Plans and Features
What are your current promotion/specials?
Do you have a family sharing plan?
Yes, we do offer rate plans that can share minutes with your main line. We offer nationwide plans with nationwide mobile to mobile calling. Please check out our current rates.
Sometimes I receive the same text message multiple times. Is this normal?
It is not abnormal to receive duplicate text messages on occasion. Typically this occurs when the system doesn’t receive proper communication that the message has been received by the phone, so it resends the message again. Turning the phone off and back on a daily basis does help prevent some duplicate text messages. It would be abnormal to receive the same message every minute or so over and over again. Should this occur, try deleting all messages in your inbox/outbox. If your phone has a removable battery, take the battery out of the phone for a few seconds. Replace the battery, and turn the phone back on. Also check to see if there are any additional messaging apps installed on the phone that could be causing a conflict with the default messaging application. If that does not resolve the issue, contact IVC Customer Care
What areas can I use my phone?
You can use your phone anywhere in the 50 states where there is coverage, but your charges are based upon the rate plan you have.
I am roaming out of state and my phone does not work, what do I do?
While you are traveling out of state and find that your phone can not make/receive a call, please call us from a landline phone at 800-438-4824 during business hours Monday - Friday 8 am - 5 pm CST and Saturday 9 am - 1 pm CST.
How do I get my pictures off my phone?
Our data plans give you the ability to send pictures to another mobile subscriber’s phone.
You can purchase a data cable specific to your model of phone and use the phone tool software to connect your mobile phone to your PC. Another way to connect to the PC is via Bluetooth. (Check to see if your model has this option.)
How do I change the ring volume in the phone?
Most phones have an up/down volume key on the left side of the phone. You can also adjust the volume of the ringer in the settings. Please consult your manual.
How do I make the volume louder during a call?
Most phones have an up/down arrow key on the left side. You can also consult your manual for instructions.
What is the Lifeline Program?
The Lifeline/Link-Up program offers discounted cellular service to eligible low-income consumers who qualify. For more information, see the Lifeline Plan.
What is roaming?
Roaming is the term that is used when a customer of one cellular carrier leaves their home service area and goes into another cellular carrier’s service area. Roaming charges vary among cellular carrier’s coverage areas. Illinois Valley Cellular has roaming agreements with other cellular providers across the US. You can avoid roaming charges by selecting a nationwide plan.
I'm roaming and can't make or receive any calls.
Check to make sure the phone is not set to home only. This option is located in different locations dependent upon phone model, but is generally found under network selection or system select menus. If you are unable to find this or if your phone is not set to home only and you still cannot make/receive calls, please call IVC Customer Service.
Some people receive the picture messages I send, however there are certain numbers who never receive my message. What could cause this?
Make sure all messages are being sent using the 10-digit phone number (with the area code). In some phones, whatever is stored in contacts will override what you’ve manually typed, so it’s important to have phone numbers programmed with 10 digits in your phonebook contacts. If your phonebook contacts are programmed without the area code, reprogram with the area code. It is also possible that the resolution size of your picture is too large to be displayed on the receiving phone. Prior to taking a picture on your camera phone, look in your owner’s manual for instructions on how to reduce the resolution size of the image you have captured. If you are still unable to send any messages to specific numbers, please call Customer Care.
How does my free mobile-to-mobile work?
IVC offers nationwide mobile-to-mobile calling between IVC customers. Regular charges to or from other mobile phones are chargeable.
Phone and Accessories
What kind of phones do you offer?
What is GPS?
GPS-capable phones rely on signals from the Federal Government’s Global Positioning System satellites to help estimate their location when you make a 911 call. IVC handset-based location technology provides the most accurate capability over varied terrain, and is generally capable of estimating locations within 300 meters in most cases.
Does my phone come with a warranty?
Yes, all phones come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty which covers factory defects.
Do you offer any additional phone insurance?
IVC does offer a Wireless Protection Program feature, as well as AppleCare+. This will cover all aspects of the phone which include physical and liquid damage.
How do I get the most out of my battery?
Many different factors influence your battery performance. The temperature of your current surroundings can play a significant role in how well your battery holds a charge. Still, there are steps you can take to improve your battery life. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth can be turned off when not in use. Your phone uses IVC’s mobile network for data and so you would only need Wi-Fi turned on if you’re using your home network or a wireless network that you trust. If you’re not using a Bluetooth headset or car kit, you can turn it off to conserve battery power. By default, your device is set to automatically adjust the brightness of your device, but the display timeout is set for 1 minute. This means that when you put your phone away, the display takes a full minute to turn off. You can change the display timeout to as little as 15 seconds and there are apps that you can download to keep the display active while in use and turn it off when not in use. GPS on the device can also be turned off if you’re not currently using it. By turning off and adjusting a few items on your phone, you can help improve your overall battery life.
Where do I take my phone to get looked at?
We have several technicians available to help you. You can call 611 while in our home area and ask to speak with a phone technician. Please visit one of our locations.
What do I do if I lose my phone?
Please contact customer service as soon as you can. We can temporarily suspend your service.
If my phone is stolen, am I liable for the charges incurred?
Please contact customer service and discuss any usage. You will need to file a police report and provide the docket number to IVC.
Billing and Payments
How do I read my bill?
Please visit our billing support page for instructions.
Can I manage my account online?
At this time, you are unable to manage your account online. However, please be advised that IVC is working to implement some online management of our customer accounts. IVC does allow you to view your bill online and set up automatic payment. Click here to enroll now or please contact IVC Customer Relations for assistance with your account.
Do I have to change my rate when I upgrade?
You may be required to change your rate depending on the handset or device feature and rate plan requirements are in place at the time of your upgrade. Please contact your local sale representative.
Where do I pay my bill?
Illinois Valley Cellular is all about options for our customers.
Option 1: You may call Customer Relations and pay your bill over the phone with a credit card.
Option 2: You may pay in cash or by check at any of our retail locations.
Option 3: You may set up online payments with automatic bank draft and even set a limit on your payment, giving you time to check into those costs if you have questions.
Why was I charged a late fee?
IVC has made our billing and payment option for our customers as convenient as possible. There are four billing cycles and each billing cycle always processes on the same day of each month. The due dates for each billing cycle are also always on the same day of each month. If IVC does not receive your payment before the day before your next bill processes, the system automatically applies a $25.00 late fee to your account. If you do not know your bill process or payment dates, please contact Customer Relations.
Why am I seeing old calls on my bill?
Calls placed on another carrier’s network may take up to 30 days to appear on your bill. We cannot bill you until the other carrier has processed your calls and forwarded them to Illinois Valley Cellular
Why does the airtime on my bill not match the airtime from my phone's timer?
The call timer included in your wireless phone begins timing calls from the moment you press the SEND button until the END button is pressed. These timers keep track of all calls, including misdials, *611 or 911 calls. (IVC does not charge you for calls made to 611, 911.) The call timer in your wireless phone calculates every minute of every call you make. IVC rounds up to the nearest minute while the timer in your phone may calculate your minutes without rounding up.
Where do my free nights and weekends minutes work?
Free nights and weekends minutes are free for calls made and received in Illinois only. Nights begin at 7 pm and end at 6:59 am. It should be noted that if you are on a call prior to the start time of free nights and weekends and the call duration runs past the 7 pm, the entire call will be billable. It should also be noted that if you are on a call prior to the end time of free calling and the call runs past 6:59 am stop time that the entire call will be free. Of course, free nights and weekends do not apply to our unlimited plans.
What time do my free night minutes start?
Nights begin at 7 pm and end at 6:59 am.
How do I change my number?
You may go to any of our Wireless Solution Centers or Authorized Agent locations and request a number change. Please bring your phone to one of our sales agent locations. There will be a $10.00 fee for a number change and it will be billed on your next bill.
What happens if I do not pay my bill?
Upon non-payment of any sum due, IVC may or may not, by notice to the subscriber in writing or by telephone communication, without incurring any liability to the subscriber, either temporarily or permanently terminate the furnishing of service to the subscriber at IVC’s sole discretion, either in part or in whole. IVC may also charge to reconnect service.
Why am I getting charged for Directory Assistance?
Directory Assistance calls are not covered under any calling plan and may incur charges up to $3.00 each time you use it.
Porting Your Number
What is Local Wireless Number Portability?
LWNP or (WNP) is a service that allows customers to keep their current wireless phone number when they bring their line to a new wireless provider. This process or service is called “porting”.
When was Local Wireless Number Portability (WNP) implemented?
Number porting was implemented in the top 100 markets of the U.S. on November 24, 2003. All Illinois Valley Cellular service areas implemented number portability on May 24, 2004.
What is the specific procedure for switching from another provider to Illinois Valley Cellular and keeping my wireless number?
In order to transfer your wireless number from another provider to Illinois Valley Cellular, it is as easy as: 1) Bring your last wireless bill, 2) personal identification, and 3) your wireless phone into any Illinois Valley Cellular Agent or Retail location.
Do not cancel service with your previous provider before porting your number. This will make your number ineligible to port.
How much will it cost me to port my number to Illinois Valley Cellular?
There is no initial charge for the porting process. All Illinois Valley Cellular customers are currently being charged $3.00 per month for each line in order to recover just a portion of the costs directly related to number portability and other regulatory mandates.
Will I have to buy a new phone if I switch to or from Illinois Valley Cellular?
Because different providers use varying wireless technologies, yes, you will need to get a new phone if you port to Illinois Valley Cellular. Note: Even if another provider uses the same technology as Illinois Valley Cellular, they may program their phones to only work with their service. Illinois Valley Cellular does not do this because we believe that individuals should be able bring their phone to another provider if they choose.
If I port my number to Illinois Valley Cellular, does that let me out of my existing contract with my current provider?
No, the full terms of a current contract must still be honored. As a result, you may be responsible for charges imposed by your previous provider if your contract term is not fulfilled and/or if you have outstanding charges on your account.
Is it possible to port my landline number over to Illinois Valley Cellular or my Illinois Valley Cellular number over to my landline carrier?
Per a mandate from the FCC, a customer’s landline phone number may be transferred to any wireless provider whose coverage area overlaps where their landline number is provided. Several landline phone companies have asked the FCC or state commissions for a waiver of their porting obligation. Therefore, it is possible that you will not be able to take your landline number with you when you come to Illinois Valley Cellular.
If I take my landline number to Illinois Valley Cellular can I still have my phone number listed in the local directory?
You will need to contact the local landline provider to find out if your number can be listed. There may be a charge for this. All Illinois Valley Cellular wireless numbers are unpublished.
How long will it take to port my number?
Wireless-to-wireless ports should take two and a half hours. Landline to wireless ports may take several days. In addition, landline companies have asked the FCC and state commissions for a waiver of their porting obligation. Therefore, it is possible that you will not be able to take your landline number with you when you come to Illinois Valley Cellular.
Cellular Service and Network
What is a "dropped call"?
A “dropped call” is a call that is disconnected unexpectedly. Sometimes, while traveling, your wireless conversation is handed off from one cell tower to another and is dropped. When a call is dropped, it usually means either that you’ve traveled into the fringe at the outer limits of your service area, or that your battery is running low and cannot maintain enough current to “hold” the signal transmitting your call.
Why are my calls being routed to IVC?
If your phone has been suspended for any reason, any call you make will be routed to the Customer Service Department. If during Credit Department business hours of 8am – 5pm Monday – Friday, a live representative will take your call and assist the financially responsible party, or an authorized person.
How does weather affect my cellular service?
Storms may shut a tower down due to excessive winds or lightning and rain may interfere in the signal due to excessive moisture around the dish. Extreme humidity creates a barrier in front of the signal which inhibits the distance of coverage.
Why am I getting poor signal inside my home?
If your cell phone’s reception is adequate just outside your home, coverage may not be the problem. The problem may actually lie in the type of material used when building your home. Some types of materials used during a home’s construction can interfere with a cell signal. For instance, concrete structures use rebar, which is too dense for most cell signals to penetrate. Stucco exteriors (and interiors) use wire mesh, which can also interfere with signals. Even aluminum siding can be problematic because it tends to reflect cell signals, instead of absorbing them.
Why does my signal strength change with the seasons?
Leaves on trees and thicker vegetation strongly effect signals to your phone, attenuating or reducing the signal by as much as half or more as compared to the fall or winter. Other areas are country roads surrounded by corn fields. When the corn reaches its tallest, you would be surprised at how much signal is lost in your vehicle when driving down these roads.
How fringe areas affect my calls?
Fringe areas have other roaming carriers signal bleeding into our area which causes your phone to go between home and roaming signal. When that happens, the call will then drop due to the towers lack of seamless hand-off between the IV Cellular tower and the roaming carrier’s tower.
Who can set up and manage IVC TextGuardian?
IVC account holders and authorized users ONLY can add lines and delete lines. The account holder and authorized user will need to go through password authentication (CPNI) to add the feature.
How many lines can you add to your account?
As many lines as you have on your account. If you have 15, you can add all 15 to TextGuardian.
How do I know that my text messages aren’t being monitored by someone?
Only account holders and authorized users are able to add the Text Guardian feature to a phone line. Meaning, only lines in your account can be added to Text Guardian.
I’m signed up with 2 lines, now I want to add another line, how do I do that?
Call customer service or 611 from your cellphone.
How much does it cost?
The first line is $5 a month, with $2 for each additional line.
Can I just put it on my kid’s lines?
I forgot my password.
Click “forgot my password” and TextGuardian will send you an email or a text message to your mobile device to help you recover your account. If you do not receive an email within 24 hours please contact customer service.
If a person is blocked, and I try to send them a message, will I be notified?
Yes. You will get a text that says, “TEXTGUARDIAN: You are not able to send text messages during this time period.”
If a person on my block list tries to send me a message, will they be notified?
Yes. They will get a text message that says, “TEXTGUARDIAN: The person you are texting is not receiving messages. Your message will be delivered at a later time.”
If I have a time restraint or block set up, will my calls go through?
Text Guardian ONLY works with text/picture messages, voice calls will still go through.
If I have a time restraint set up, how can I make sure emergency texts get through?
In the time restraint screen, you can allow certain numbers to still send texts during the restraint period.
If I try to send a message during a time restraint, will I be notified?
Yes. You will get a message that says, “TEXTGUARDIAN: You are not able to send text messages during this time period.”
If a person tries to send a message to my line during a time restraint, will they be notified?
Yes. They will get a message that says, “TEXTGUARDIAN: The person you are texting is not receiving messages. Your message will be delivered at a later time.”
How many numbers can I block?
Can I block short codes and MMS Picture Messages ?
What is a group for texting?
If you have a group of people that you send text messages to often, you can set a 4 digit short code to send them messages.
How many groups can i create and how many people can I put into each group?
You can create 10 groups and put up to 30 people in each group.
How do I delete TextGuardian or delete a line from TextGuardian?
Call customer service to remove the feature on the line.
How long are messages saved?
Until you delete them from your archive.
How far can I go back in my message archive?
Almost infinite… Depending on disc space. And we have a lot of disc space.
What does ”forward” do?
Text messages will be delivered directly to the forwarded device/email. The messages WILL NOT be delivered to the original recipient.
What does “copy” do?
Text messages will be delivered to the original recipient AND an email account specified in the Text Guardian user dashboard.
Wireless Emergency Alerts FAQs
What devices support Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)?
Illinois Valley Cellular® currently has several Commercial Mobile Alerts System (CMAS)–capable devices available to support Wireless Emergency Alerts. We are working to test and launch additional CMAS–capable devices to follow. Illinois Valley Cellular is committed to providing Wireless Emergency Alerts to as many phones as possible. To determine if a device is CMAS–capable, review the phone description page.
What will trigger a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA)?
There are three types of alerts:
Presidential: issued by the United States government; used to notify recipients of any national communication from the President; highest priority of the three alert types and cannot be suppressed.
Imminent Threats: issued by local, state, and federal officials or government agencies; used to provide notification of emergencies where life or property is at risk. Imminent Threats are categorized as Extreme or Severe.
AMBER: issued by a federal official; used to notify the community of missing, injured, lost, endangered or abducted children.
Will I receive Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) while traveling?
WEA are enabled throughout the Illinois Valley Cellular coverage area and will be broadcasted to the affected areas within our coverage area. You may receive WEA when roaming on another carrier’s network that supports the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) within the 50 states. We cannot guarantee service on another carrier’s network.
Do I need to select areas where I want to receive alerts?
Unlike programs that are based on customer selected zip codes, area codes, or other designated filters, Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) are broadcasted to all enabled devices within the affected area.
Will Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) track my location? Do I need GPS to receive an alert?
No. Neither subscriber information nor GPS is used to broadcast the alerts. Alerts are sent to all Commercial Mobile Alerts System-capable (CMAS) wireless devices in the affected geographical area.
Do Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) have other names?
While the broadcast alerts are called WEA, the official name for this new public safety system is the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). Some agencies also use the term Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN).
What is the difference between Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) and other organizations sending similar types of alerts?
General Short Message System-type (SMS) alerts from other organizations, while beneficial, are limited in nature and not authenticated through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Only authorized local, state, and federal officials can send WEA regarding critical emergencies, such as a tornado or a terrorist threat, to the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS).
WEA are unique because they utilize cell broadcast technology which is not subject to the same network congestion limitations as SMS and Multi Media System (MMS) messages. Cell broadcast technology allows messages to be sent to mobile phones in a specific geographical area regardless of the amount of traffic on the network.
How do I unsubscribe from receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)?
You may change settings within your device to opt out of Imminent Threats and AMBER alerts, but you may not opt out of Presidential alerts. Refer to the manufacturer’s website for the full user guide with operating instructions and information.
Why did I receive a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) when I have blocked text or picture messaging from my account?
Though WEA look similar to text or picture messages, they are broadcast messages that are not delivered through the Short Message System (SMS) or Multi Media System (MMS) and are therefore not blocked. There is no charge for WEA and they do not impact voice, messaging or data usage.
Who should I contact if I have questions or need additional information about a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) that I received?
You should contact the alert sender with any questions about a specific alert. Illinois Valley Cellular is not responsible for the content of any WEA and has no information beyond what is included in the message. The alerts originate from local, state or federal agencies.
How can I tell the difference between a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) and a text message?
WEA have a unique sound and vibration that distinguish them from text messages. They also have a distinct visual notification.
Will all local, state and federal government agencies participate in sending Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)?
Not all local, state or federal agencies are authorized to send WEA messages via the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS). Customers can check with their local government to learn if they are authorized.
Why was the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) developed and what is the history of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA)?
In 2006, Congress passed the Warning, Alert and Response Network Act that allows wireless carriers to broadcast emergency alerts to their customers on a voluntary basis. By the direction of Congress, the act was implemented “to ensure that all Americans have the capability to receive timely and accurate alerts, warnings and critical information regarding disasters and other emergencies irrespective of what communications technologies they use.” With this new public safety system, the wireless industry now joins the radio and television industry in broadcasting emergency notifications to the public.
IV Flex FAQ
What are the benefits of IVFlex?
With IVFlex, you can: Upgrade without additional fees or finance charges. Purchase a new device and pay for it monthly. Get more with IVFlex with The Limitless60 Plan. Customers on Limitless60 will receive up to $40 off their monthly line access charges each month.
Who is eligible for IVFlex?
To be eligible for IVFlex, your device must be eligible for an upgrade and: New and existing customers of 3 months or less must be in good standing. You must have a postpaid service agreement with IVCellular.
What devices are eligible for IVFlex?
All IVCellular Wireless smartphones and basic phones ($400 retail value or greater) are eligible for IVFlex.
How much does IVFlex cost?
IVFlex monthly payments will vary depending on the price of the device, but there’s no finance fee or upgrade fee to join the program.
Can I add insurance to a IVFlex device?
Yes. You can purchase insurance and other equipment protection services to guard against loss, theft, accidental damage, and certain post-manufacturer warranty defects.
As an existing IVCellular Wireless customer under a service agreement, can I participate in the IVFlex program?
Yes, you can participate in the IVFlex program provided you are upgrade eligible and enter a IVFlex Agreement.
Is the IVFlex program available for prepaid accounts?
No, prepaid accounts aren’t currently eligible for IVFlex.
Can I make a down payment when I buy a new device with IVFlex?
No, you cannot make a down payment to reduce your monthly IVFlex payment.
How many IVFlex Agreements can I have on my account?
You can have an IVFlex Agreement for up to 10 devices on your account.
Contract and Payment Plan: Does the IVFlex program require an agreement?
Yes, when you participate in the IVfFlex program, you will enter a 24-month IVFlex Agreement. However, this agreement is different from traditional 2-year service contracts because you can upgrade after 18 months with IVFlex, provided you have paid for 100% of the device. Customers must have and maintain a IVFlex Wireless service agreement when they purchase a device under IVFlex.
Can I pay more than my scheduled monthly IVFlex installment?
No, unless you are seeking to pay off 100% of your IVFlex Agreement, which you may do at any time. This may be done if you notify IVCellular at the time of payment.
How can I view the remaining balance of my IVFlex device?
Your IVFlex installment amount will be listed on your bill under the device description and installment amount under non-recurring charges on the monthly bill. Note: You won’t have the option to pay additional amounts beyond your monthly payment toward your outstanding IVFlex balance, unless you’re exercising the option of paying off 100% of the balance.
If my IVFlex device is lost, stolen or damaged, will I still need to make my monthly payments?
Yes, you’ll continue to be responsible for your monthly payments under your IVFlex contract. IVCellular offers handset insurance and other device protection services to help protect your IVFlex device.
If I voluntarily suspend service to my device, am I still required to pay for my IVFlex device?
Yes. If you voluntarily suspend service to your device (with or without billing), you’ll need to pay the entire balance owed under your IVFlex Agreement, which will be due in full on your next bill.
If I voluntarily disconnect service on my IVFlex device, am I still required to pay for my IVFlex device?
Yes. If you voluntarily disconnect service to your device, the remaining balance will be due in full on your next bill. If you receive any additional discounts, promotions or offers and terminate your service within 12 months of issuance you will be billed back the entire amount of any discounts, promotions or offers received.
Are IVFlex devices subject to IVCellular’s Return and Exchange Policy and a 1-year warranty?
Yes. IVFlex devices are covered by these policies.
If I return my IVFlex device under the Return and Exchange Policy, will I have to pay a restocking fee?
Yes. A restocking fee of up to 15% of the device cost applies to any return or exchange of a wireless device.
I am eligible for an upgrade and I would rather sign my device under a 2-year service contract rather than an IVFlex Agreement. Can I sign up for a 2-year service contract to get a new device if I continue to make my monthly IVFlex payments?
No. If you’re currently under a IVFlex Agreement, you can’t also sign a 2-year service contract. You can however pay off the remaining balance of your IVFlex device, either in full or according to the scheduled monthly installments. After your IVFlex device is paid off, you can purchase a new device under a 2-year service agreement.