U.S. Cellular rewards customer loyalty

The carrier's Belief Project puts an end to many common carrier practices like forcing customers to sign a new contract if they buy a discounted phone.

U.S. Cellular announced yesterday that it is launching a new customer loyalty program called the Belief Project. The program, which is one of the first of its kind in the wireless industry, puts an end to many common carrier practices like forcing customers to sign a new contract if they buy a discounted phone.

Many of the Belief Project's benefits will depend on "Belief Points," which customers will start earning automatically and free of charge. The points then can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, such as earlier phone upgrades, additional lines, new phones handsets and accessories, ringtone downloads, and forgiveness of overage charges.

Exactly how many points you can earn will be based on the type of plan you have, how many lines you use, and how long you've been a customer. U.S. Cellular also says that points won't expire and they won't be subject to blackout dates. Other aspects of the Belief Project:

  • Once they complete an initial two-year contract, customers won't have to sign a new agreement, even if they buy a new phone at a discount.

  • Customers on certain plans are entitled to a replacement handset if their phone malfunctions. Alternatively, if their device is lost or stolen, they can replace it for $100 regardless of model.

  • An "Overage Cap" feature will limit how much you can be charged for exceeding your monthly anytime minutes. Customers on individual plans won't pay more than $50 in overage fees, and family plan subscribers won't pay more than $150. What's more, customers will receive a warning message when they reach 75 percent and 100 percent of their allotted messages and texts.

  • Customers who sign up for paperless billing and agree to monthly auto pay using a debit or credit card will receive a 3 percent discount on their bill. If you use a checking or savings account with auto pay, you'll receive a 5 percent discount.

  • The required waiting period for upgrading to a new handset could decrease from 18 months to as little as 10 months depending on the customer's plan and by redeeming Belief Points.

About the author

Kent German leads CNET's How To coverage and is the senior managing editor of CNET Magazine. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he started in San Francisco and is now based in the London office. When not at work, he's planning his next trip to Australia, going for a run, or watching planes land at the airport (yes, really).


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