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Cingular nightmare that only gets worse
Posted by on
I would like to enclose the nightmare I went through with Cingular Wireless and also the "attitude" they took on my complaint:

Cingular Wireless -

Today I had the worse Cingular Wireless nightmare - 4-1/2 hours that I personally will never want to repeat. However, I challenge every person holding a position of management from Directorship up to the CEO and COO. If different, the Owners of Cingular Wireless to experience what I have experienced, this should include all of the adult family members who benefit financially from my hard earned $$$$. I would insist that he or she personally experience the nightmare and not one of the appointed Cingular flunkies.

Needing to get a replacement telephone for 702-856-6083, for my 13-year-old son - at the time I ordered the phone on December 27, 2004, I felt a need for him to have a phone. He attends an excellent Magnet School, KO Knudson on the eastside of town; unfortunately, the area leaves very little to be desired and is influenced by a gang environment. The caution of being sure that if he is in “harms-way” he has immediate access to communicate. At the time I ordered the telephone in December, I also ordered the Media Service and extra insurance - Media Center - should he witness trouble, he can capture on camera and send immediately; the extra insurance - is it obvious, he is a 13 year old.

On January 31, I finally got around to calling Cingular for a replacement telephone - at the time, I thought that being transferred to the wrong departments, and disconnected many times was abnormal and I patiently called back each time.

1. My first call - I got a male agent, I gave him my pertinent information - “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of
SS #, pass code” - he informed me that I am an AT&T subscriber. I explained that I had upgraded my service and
was told that I am now with Cingular -- he put me on hold and without my knowledge, connected me with the AT&T
section anyway.

5-10 minute hold

2. Having to give me pertinent information again “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code” - talking
with the AT&T person -- she said I needed to talk to Customer Service

3. 5-10minute hold - disconnect

4. Called back - (5-10 hold) after giving the pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #”,
explaining that I was upgraded service from AT&T to Cingular, this agent asked me where did I order my phone’s from, I
told him that I saw the add in the internet, but I called in for the upgrade. She connected me to another department (?).

5-10 minute hold

5. I gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”, explained all of the
above and what I was trying to do, this guy says, “I will need to connect you to telesales”, I asked “what is the telephone # to
the department you’re connecting me to incase I get disconnected”, he said “I just came back from vacation, it is a new
department and I don’t have the telephone number and no one around me has it either, you just have to call back this number
and you’ll be connected again”. I was amazed at this explanation, I just wanted to get it over with and he connected me.

6. Went through 2 songs on the radio and 3 commercials going 1/2 way through the 4th song while on hold -

disconnect

7. Called back - 5-10 minute hold - I asked for “telesales”, before I could be transferred I needed to give all the pertinent
information, “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”, I asked for a direct fon # to Telesales, and
Then I was transferred.

5-10 minute hold

8. I gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #”, explained the situation, I was connected to the “exchange by mail”.

5-10 minute hold

9. I gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”, explained the situation, I was connected to the “warranty line”

5-10 minute hold

10. I gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, passcode”, explained the
situation, I was told I had no extended warranty. I was >>>, she quoted me $150 to replace the
telephone and by now I just wanted a refund, and no longer wanted the Cingular Service. The agent said she would need to
connect to, I believe was, Customer Service.

I have to give credit to this agent - when she connected me, she did not release me, and she explained my situation to the next agent before she transferred my call.

11. The next agent was very nice, I explained to her the above situation and I didn’t want to have to pay for a replacement Fon.
She said because of all the problems I’ve been going through, she would send me a new phone at no charge, I asked if I would
still need to pay for the Activation Fee, she said “no, I will waive the fee.
I was happy and accepted her offer, I also, added Media Center to the additional 3 telephones and wanted to be sure of the
extended insurance on my 13 year’s phone. She explained that my contract with Cingular would begin anew and I would
receive the new phone in 10 days.

PERFECT - I had resolved the problem, it was behind me and I could start a new day, I thought I was done?

Approximately 2 days later, I received a message on my home phone inquiring if I still wanted to cancel my service and I needed to call back and advise. I was surprised at the message, I had never finalized any cancellation and as far as I was concerned everything was moving forward as planned. Continued service and a new V220 replacement phone.

It wasn’t until there was a message on my 13 yrs old phone inquiring about the cancellation. I called and spoke to someone at Customer Service advising “no, I do not want to cancel my service and I am waiting for a replacement phone to arrive”. This agent advised that she cannot see the order because she is in Customer Service and I placed the order through “Telesales” (?) and she is sure that it is on it’s way.

I called today, February 9, 2005

5-10 minute hold

1. Gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”, inquired about a
Replacement telephones that I have been waiting for 702-856-6083 and had not received. I began calling at 10am, 888-333-
2355 - I gave the Order Number Q301-O0459, the agent said this is not correct there is not enough numbers after the dash.
She said she needed to connect me with “Telesales”

5-10 minute hold

2. Gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”, explained my situation
she put me on hold, every 5-minute intervals returning to ask me 1 question each time - that went on for 3 questions. Then I
was on hold for the longest time and another voice was on the line - it was Customer Service.

3. I started all over again, gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”,
she Put me on hold, she said she needed to connect me with the Sales Dept, I asked for the phone number, then transferred

5-10 minute hold

4. Gave my pertinent information “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”, I explained my situation, this agent said I needed to talk to someone in the Secondary Sales Department, I asked for the phone number, then she transferred me.

this hold was memorable; I started to actually time how long I was on hold - 30 minutes then
DISCONNECT

5. I called the number the agent gave, 800-866-1514 - this phone # is a nightmare in itself. You call the #, it gives 4 options,
you chose an option, it give another 4 options, you chose an option and it gives another 4 options, etc, etc, etc - it almost
seems like an “infinity” nightmare. “zero” is not an option just to get a live person on the line.

By now I was into trying to resolve this for 2-1/2 hours. What I had forgotten about - January 31st and never had any intention of remembering it. Now I was 1 notch less happy....

7. Called back 888-333-2355, I asked for a supervisor, the agent would not give me a supervisor until I gave my pertinent
information, “telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code” - so I gave the info, and he transferred ---

20 minutes hold

---- to whom I thought was a supervisor - but it was not - it was another Customer Service Agent. Unbelievable. I asked for
a supervisor and this time I refused to give my pertinent information. With some going back and forth about needing my
information, he transferred me.

25 minute hold - DISCONNECT - by now I was timing every hold - 45 minutes have passed

8. Called back 888-333-2355, asked for a supervisor, refused to give my pertinent information, fighting to get a supervisor
without giving my information took 15 minutes alone. I was connected to a supervisor Robert - I was relieved to talk with
someone in authority. I explained my situation, he put me on hold, 10 minutes passed, asked a ?, another 5 minutes passed
he asked another ? 10 minutes passed he said he was trying to read my record to find authorization for the free phone. I told
him if he was going to transfer me, I didn’t want him to release me until it was straightened out. He promised he would stay
with me until it was all resolved. He put me on hold.

17 minutes hold

9. A woman’s voice was on the line, I was shocked. I asked what department she was in, Secondary Sales, I asked if she was a
supervisor - No, an agent. I asked for her supervisor - I explained what just happened, I gave my pertinent information
“telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code”, put me on hold, 19 minutes pass, she asked how many
phones I had? I told her 4, put me on hold again -

30 minutes hold

10. Another voice, department - Customer Service, position - CSA. I asked for a supervisor - refused to give info because of
the 7 and 8 situation - this battle took 15 minutes to get through - I was so flustered that I decided to call the Cingular
Headquarters ASAP and apprise them of my situation - when I got the supervisor, I didn’t care what her name was, I just
wanted to get the Headquarter phone # and address. I was surprised there was no phone number, only an address - no
Quality Assurance Department to speak of.

And I thought I was smart, I would find the Headquarter phone number in the internet, NO such luck. I called Directory Assistance for the Cingular Headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas - that was a joke.

11. I decided to try one more time, I called feeling only someone with authority could help me and no one else, not even a
supervisor, I wanted a manager. I knew I would have to battle the CSA to get a supervisor, which I did - I asked the CSA,
“are you refusing me service by not connecting me to a supervisor?” He connected me to Alfonso Gray-Supervisor, I wanted
his manager - Alfonso absolutely refused to transfer me to the Operations Manager - Lance Brewster. Alfonso, denied me
service by not transferring me to Lance Brewster. I can almost bet that Lance Brewster did not want to take my call?

It is 5:30am and I haven’t slept yet. My head is spinning from all of this, and reliving it all over again....... geesssszzzzzoooo

4-1/2 hours - I have never had this kind of customer service - and no resolution ----

I must say, the department that answers quickly with a 1 minute or less hold is the “I WANT TO PAY MY BILL” Department. Once you hit that option - dang - everything else is cake. You are in-n-out in no time.

As I ponder my need for a cell phone, it is no longer as important as I thought it was. Because Cingular could not nor would not resolve my dilemma - I have come to the conclusion I need to resolve it myself.

SOLUTION - cancel my service completely with Cingular immediately; without any negative report to any of the credit reporting agencies. Experian, Equifax or TransUnion or any other credit reporting agency nor within the cellular industry or any other communication companies. Every attempt has been made on my part to resolve the situation with no success.

CINGULAR CUSTOMER SERVICE CRITIQUE - I recommend the following companies that have excellent Customer Service that you might emulate their style.

Chase Bank - Master Card - in the 4 years that I have been with them, there has never been a time that I could not get immediate resolution, an answer to my inquiry, even if it is not what I want to hear - it is the answer. Of the 4 credit cards I have, Chase Bank is the preferred and frequently used because of their excellent Customer Service.

Hilton Grand Vacations Company - I am employed with this company and I can tell you, we work hard at a permanent solution to the problem with one call-in from the customer. A call is never transferred without it being announced and explained to the next department or agent. If a customer wants to talk to a Supervisor or Manager, the agent will try to resolve it - but the customer is never denied the opportunity to speak to a Supervisor or Manager, never.

With Alfonso Gray’s refusal to transfer my call to Lance Brewster or Lance’s refusal to take my call, it has forced me sit and relive the nightmare and now, it is documented in writing and sent to all listed below. I am, however, sure that the as big as you are, my $$$ and my time will be filed away with all the others - in the “to be shredded” file.

Cancel my service immediately......Due to work related use, I am currently using the cell phones until service is cancelled, advise when this will occur. I will then turn on new service with your competitor.


Complaint 2.
My reaction to Cingular's response to the BBB or S. Nevada:

It astonishes me the Cingular Wireless response. On or about March 3 or 4, 2005 - my all Cingular Wireless service was disconnected, after which time; I received a message from Jerry Reyes to him on this same date. This is the only time I was contacted and no other time.

I can honestly say, their statement in the 1st paragraph is a blatant lie. I have anxiously waited for a call from Cingular Wireless since February 11 to resolve this problem with the hope of no interruption to my wireless service. My family knows that I have been waiting for a call from Cingular Wireless, when Jerry called - my Son call me ASAP to notify me when he heard it was Cingular. No call prior to this and only after my service was disconnected on March 3 or 4.

What amazes me most, why wasn’t I contacted on the cell number/s? As I stated in my complaint, I use the cell phone for work purposes, therefore, must have the cell phone on me and turned on 24/7. Interesting part is in Cingular Wireless response, 1st paragraph it states “.....which is the contact number located within Ms. Fiatoa’s complaint”. The phone number they used to contact me, is my home phone which is no where on my complaint. The only number/s “located within .....complaint”, is the cell telephone numbers. Again another lie.

When I spoke to Jerry, he did not acknowledge my complaint, he wanted me to verbally tell him all over again, as if I wanted to purge? I just wanted to move forward and resolve the problem.

I called Jerry Reyes on March 3 or 4, and “NO”, I was not satisfied. A whole new problem - they want to charge me $522.12. I am waiting for the bill to arrive for review. The only bill I have received from Cingular is dated 1/12/05 for $141.21 and 2/12/05 for $143.39, and no other billing statement. I am not prepared to give a full response on this matter until I am able to review billing thoroughly.

If the “Office of the President for Cingular Wireless” is endorsing its representatives to blatantly lie, then I have no recourse but to permanently end my service with Cingular.

As I am talking to people about my Cingular Wireless nightmare, I am finding similar problems with those who had AT&T prior to Cingular Wireless.

Sincerely,

Julian Fiatoa

P.S. I thought it was important for me to have my cell phone for work purposes, especially because the number was printed on literature, but Cingular has showed me that having their service was not important.
















     
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User Replies:
tander on 03/09/2005:
T-mobile provides better service, Cingular sounds like they have serious issues
G-Man on 03/09/2005:
I too know the nightmare of Cingular..The Customer Service you get on the phone is so sad and unprofessional.I'am so frustrated with the piss poor quality of service and or unhelpful employees there.What ever they are being paid is way to much.The never can answer your questions witha straght answer until your contract is expired and then they want to try to sweet talk you into staying and signing a new contract.The down fall of companies today is that you can never talk to a person..its always press 1 then press 2..etc..there down sizing has hurt there business(Those that use that method).I feel for you and hope you can findly have some resolution..Raising the WHAT?NOT!Ever since the merger its been poor service.."We don't have enough towers to handle the proper service"(What is that?)Signed G-Man (NOLA)
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They billed me for wrong contract; suing me for $11,000.00
Posted by on
CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA -- I bought four cell phones, one for me and each of my 3 children. I picked "THE FAMILY PLAN", which was 'Unlimited, free cell-to-cell', so my family could call eachother anytime without extra charge. All we would have to pay for was monthly fees and any "Other" calls we made. All was fine at the store.

My first bill was wrong. They had inadvertently charged me for "Unlimited nights & weekeds". So I had been charged for all the calls my family made to eachother, which was a whole lot!

When I called the store, they told me that they would call and take care of it.

The following months' bill was even worse. Evidently, the store where I signed up did not take care of it. I called customer service and explained what had happened. They were very rude. They said that they did not have a copy of my contract, and that I should fax them a copy.
I faxed them a copy, and I never heard from them again.
The following month, the bill came, and it was the same billing, which was wrong. I called customer service again, explained the entire thing to them, again, and they told me that there was no record of my phone call to them the previous month, and there was no fax. I told them that I did fax the copy of my contract to them, but they insisted I was not telling the truth for some reason. They said they didn't receive any fax, and I told them that the person I had spoken to previously should have called me and told me if the fax didn't go through, as I had no idea. I assumed it had gone through. The person I was speaking to acted like I was making the whole thing up just to get out of the bill. I said to this person, "Why in the world would I get free nights & weekends instead of free cell to cell, since the 4 phones were to keep in constant contact with my three children? That's why I chose the "Family Plan!" I told them I was disputing the bill at this point until they could get it right.

Now 3-4 months later, I then went to the store where I signed up for my service and bought the four phones. I stood in the store and explained this entire mess to the girl working there. She remembered me from when I came in with my three boys. She told me that she would PERSONALLY fax a copy of the contract to the billing/customer service that day. She told me she would take care of everything and not to worry.

The next month the bill came, and it was still wrong! I called customer service again, and they said that they never received any fax from the girl at the store, and there were no records of anybody calling.

By this time I was about to burst with anger! I called the store and asked for the girl that had "Helped" me the month before, to ask her what had happened. I was told that she no longer worked there! The 'Other' guy who worked there searched the entire store for my records. He could not find my file or a copy of my contract! Nothing! It was as if I did not exist! Apparently she had left no notes or information about my file. She obviously did not do anything to help me, and did not fax a copy of my contract.

Unfortunately, as I had recently moved, I could not find a copy of my contract either. BUT IF CINGULAR DID NOT HAVE A COPY OF MY CONTRACT, HOW WERE THEY BILLING ME FOR THE WRONG PLAN???

I called "Customer Service" again. They were always so VERY RUDE and EVEN NASTY TO ME! They treated me like I was some kind of SCUMBAG THIEF trying to get away with some kind of scam!

I am a SINGLE, DISABLED, MOTHER OF THREE! I have done everything in my power to fix this problem that THEY caused from the beginning! Not once have I been spoken to respectively, nor have I ever been actually helped by Cingular! They did not care if THEY GOT IT WRONG! THEY WOULD NOT DO ANYTHING. They told me, "IT IS YOUR PROBLEM AND YOUR BURDON TO PROVE TO US THAT WE MADE A
MISTAKE!!!"

None of the employees that I had spoken to had bothered to document any of my calls/inquiries to them. That's just plain LAZY workers!

They finally disconnected my phones for NON-PAYMENT. Again, I told them that I was disputing the bill because they had billed for the wrong plan since the beginning.

COULD THEY PROVE THAT "I DIDN'T CONTRACT FOR THE FAMILY PLAN?" COULD THEY PROVE THEY WERE BILLING ME CORRECTLY? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not only did they disconnect all our phones, but since they were also my regular house phone company, they turned off all the "Extras" on my house phone. No call waiting, caller ID, NOTHING! THEY EVEN TURNED OFF MY LONG DISTANCE CALLING!!!

It has now been around 5-6 YEARS since then, and now they are suing me for over $11,000.00 worth of bills!!! They can see by looking at the physical bill that ALL THE CALLS ARE "CELL TO CELL" between my children and I. You would think that they would be smart enough to know, that if ALL the calls we made were "FROM CELL TO CELL" between the family, that I would have picked the "FAMILY PLAN!"
It became apparent that CINGULAR WIRELESS, known also as "SBC", WAS NOT WILLING TO ADMIT THEY MADE A MISTAKE! How could they do this to a single mom? Don't we have it hard enough without all this extra STRESS! They ruined my credit! I have not been able to get a credit card since then. I can't get a loan of any type. My son wanted a dirt bike, but I couldn't even qualify for a $3,000.00 loan! Once I tried for a $500.00 loan and couldn't even get that!!

Is there anybody out there that can help me with this ongoing thorn in my flesh? I would really like to have cell phones again for my family. My kids do go out riding dirtbikes in the desert, etc., and it kills me that I cannot stay in contact with them in case of an emergency! My 11-year-old went out riding and his bike broke down. He had to push his dirtbike all the way home, a couple of miles, because he no longer has a working cell phone, and with my credit, I cannot get one!

Thanks for listening! Can anybody help?

Truthfully yours,

Michele C.
     
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User Replies:
Rich2300 on 03/21/2005:
Let me get this straight. A poor disabled mother of three needs four cell phones to keep in touch with her children when they go out riding their dirt bikes? I guess being poor isn't what it used to be. Then, in the process of being sued, the most important thing to prove that the cell phone company is just a buch of evil, greedy meanies, the contract, goes missing. Sounds like something is missing in this story. Here's an idea; don't have cell phones, sell the dirt bikes and pay your bills.
HIT on 03/21/2005:
To Cingular Wireless Complaint: Have you tried filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Office in your area and the Better Business Bureau. I find that they are very helpful. You can email them. Always print out all correspondence and responses between yourself and the companies you email to.
TXRoadTrip on 03/21/2005:
Cinular sucks. Call Cingular Corp. 1-404-236-6000 and ask for the President's secretary’s office. File complaint with FCC.gov and ftc.gov.
Also why did they not just disconnect service earlier - instead of waiting 5-6 years?
virginiasoreback on 03/21/2005:
Michele C.

Your experience with Cingular, seems to be complex, confusing and, obviously, frustrating and unnerving to you.

Both, you and Cingular seem to regard each other with contempt and in terms of “lying” to make your respective cases; perhaps of the sort that Sir Walter Scott railed against: “What a tangled web we weave when first – we practice to deceive.”

If you are fortunate enough to find your contract it would seem that you could begin to assert your proof by making copies of it; have it witnessed by, perhaps, a Notary Public. The “documents” could then be mailed to Cingular by Registered or Certified Mail for verification and to establish a “paper trail” that has the potential for legal weight.

I could not positively infer from your post if you consider yourself, for the time being, to be indigent. If so, and depending on your place of residence, there may be local resources available to you such as pro bono legal assistance, financial consultation, including credit counseling and socio-legal strategies for debt forgiveness or restructuring; among others.

I recognize that you are probably aware of these resources and judiciously place them in the context of your family preferences and their appropriateness to your needs. .

A voluntary community based program such as a Family, with Children, Supportive Services Agency, may serve as an initial advocate and as a conduit to arrange for other supportive services.

This may be a sensitive area in which to explore but we, all, are assured anonymity and are free to consider or reject any comments without personalizing them.

Anonymous or not, I believe, it takes a measure of courage and daring to share your family’s concerns in the forum; an admirable strength. But, Rich2300’s challenge to you to prioritize your options and to make maximum use of your present assets in the service of your self and your family’s “enlightened self-interest,” I believe, have merit.

The “hard-biting” suggestions, offered by HIT and TXRoadTrip, to contact governmental sources - that have legal authority and enforcement powers - to urge them to use their clout on her behalf in your tussle with a callous corporate giant; make a lot of sense; to me.

I wish you and your children well!
tander on 03/21/2005:
First of all I missed where she says shes poor, and if she is poor what does that have to do with disputing a bill? I agree with Rich, to write or call the Attorney Generals Office in your state and explain in detail, what has happened, they do intervene and help.
AnilKPatel on 03/24/2005:
e mail me I have perfect solution for you
Anil@prepaidlegal.com or visit my site www.prepaidlegal.com\go\anil
flygirl0502 on 04/01/2005:
email the CEO at stan.sigman@cingular.com I got a resolution to my problem within an hour from sending the email. they are a despicable company
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Horriable Customer Service
Posted by on
BEAVERTON, OREGON -- Cingular Time Line


March 20, 2006
• 12:00pm – Contacted Cingular's "Customer Service 800 number and pressed the option for bill questions. Explained I wanted to cancel my cell phone coverage due to a high bill. I wanted to apply the $200.00 deposit I paid when starting service back on March 29, 2005. I order my phone online and paid the deposit via debit card on line. I have receipts and bank statements reflecting this deposit. After stating my request the representative indicated she needed to transfer me. After about five minutes hold time I was transferred. I asked to speak this representative manager as I was not satisfied with being transferred and had already been on the phone now for almost half an hour. She indicated her manager was not available and she would need to transfer me again. I asked why I am being transferred again. The representative stated she needed to transfer as she was not the appropriate person to speak to. I stated that is what the last representative stated. She rudely stated she needed to transfer me and disconnected the call. I called back and spoke to another representative and explained I wanted to cancel my cellular phone service and file a complaint regarding the previous encounter. He stated he would go forth in the cancellation which would occur 04/01/2006 and I asked again about utilizing my $200.00 deposit. He stated he could not help me and would need to transfer the call. I stated I did not have time, by this time I had been on the phone for nearly and hour and needed to get back to work.
5:10pm – Contacted Cingular spoke to Carlos in customer service, explained I spoke with a representative who assisted me in canceling my service, but I needed to speak to someone about applying my $200.00 deposit. He took a few moments had to place me on hold and came back on the line indicating he had taken care of applying the deposit and I would receive a FINAL BILL reflecting the usage of my deposit towards the $150 early termination fee and the application of the remaining $50 toward the bill. I stated upon receiving the FINAL BILL reflecting these adjustments I would remit payment immediately. Carlos stated I would see the bill approximately 7-10 business days after the billing cycle ending April 1, 2006.

April 17, 2006
• 3:00pm spoke to Cingular representative named Daniel. I explained the above mentioned conversations and interactions and stated I was still waiting for a FINAL BILL. He stated by the notes on the account it appears I should receive the bill in the next couple days. I asked what type assurance I can receive aside from our verbal conversation as I do not want this account to become delinquent. I will remit payment as soon as I receive the FINAL BILL. He again assured me the FINAL BILL should arrive shortly.

May 8, 2006
• I receive a bill in the mail. The total is $436.96 and does not break down the utilization of the $200.00 deposit, nor does it indicate FINAL BILL.
May 10, 2006
• I contact Cingular and speak to a Beverly in receivables. She states she sees the notes about canceling the service back on March 20, 2006 but does not see where a $200.00 deposit was ever paid. Again I explain I have bank statements/receipt from Cingular regarding the deposit. I indicate I have already spoken to several people and have been assured my account was being taken care of. I asked to speak to her manager. She said she would need to transfer me to customer service as account receivable would not be the appropriate department to speak to. She states she will announce the call and explain what it is regarding. I am transferred to a man named Edward. I immediately ask to be transferred to his manager and explain I have been dealing with this situation since March 20, and so far I have not been assisted with representatives who answer the phone. He asked to get more information and again I explain my “mission”. He states he WILL help me. I relent and as one more ditch effort give him the ability to help me. He places me on hold for a couple minutes and comes back stating he has been working with the accounts receivable manager. I stop him and state the representative who transferred me to him was in accounts receivable. He states he’s not sure why I was transferred. This epitomized my encounters with Cinguar. He stated my FINAL BILL will be for $236.69 after applying the $200.00 deposit. I stated as soon as I receive a bill reflecting the $236.96 due I will immediately remit payment. I again state that I have been assured numerous times by several Cingular representatives this would be taken care of. I need someone to contact me when the account has been adjusted appropriately. He stated he will monitor the account activity and will contact me Thursday May 11, 2006 or Friday May 12, 2006. I am ecstatic he is taking ownership and will follow up with me. I get home and check my mail to find a bill from a collection agency regarding my Cingular bill. I attempt to contact Cingular at approximately 8pm but disconnected due to a high volume of calls and extended wait I could not wait. This leads me to file a complaint with the FCC and will seek legal council in the event this account stays in collections.

May 11, 2006

• 10:30 am: To my astonishment I receive a call from Edward at Cingular who promised to contact me and update me with the status of my account. He states he is still monitoring the account and has not seen the activity we discussed with the application of my deposit. Stated he will contact me by May 15, 2006 to follow up.

May 16, 2006
• 1:12pm – Have not received call back from Edward – Contacted Cingular representative Misty Martin answers the call I ask to be transferred to her manager. Misty states she is looking at the account and wants to relay to her manager what this is regarding. I indicated that I have gone through this numerous times and I just need to speak to a manager. She asks if it is regarding my deposit being applied to the account as she sees notes regarding previous interactions regarding that issue. States she does not see where it has been applied and will locate a manager for me to speak to. Misty comes back on the line and indicated her manager would not be able to do anything she would need me to speak to the receivables manager. I stated that is what Edward indicated he was doing. She said she would like to submit a case as it appears a “case” has not been opened yet. Stated the deposit may have been applied by another department and she would research where it was received. I stated that I have been dealing with this since March 20, 2006 almost two months and I just need a manager at this point. I indicated I would be filing a complaint with the FCC and obtaining a lawyer if a resolution is not met immediately. She stated she completed the case and wanted a number where I could be reached when there is resolution to the case. I ask again to speak to a manager. She asks me to hold and once again the call is, whoops disconnected. I immediately dial back and Representative Crystal answers the phone I ask to be transferred to the Receivables manager she states she needs to get some information about what this is regarding. I indicate it has been documented in my account what this is regarding and I need to be transferred to a manager immediately that I am not releasing any further information until I am speaking to the receivables manager. I am transferred to a Brandy Anderson. I ask if she is a manager she says no and states she will get a manager on the line. Gus gets on the phone. I ask what his last name is as I am documenting every thing. He says his last name is Anderson as well and he is a senior representative. I ask if he is a manager, he says no however he is able to assist me. I state NO, I have spoken to numerous representatives who have indicated they can assist me but to date nothing has been resolved and I would like to speak to his manager. He says he needs to place me on hold for a moment while he locates a manager. I put my phone timer on and about 4 min and 38 seconds later he gets back on the line and says his entire managerial staff members are in a meeting. He states a case has been placed and we need time to review this concern and will get back to me. I stated this has been referred to collections, and if the collection agency is not notified by May 24th this bill will be turned over to collections. He says they should have a resolution in my case by May 25th and will respond by May 25th. I ask him how that will help as the bill will be turned over to collections ONE day prior. He stated again a case has been documented to find my $200.00 and he will contact me when a resolution is met. I state this is ridiculous and completely non-compliant with appropriate business practice. I as stated time and time before want to speak to a manager. He repeats no one is available. I ask where he is located. He stated he is in the Portland Call Center. I state I am not satisfied with our conversation and I want to speak to his manager. He starts talking and without letting him finish I say again. I DEMAND YOUR MANAGER IMMEDIATELY, and again, approximately seven times while he continues to try to get me off the phone. Finally he says a manager has presented out of the meeting and is available to speak to me. He states his name is Tye Phillips team manager in the Portland Management Center. I go over the past several attempts to rectify and keep my account in good standing. After listening to my concerns he indicates he sees where the $200.00 deposit was applied and it was actually applied on my first billing cycle and would not be available to utilize at this time. I am appalled. I ask why has taken almost two months of time and energy to get a simple answer such as this. He states he does not know and can understand my frustration. I state I appreciate his acknowledgment. I ask him I can make payment arrangements as I am now faced with a $436.96 bill. I state had I been told from the beginning I would not be able to utilize my deposit I would never have cancelled the service. $150.00 of the $436.96 is due to terminating the service early. I ask him if I can make payment arrangements. He states the latest he can extend payment would be June 9th. This now gives me less than a month to pay this off even though I have been attempting resolution for almost two months. I state I would like him to do a conference call with NCO Financial the company my account was “reported to collections.” He completes the conference call and indicates payment arrangements have been made and the report needs to be deactivated. I thank him for doing his job and we disconnect. This concludes my determination, Cingular Wireless is the worst company and network available. In my opinion, I would avoid using this company at all cost.
     
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Doc J on 05/18/2006:
It pays to read the contract before you sign. It would tell how your deposit will be applied and when. The unfortunate length of time it took for you to get an answer stems from dealing with "call center chimps". They have a quota of calls to handle. If they can't fix your problem in a given amount of time, they just get you off of the phone as rapidly as possible. If they don't meet their quota, their gone. You eventually got someone higher on the food chain. It's not just a Cingular issue.
beanbagbritches on 05/25/2006:
Doc, that is not necessarily true. Having worked in 3 call centers over the years, it's not always that people HAVE to get you off of the phone. Sometimes CSRs are told NOT to transfer to managers in any case, others are told not to transfer unless it's completely urgent. Sometimes the CSRs can be incompetent, but Cingular's call center sounds extremely incompetent. Yeesh.
Praetoguy on 06/16/2006:
oh its a very common practice for call centers to use more senior reps to address issues instead of getting a "manager" involved but having done the call center circuit myself the senior reps usually have all the authority and abilities as the managers. It's sad you acted the way you did when the rep stated he was a sr. rep. It is true that reps are judged on call containment and # of calls handled since the more calls the more profit for the company. I know people who work at a Cingular Call center and it is rare but they have a minimum call time to meet also. She says it they average just a couple minutes on calls the company thinks they are not spending enough time helping customers. anyway I guess there are always the difficult customers out there too. Seems that they were just asking for you to provide proof you paid the $200 cause if the company handed out 200 every time someone said they paid it then they might end up in the same boat as Nextel and att losing money and up for sell.
myrcaydeez on 07/06/2006:
Bravo well said... If the reps were trained as well to help as they were to lead you on a wild goose chase it sure would be nice.... And one thing I have learned after getting their name and location let them know they are being recorded as it is not illegal to have a recording device on your phone. Also when running in to these problems ask them to listen to the recorded phone calls if they conviently have not erased them....
goddessoflubbock on 09/08/2006:
Having worked as a call center rep for cingular I can tell you that many times when a customer talks to a "manager", in fact they were just talking to another one of us on the floor. The managers at the center I worked at nearly unanimously refused to take calls from customers, and so generally we faked it. Quite frankly, the customers never knew the difference and I provided a lot better service than my "real" manager ever could or would have.

One thing customers need to learn (and I sure learned being on that side of things) is don't start out the call pissy, because that isn't going to earn you any brownie points with the person on the other end, who you are now learning holds a lot of your life in their hands. Wait until you hang up (and not when you're on "hold" either, often it's just mute as hold time is counted against reps) to sound off. Otherwise you may find things jammed up for MONTHS.
MollyDolly on 10/27/2006:
Cingular is always doing that, transferring calls! They act like we have all year.
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This is not customer service at all!
Posted by on
SUFFERN, NEW YORK -- I opened my account in February of 2005. I ordered two phones, two phones lines and two car chargers. I received four of everything, two of each in the first package, and two of each in the second package. A customer representative told me on 2/10/05 that a call tag would be issued and the phones could be returned at no charge. On 2/15/05 I called customer service again to find that the call tags had not been issued and no notes were made on the account, billing for both accounts had begun. I was told again that one account would be closed with no charges and a call tag would be issued to return the extra package of equipment. On 2/26/05 I called again and spoke to ****. She informed me that no notes had been made on either account and no call tag was in the mail. I shipped the phones back to Cingular that week, received a credit for the shipping, but continued to be billed for an account that was supposed to be closed.

Meanwhile, on the account I was using, roaming charges were appearing on my bill when they were supposed to be included in the plan. The plan that was recommended to me started out costing me $300 a month. When first purchasing the plan I stated that my husband would be traveling to Canada and we would need to use the phones in the US and Canada. I was advised to purchase a family plan with roaming, long distance and roll over minutes included. Little did I know that the roaming and long distance were not effective for calls in Canada.

On 3/19/05 I spoke with ****, first about the account, which was never activated and supposedly closed. I was informed that the balance of the "closed account" was past due and put into collections. After 40 minutes on the phone **** assured me he closed the account and the balance was waived. My second issue with **** that night was the roaming charges on my bills. The first line of the account never left the Rockland County area and should not be acquiring roaming charges. He told me that other customers were having this problem; competitor’s towers were picking up Cingular customers. He told me that the problem would probably be resolved internally by the next billing cycle and to turn my phone off for at least ten minutes a day to allow the signal to reset.

Toward the end of April I received a mailing for Cingular World Basics. I called on 5/1/05 and spoke to **** asking what I could do to lower the charges for calls to and from Canada. At that point she recommended adding the World Basics to my plan, apologizing that there was nothing Cingular could do about the calls being made from Canada. Because I was a new customer she could not add the plan right away, she informed me that I would receive an email or text message when/if I was approved and the World Basics plan activated. I received nothing.

On 5/15/05 I waited on hold for 45 minutes and hung up.

6/1/05- I spoke with ****. He told me I had been miss informed about the roaming charges on my account and the only way to investigate them was to open a case and submit my bills from January to present for review. I was told that while the review was in process I would not be able to obtain any information or updates as to the status. I would be contacted by either phone, email or text message when the review was complete. At that time the charges would be explained and corrected if need be. I asked **** if I should be paying the entire amount of the account. I was advised not to pay the amount in question; “make payments for the basic plan, but wait to see what the amount is when the credits come through from the investigation, you will still receive past due statements but your service will not be interrupted because the account is in review.” He also informed me that my other account was in collections and a payment was required, (this was the “closed account.”) After explaining the situation to **** I was transferred to ****. SHE WAS ONE OF THE ONLY TWO CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES WHO EXPLAINED WHAT WAS WRONG AND ACTUALLY FIXED WHAT SHE SAID SHE WAS GOING TO FIX. It took her another half an hour, but she finally closed the extra account, 5 months after 3 other people had “closed” it.

6/14/05- **** informed me that the account was still under review and she would not be able to inquire as to its status. I asked her what to do about payments and past due statements, if I should pay the amount in question or not. She advised me to pay the total for the plan and taxes only, not to pay the amount in question and ignore the past due statements as they are computerized and sent out even though the account is in review. I submitted a payment with **** that day for the amount of the plan and taxes.

7/18/05- Still no notification about the review on my account: I spoke with ****- the account review was completed on 7/14/05. They decided the charges were correct and over $1,000 is due. She stated, “They are not required to notify me of the completion or decision.” I asked her to have someone contact me to explain the situation if she could not. She said she would submit the account again for review and make a note for someone to notify me when the review was complete.

7/19/05- My service is disconnected with no notification or warning. I called customer service and spoke with ****. She was blunt and refused to listen to anything I had to say. She repeated over and over that a payment of over $480 was due; until payment was made my account could not be reinstated. I asked to be transferred to a manager and **** refused. I had to say on the line and listen to her tell me that a manager could not do anything for me and I was wasting my time; this went on for 10 minutes before she finally transferred me to ****. Molly had nothing say except pay the account. At this point I had been on the phone for an hour and a half, I was angry, embarrassed, frustrated and belittled; **** was of no help so I hung up.

I calmed myself down and called back 20 minutes later- I was on hold for 25 minutes, then the customer service representative could not access information for the region I was in. He transferred me to a closed telephone line, which disconnected me. I spent a total of 4 hours on the phone this night to try to resolve my situation. The last customer service representative I reached said the service for my region was closed and no further information would be accessible this night.

7/20/05 This morning I spoke to ****, (WHO WAS THE SECOND REPRESENTATIVE THAT ACTUALLY TOOK HER TIME AND TALKED TO ME NOT DOWN AT ME). She explained what the account review was, what happened during the review, what the decision was and FINALLY what that decision meant. She told me she would transfer me to billing where I would be able to work out a payment plan and have my service reinstated this day with a waived re-connection fee. I was transferred to **** who told me I was misinformed; I could not have a payment arrangement, and service would not resume until the entire amount is paid. Again I asked to be transferred to someone in the financial department, as **** said only they could make this decision. She told me they do not take outside calls, I asked her to contact them about my situation, she said it would do no good, the only thing she could do was transfer me to her supervisor. I asked her to transfer me to someone who could close my account; her response was “why?” I was transferred to ****, who told me that as long as my account was past due it was as good as cancelled. She clearly stated that no other charges would amount from month to month; “this is the same as the account being closed, you won’t get any more charges.”

After spending over 15 hours on the phone with customer service representatives; receiving conflicting information, not receiving information about plans which would of benefited my situation with my husband in Canada and being told should not expect to be informed or contacted when charges regarding my account have been decided- I would like to make a final arrangement with Cingular to take care of the ridiculous charges accumulated on my account. I would like to deal with someone who can give me accurate information in a civil manor not making me feel like I am unintelligent. I feel I have been dealt with very dishonestly.
     
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Stay Away From Cingular - True Horror Story
Posted by on
N. MIAMI BEACH, FL -- I have never had such a bad experience with a mobile carrier. I am located in North Miami Beach, FL and joined Cingular in 7/2004. The main reason why I joined Cingular was because they have GSM phone and international agreements in all of the countries I travel to in a regular basis. I bought 2 Motorola V600 devices which have to be replaced 8 times during a course of a year. In addition to those issues, during the first year, Cingular made 3 billing mistakes, on the first one, they charged me $1000 more than what I should have paid (Mostly for international calls) just because the rep that I spoke with before going abroad forgot to add me to the international discount plan which costs $4 and gives you significant discount. When I called regarding the bill, I've been called a liar and I had to call almost 20 times during a course of two months trying to resolve it. I have agreed with a manager from customer support that I won't pay the bill until the dispute will be settled however I got threatening letters and calls telling me that I have to pay right away. After 2 months they have realized that they made a mistake and returned the money.

After replacing the phones almost 8 times within a year, I have decided that I might get another model (Cingular has discontinued the Motorola V600 due to unreliability). Cingular wasn't willing to give me any discount or a replacement model for the phone that I bought and they made me buy new phones (September 2005). I paid $450 for one Motorola Razor phone and one AudioVox SMT5600 phone. Two month after it hurricane Wilma came and ever since people can’t get a hold of me unless they try to redial 5 or 6 times, the message that they get is all circuits are busy”. I called Cingular almost every week but they kept telling me that they don’t have any open tickets in my area. I noticed that whenever I try to call other Cingular customer in my area I get the same message but that didn’t change the fact that Cingular has ignored all my complaints.

Since too many customers have complained about the same issues, this topic has reached the news today and now when you call Cingular, they tell you that there is a known issue since 2/1 and that the resolution date is unknown. They also tell you, and it is obvious that they read a text paragraph from an email or something) that all other provides are also effected by this issue which is not true. I called Cingular today and asked to break the contract due to all the issues I have and they want to charge me for almost 400 for that. I am so furious and might try to arrange a class action against them.

So here is a Summary: DON’T BUY A CINGULAR PHONE, IF YOU ARE A CINGULAR CUSTOMER, CHECK YOUR BILLS CAREFULLY, and DOCUMENT ALL YOUR CALLS WITH CUSTOMER SERVICE. MOVE FROM CINGULAR THE MOMENT YOUR CONTRACT EXPIRES.
     
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ejack053824 on 02/16/2006:
I have Cingular and had no problems. Hopefully its just an isolated matter with you.
KateM on 02/17/2006:
Isolated matter-yeah right. Seems like there are more Cingular complaints then any other cell co. I had them myself and ran screaming when my contract is up. If I had as many problems as you I would pony up the money just to be rid of them.
1CutePeanut on 03/22/2006:
You are darn right you should go through with that class action suit against cingular, because they are very unethical. At least with Verizon they are in total accord. Their no's are straight across the board and their yes' are straight across the board. At least you know in the BEGINNING what you are getting. You are informed UPFRONT, but not with cingular. Verizon customer service is excellent, but cingular's--->HAHA This is laughable JOKE! Being a former employee of cingular there was just a handful of us who cared. And that is so unfortunate, but is is so true. Much *Good Luck* to you LogMaster.
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$500 for one month of service?
Posted by on
I was a Cingular Wireless customer. my husband and I both had phones. Well, the first month was the high bill, which we expected. It was just a tad bit above one hundred dollars. The second month bill was about $70, which is what we were expecting. Then came the 3rd bill, for almost $500!!!

Now, I must tell you, that the few months until this was nothing but problems. I had to exchange my phone 4 times and my husband twice. Our phones went for 2-3 hours a day without functioning, mostly at the same time even when we were in 2 different areas.

I was forced to call 911 one day while my neighbor's house was being broken into, and my phone transferred my call to another states 911 dispatch- the 911 dispatcher told me to call my telephone provider regarding this, because they needed to fix it. I did call them, they claimed to fix it, but when my daughter was choking one day and my husband and I couldn't seem to get it up, I called 9-1-1 again and was again routed to another state. It takes several minutes to get transferred back to my state, and it was very scary. Luckily we ended up getting the object from my babies throat on our own or she may have died.

Cingular would never resolve any of their issues, and each time I had to call they would put me on hold for over an hour at a time. They didn't have good customer service at all, in fact, they were flat out rude at times. One day I even asked "so what your telling me is I have to deal with the fact that my phone rarely receives my incoming calls?" and the man responded "Yes." and hung up on me. I couldn't believe it!

Another problem was that Cingular themselves began text messaging me every day, asking me to call and confirm my billing information. I would do it, and then the next day they would text and ask me to do it again. Each time involved at least a 45 minute wait on hold, and they would tell me it was just a mistake anyway, so finally I just stopped replying to it, and they shut my phone off! So I had to call and wait on hold every day to be sure my phone wasn't shut off, and they wouldn't fix that either. This lasted until I received my $500 bill!

Upon receiving the bill, I called and asked them how it came to be so high, the woman simply responded "Do you want to cancel your service?" in a rude tone. I said yes, and they charged me $150 per phone to shut them off!

It's been 6 months of fighting with them, and finally after making a report to BBB they were willing to take off the cancellation charges. I told them that I should not be responsible for my bill because their 911 dispatch didn't meet legal requirements, but they said there is no record that I ever made a 911 call- let alone 2 of them.
     
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miketech on 01/04/2006:
1st thing is 1st, DO NOT COUNT ON A CELL PHONE FOR 911 CALLS. If you have to use one with no landline option well good luck, but my cell on 911 gets the wrong county a lot at best. (I have called to report a couple of wrecks)
On to the post. I hate cell phone companies, I love the convience but they are all sharks. I can't see how you can't be somewhat fair and make money, and niether do they. Seems like they draw names of people to harass so they don't lose the whole customer base but like 10 or 20% catch heck. Sorry you are going through it.
CrazyRedHead on 01/05/2006:
It is not hard to rack up this much on a bill in only one month, I have seen way more. If you have web access on your phone you need to either cancel it out entirely or get a plan to cover it. The access charges are murder. The same goes for Text messages,although you have to do a lot to rack up much. The majority of the time is the internet charges. Downloading music or games or anything for that matter. I hate having internet access on my phone. I had them stop my phone from even accessing it by accident.
Also never rely on the phone for emergencies or 911. Cell phones are unreliable for much of anything.
KateM on 01/06/2006:
Mike & CrazyRedHead: It seems to me that you guys have bad service providers if that is the way you feel about them. Not ALL cell companies are bad, just the majority. It really all comes down to how much are you willing to pay for good service? Sure you can rollover minutes on Cingular but you won't have good service (cell reception or help from customer service). T-Mobile might have a lot of minutes for not a lot of money but they have poor service as well. It really is worth the extra money every month to go with a more reliable service provider. I may pay a little more for my EXTREMELY reliable service from Verizon but I've never dropped a call or been out of a service area or charged for roaming. My text messages come through quickly and in 2.5 years my bill has been incorrect twice and the problem was resolved in a simple phone call. I find the reps to be helpful and nice and when I did have an issue that needed a supervisors help I received a call back within the promised hour. Maybe I should just write a complimentary review on them....
CrazyRedHead on 01/06/2006:
I agree Kate. I have had service with Suncom, Cingular, AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile and Sprint and some are better around here than others. Cingular and Verizon is best and then T Mobile and Sprint. I have never had a problem with T Mobile in the 2 years that I have been with them. Cingular has been okay and Verizon made me wonder if the rep passed Kindergarten. Each service provider has the high and low points. But from my experience it is not the service provider that determines the level of service you will have. The phone, area, surroundings and even traffic has more of a determination than anything else. I am not saying that I am an expert but there are a lot of things that I do know that isn't common knowledge. I am still learing about this to this day.
Kronenberg on 09/26/2006:
After asking many people around here, I find it most common for people to like Verizon Wireless (but not their land-line service). I've also heard very few complaints from TMobile customers, although I have a friend whose service is constantly saying "All Circuits Busy". I have only heard one person say they like Cingular, and they had military benefits from the company, other than that I hear a bunch of stories about being ripped off by them. I've also been hearing quite a few complaints about Sprint.
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From AT&T to Cingular
Posted by on
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- My problem started over a year ago, but I was unaware of it. Three month ago I had a problem with my internet service (SBC). At the end of the call I was told if I move my cell phone bill to the SBC billing I can save $5.00. So I told the rep to proceed. After two months had gone by, I called to see why my billing was not moved. I was then informed that I am still under the AT&T network. Over a year ago I received a letter to switch to Cingular Network, I responded, and got a new phone, moved all of my phone numbers to the new phone. Although I did everything I was told to do, I was not moved to Cingular. The reps I spoke to stated I should have known this. Why would I know this when my bill comes in as Cingular, and when I turn my phone on it reads Cingular. The reps even told me I was lying about the letter I received a year ago regarding that I had to change from AT&T to Cingular. Now I have to get another phone to change over completely. When I was on the phone with a rep, the conversation was going nowhere, I asked for a supervisor, only to be given to another rep who stated they were a supervisor. I was promised everything I wanted. When I was transferred, I was then told the person I was talking to did not have the authority to promise anything. I could not get any satisfaction until I came across your web site with the Cingular corporate phone number. I was told by them they can switch me over, I just had to cancel my account, get a new contract, and phone, and call back to have my account put back to a year contract. I was not promised anything more, no credit for my inconvenience for being lied to, or tricked a year ago. Over this weekend my phone would not work at all, so I went to the store, got the new account. The rep was nice, but ended up keeping my old phone which I wanted. When I called back he stated my old phone would be given to a woman shelter. If my phone was broke, how could they give it to a woman in dire need. Today I called the normal customer service area to ask for the corporate phone number, they would not give it out. In fact the first rep I spoke to hung up on me. The second rep did understand and stated she would have a manager call me back. The manager did call me back within two hours only to tell me he could not give out the corporte number. I then told him about this web site filled with compliants. He told me I would have to come back to this web site to get the phone number, which I did. Lucky for me I kept your web site listed in the bookmark section of my PC. Cingular has very bad service, and will be moving my account over to another carrier next year. Most likely to Verizon, unless I see complaints listed on this site about them. Thank you for having the corporate number listed for Cingular, otherwise I would still be in the dark. Is there any compaines out there that help their customers anymore, or are the all out the make a buck.
     
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Administrator on 12/15/2005:
Sorry to hear about your ordeal. But glad our site was able to help you get the contact information you needed!
jsix1441 on 12/15/2005:
Check out the complaints about Verizon. I had a phone for 2 days under their 15 day trial and they keep billing me for 88.39. I have called them every month and I still keep getting a bill even though it should only be 6.99 for the 2 days.
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Beyond Poor Customer Service, Criminal almost
Posted by on
KENTUCKY -- I have read several complaints on Cingular, and in fact they rank #1 in complaints. Today, I have experienced the worst customer service ever. A little background:
I have been a Cingular customer for almost 5 years. The first two were great, no problems that were not at least partly my fault, except for being on a plan that didn't exist and adding minutes which actually changed my plan without notice, I didn't like, but I got over it. Also, it should be noted that I use my phone for business and I'm not a $39/mo. customer.

So a few months ago, I had a phone die that was replaced under insurance. Within two weeks that phone died too, another replacement arrived. Within a month, that phone died as well. This time I finally complained that I've been through three phones in a month and a half. Also, all of the ringtones and what not that I paid to download from Cingular (not even another company) had been lost twice and I wanted some sort of compensation. They basically explained that's just the way it is. They did offer to ship the phone out next day air for free, something they've always done in the past anyway. So the next day, I stay home to get the phone thinking it would be thereby morning. 10 o'clock comes, no phone, 1 o'clock, no phone. I waited all day and no phone ever arrived. I called the next day and they said they weren't sure what was going on with it and would have to check it out, but that it would probably show up that day. It never did. I finally went to a Cingular store and had a rep call in, as the only phone I have is my cell phone. After a couple of puzzled looks, she hands me the phone (the store phone that she was talking on). The person at the other end of the line informed me that the phone hadn't even shipped yet and that it was marked for 5 day shipping and couldn't be changed. I said, this is the only phone I have, and I use it for work, what I am I supposed to do? Again, the attitude was, that's just the way it is. I had to have a new phone so I was basically forced into another 2yr contract. A week went by and my old phone replacement still hadn't arrived. I called and a rep I spoke with was the only person I've ever talked to at Cingular that offered to do anything for me. They upgraded my old phone for me, but when it came in, only part of it was there!!!!!

Anyway, that's not even the worst part. I had a couple of months were I went over quite a bit so I upgraded my plan. Since they charge to do this, I decided to go with a 2000 min. plan and bank up some roll over minutes then I could drop back down. Recently my access to my online account manager had been disabled for no known reason. This took a couple of months to fix. Today I found that it was working and went to change my plan. A note popped up that said if you go to a lower plan you will loose all of your roll over minutes over what the new plan offers. I called in and was told that this policy was enacted October 1st without notice. Any rep you talk to will tell you if you have just an occasional month where you go over, it's smart to select a very high plan, bank a bunch of roll over minutes then drop back down. You can easily make up for the charge to change plans (which also keeps going up without notice). They force us into a lengthy contract, but they can change the terms of the contract in a very signifcant way without notice? Yes they can. Whatsmore, I attempted to change my plan via the website last month and would not have lost 3100 roll over minutes, but as I said through the fault of Cingular, I was not able to. I would think that they could waive this policy in a case where the fault was on their end, but again the answer was NO, that's just the way it is. It's going to cost me around $200 to cancel my service early, but you can bet that I'm going to do just that. I can promise them that it will cost them much more than that. My monthly bill is never below $100 and I have 22 months left on my contract so that, $2200 right there. It's unbelievable that you can't explain to them that they will be losing much more than it would have cost them to simply allow me to keep what I was told I could keep. If anyone could give me names and contact information on places to report them, I will report them to any agency who will listen. Feel free to email me.
     
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CrazyRedHead on 10/18/2005:
I hate to tell you this but all cell phone companies do this. It is in the contract. Even if you didn't sign on, you are still on contract. I bet you don't read you bill,they send out flyers in your bill that tell you about the changes. I know I got one that explained the recent changes. When you get a phone with no battery or, or in some cases, no faceplate. You most likely got a refurbished phone. You better check on the warranty, refurbished phones usually only have a 30-day warranty. What I found out with the insurance. The first one will ship out in 2-3 business days but if you have to exchange it within the first 30 days it does take about 5 business days. Sat and Sun are not business days. Before you go telling all those agencies you may want to pull out your contract. You can also go online, if your online account is working and pull up the terms and conditions, and read. I really doubt you read the terms and conditions; most customers don't.
Cherise_M on 01/04/2006:
I am filing a complaint and would like to know if you know of any agencys I can contact. Please let me know how this has been resolved, if it has at all. Thank you
tnd on 01/28/2006:
As a suggestion you could file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org and/or with the FTC at http://www.ftc.gov/. Cingular may ignore one person’s complaint, but if there is a significant amount of voices out there, we might get some compensation.
tnd on 01/31/2006:
I have just filed complaints with the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org and with the FTC at http://www.ftc.gov/. I will not stay quiet, and neither should anybody else! I hope this works!
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Customer Service???
Posted by on
DAYTON, OHIO -- We signed up with Cingular in June of 2003. A 2-year contract at signing came with a free phone, so that is the option we took. In May of 2004, nearly one year after having signed up for service, the power button to the cell phone broke off and fell inside the phone. This was causing the phone to shut itself off. So we took the phone to the local Cingular office for replacement or repair. After waiting nearly 45 minutes for someone to help us, we were told that they would have to send the phone back to the manufacturer and if that company covered it under warranty (not considering this a result of the phone being abused) then there would be no charge. However, if the manufacturer did not consider it under warranty, then we would be billed for the new phone. No big deal there, as we were sure that they would cover the broken power button. We were also told at that time that the phones came with a one year manufacturer warranty. We were given a new phone (same exact model, in fact they sent us away with our old battery instead of the new one that was with the new phone) and waited another 35 minutes while 3 employees tried to share the same computer to process 3 different transactions (are the other computers in that store there just for show?? or maybe to hold the counters down?). All was well for 3 months. Then the new phone started to turn itself off. We called customer service and they said that the phones will do that to "update" and not to worry. This seemed strange to us, but figured there was not much to do about it at this point. Well we soon noticed that the phone would shut itself off if you pressed anywhere on the face of the phone. We called the store that we had gotten the phone from, and explained this to them. A young lady there said that since the phone was only 4 months old it would be under warranty from the manufacturer, if we brought it in the phone would be replaced. Off we went to the store to exchange this phone. Low and behold the guy there said that the phone was not warrantied. That the warranty offer was for one year from the date of the contract, not one year on the phone. We had been told differently by several of their employees, but none the less the phone was not exchanged. At this point we could no longer keep the phone on long enough to make a call. So I call the customer service line. The person I spoke to there offered to sell us a brand new phone if we would sign another contract for an additional 2 years...otherwise I was told that I would have to contact the manufacturer to see about repairing the phone. They would only sell us a new phone if we signed on for 2 more years!! I contacted the manufacturer and was told that the phone is warrantied for one year from the date that phone is activated, not contract dates, and that it would be repaired for free. We never repaired the phone though, instead we have paid to cancel the contract early and switched to a different wireless company. I have never before heard of a cell phone company that would not help you to remain a customer simply by selling you a phone that works.
     
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Cingular: The Evil Spawn of Satan...It's that BAD!!
Posted by on
NORTHERN ALABAMA, ALABAMA -- Okay, where to begin? If by chance you have read any of the other complaints...then I am sure you can feel my frustration.

I have (had) been a customer of Cingular / Now the New AT&T for the last 3.5 years and at first I thought everything was great and then I changed my rate plan in Nov. 2005 and the flood gates of hell opened and out spewed an evil spawn I like to call the Real Cingular. It has been a battle to get my account squared and back in good shape, but for the life of me I have tried and tried and I just could not try any longer.

I have had bills in excess of $600.00 and to make matters worse I paid the bills and without fail and like clock work the minute they are paid, Cingular is your best friend and then less than a week later my phone is suspended (AGAIN) and it is back to the same crap I like to call: Customer Service Swap and Shuffle. When I call in I never speak to the same person (who can with call centers in every state (except mine). The Reps. never have any idea of the who, what, when, or how to correct the problem. When asking for supervisors it is always a wait time of 5-10 minutes and then the SUPERVISOR'S have no idea how to resolve the issues, but they are glad to take a payment by phone. How convenient, such sports they are. And to think, that is just the tip of my iceberg and the Cingular ship is slowly capsizing taking with it my hard earned money.

I have had services put on my account without my authorization, I have asked for services to be taken off my account I no longer needed or used these things were never done, but I have been continually charged for. My problems persisted with no resolve, I continued to get poor phone service, poor Customer service, poor response to my complaints and even more high bills which did earned my account credit, after credit, after credit and still the problems were never taken care of and steadily repeated themselves and were very problematic. I have spoken to so many customer Reps and Supervisors. I decided to take it to the corporate level. WOW how stupid was I, if the reps are idiots what would make me think I would fare any better with Corporate. Idiots are born from Idiots...I was told when I asked for resolve to my many long standing issues with the company that it basically isn't their problem, An executive from Coroporate (Mr. Kendell, I believe that was his name)told me that my account was riddled with notes and pages and pages of disconnects and suspension. He then went into he has been with the company for 10 years and had never seen such notes on an accounts. Well my response was if I could have resolved many of these issues prior to today my notes would not be of any interest in the matter and furthermore I demanded as a customer he show me the same respect I was showing him, he cut me off and frankly said "The buck stops here this is the presidents office there is no one else to speak to and I should just get over it, pay your bill get your phone reconnected and things will go back to normal.

Okay so they are idiots and well my mother taught me "...fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me..." well never again. so today, I stood my ground and I purged the Cinular / AT&T demon and moved to another carrier and I feel like I will be better off. Anything has got to be better than what I have gone through.
If you are still a Cingular / AT&T customer or thinking about becoming one please be aware and use caution. You will have continual dropped calls, no service, bad customer service, Reps who think of you as crap, and a company filled with ungrateful, disrespectful, and imperfect executives, who forget that the consumer signs their paychecks. This is not to say some of the people within the company are not good people but you sure can't tell. BE AWARE...BE CAUTIOUS...BE Happy with the company you choose to give your money to. Just think and chosse wisely as long as it is not CINGULAR / The NEW AT&T!!!!!!
     
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madconsumer on 12/12/2007:
what were the charges for? minutes?

I have been with cingular/att&t for many years. my bill has never varied more than a few cents.

killerklown on 12/12/2007:
Yeah, I've had Cingular for about five years now, changing the account maybe three or four times, and I've never had any issues with Cingular. This sounds like an isolated instance of miscommunication.
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