Filing a Complaint Against A Free Government Phone Provider

Government Cell Phone Complaints.  From time to time, we have had readers contact us about problems they are having with their phone or phone service and don’t know where to turn. This can be frustrating as everyone wants reliable phone service.  Have you ever spent what seemed like a lifetime trying to reach a live person on the phone?  Unacceptable things are not being able to reach your providers.

The phone prompts go from around and around, and you still can’t reach anyone. It seems people want our money but don’t want to provide excellent customer service.  As a consumer, you deserve reliable, reachable service from a free cell phone provider. We will discuss when you need to call your provider and when you need to contact your state public utility commission or USAC.

Free Government Cell Phone Complaints

Several problems can arise when using any phone.  Government cell phone complaints often go unanswered when you don’t know where to go.  Because your phone is a discount or free doesn’t mean you should not get A-1 customer service.  However, there are some problems where you need to talk to a higher authority.

What is USAC?

The USAC is the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), is the agency that facilitates the federal universal service fund for the Lifeline Program.  They work with telephone providers to provide qualifying consumers with a discount each month with a landline or wireless phone service.

Answers to Free Government Phone Complaints

My application was denied because I was identified as a duplicate subscriber.

If you find you are registered for more than one phone, contact your provider within 35 days of the letter’s date to select which account you would like to keep.  If you fail to notify the Universal Service Administrative Company or provider, you can lose your Lifeline privileges.

My Phone Company has not resolved my issue. 

Your service provider should never deny you assistance.  If you can not get your issue resolved, the USAC will help you.

Recertifying Eligibility

To find out if you are eligible.

When you apply for service, you will have to submit the information to determine if you qualify for the Lifeline discount.  If you are eligible, you will be contacted via email or letter to inform you that you have been accepted into the program.  See if you qualify here.

I received a re-certification letter, but  I am having trouble re-certifying online or through the phone system.

If you don’t renew your phone services in time, you can use your  Lifeline benefits until the issue is fixed.  Contact the Universal Service Administrative Company immediately if you have this issue.

How do I re-certify

Every year you will be contacted by mail and or robot-call reminding you to re-certify your service.  Keep a note of the date your service begins, in case you are not contacted.

Getting Help

I can reach customer service.

Some free cell phone providers have phone systems that do not connect you to a live person.  They are trying to answer your question without speaking to a representative. Some things have to be handled person-to-person.  When you can’t get the help you need, please contact USAC.  Get help here!

I lost my phone

When you have lost your phone, you need to contact your specific cell phone provider.  Do not contact a website that writes about free cell phones; contact your specific cell phone provider.  Only they have the authority to replace or sell you a new phone.  Some cell phone companies will give you a new phone without charge, and some will charge you a fee for another one.

Possible Issues with your Free Phone

 I have been approved for a Lifeline discount, but I didn’t receive a credit on my bill.

Mistakes can happen.  Do not panic if you notice you are not getting your Lifeline credit.  This problem is an oversite and should be resolved easily.  Make sure you have re-certified for continued service.

My phone doesn’t work.

If you receive a new cellular phone and it is not working properly, your company will replace it free of charge.  If the product does not work because of something you have done, you will have to pay a fee or buy a new one.

Troubleshooting Issues

My application was denied.

When confirmation of DOB or SS number is a problem, your free cell phone provider or USAC can help with this issue.  Double-check to make sure you have given the right information in your application.

I re-certified my service but am no longer receiving a Lifeline credit on my phone bill.

This can happen if you were late in submitting your re-certification response.  Contact the company by email, letter, or call.

I didn’t receive my monthly minutes.

Your provider facilitates monthly minutes.  If you do not receive your allotted time, they can correct it.  Contact that by email, phone, or live online customer service is available.

Federal Poverty Guidelines – What Income Qualifies

You may be eligible for a Lifeline Program discount.  Your household’s income must be at or below 135 percent of the federal poverty guidelines,

Household Size 48 The Contiguous States and D.C. Alaska Hawaii
1 $15,890 $19,872 $18,293
2 $21,506 $26,892 $24,746
3 $27,122 $33,912 $31,199
4 $32,738 $40,932 $37,652
5 $38,354 $47,952 $44,105
6 $43,970 $54,972 $50,558
7 $49,586 $61,992 $57,011
8 $55,202 $69,012 $63,464
For each additional person, add $5,616 $7,020 $6,453

11 Replies to “Filing a Complaint Against A Free Government Phone Provider

  1. Hello, I started searching for a phone after the phone I had used for safelink I had one stolen the other fell out of my pocket and a car came by and ran it right over. So I had an old Samsung they were able to help me have service with this phone. Because the phone was so small I started having problems with it. I then called Assurance Wireless I waited from Nov 2018 to April 1019 to finally get a phone after that Safelink finally released me, after a dozen phone calls. Time after time Assurance said a phone was on the way. So finally received a phone, from April 2018 to March 2019 I received approximately 10 phones and a sims card. I have a phone now that about 4 weeks ago I had a charge on the phone I thought everything will be okay. Even though they repeatedly said “I was receiving a new phone”. I didn’t realize that I would only receive the UL40 that I continually last the most 45 days. This last when I left the house I had it in my coat pocket came home from the grocer, never used my phone, when I came home it was so hot I am surprised it didn’t light fire in my coat pocket. I called Assurance wireless they said “they would send me an envelope and a new phone”. I asked them could they send me something besides this phone because they are dangerous”. They said yes a brand new phone, and every brand new phone was a UL40″. I never received the envelope and they said “they were not sending an envelope and I haven’t received, they told me” her name was Jen. I had my sister call in about the phone I guess she became aggravated with them she told them cancel the program, because you are adding stress to someone who is very sick and stress just make things worse. Well I kind of didn’t want to do this, the lady said “this would have to happen three times in May and most happened within 60 days.”. She said “starting with this phone”. Then I got aggravated. 11 phones within 11 months, seems unfair. So now I am going to have to buy a phone and get safelink, which is my fault, but they will help me. I have never ever been so disappointed with a company as Assurance wireless. How can you have that many phones that will not work from day one which twice and every 30 months or so having to call for another phone. They had told me to fill out another form, which I was thinking now after talking to them today. I never want to have a phone with them. They lied to me repeatedly and repeatedly sent me dangerous phones. Oh and if you need to talk to a supervisor, that will never happen. So in order to have this phone replaced I had to have another UL40, they just would not ever upgrade but, always sent me to the page to buy one. I think the whole program is a scam

    1. Hello Kimberly. You seemed to have not gotten your issue resolved after the company has sent you 10 or 11 phones. You can either change your phone provider or get Cricket or other cell phone plan for about $25 a month.

  2. My first phone quit after it’s warranty. I was trapped to buy another for $30. It conveniently started messing up just after it’s 1 year warranty. I bought another phone to get my data and # transfered. I tried doing that for over a month unsuccessfully. I am still using the partially functioning phone. Is it planned obsolescence? Operator incompetence? Or what? I need a fully functional, inexpensive smart phone that I can tell when I need a new one. Thank you.

    1. Hi, Chuch. How long do you expect a $30 phone to cost compared to an iPhone that cost $700-800? They are not meant to last. Try going to Wal-mart to purchase a phone compatible with your service.

  3. how do i discontinue my qlink service and go back to my safelink service i have had for a long time i do not like qlink and want my safelink acct reinstated if possible

  4. I was talking about Qlink. My phone was stolen, I paid 25 bucks on my bank account and you sent me a phone that does not hold a charge. I can’t call you or chat only email. Ur abusing a disabled and sick dying person. Qlink sucks period. I have now started my complaints with my Senators, Governor and I want you to lose this contract. You’re not a good company. The hell u put people through now u want another 25 as u sent me a bad phone. I worked for my ex-senator and I’m raising all hell now. I hope u all lose ur jobs

  5. I have an Assurance cell phone and I wanted to know if I can upgrade to a smartphone and keep the same service?

  6. I have had my Q link phone for about 2 and about 2 days ago my phone stopped working.. I got a message saying that I had used all of my minutes.. there’s no way that happened. I rely on my phone to work properly. I also need internet service.. Please help me with this minor setback… I have already referred 4 people to your service and most of yrs have already had a problem.. Please call me at 478-262-9293. So we can resolve this issue. Sincerely, Land Lynch

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