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California Lifeline Service FAQs

Table of Contents

1. Does SafetyNet Wireless offer California LifeLine discounts to all customers?
2. Which public assistance programs qualify me for a LifeLine benefit in California?
3. Are SafetyNet Wireless California LifeLine participants required to purchase bundled plans with video, data, and/or other services to receive California LifeLine discount?
4. What handsets does SafetyNet Wireless offer to California LifeLine Participants?
5. Does SafetyNet Wireless provide a voice-grade connection?
6. What happens if a California LifeLine participant fails to receive a voice-grade connection and notifies the service provider?
7. Are there times when my service may not work?
8. Is there an activation fee for California LifeLine Participants?
9. What happens if I decide to terminate my California LifeLine Service shortly after activation?
10. How long after enrollment must I wait to submit another enrollment request to another LifeLine provider?
11. As a California LifeLine participant, can I pay my phone bill in person without being assessed a fee?
12. Are calls to 911 and SafetyNet Wireless Customer Care free and unlimited for California LifeLine participants? Do they count against my allotted voice minutes or number of calls?
13. Are there standards for 911 emergency services location accuracy and reliability?
14. What is the fee for accessing 800 or 800-like toll-free services?
15. Does SafetyNet Wireless provide free access to the California Relay Service via 711?
16. Does SafetyNet Wireless provide access to two California LifeLine discounted telephone lines to Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program participants?
17. What happens if SafetyNet Wireless discontinues its participation in the California LifeLine Program?
18. Will my SafetyNet Wireless device work on another provider’s network?
19. What happens after I receive my phone at a SafetyNet Wireless event or location?
20. What happens when the SafetyNet Wireless handset is removed from the home?
21. Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

1. Does SafetyNet Wireless offer California LifeLine discounts to all customers?

SafetyNet Wireless offers California LifeLine discounted services on a non-discriminatory basis to any customer residing within the service territory where the Company offers retail wireless telephone services. SafetyNet Wireless will only provide California LifeLine discounts to participants that are found eligible for California LifeLine Service by the California LifeLine Administrator.

2. Which public assistance programs qualify me for a LifeLine benefit in California?

You may qualify for SafetyNet Wireless if you participate in any government assistance programs listed on your SafetyNet Wireless state application form or based on household income eligibility standards. In California, the California Public Utilities Commission develops the eligibility requirements for qualified households to receive the California LifeLine discounts. The eligibility requirements can be found online at: http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/lifeline/ and https://www.californialifeline.com/en/eligibility_requirements.

3. Are SafetyNet Wireless California LifeLine participants required to purchase bundled plans with video, data, and/or other services to receive California LifeLine discount?

No.

4. What handsets does SafetyNet Wireless offer to California LifeLine Participants?

SafetyNet Wireless provides a free handset to California LifeLine participants, (limited to one per customer per year). Handsets may be new or refurbished depending on availability and market conditions. However, if a California LifeLine participant is not entitled to a free handset or desires to purchase a different upgraded or data capable handset, SafetyNet Wireless will offer handsets to participants for purchase on the same basis as the Company’s retail customers.

5. Does SafetyNet Wireless provide a voice-grade connection?

Yes. LifeLine customers have the ability to send and receive voice-grade calls over all domestic distances (local and long distance) via a wireless voice-grade connection to the public switched telephone network. Domestic voice calls are not distance sensitive; a customer does not pay more for making a domestic long distance call than for a call within their local exchange area.

6. What happens if a California LifeLine participant fails to receive a voice-grade connection and notifies the service provider?

California LifeLine participants are entitled to a voice-grade connection. If a California LifeLine participant fails to receive a voice-grade connection and notifies SafetyNet Wireless, SafetyNet Wireless will (1) promptly restore the voice-grade connection, or if not possible, (2) provide telephone service to that participant using a different technology if one is available from SafetyNet Wireless and if the participant agrees. However, if a voice-grade connection cannot be provided, the participant may contact SafetyNet Wireless to terminate California Lifeline Service without penalty.

7. Are there times when my service may not work?

Service is subject to transmission limitations caused by certain equipment and compatibility issues, atmospheric, topographical and other conditions, as well as proximity. Service can only be available when in range of a transmission source, which you should be aware of when leaving your home area. Service is dependent on radio towers which require electricity to operate and could become non-functional in the event of a power outage if backup power is not available or runs out. Further, service may be temporarily refused, limited, interrupted or curtailed due to system capacity limitations, technology migration or limitations imposed by the Carrier, or because of equipment modifications, upgrades, repairs or relocations or other similar activities necessary or proper for the operation or improvement of the Carrier’s radio telephone system. Neither SafetyNet Wireless, nor any Carrier, shall have any liability for service failures, outages or limitations of Service.

8. Is there an activation fee for California LifeLine Participants?

Each SafetyNet Wireless plan is subject to a non-recurring $39.00 activation fee when initiating service with the Company or changing service from another provider to the Company. The one-time activation fee is charged to a customer’s account at activation; however, if the customer is approved for California LifeLine by the California LifeLine Administrator, the customer will receive a $39.00 discount back to the LifeLine customer’s account.

9. What happens if I decide to terminate my California LifeLine Service shortly after activation?

California LifeLine participant may terminate service within 14 days of service activation or at any other time for any reason without incurring early termination fees. If a California LifeLine participant terminates service within three days of service activation, excluding national holidays, applicable service connection charges and deposits, if there were any, would be refunded. However, SafetyNet Wireless California LifeLine Service does not require payment of a service connection charge or deposit by a customer who is found eligible for California LifeLine Service by the California LifeLine Administrator.

10. How long after enrollment must I wait to submit another enrollment request to another LifeLine provider?

A consumer who submits an enrollment request to receive the California LifeLine discounts for cell phone service to wait up to thirty (30) days to submit another enrollment request. You CANNOT have multiple enrollment requests for the California LifeLine discounts for cell phone service going at the same time. The 30-day waiting period ends when either (1) the California LifeLine Administrator sends the final eligibility decision, (2) the enrollment request is canceled, or (3) the 30 days have passed since the enrollment request, whichever occurs first. After the 30-day clock stops, you may then submit another enrollment request for the California LifeLine discounts for cell phone service, as applicable. You can independently cancel an enrollment request by contacting the California LifeLine Administrator by phone at (877) 858-7463, or by going to Check Your Status at www.californialifeline.com. The cell phone company can also cancel an enrollment request.

11. As a California LifeLine participant, can I pay my phone bill in person without being assessed a fee?

SafetyNet Wireless is a prepaid service provider that does not bill its customers. SafetyNet Wireless does not assess a fee to customers when adding value to their prepaid customer account. However, third-party vendors and retail locations that provide in person payment services may charge their own convenience fees.

12. Are calls to 911 and SafetyNet Wireless Customer Care free and unlimited for California LifeLine participants? Do they count against my allotted voice minutes or number of calls?

Calls to 911 and SafetyNet Wireless Customer Care are free and unlimited for SafetyNet Wireless California LifeLine participants, and they do not count against allotted voice minutes or number of calls.

13. Are there standards for 911 emergency services location accuracy and reliability?

Your handset will be able to place calls to 911 even if you have no minutes available. It is advised, by Public Safety Officials, that you should be prepared to provide information about your location when making a 911 or other emergency call. Wireless service, unlike landline phones, uses less reliable methods to place calls and to determine your phone number and location. Network coverage can be adversely affected by weather, structures, buildings, geography, etc. Because of these factors, emergency operators may not be able to determine your location or your phone number, or, you may not be able to complete a call at all. Occasionally, callers may attempt to call 911 in areas where there is no wireless coverage. If there is no wireless coverage, your call to 911 may not go through and you should dial 911 from the nearest landline phone. Enhanced 911 service, also known as E911, relies on GPS technology to obtain location information. This service is dependent on a number of factors such as the abilities of the local emergency authorities, GPS ability of your phone, whether your GPS enabled handset has GPS turned on, and your phones ability to obtain a GPS Satellite signal which can be impaired by being indoors, weather, etc. Even when available, E911 does not always provide accurate location information.

14. What is the fee for accessing 800 or 800-like toll-free services?

There is no fee to access 800 or 800-like toll-free services, but these calls count against allotted voice minutes.

15. Does SafetyNet Wireless provide free access to the California Relay Service via 711?

Yes. SafetyNet Wireless California LifeLine participants have free access to California Relay Service via 711. Associated calls using the 711 relay service may count against minutes.

16. Does SafetyNet Wireless provide access to two California LifeLine discounted telephone lines to Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program participants?

Yes, SafetyNet Wireless will provide access to two California LifeLine discounted telephone lines to participants in the Deaf and Disabled Telecommunications Program.

17. What happens if SafetyNet Wireless discontinues its participation in the California LifeLine Program?

In the event that SafetyNet Wireless were to discontinue offering California LifeLine service,
30-days’ prior notice would be provided to participants.

18. Will my SafetyNet Wireless device work on another provider’s network?

SafetyNet Wireless handsets are designed to be activated on our networks and in other coverage areas that we may make available to you. Even when unlocked, it may not accept wireless service from another carrier.

19. What happens after I receive my phone at a SafetyNet Wireless event or location?

SafetyNet Wireless may provide a handset directly to you when you apply for LifeLine service in person, however, this does not mean the LifeLine application process is complete. After you receive your phone, you will have 500 free promotional minutes (and 3:1 texting, 3 texts = 1 minute) that you can use as normal until your LifeLine application has been approved. We will notify you via text message when the California third-party administrator has approved your LifeLine application and verified your eligibility. Once your LifeLine application has been approved and your eligibility verified, you will be placed on the LifeLine plan you chose at the time of enrollment.

If your LifeLine application comes back with a denial requesting more information, we will reach out to you to gather the additional information required.

20. What happens when the SafetyNet Wireless handset is removed from the home?

When you remove your SafetyNet Wireless handset from your home, other family members in your household may not be able to reach 911 emergency services.

21. Who can I contact if I have a complaint?

You can always contact SafetyNet Wireless Customer Service if you have any questions, concerns, or complaints by dialing 611 from your SafetyNet Wireless phone or by dialing SafetyNet Wireless’ toll-free number 888-224-3213. However, you may also contact the California Public Utilities Commission’s Consumer Affairs Branch: by telephone 1-800-649-7570 (Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm); or by mail CPUC Consumer Affairs Branch, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102.

[1] The Company reserves the right to refuse to provide a free handset in accordance with the Company’s Handset Policy, which limits the availability of free handsets to only one per twelve-month period, per customer.  Customers who are not entitled to a free handset must purchase a handset from the Company or provide their own compatible handset.

[2] The California LifeLine fund will pay for no more than two (2) connection/activation fees per household per year (whether with the Company or any other wireless service provider) pursuant to D. 17-01-032. SafetyNet (not the customer) will be responsible for any California LifeLine participant’s activation fee that is not eligible for reimbursement from the LifeLine fund.

[3] If you selected the rate plan that requires prepayment (the “Prepayment”) towards your account and provides you with a free Smartphone, and you cancel service prior to receiving 12 consecutive months of service, you will be charged an “Early Smartphone Promotion Termination Fee” and any remaining account credit associated with the Prepayment will be applied to your outstanding account balance.  As long as you remain on the plan, the Prepayment will apply towards the monthly plan fee and any applicable taxes and fees.