Our world communicates through mobile devices. Sometimes government programs can help customers gain access to smart phones when they would not otherwise be able to do so.

We decided to take a closer look at the two of the companies providing the bulk of the government subsidized mobile phones in the United States: SafeLink Wireless and Assurance Wireless. When you have to choose between SafeLink Wireless or Assurance Wireless, you want to know that you’re in good hands. To compare SafeLink Wireless with Assurance Wireless, we took at a look at the phone programs and websites as well as the actual experiences of real customers.

SafeLink Wireless

 Assurance Wireless

SafeLink Wireless Rating* ⭐⭐(2.0)

Assurance Wireless Rating *⭐⭐(2.0)

SafeLink Wireless Reviews - 1K

Assurance Wireless Reviews - 1.1K

 Resolved Issues - 2

 Resolved Issues - 4

 Claimed Losses - $71.8K

 Claimed Losses - $1.6M

By reading through SafeLink Wireless reviews and Assurance Wireless reviews, we can see how the two companies compare to each in terms of customer experiences. We also dug through the company websites to see the SafeLink Wireless vs Assurance Wireless comparison in other areas including:

Read on below to find the full SafeLink Wireless vs Assurance Wireless breakdown.

SafeLink Wireless and Assurance Wireless Customer Service Experience

To best compare the Assurance and SafeLink customer service, we turned to the people who know the companies best – the actual customers. We used the PissedConsumer ratings created by actual customer reviews left on our website. The numbers are clear when it comes to SafeLink and Assurance Wireless pros and cons.

More than two thousand customers have come to PissedConsumer to leave Assurance and SafeLink Wireless reviews. These Assurance and SafeLink Wireless complaints pull the curtain back on how the companies actually interact with customers. We compiled the data from our collection of reviews into the table for easy reference.

Customers who have left SafeLink Wireless reviews have been frustrated with many things. The company has earned a total of 2.0 stars from a possible 5. SafeLink Wireless complaints have given the company a total of 2 stars in Product and Service Quality and Website, but only 1 star in customer service.

In his SafeLink Wireless complaint (review #1668826), a frustrated customer explained his interaction with customer service. After the consumer called the SafeLink Wireless phone number to ask about his wireless minutes,

“they informed with barely legible language, that I was going to have to go through the entire application process again, wait 7 to 10 business days again, and I was on the phone, again, for more than a hour trying to get this done."

The SafeLink Wireless review continued with

“They try to provoke people on purpose. And talk so fast that you are constantly having to ask them to repeat themselves.”

His final thought in the SafeLink Wireless review was

It has been the most awful experience. I cannot afford a cell phone thru Verizon, AT&T, or any other at this point. But this free phone with SafeLink isn't free at all. It cost you a portion of your sanity to have to deal with customer service.”

If you have questions or concerns about SafeLink Wireless plans, you can contact the company by calling the SafeLink Wireless phone number at (800) 378-1684.

More than 1100 Assurance Wireless reviews were left on PissedConsumer. These reviews were compiled using the PissedConsumer algorithm and created a rating of 2.0 stars out of a possible 5 for Assurance Wireless. Assurance Wireless customer service scored 2 stars out of 5 where SafeLink Wireless scored only 1.

In her Assurance Wireless review (review #1664500), one customer explained what happened when she called the Assurance Wireless phone number. Consumer had and inquiry regarding her phones that didn’t work, she learned that

“instead of resolving my issue, a supposed to be supervisor sent me return labels to send both phones back and disconnected my phone while I was still talking to her! I had to call back immediately to have it tunrned back on!”

She continued her Assurance Wireless review by stating  

“I have had nothing but abusive, horrifying customer service and they are confident in their actions as if that is what they are trained to do.”

The final thought in her Assurance Wireless review was that

“the supervisors here in the U.S. pays them to talk to us and if I didn't like their customer service behavior and the phones that the warehouse keeps sending me to go to another provider and then hung up in my face as always!”

If you have concerns or questions about Assurance Wireless plans or service, call the Assurance Wireless phone number at (888) 898-4888.

Safelink Wireless VS Assurance Wireless Replacement Policies

Cell phones are small and desirable. It’s not unrealistic to think that they might become easily misplaced or even be stolen.

SafeLink.com provides an answer to lost and stolen phones deep within the Terms and Conditions of service on the company’s website. According to the terms “...all reported lost and stolen phones will be permanently deactivated...” To report your phone as lost or stolen, you must call the SafeLink Wireless customer service number.

The terms also state that “...if you wish to continue receiving SafeLink service, you may either buy a replacement phone from us or provide your own unlocked phone and purchase a replacement SIM card...” In short, if you lose your phone, you will need to purchase or provide a SafeLink Wireless replacement phone.

According to the Assurance Wireless FAQ page, you should call the customer service number if you’ve lost your phone or think it’s been stolen to prevent anyone else from using your account balance of minutes. The website indicates that you “...may be charged for a replacement device and shipping...”.

assurance phone replacement
In short, the company will potentially send you an Assurance Wireless phone replacement, but you may be liable to pay for it.

Safelink Wireless VS Assurance Wireless Plans and Prices

There are two options when you apply for SafeLink Wireless. The first is to arrange service using your own phone. The second is to apply for a free phone through the company.

safelink plan features

If you choose to use your own phone, the SafeLink Wireless data plans you have available will vary by location and size. In the example below, using your own phone or if you arrange for a free phone from the company, you can arrange for 3 GB of data per month and free voice minutes and unlimited texts. The fine print on the offer reminds customers that the minutes and data every month do not roll over after 30 days.

Much like SafeLink, the Assurance Wireless smartphone plans vary by location. Currently in California there is an offer where you can arrange up to 5GB of data through Assurance Wireless and receive a free Android smartphone.

assurance wireless phone service
With both Assurance and SafeLink Wireless, plans are advertised as being free for customers who qualify. The programs are available to “qualifying low-income households.”

Additionally, Assurance Wireless has paid programs for additional services.

assurance wireless plans

Safelink Wireless VS Assurance Wireless Applications

The SafeLink Wireless application involves multiple steps including adding personal information, verifying your eligibility for the program, submitting proof of eligibility and getting device information.

safelink phone service
The SafeLink Wireless FAQ page offers more information about eligibility for the program. According to the page, “...all new subscribers must demonstrate that they are eligible...”. This can be confirmed through a database or through other forms of documentation.

safelink faq
The Assurance Wireless application starts with information about eligibility. According to the Assurance Wireless FAQ page on applying for service, you are eligible for plans in many different ways. If you already receive services from the government in areas like Medicaid or Federal Public Housing Assistance, for example, you may qualify for Assurance Wireless.

assurance wireless eligibility

You may also qualify for Assurance Wireless based on household income.

assurance wireless income based eligibility

The Assurance Wireless application begins with a series of assurances and notifications that require an electronic signature before continuing to the application itself. According to the website steps posted for California (as you have to select a location to continue), you will fill out the application to create an Assurance Wireless account number. Then you will receive the application in the mail for your signature. Once the paperwork is completed, you’ll be sent your approval letter and phone.

assurance wireless application

Safelink Wireless VS Assurance Wireless Activation Process

The SafeLink Wireless activation process is described in the company’s FAQ section. The website gives you two options to activate SafeLink Wireless smartphones. You can text REACT to 611611 if you already have a phone from the company or you can follow the link to the account services page to sign-in and check the status of your new phone if you are following the activation process for the first time.

Assurance Wireless activate instructions are very straightforward. To activate your phone you will need to:

  • Turn on the phone. It will check for updates.
  • Turn off the phone. It will eventually power back on and then allow you some customization features.
  • Dial 611 to hear the rest of the instructions to activate your new phone.

Safelink Wireless VS Assurance Wireless Insurance Types Offered

SafeLink Wireless does not offer any type of insurance or warranty information on its website. In fact, in the Terms and Conditions, the company is explicitly clear that there is no warranty offered on the products or service you are arranging outside of the “...limited warranty set forth in these terms and conditions...”.

safelink warranty

The Limited Warranty provided by SafeLink is offered for one year on new and reconditioned SafeLink Wireless phones.

safelink limited warranty
There is no mention of Assurance Wireless insurance anywhere on the company’s website. There is, however, a limited warranty much like SafeLink Wireless offers. According to the FAQ about the warranty, the Assurance Wireless phone comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer. If your phone breaks in the first year, you can call the Assurance customer service number to see about having the phone replaced by a similar, but not necessarily exact, model.

assurance wireless warranty
As another sort of reminder or assurance, Assurance Wireless also has clear instructions to use your phone at least once every 30 days or risk having your phone deactivated.

assurance wireless lifeline service
When you’re signing up for a new service, you want to know that you're getting something worthwhile. Spending hours trying to sort out issues can be exhausting, which is why it’s only natural to want to know Assurance and SafeLink Wireless pros and cons. When you breakdown the comparison between SafeLink Wireless vs Assurance Wireless, there are obvious similarities but there are real differences as well. Ultimately you will have to determine which company is the best fit for you.

Freelance Writer By Rebecca Garland
Business and Education Expert

Rebecca Garland, M.S. is a business and education writer. She holds secondary teaching certifications in six areas, has a degree in Business, and earned a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science. As an expert, Rebecca has been working with international clients since 2005.

*The company ratings on the PissedConsumer website are calculated using a mathematical algorithm that evaluates the information in the company’s profile. The algorithm parameters are: users’ rating, the number of resolved issues, the number of company responses and more. The PissedConsumer algorithm is also subject to change in the future.

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Legal disclaimers:

1. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide any legal, medical, accounting, investment or any other professional advice as individual cases may vary and should be discussed with a corresponding expert and/or an attorney.

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