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

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