I went into my local US Cellular store to inquire about their plans and to find out if I could get phones for my parents who live in Maryland. I wasn't sure if they had coverage in their area for US Cellular. The sales rep looked on the computer and explained that my parents were covered by their partner coverage and sometimes partner coverage strengths can vary but it should be okay. My brother has US Cellular service and whenever he is at my parents' house he doesn't have a problem so I felt like this would be okay for them. I looked at all the plans and decided on one that would work for all of us. I purchased 4 new phones, one for myself, my husband and both of my parents. I was specific with the sales rep that I wanted to do this for my parents to help them out so that they could get rid of their cell phone bill.
I spent over 3 hours in the store getting the phones set up, porting over my number from TracFone and getting 2 temp. Numbers set up on my parents' phones so that they could port their numbers over. I was told that the closest US Cellular stores to them were about an hour away from them since they were in a partner coverage area but any US Cellular store could help them port their numbers over. I was told about the 15 days in which I could cancel my contract and return the phones. I took off from work and drove up to my parents' house to surprise them with the phones. We drove over an hour and a half to the closest store to port over their numbers. Unfortunately this is when I was informed by that rep that the numbers wouldn't port over because my parents were in partner coverage and sometimes they had problems porting numbers from a partner coverage area.
I was also informed that since my parents were in a partner coverage area the phones should have NEVER been sold to me as it was against policy to sell customers phones when they were outside of the coverage area. WHAT! I couldn't believe it. It was also explained to me that after a certain amount of time since my parents would be using their phones in a partner coverage area and not in a US Cellular area then US Cellular would then send me a letter asking me to remove those two lines from my contract and can/will terminate service on those phones. Now how is that helping my parents out? They would then be out of cell phone service. So we had to drive another 30 minutes to the corporate store who could take the phones back. Fortunately since it was the 15th day I could return the two useless phones and I could cancel my contract also. But then that would leave me out of town with no cell service.
I wasted a total of 5 hours correcting something I shouldn't have had to correct. I am stuck with a contract now that I don't want and can't help my parents out without paying an early term fee. If the sales rep at my local store would have done her job correctly and told me that I couldn't cover my parents because of the partner coverage and the termination I would have NEVER become a US Cellular customer. I would have gone to AT&T who covers my area and my parents' area. Beware of the partner coverage.