Georgia NeSmith
2 min readJun 29, 2022


HA! You think you had it bad with Verizon.

Try dealing with Assurance Wireless, one of the phone companies that handles the "Lifeline" free cell phone services for us po' folk. I have been through THREE replacement phones over the course of 6 months. I then bought my own phone -- a "refurbished" Galaxy10. They were supposed to provide me with a SIM card so I could use it with their service.

They sent me an empty envelop.

I gave up. Signed up with Mint Mobile. Don't believe the ads. You know that $15 mo. minimum service they offer on tv and other ads? You have to pay an entire year in advance to get it. And they don't tell you what the cost will be when you add it for only 3 months. I have another month left on my $25 per before it goes up to $35 per (with 10GB data). No, I'm not gonna do that. I get unrestricted data access on my Assurance wireless, so I will use that for the data, and my Mint for the unlimited phone & text service.

Got the Assurance phone working again for a few weeks. Now when people call or I call out, the calls fade in and out.

Now understand this: there's a reason it's called "Lifeline" because the original intent of the program when Reagan (yes, Reagan) set it up was to enable po' folk to call emergency services or family to handle emergency problems, and to take calls related to employment.

The service now includes wireless access, and you get a "free" phone. Assurance gets its phones really cheap from a Chinese company and they are all cr*p.

Guess what? If something goes wrong you have to wait (last winter I waited TWO EFFING MONTHS) for the new phone to arrive. What am I supposed to do in the meantime? I truly NEED a lifeline phone because I have multiple chronic health conditions, two of which could KILL me if I couldn't get access to my doctors or emergency services.

So much for the "LIFE" part of "lifeline."

It's actually a much longer story with many more aggravations, including the help desk telling me they are sending my new phone by express mail, and they never arrive--just like the SIM card for my Galaxy. Poof. I got an imaginary one.

So apparently the wireless services are bad all around, even for the folks paying $50 and more /mo.

We need to get folks like us who are "mad as hell and not going to take it any more" together to organize around these issues with wireless services being such a sh*thole.

I have never ever EVER had any problems like this with the landlines Iused all my life before this.

What good is having the "convenience" of a cell phone when it's dead during emergencies and your life Is threatened???



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.