We’ve reported several times in the last few months that ReachOut Wireless is leaving the Lifeline Assistance free government cell phone program.
ReachOut customers have received texts from the company announcing that they would need to find a new Lifeline service provider. We participated in an online chat with a ReachOut representative who confirmed that the company is no longer accepting any new customers.
And now the company’s website has confirmed its customers worst fears — it is completely withdrawing from the Lifeline Assistance program and leaving them in the lurch. Here is a screen capture of the “Important Update:”
We’ve been among the biggest critics of ReachOut, but we have to give the company credit where credit is due. Unlike some other Lifeline Assistance companies who just packed their bags and closed their doors in the middle of the night without notifying their customers, ReachOut is going above and beyond to help its customers transition to a new provider.
In addition to the texts notifications that have been reported by our readers, ReachOut has posted the dates on which they will close down operations in each of the 19 states in which they do business. On top of that, the company’s website also provides a complete list of alternative Lifeline service providers in each of those states.
All a customer needs to do is open up a drop down menu and click on his or her state. A list of every Lifeline service provider in that state will automatically pop up. We’ve taken the liberty of making it even easier for our readers by summarizing the dates in each state:
Arizona – April 21, 2016
Arkansas – April 21, 2016
California – April 21, 2016
Georgia – April 21, 201
Iowa – June 19, 2016
Idaho – May 6, 2016
Illinois – May 22, 2016
Kansas – April 21, 2016
Kentucky – April 21, 2016
Louisiana – April 21, 2016
Maryland – April 21, 2016
Missouri – April 21, 2016
Mississippi – May 26, 2016
New Jersey – April 21, 2016
Nevada – April 21, 2016
Rhode Island – April 26, 2016
Texas – May 22, 2016
Wisconsin – April 21, 2016
West Virginia – May 21, 2016
(NOTE TO OUR READERS: Please be aware that ReachOut’s list of Lifeline Assistance providers includes companies that only offer discounts on home phones rather than free government cell phones. If you select a service provider from the list offered by ReachOut, make sure that you enroll with a company that offers the free program. For a better list, go to the FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net States page and select your state.)
ReachOut flames out
We wish we could explain what happened at ReachOut, but we are not privy to the inner workings of what was once the third largest Lifeline Assistance free government cell phone company. The company was one of the early innovators in the Lifeline business, but has seen its income and number of customers plummet in the last few years.
The number of customers may have decreased, but the number of customer complaints skyrocketed here at FreeGovernmentCellPhones.net and at the Better Business Bureau.
Although we’ve had our problems with ReachOut Wireless over the years, we hoped this day would never come. Fewer free government cell phone providers means less competition and less competition is never good for consumers.
So despite our problems with ReachOut, we wish them a fond adieu and hope that they are successful in whatever field of endeavor they attempt next.