Here’s what’s in the US Cellular contract, and what that means for you as a US Cellular customer.
What to Know Before You Read US Cellular Contract
Guide to Consumer Contract Vocabulary and Terms
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US Cellular Contract
Customer Service Agreement
These are the Terms and Conditions for Service between the customer (“you”) and USCC Services, LLC on behalf of its operating licensed affiliates doing business as U.S. Cellular in your Home Market, as defined below (“U.S. Cellular”, “we” or “us”). “Service” refers to the telecommunication services/programs, including voice and data services, you purchase from U.S. Cellular. Your “Agreement” includes (1) these Terms and Conditions, (2) the Service Agreement (“Service Agreement”) on which you applied for Service, (3) the terms and conditions (typically, but not exclusively, included in the applicable brochure or literature) applicable to each Service, and (4) if you purchase data services, the applicable terms posted at www.uscellular.com/termsandconditions.
You are eligible for Service only if you or your employer has a billing address within U.S. Cellular’s licensed market area. If you meet the eligibility requirement only through your employment address, you may only be eligible for certain rate plans. All accounts you have with us must be kept in good standing in order to be eligible for Service. If any account is not in good standing, all accounts are subject to suspension and/or termination.
Term/Termination/Early Termination Fee
This Agreement is effective on the day we activate your Service and continues until terminated in a manner as provided below. You may terminate Service at any time by notifying U.S. Cellular. Termination by you shall be effective immediately unless you request a later termination date. A request to port your number is a request by you to terminate Service immediately. Your monthly recurring Services and the applicable charges for those monthly recurring Services shall be prorated to coincide with the termination date. Depending on the amount of Service that you have used during the month of termination, such a proration may result in you incurring overage charges. U.S. Cellular may terminate or suspend your Service at any time without notice if you fail to perform any obligations of this Agreement including the restrictions and obligations set forth in the paragraphs regarding “Use of Service” and “Payment and Due Date.” Additionally, U.S. Cellular may terminate this Agreement at any time without notice if we cease to provide Service in your Home Market. If the Agreement is terminated for any reason during the Initial Term (“IT”) other than pursuant to (i) the “Changes to Relationship” paragraph below, (ii) any applicable U.S. Cellular guaranty period or (iii) U.S. Cellular ceasing to provide Service in your Home Market, you may be assessed an Early Termination Fee (“ETF”). The duration of the IT and initial value of the ETF are defined in your Service Agreement. (Devices purchased via a Retail Installment Contract are not subject to an ETF.) Each applicable line of Service shall be subject to a separate ETF. The ETF shall be pro-rated over the IT of the Agreement. New tablets are subject to a pro-rated $350 ETF. New modems and hotspot devices are subject to a pro-rated $150 ETF. By way of examples, an ETF of $350.00 for a 24 month IT will be reduced by $8.33 after months 1 – 22 respectively, by $8.41 after month 23 and further reduced to $0 after month 24. An ETF of $150.00 for a 24 month IT shall be reduced by $3.13 after months 1 – 23 respectively and further reduced to $0 after month 24. The ETF’s for Certified Pre-Owned Devices vary and shall be pro-rated using a straight line calculation. Upon termination for any reason, you are responsible for the payment of all charges. If your Service is reinstated, you may be charged a reactivation fee.
You may appoint one or more persons to manage your account (“Authorized Contacts”). These Authorized Contacts will be able to access and make changes to your account, including but not limited to; view information about the account, add and/or terminate lines of Service, purchase equipment, extend and/or renew the IT, make payments on the account, etc. You are responsible for any account changes and/or purchases made by any Authorized Contact.
Use of Service
At least 50% of your monthly voice usage for each device on your account must be used in U.S. Cellular’s licensed markets. No more than 400 MB of your data usage in any month for each device on your account may be used in U.S. Cellular’s non-licensed markets. The customer address or business address for business accounts (not the billing address if different) will be deemed to be the primary place of use of Service for all devices on this account for purposes of calculating certain taxes, surcharges and fees. You agree to inform us of any changes in your customer address or business address for business accounts which must always be within U. S Cellular’s licensed markets. Service is furnished for your use only; you may not resell Service to third parties. You may not use the Service for any unlawful, improper, harassing or abusive purpose or in such a way that interferes with U.S. Cellular’s network, business operations, employees or customers. U.S. Cellular may, in its sole discretion, block access to certain categories of numbers (e.g., 976, 900 and international designations). We may periodically, without notice, remotely change or update your wireless devices software, applications or programming. This process may affect or erase any data you have stored on the device or any personalized settings.
Payment and Due Date
You are responsible for payment of all charges on your bill, including but not limited to telecommunications-related charges (such as monthly access, airtime, roaming, toll, long distance, directory assistance, application charges and data network usage); charges for other discretionary goods and services offered by U.S. Cellular or third parties for which we bill (such as ringtones, graphics, games, premium messaging services and other on-line content); regulatory cost recovery charges (such as Universal Service Fund, Enhanced 911 and Wireless Number Portability); surcharges; and taxes. Regulatory cost recovery fees, surcharges, and taxes are subject to change without notice. Payments are late if not received by U.S. Cellular by the due date shown on the monthly bill. We may charge a late fee of up to $5.00 for each late payment or 1.5 percent a month or part thereof (18% annually or the highest rate permitted by applicable state law) for any amount not paid when due, whichever is greater. We may charge you a returned check fee for a check returned for any reason. We may charge a processing fee of up to $5.00 on any credit balance due upon termination of Service for any reason. You will be charged a collection fee if your account is referred to a third party agency for collection. The collection fee will be assessed up to the maximum amount permitted by applicable law.
You understand that Service may be interrupted or unavailable due to atmospheric or topographical conditions, governmental regulations or orders, or system capacity limitations. Representations of coverage by U.S. Cellular or its agents are not guarantees.
Lost or Stolen Phones
You are responsible for all authorized charges on your phone. If you claim unauthorized charges on account of a lost or stolen phone, you must report your phone as lost or stolen immediately so that we may investigate your claim. We will investigate any claims of unauthorized charges within 30 days. You agree to cooperate with our investigation and to submit any relevant documentation that you have such as a police report or a sworn statement. You will not be required to pay any disputed charges while we investigate. If we determine that the charges are unauthorized, we will credit your account.
U.S. Cellular may require a deposit from you to guarantee payment of charges for Service and from time-to-time may increase the deposit based on your usage and payment history. Deposits will only be returned to you after a minimum of 12 consecutive months of satisfactory payment history. U.S. Cellular may apply deposits or payments to any charges you owe us on any account. Interest will not be paid on deposits unless required by law.
Your monthly Service fee will be billed in advance and your usage charges not covered by your monthly Service fee will be billed in arrears. Each partial minute of airtime will be rounded up and billed as a full minute. You may be charged for calls that are not completed but ring longer than 59 seconds. For completed calls, you will be billed from the time you push the “send” button until you terminate your call by pushing the “end” button on your phone. “Application charges” include the non-recurring and/or monthly subscription fees incurred when you purchase data applications from us or third parties for which we bill. “Data network usage charges” are the charges for transferring data (i.e., downloading applications, accessing the Internet, etc.) rendered in units of kilobytes or megabytes. Each partial kilobyte of data transferred will be rounded up and billed as a full kilobyte. Text, Picture and Video Messaging are billed per address/recipient. You may add or remove a block on your account for third party services such as premium messaging services at no additional charge by contacting Customer Service. YOU MAY SEEK A CREDIT OR REFUND FOR ERRORS IN BILLING FOR UP TO 180 DAYS (OR AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY CA LAW FOR CA CUSTOMERS) AFTER ISSUANCE TO YOU OF THE BILL ON WHICH THE ERROR IS CONTAINED BY CONTACTING U.S. CELLULAR AS PROVIDED ON YOUR BILL. YOU WILL HAVE WAIVED YOUR RIGHT TO DISPUTE THE BILL AND TO BRING, OR PARTICIPATE IN, ANY LEGAL ACTION RAISING SUCH DISPUTE IF YOU FAIL TO DISPUTE THE CHARGE ON YOUR BILL WITHIN 180 DAYS (OR AS OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY CA LAW FOR CA CUSTOMERS) AFTER THE ISSUANCE OF THE BILL. WE MAY ALSO BACK BILL YOU FOR ANY ERROR THAT RESULTS IN AN UNDERBILLING TO YOU WITHIN 180 DAYS OF THE ISSUANCE OF THE BILL THAT SHOULD HAVE REFLECTED THE UNDERBILLED CHARGE.
Billing Out of Area Calls
Billing for some calls made/received by you outside of the home U.S. Cellular switch to which your account is assigned at the time your service is established (“Home Market”) may occur after the close of your regular billing cycle. Typically this occurs when you make/receive calls late in your billing cycle outside your Home Market such as when you are roaming on another carrier’s network or are making/receiving calls on a U.S. Cellular network other than your Home Market. When this occurs, the minutes used, and associated charges, will be applied against your monthly calling plan in the month that the usage appears on your bill rather than the month the calls actually occurred.
Changes to Relationship
We may amend the Agreement at any time by providing advance notice to you. If we make material changes to the Agreement that negatively impact your use of the Service such as an increase in your Price Plan, you may cancel your Agreement without incurring an ETF by notifying us within 30 days after the notice. Changes to (i) regulatory cost recovery fees, surcharges and taxes, or (ii) other changes to the Terms and Conditions that do not negatively impact your use of the Service shall not constitute material changes to this Agreement. If you use the Service after the 30-day period, you agree to be bound by the changes.
You authorize consumer reporting agencies to periodically furnish U.S. Cellular with your consumer report. You authorize U.S. Cellular to periodically disclose your account information and payment history to consumer reporting agencies.
Limits of Liability
U.S. CELLULAR’S LIABILITY REGARDING YOUR USE OF THE SERVICES OR EQUIPMENT, OR THE FAILURE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE SERVICES OR EQUIPMENT, IS LIMITED TO THE CHARGES YOU INCUR FOR SERVICES OR EQUIPMENT DURING THE AFFECTED PERIOD. THIS MEANS U.S. CELLULAR IS NOT LIABLE FOR ANY INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (SUCH AS LOST PROFITS OR LOST BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES), PUNITIVE OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES, OR ATTORNEYS’ FEES.
Disclaimer of Warranties
EXCEPT TO THE EXTENT THAT U.S. CELLULAR PROVIDES A WRITTEN LIMITED WARRANTY FOR SPECIFIC EQUIPMENT, U.S. CELLULAR MAKES NO WARRANTY REGARDING THE EQUIPMENT AND SOFTWARE AND DISCLAIMS ANY IMPLIED WARRANTY, INCLUDING ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE TO THE EXTENT PERMITTED BY STATE LAW. U.S. CELLULAR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND ITS CONTROL, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION, ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF OTHERS, ATMOSPHERIC CONDITIONS, OR ACTS OF GOD. U.S. CELLULAR DOES NOT MANUFACTURE EQUIPMENT OR SOFTWARE, AND YOUR ONLY WARRANTIES AND REPRESENTATIONS WITH RESPECT TO EQUIPMENT OR SOFTWARE ARE THOSE PROVIDED BY THE MANUFACTURER UNLESS AND ONLY TO THE EXTENT THAT APPLICABLE STATE LAW IMPOSES WARRANTY OBLIGATIONS ON U.S. CELLULAR.
U.S. Cellular may assign this Agreement without notice to you. You may assign this Agreement only with U.S. Cellular’s consent.
This Agreement is the entire agreement between you and U.S. Cellular. This Agreement supersedes any inconsistent or additional promises made to you by any employee or agent of U.S. Cellular.
ANY CONTROVERSY OR CLAIM ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS AGREEMENT SHALL BE RESOLVED BY BINDING ARBITRATION AT THE REQUEST OF EITHER PARTY PURSUANT TO THE WIRELESS INDUSTRY ARBITRATION RULES AS MODIFIED BY THIS AGREEMENT AND AS ADMINISTERED BY THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION (“AAA”). WE SHALL BE FULLY RESPONSIBLE FOR FILING, ADMINISTRATION AND ARBITRATOR FEES AND WE WILL ADVANCE, OR REIMBURSE YOU FOR, ANY REASONABLE FILING, ADMINISTRATION AND ARBITRATOR FEES FOR ANY ARBITRATION INITIATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THIS PARAGRAPH. WE WILL REIMBURSE YOU FOR YOUR REASONABLE ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COSTS IF THE ARBITRATOR AWARDS YOU AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO OR GREATER THAN THE AMOUNT YOU HAVE DEMANDED IN SUCH ARBITRATION. THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION SHALL ADMINISTER THE ARBITRATION AND JUDGMENT ON THE AWARD RENDERED BY THE ARBITRATOR MAY BE ENTERED IN ANY COURT HAVING JURISDICTION. BOTH PARTIES ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THIS AGREEMENT IS A TRANSACTION INVOLVING INTERSTATE COMMERCE, AND IS THEREFORE GOVERNED BY THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT. BY AGREEING TO ARBITRATION, BOTH PARTIES ARE WAIVING THEIR RIGHT TO LITIGATE IN COURT INCLUDING ANY RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL. UNLESS YOU AND WE OTHERWISE MUTUALLY AGREE, ALL HEARINGS UNDER SUCH ARBITRATION SHALL TAKE PLACE IN THE COUNTY OF YOUR BILLING ADDRESS. AT YOUR OPTION, YOU MAY BRING AN ACTION AGAINST US IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT, NOTWITHSTANDING THIS AGREEMENT. THE PARTIES AGREE THAT ALL CLAIMS, WHETHER IN ARBITRATION OR IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT, SHALL BE TREATED INDIVIDUALLY AND THERE SHALL BE NO CONSOLIDATION OF CLAIMS, CLASS ACTIONS, REPRESENTATIVE ACTIONS OR PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ACTIONS. U.S. CELLULAR EXPRESSLY REJECTS AND DOES NOT CONSENT TO ANY CONSOLIDATION OF CLAIMS OR CLASS ACTION IN THE ARBITRATION. THIS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT SURVIVES THE TERMINATION OF THIS SERVICE AGREEMENT. FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON COMMENCING ARBITRATION AND HOW THE ARBITRATION PROCESS WORKS, YOU MAY CALL THE AMERICAN ARBITRATION ASSOCIATION AT 800-778-7879 OR VISIT THEIR WEBSITE AT WWW.ADR.ORG.
U.S. Cellular does not publish directories of our customers’ phone numbers nor do we provide our customers’ phone numbers to third parties for publication in directories.
No Waiver; Severability
U.S. Cellular’s failure to enforce any right or remedy available under this Agreement is not a waiver. If any part of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable, the remainder of this Agreement will remain in force.
Wireless Emergency Alerts.
U.S. Cellular delivers wireless emergency alerts (“WEAs”), at no additional charge, to capable devices of customers throughout its service area and through roaming arrangements in most circumstances. Participation in the WEA program by wireless providers such as U.S. Cellular is voluntary, but those that offer the service must adhere to the technical and operational requirements established by the FCC. The FCC has recently adopted certain enhanced WEA features that U.S. Cellular is deploying in its network. However some devices may not be able to access some or all of these enhanced features. U.S. Cellular makes no representation concerning the suitability of any device to receive WEAs. For additional information about WEAs, please see our website at uscellular.com/wea.
We reserve the right to correct any errors or omissions in the Agreement.
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