
Sunrise Mobile:
Sunrise Mobile:
Surewest Communicaitons:
T-Mobile Austria:
T-Mobile Germany:
T-Mobile UK:
Tamil Nadu BPL Mobile:
Tele2 Latvia:
Telefonica Movistar:
Telia Denmark:
TSR Wireless:
TSR Wireless:
US Cellular:
US West:
Uttar Pradesh Escotel:
Verizon Pagers:
Virgin Mobile:
Vodafone Italy:
Vodafone Japan:
Vodafone Japan:
Vodafone Japan:
Vodafone UK:
VoiceStream / T-Mobile:
WebLink Wiereless:
WebLink Wiereless:
West Central Wireless:

Who can I send/receive MMS with?
Any other uscc customer, also you should be able to exchange with the following:

Advantage Wireless
AT&T Mobility/Cingular Wireless
Boost Mobile
Centennial Wireless
Cincinnati Bell Wireless
Iowa Wireless
Long Lines Wireless
Metro PCS
Midwest Wireless
Pioneer Wireless
Rural Cellular
Verizon Wireless

If the recipient does NOT have a picture messaging package/phone, or they are not on the above list, they will receive a text message with a link/password to view the picture from your online album. You can also send/receive with any valid email address in the world, including an MMS address, such as the following (use the customer's 10-digit number followed by):

Boost Mobile:
Centennial Wireless:
Einstein PCS:
US Cellular:
Virgin Mobile:

What is my Online Album and how do I use it?
A tutorial can be found here:
Note: Popups must be allowed from to view this tutorial.

What phones support MMS?
All camera phones do, except the Motorola Q and HTC PPC6800. The only non-camera phone (at this time) that does is the Motorola V262.
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What are my family plan options?

Families now have their own set of plans. Minimum of two lines, max of six. All Belief Family plans include Unlimited Incoming Calls, Unlimited n/w @ 7pm, and Unlimited m2m. Cost of the plan covers the first two lines. Extra lines are $10 each on Family Basic, $20 each on Family Essential, $40 each on Family Essential Plus/Family Unlimited Basic/Family Premium, and $50 each on Family Premium Plus.

If you are already on a ShareTalk or retired Family plan, you can add lines to it, up to a max of 4 (5 for Family plans), including the primary. You will not be eligible for any current promos, however, existing promos already on your account (free incoming, free m2m, etc) will automatically cover the new line(s) as well.
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Where do I take my phone to be checked out and repaired?

Check here:

Enter your zip code. Each store may have one or more of the following icons:

Green-Yellow: You can make payments here.
Green: These stores accept cash-only for payments. Payment may take up to 3 days to post to your account.
Yellow:These stores have in-store techs. Call ahead to make sure the tech is in.
Blue: These stores have Spanish-speaking associates.
Dark Red: You can refill your Prepaid account at these stores.
Battery Meter Icon: These stores participate in the Battery Swap program.
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What is "ICE"?
ICE stands for In Case of Emergency. The intention is that you mark one of your contacts in your cell phones phonebook by adding "ICE" to one of your contacts, who would be the person you want notified if something happens to you. At some point, if emergency personnel haven't notified a next-of-kin by other means, they would hopefully look in your phonebook, see the ICE contact, and call that person. For example, if you have a phonebook entry named "Mom and Dad" that you want to use for this purpose, you could rename it something like "ICE - Mom and Dad".

1) The phone must be easily indentifiable as "yours". If your phone allows you to alter the screen tag (where it says "US Cellular" or "roaming"), you could put your name instead. Recent Motorola's and all LG's since the VX4400 allow this. Not sure about other brands. You could also keep it on a belt clip.

2) The phone must be able to power on, for obvious reasons.

3) The phone's screen must be readable, again, for obvious reasons.

For these reasons, it is recommend to treat ICE as a supliment to your emergency info, rather than the sole source.

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Why am I getting text messages from uscc, am I getting charged, and how do I stop them?
If you have a postpaid account, there are four primary reasons you might get a text from uscc.

1) Renewal Campaign
2) New features and feature promos
3) New and spotlighted easyedge applications
4) You're past due on your bill

If you have a prepaid account:

1) Refill confirmations
2) Low balance alerts

No, you're not charged for any of those. Remember, all incoming texts are free with uscc, even if you don't have a text plan. Can you stop them? Yes. For the "ads" as some call them, just call CS and ask to be added to the no-text list. This will not stop the bill reminders, however.
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Can I start a new line "month to month"?

Yes. A contract is only required for:

1) When you get a new promo (including waived activation).
2) When you get a discount on a new phone.
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What can I do with "easyedge To Go" and the Mobile Browser? What email providers can I set up on the Mobile Email application?

The Mobile Browser includes all of the EE2Go content as links on the homepage, plus has the additional capability of being a full web browser. This is the included content, read straight from the EE To Go menu on my LG UX260 (bold underline = major category, underline = subcategory):

National News

AP Election News '08
Fox News
Futures (
AP News Network
ABC News
Chicago Tribune
Yahoo! News
MSN News

Local News
Local TV News (search by city or zip)
My Fox (defaults to Chicago, choose from 26 other cities)
NBC 5, Chicago
ABC 7, Chicago
NBC 2, Tulsa
NBC 21, Bend
NBC 15, Madison
NBC 13, Des Moines
NBC 4, Oklahoma City
CBS 8, Knoxville

Weather (


Fox Sports
CBS Sportsline
Sporting News
College Sports (

Chicago White Sox
St. Louis Cardinals
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MLB Info

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NFL Info

Basketball & Hockey

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Email & IM

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En Espanol
Yahoo! Espanol
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Cellfire Coupons (
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Weight Watchers
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The following Free Email Providers can be set up using the preconfigure wizard on the Mobile Email Application. You do not have to sign up for that provider's POP3 access (i.e. Yahoo! Plus) for this application. You do however, have to have an existing account with them (you can't set up the account via this application):

AOL Mail
AIM Mail
Yahoo! Mail

In addition, by selecting "More" on this screen, you can preconfigure with the following ISP's:

Comcast POP
Iowa Telecom

On this screen, you can also select "Other IMAP" or "Other POP3" to manually configure any IMAP or POP3-enabled email account not on the list above.
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How does the Excellence Guarantee work?

There are 3 parts to the Excellence Guarantee:

1) Change your plan once per bill cycle with NO contract renewal required. Promos on your account carry over as long as they are offered on the plan you're moving to.

2) Get a new phone. No longer tied to the contract (although a discount will require a contract if you are on a non-Belief plan), you're eligible 10 months after taking a 1 year discount, or 18 months after taking a 2 year.

3) The 30 day guarantee: Within the first 30 days of service or a contract renewal, you can end the contract without an ETF by simply returning the equipment in working order, with everything that came with it (including the box, earpiece, manual, etc.).

1) If your previous contract was not completed, it will be reinstated.
2) For Prepay, the guarantee is 15 days only.
3) For warranty issues, the phone will be swapped out in the store for the first 15 days only. After that, it will go through normal warranty procedures.
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What numbers can I dial without using my minutes?
Here's but a few confirmed (note I won't include local radio stations, although there are many that do have a special number like "#93" that does not use your minutes):
611 - Customer Service
888-944-9400 - Customer Service
888-872-7462 - Roamer Support
#CG - U.S. Coast Guard
#BAL - check usage
#PAY - check balance and pay your bill

Some states utilize 511 for travel conditions. Visit for details.

State Police (the cellular-specific numbers below should be free calls)
All of the below were found on the following websites:

...and verified via the respective state's website when possible. If anyone has a cell-specific number for any of the states listed below, feel free to PM it to me. Of course, whereever 911 is available, you can also call that for any emergency, but the numbers below are for that state's Highway Patrol.

Alabama - 334-242-4378 or *HP
Alaska - 907-428-7200 or *273
Arizona - 602-223-2000
Arkansas - 501-296-1860 or *HP
California - 911 or 800-835-5247 (CHP non-emergency) or 800-GAS-ROAD (free call - road conditions)
Colorado - *CSP (*DUI to report a drunk driver)
Connecticut - 800-443-6817 or 860-594-2650
Delaware - *77
Florida - *FHP
Georgia - *GSP
Hawaii - 911
Idaho - 911 (*ISP to report drunk drivers)
Illinois - 911 or *999 (Highway Emergencies only)
City of Chicago only - 311 (Police non-emergency)
Indiana - 911 (*11 on the Indiana Turnpike)
Iowa - 800-555-HELP
Kansas - *HP (*KTA for the Kansas Turnpike)
Kentucky - 800-222-5555 or 800-4KY-ROAD
Louisiana - *LSP
Maine - *77
Maryland - *77
Massachusetts - 911
Michigan - 800-525-5555
Minnesota - 911
Mississippi - *HP
Missouri - *55
Montana - 911
Nebraska - 800-525-5555
Nevada - *NHP
New Hampshire - *NH
New Jersey - #77
New Mexico - 505-827-9301
New York - 911
North Carolina - *HP
North Dakota - 800-472-2121 or *2121
Ohio - 877-7-PATROL (*DUI to report a drunk driver)
Oklahoma - *55
Oregon - 800-452-7888
Pennsylvania - *11 (Turnpike Emergencies)
Pennsylvania - *DUI (Report a drunk driver)
Pennsylvania - *12 (*11 on the PA Turnpike)
Rhode Island - *77
South Carolina - *HP
South Dakota - 605-773-3536
Tennessee - 615-741-2060 or *THP
Texas - 800-525-5555
Utah - *11
Vermont - 800-862-5402 or 802-244-8727
Virginia - #77
Washington - 800-695-ROAD or 360-438-7700
West Virginia - *SP
Wisconsin - 608-846-8520
Wyoming - 800-442-9090 or #HELP

If you know of one (other than Radio Stations, which are too many to list), feel free to PM me or cclay25, and we'll add it.
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Where will my phone work in the U.S.? Will my uscc phone work overseas? What about calling internationally?

That's the online coverage indicator map. One tab for voice coverage, one for data, including where you can expect 3G/EV-DO coverage.

That is a list of countries you can dial, and the long distance rates, as well as a list of carriers with whom you can send/receive text. Contact Roamer Support at 888-872-7462 to find out if you can use your existing phone to roam outside of the US. Some countries will require that you do this prior to going there, so that we can contact the carrier you will be roaming on in order to cut down on potential fraud.
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What is a PRL? What does it do? How do I update it?

Special thanks and credit to HoFo user meatchicken, whose post here I adapted for this post.

To update you PRL (Preferred Roaming List), simply dial *228 while NOT roaming (it shouldn't matter if you're in your home market or not). It takes about a minute, is a free call, and your phone will reset (turn itself off, then back on) after programming is complete. An automated voice will tell you if the PRL was successfully loaded or not.

If you are in the Chicago area, you will have an odd-numbered PRL. Everywhere else uses an even-numbered PRL. The primary difference is that in Chicago, Verizon and uscc don't roam off of each other. This is not the case elsewhere, as Verizon is our primary roaming partner in many markets.

EV-DO PRL's will begin with 15XXX, 1x PRL's begin with 39XXX. The PRL update frequency varys from a few days to a couple of months, so I won't post the latest version here. Someone will usually post whenever a new PRL is released.

Note: Although EV-DO does have a different PRL than 1x, at this point there is no EV-DO roaming, so that merely enables your phone to see the EV-DO network. When in a non-EV-DO area, or while roaming, you will fall back to the standard 1x PRL.

What It DOES Do:

It loads into the handset, over-the-air, a software "list" of Cellular Systems ("carriers"), that your phone is allowed to scan for, *after* it loses or can't find a uscc signal. Your phone may or may not display "roam" or "roaming", but it will display a triangle (point up) near the signal strength meter. (note: some manufacturers, notably Audiovox, use an "R" instead.)

The PRL list is set up in area groups, & in a priority order, so for example, in City "A", the phone, after losing a uscc signal, will know to first attempt to find Alltel before Sprint, ect.
If uscc has a system in the area, it is always first in priority over other companies such as Sprint or Alltel, and will be looked for first, regardless of weather or not another carrier has a tower closer to your location or a higher signal strength.

Most phones will also re-power up/initialize after downloading the PRL.

USCC seems to release a new/updated PRL every 30-75 Days or so.

Doing a PRL update more often, such as once a week, is harmless & will result in simply writing the same PRL file over itself.

New updates can and have both added & removed "partner" roaming systems, depending on uscc and how they want their phones to roam in any given area.

It may help with border roaming (picking up another carriers tower outside your coverage area).

What It DOES NOT Do:

Contrary to the seemingly endless loads of mis-information & rumor on the net, *228 DOES NOT:

Have anything to do with any individual towers, or accessing newly built towers. If a company builds a new tower near your home, that new tower is already part of an existing system (SID - System IDentification), which either is already listed in the PRL, or isn't. Only entire SID's are in a PRL. There is no way for uscc to add or block any individual new or old towers via the PRL. That's not how the PRL works. Period.

The PRL update can't increase a weak native uscc signal strength issue. If your phone is already locked onto a "1 bar" uscc signal in a given area, nothing in the PRL list is going to instruct the phone to drop its native uscc coverage, & look for another company's signal instead. There are no roaming partners listed in the PRL that have a higher priority than the local uscc signal. However, there are going to be areas within your local coverage area that you will roam occasionally. In this event, the PRL will step in to determine who you roam on, and the billing system will not bill you roaming charges. Also, on a related note, n/w's and incoming will still count while roaming, as long as you are picking up a tower within your local coverage. Other programming in the phone determines at what signal strength the phone will "give up" on native uscc coverage and search for a roaming partner.

The phone's internal PRL list has absolutley NOTHING to do with anything, once you are "in a call", and at that time the PRL is as dormant as a game or other not-in-use software entry in the phone. The PRL is not used at all during an actual call in progress. The cellular system, during a call in progress, has full control, and the system end decides what cells to hand off your call to, and any issues/problems, such as a dropped call, or any other "in call" issues/problems in a given system, have nothing to do with the internal PRL list, & can't be fixed by *228.

Updating the PRL has nothing to due with any problems relating to earpiece volume, battery charging, screen contrast, voice quality ect...except that after a *228 the phone might restart, so any odd quirk that might have gone away by shutting the phone off & turning it back on, may also "coincidentally" go away after a PRL update.

The actual firmware version of the phone can not be changed or updated thru a *228 call, either. Firmware can only be updated in a uscc store or by the manufacturer of the phone.

*228 also has nothing to do with whether or not you are billed roaming. That is completely handled by the billing system, and is completely depending on the "coverage area" associated with the price plan in effect when the call is reported to the billing system. In my experience, that is usually no more than 3-5 days, but, by FCC regulations, can take up to 60 days. Depending on when the call was placed in relation to your billing cycle, this means that a roaming call could take up to 3 bills before it shows up. As I said, it usually won't, but it's good to be aware that it can happen.

Additional technical info, courtesy of our very own towermaster:

CDG Reference Document #130 said:
The PRL header information describes the properties of the whole PRL. These properties describe aspects such as its name (or identity), default behavior and the type of PRL.

The acquisition table contains acquisition records. An acquisition record provides the band and frequencies that the mobile station is to use when searching to acquire a system. Acquisition records are listed in priority order (highest priority first) in the acquisition table. The channels in the CHAN field of the records are also listed in the priority order.

The system table contains records describing a system. The system table is divided into one or more distinct segments; these are called geographical areas, or GEOs. A system record belongs to a geographical area. A geographical region would normally be used to group a set of systems found in the same physical region. Certain other aspects of a system record only have relevance within the context of a GEO, e.g. priority. A system, in the context of the system table, is identified by its SID and NID. Each system table record has an indicator, which determines within which geographic area a particular system belongs.

Other indicators declare whether the system is preferred (permitted) or negative (prohibited). Allowed systems can have relative priority with respect to each other within a geographic region, effectively making some systems more preferred than others. The priority that a system has is relative to the other systems in the same GEO. The most referred system is the most desired system and what the mobile device will always try to obtain for service. There is no limit to the number of priorities that can be present within a GEO. There can be multiple systems of equal priority. The PRL assists the mobile in the acquisition and system selection process as governed by the system determination algorithms of the particular implementation. The PRL informs the devices system determination function as to which systems are permitted, preferred and prohibited. The use of a PRL speeds up acquisition and provides the operator with flexibility in specifying mobile search behavior in both the home and roaming markets.

The operator is able to specify whether a roam condition is to be indicated on the mobiles display and, in the case where the extended roaming indicators (ERI) are supported, a richer set of indicators can be selected for display. The PRL can be stored in either NV-RAM or RUIM. An initial or default PRL would be loaded prior to distribution. A new PRL can be loaded at a customer service center using service programming tools or over the air using Over the Air Service Provisioning (OTASP). Although the PRL is defined in the OTASP specification, OTASP systems are not required in order to use PRLs. However, OTASP facilitates ease of updates once handsets are in the customers hands and as new roaming partners are added.

User Initiated PRL Download
This is the more common technique, and requires that the user take the initial action by
making a call using the activation feature code: *ACT or *228.
User dials the OTA feature code (*ACT)
User selects PRL update at voice response unit (VRU) prompt
OTA platform selects the appropriate PRL to send to the device based on factors including handset, service plan, etc.
OTA platform downloads PRL to the user over its IS-725 data connection to the MSC and then over the air using the IS-683 protocol
VRU may play music during this time
Handset resets on completion of the PRL download

Network Initiated PRL Download
This is where the network initiates an OTAPA session with the mobile device and performs the PRL download without user intervention. This requires that both the network and the device are OTAPA capable and that the OTAPA capability is not disabled.

A subscriber parameter administration security mechanism (SPASM) exists to ensure that only authorized entities can download to the device. When the device parameters are protected, the mobile device requests a 'signature' from the network and, at the same time, calculates a signature itself. The OTA system, upon receiving the devices challenge, will request the HLR to obtain an authentication signature (from the authentication center). The OTA system forwards the signature to the MS. Only when the MS reports that the two signatures match can the PRL download proceed.
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Signal Insurance

Cost: $5.95
Standard smartphone Deductible: $100
Standard dumbphone Deductible: $50
Deductible for "extended warranty": $25

How do I add it?
It can be added at the point of sale or you can call CS or go to the store to add the feature at any time. Unless the phone is brand new, or if the feature is added at a different time, a test call needs to be made. This merely verifies that the phone is working at the time the insurance was added. We CSR's are human, so don't be afraid to ask for a test call if you call to add this feature and we forget. This will avoid any problems when it comes time to make a claim.

What phones can be covered by Signal?
Any phone carried by uscc, including such high end phones as the RAZR and the BlackBerry. No extra monthly fee or higher deductible is charged.

What phone will I get if I make a claim?
The first option, when possible, is to give you a new or refurbished same model replacement. If your exact model is not available, whether it's just temporarily out-of-stock or a retired phone, a phone with similar features will be substituted. This phone will vary depending on what is currently available, but the first choice will be to substitute with that model's successor, when there is one. Example: LG VX6000's are typically replaced with LG VX6100's, when they're out of VX6000's. You are not guaranteed to get a replacement from the same manufacturer. However, if Signal has to send a different model phone, they will also send a battery, charger, and manual. When you call in the claim, the rep will be able to tell you what replacement phone you'll get.

How do I make the claim?
Call The Signal at 1-800-480-0167. Hours are (Central time):
Monday -Friday 6 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
Or you can file online at

How do I check a claim?
Claim status can be checked at any time at or by calling the number above. After business hours, you can still check claim status through the automated system.

What will I need to make a claim?
Your phone's manufacturer and model and ESN/MEID, which can be obtained via CS, if you're not certain. Also, you'll need the date that the incident happened. The ESN/MEID MUST have been active on the account on the date of the incident. Activating a loaner phone during the claim process will not void the claim. Very important that these three items be correct, as incorrect information can result in a denied claim. Also, for a lost phone, Signal will send you a form that MUST be filled out and returned, certifying that the phone is lost. For a stolen phone, you'll need a police report number.

What's covered?
Lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged equipment. The "extended warranty" covers any mechanical or electrical malfunction that would normally be covered by the manufacturer's warranty. The "extended warranty" only applies to the original owner, and does not kick in until the manufacturer's warranty expires, but covers the phone for the next four years. Any claim for things covered under the manufacturer's warranty will be denied and you'll be referred to the manufacturer.

What happens is my Signal replacement is faulty?
For refurbished phones, you're covered for the first 90 days. Just call Signal and they'll send another replacement at no extra cost.

For new phones, you're covered by Signal for the first 30 days. After that, you're covered by the normal manufactuerer's warranty. The "Bill of Lading" that comes with the phone is your "proof of purchase" to determine the warranty's start/end date. Without it, the manufacturer will go by the date code on the phone.

A letter is included with the replacement phone, so you'll know whether it's new or a refurb. New phones come in the same manufacturer box that you'd get at the store. Used equipment comes in a plain box. (This is the phone box, not the external shipping box.) You can also call Signal, and they'll be able to tell you.
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Phones For Sale: A Few Rules

Please post phones for sell in the USCC BST subforum.

1) No eBay link threads. If you want to put the link in your sig, that's fine. Reduces the clutter of dead links in the forum.

2) No "group buys" without Howard's permission. This is clearly stated in the forum rules.

3) Volume sellers. If you continually have used phones to sell, please contact Howard via the "Advertising" link at the top of the forum. Per the main B/S/T rules, anything over 2 new or 5 used phones in a month qualifies as a volume seller.

4) Post an asking price. You will get more feedback this way. If no asking price is posted, I will remove the thread.

5) Include a list of all included accessories. Also useful is a list of any included games that have been purchased from EE.

6) Please post in the thread when the phone is sold. This will not only benefit all of us (so we know if it's still for sale or not), but also the seller, as it will reduce pointless posts and PM's for a phone that's already sold. If you like, you can PM me, and I'll lock the thread (this is optional).

7) If you have a pic of your phone, please post it. This allows us to see the condition of the phone and accessories. Free hosting space can be found at such websites as

8) Posting in B/S/T threads is limited to comments relevant to the phone in question. Any off-topic comments will be removed, and continued violation can result in a ban.

I know we're all grown-ups here, so I just wanted to lay down a few ground rules, so that there's no confusion later on. If you have questions about this subject (or any other) that isn't addressed here, feel free to PM me about it. Thanks for your cooperation.
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USCC HoFo IRC Channel

Channel: #USCellular

A few notes from nevergonnauseth, who has revamped this channel a bit:
Within this new IRC channel lies a few changes

1. I will try to be logged in at all times. If I am not there, type out my name. It should alert me to check the window

2. The channel is for help and offtopic discussion. This means if you have a question no matter how n00bish it maybe, please feel free to ask it.

3. Because of rule number 2, we will get a lot of weird, over stated, and just plan wrong questions. If you need to get your flame on, go grab a smoke. This channel is just for anyone who needs to ask a quick question or doesn't understand a topic posted.

Alternately, you can use the Chatzilla extension for Firefox, or any other IRC client, such as mIRC. The IM application Trillian also includes IRC support.

Courtesy of our very own Jake15.
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