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Consumer Cellular to Open Second Phoenix Call Center

TMCnews Featured Article

February 29, 2012

Consumer Cellular to Open Second Phoenix Call Center

By Chris Freeburn, TMCnet Web Editor

Consumer Cellular wireless-phone-service will open a second Phoenix, Arizona-based call center, adding 300 customer-service jobs to the local economy, according to an article on AZCentral. The company’s current Phoenix call center employs about 225 full time workers, the article said.

Plans to open the new call center come after Consumer Cellular, which specializes in low-cost, low-usage cell phone service targeted at seniors, announced that it would soon offer its phones for sale at Sears retail stores.

Opening in June, the new call center will handle sales, customer service and technical support calls.

A privately held company, Consumer Cellular operates one of the nation’s oldest mobile virtual networks. Virtual networks provide cell phone service by leasing mobile-network infrastructure from other carriers for customer use. Virtual operators like Consumer Cellular, also known as mobile-service resellers, compensate the networks they lease time from at a wholesale rate, the article noted.

According to John Marick, co-founder and CEO of Consumer Cellular, virtual network operations permit Consumer Cellular to offer low prices, making the company competitive among consumers seeking low cost cell phone service for occasional use and simple phone equipment. Consumer Cellular’s phone service plans start at $10, an attractive price point for such consumers.

The company recently added low end phones from Sweden-based cell phone manufacturer Doro. A new Doro (News - Alert) phone, PhoneEasy 740, an Android-based smartphone targeted for senior citizens, will debut on Consumer Cellular this spring. Made by Doro, the PhoneEasy 740 features a simply user interface (UI) that completely hides the Android (News - Alert) operating platform, leaving the screen uncluttered with widgets and other features. The phone as a single rear button, which if pressed continuously for five seconds will send pre-set emergency messages to any five individuals set to receive such messages.

Doro is considering plans to introduce a small number of apps of potential interest to older consumers, including an app reminding users when to take medication and possibly a Facebook (News - Alert) app.

Higher end consumers who use their cell phones frequently and enjoy smartphone capabilities and data usage, fall outside the company’s targeted market, Marick indicated.

Currently, the company has roughly 750,000 subscribers and 450 employees. Marick said that the company values customer service and is looking for personable representatives to staff its call centers.

"We want someone who is friendly, helpful and has a real desire to help people out," Marick said.

Edited by Rich Steeves

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