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Deceptive, Bait-n-Switch, Terrible Company!
By -

I was a Suncom customer many years ago and held on to the account through the transition with AT&T and through the merger with Cingular. I have had the continuing account about 7 years. I'm a relatively low use customer, using my phone mostly for traveling security and occasional local and at-home use. I consider my experience with Suncom great, my experience with AT&T marginal and my experience with Cingular one of the worst of any company I have ever dealt with.

The only reason I wanted to keep the Cingular provider was the coverage area, which suited my traveling pattern much better than other companies, and the lack of inexpensive plans with Verizon and others. I approached a Cingular rep at a local Cingular store a few months ago as my sister in Tennessee had a "Go" phone from the company which is pay-as-you-go with inexpensive phones.

I had determined that that plan would save me money over my Cingular plan then in place. The first thing the rep asked me was where I'd heard about the "GO" phone plan and I told him from someone who has the plan in Tennessee. He promptly told me the plan was not available in Alabama (a lie) and stuck to that story, then got belligerent.

I left the store and went back 2 days later and talked with another rep and got the same story. I called the manager a few days later relating my experience and was told "he trained his people better than that" and refused to discuss what he still contended was my mistake in assuming the plan was available. He hung up on me. I went to another Cingular store and was told, yes, the plan was available, but the prices of phones they showed me were too high, and I was told the cheaper phones were not available on that plan (a lie).

I went online and found the "GO" phone plan available as a pay-as-you-go with a $39.99 nice phone with a $20 rebate and free shipping and activation. NONE of this was offered at the store. I ordered it. The phone arrived in good order, but no rebate form. I called, they said pick one up at the store. The store gave me the wrong form two times. If you want to see something interesting, go pick up a rebate form from them and read it. You have never seen anything like it, full of disclaimers and traps designed, I think, to disallow your rebate.

I have found Cingular to be the most deceptive, argumentative and crafty to their own advantage company I have ever dealt with. Consumer Reports, in a very recent article, rated Cingular at the bottom for customer relations and satisfaction and I can tell you they deserve that rating. Approach any dealings with this company with suspicion and great caution.

Their bottom line is their major concern and their representatives appear to have been thoroughly coached, without regard to fairness or ethics, to get the most money out of you while at the same time, promising services and considerations they will attempt to disallow or not provide. I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND CINGULAR TO ANYONE!

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Military Suspend - BE AWARE
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LUBBOCK, TEXAS -- In the spring of 2006 my daughter obtained cell phone service with then Cingular Wireless; using my husband as a co-signer (for lack of a better word). At the end of Oct 2006 my daughter was deployed to Germany with the Air Force. We called Cingular and explained to them the situation. They directed us to a department specifically for this issue. We were told at that time we would have to send in a copy of her orders to deploy. Once that was received they would suspend her cell phone service. We were also told that if she was to be shipped home all she would have to do is contact them and they could reactive her account.

We at that time told them it would be 36 months at minimum before she returned per her deployment orders. That was not a problem once the received a copy of the orders the account would be closed. Now it is July 2009, our next to the old would like to get her first cell phone. My husband takes her to the now AT&T store to get her phone. After looking at our account they tell us he cannot get a new line of service because we have a $175 collection against our account. When my husband inquires as to why we have a collection he is told it is because of the line that was discontinued due to my daughter being deployed.

He explains that we had it shut off due to the deployment and the steps we went did in order to accomplish this. He was told that was to bad call the customer service center for AT&T. I did that went through the same explanation. We were told that the account had been suspended for 24 months but the reactivated that account at that time because my daughter did not call AT&T/Cingular back to prove and continue the suspension. We explained that the deployment orders showed she would be in Germany for a minimum of 36 months and most of that time has been spent down range in Afghanistan and would not have been able to make any calls.

At that point we were told it was no longer there issue the matter had been sent to a collection agency. We asked for the Military Suspend department and were told they no longer had that department. We then asked who we could talk to, to resolve this issue and we were told that we would have to talk to the collection agency themselves. When we then explained that they would not talk to us because the account was against us, it seems like they would only consider talking to the company that placed the account with them. At that point we were told sorry but to bad.

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Cingular Customers - Pay Attention To Your Billing
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Last May, I received a statement from Cingular Wireless, which I did not open. The reason for this, is that my monthly payment was almost always the same amount, give or take a few cents.***

Instead of mailing in a payment to cingular, I normally picked up the phone and present a credit card for payment, using the pay-by-phone option. When doing so to pay my may statement, I found out that the payment had almost doubled. I quickly hung up the phone and inspected my unopened statement.*** The reason why my payment for May was about double the amount, was because there were no calls listed on my April statement. Cingular had placed all of April's calls on the May's statement, which meant that I went over my allotted time for May.***

Even though I contacted Cingular and informed them what had happened and they immediately corrected the problem, it makes one wonder, exactly how many customers had the same problem? I am sure that some caught on to what happened, but whose to say, thousands or even millions, may not have caught this, since they probably go over the allotted time, each and every month. Saving one's calls and placing it on a subsequent statement, will undoubtedly generate more revenue for cingular, but only if they are caught by each and every customer, they did this to.***

More than likely, out of perhaps ten million customers where this was done, one or two million customers may have caught this. The other eight or nine million, went ahead and paid the overage. Those that did catch what had happened, simply got a "I'm sorry" from cingular and that's the end of the story. A mere accident, as they would like to call it. I call it "hum bug". Cingular knew exactly what they were doing.*** Pay attention to each and every bill. No matter if it's Cingular, Verizon or any of the other carriers. This could happen to you.***

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Cingular Incompetence
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LIVE OAK, FLORIDA -- After moving to Florida from Tennessee, where we had Cingular so-so service, we went to the Lake City FL office and had them change the phone numbers to local Florida numbers. In order to do so, we were told we had to sign up for another 2 year contract. We did so after the salesperson assured us Cingular had good service in our area.
Within a week it became apparent Cingular did not have good service. I could not even call my husband sitting in the same room with him. Calls were constantly dropped. I called Cingular and terminated service with them.

Shortly thereafter I received a check in the mail (remember this!) from them for $96.00. I cashed it and assumed we were even. Suddenly I get a call from a collection agency that I owe Cingular $178.16 for early termination fees, etc. I immediately called Cingular as I had never received a bill. It turned out they were sending the statements to the wrong address. I requested a copy of the bill as I do not just blindly send out almost $200 without some paper in hand.

The collection agency is still calling. Each time he called I called Cingular and requested yet another copy of the bill. To date none has been forthcoming. Even though I have corrected the address time and time again, I am not receiving the statement. Remember, though, they did send me the check!!

Today he called 6 times becoming more abusive each time. I again called Cingular. This is, BTW, now the 4th time I have requested a copy of the statement. They refused to fax it to me stating "security" measures, yet they can send my bill all over the country to collection agencies and impugn my credit rating freely.

This is absolutely the most incompetent outfit I have ever had dealings within my life!! I have filed complaints against Cingular with the FCC and against the collection agency with the Better Business Bureau. My next step is the state attorney's office and/or a lawyer of my own. Whatever you do, don't do business with Cingular. There are other better cell phone companies out there!!

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Rebates that you don't get from Cingular
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FAIR GROVE, MISSOURI -- On October 27th is the day I sent my rebate off to Cingular, keep in mind that was the day after I got the phone. I keep a good eye on it through the internet. The rebate had at least 6 steps it had to go through before even getting approved. On Dec 13, 2006 the online rebate department said my rebate had been mailed on Dec 8, 2006. On Dec 29,2006 I started emailing Cingular to find out when I was going to receive the rebate. Cingular has changed at least 5 times their story on when the rebate was sent and that after mailing rebate it could take up to 4 or 6 weeks to get to me.

As of January 16 Cingular sent me an email telling me that the rebate had been mailed on January 8,2007 and that it would be here in 7 to 10 business days. As of January 29, 2007 I still had not received the rebate and the time or day limit on that 14 days not counting the holiday we had and weekends. I have now started emailing them everyday. As of January 31 I emailed them again and their response after taking 3 days to reply to my emails they have now just referred me to the 800 number which you can't speak to a live person but the response on the phone was "the rebate was mailed Dec 8, 2006." So, I ask "what date?"

I believe Cingular does not know and I am starting to believe it does not exist. I have also called numerous times to Cingular all I get is the runaround. As of Feb 1, 2007 I still don't have my rebate in which I am entitled to. I came to Cingular from another Cell Phone company thinking I would get better service and I was forewarned about Cingular as a company when it comes to your billing. Cingular is the only Company in which I can get coverage so it is important to me to stay with Cingular but I am having second thoughts about it. I really think that I might take legal action on this.

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Coverage Charges
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NEW JERSEY -- Raising The Bar or Deceiving The Customers? I have recently had an experience with Cingular that I would like to share with everyone. I have been with Cingular since 2004. I have not had many problems that could not be resolved, until now. I am very busy, I don't get a paper bill, and I honestly almost never check my statement. My rate plan is $39.99 which usually comes to about $48-$55 per month.

When my bill was $62 I thought that was a little unusual. I log on to my account and find that my bill for the next cycle is $325. I thought how can this be possible when the majority of my calls are mobile to mobile. I quickly go to the answer center and find the following answers to my questions.

QUESTION: What is Unlimited Mobile to Mobile calling? ANSWER: Unlimited Mobile to Mobile (M2M) allows you to make unlimited calls to and from any other Cingular customer when making calls within your rate plan's calling area.
Using Mobile to Mobile: Mobile to Mobile minutes may be used when you directly dial or receive a call from another Cingular phone number from within your calling area.

Troubleshooting Mobile to Mobile: If you believe that you were incorrectly charged for a Mobile to Mobile call, check to see if that call was made or received within your rate plan's calling area. When I call the CS Center, I find out that since I have been a customer since 2004, although I have bought new phones and renewed my contract, I have not changed my plan. The plan I have is expired and no longer available, and does not have mobile to mobile minutes. I was charged coverage for 547 minutes, and 597 of them were mobile to mobile.

Cingular refused to credit me for the full amount. I was never informed that my plan had expired, never told that if I wanted mobile to mobile I had to change to the new plans. I never received any correspondence from them about this, and the website does not document it either. I wanted to share my experience with everyone. For anyone who may be in the same position. Why should we sit back and keep letting these corporations blindly charge us? Cingular is deceiving, they do not disclose full information, and then we pay for it later. That is why that have tow civil action lawsuits pending. Perhaps they will have a third. Thank you.

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Cingular Won't Admit What They Are Doing
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I used to be and AT&T customer until Cingular bought them out. I was told I could switch to Cingular and not be considered canceling contract and start using their services better rate plan and such and not have what we originally had with AT&T. I said "OK sure no problem," then I was told I had to buy Cingular phones in order for it to work. Everything was fine for the first 1 yr of the 2 yr contract, then I started getting dropped calls constantly. I mean several times a day about 5 times.

I have been told it's my phone and it isn't in warranty, so I need to get another phone. I don't believe them period! I find it interesting soon as my warranty was up, it's my phone and not them. I have told them it's their network not my phone, I get the runaround on it constantly. Was promised a free replacement phone, never got it, come to find out that was if I agreed to another contract and I refuse to do so. This has been proven over and over, if they think I am getting a new phone, or a loaner to see if it is my phone to appease them, I don't get dropped calls, but as soon as they figure out, I am not getting a different phone, they start up.

They have thought the last 3 weeks I am trying another phone and not one problem but guess what? My husband is having clarity problems with his phone now, isn't that interesting? They have taken roll over minutes out not used, always calling on that, they did it long enough that 1 yr ago when I wasn't aware I had 100.00 in coverage charges. Their customer service is lousy. I tried to get tech support and some bozo there, never said hello or nothing and just sat there on the line for 15 min not talking.

They even knew I was on the house phone calling to complain. I was told everything under the sun it's my phone, need a new sim card, got one, nothing changed. I am still under AT&T towers or I am stuck in between towers. My contract is up Nov 26th and I am counting down the days! You will so regret having them!

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Sick of being overcharged on my bill - enough already!
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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I've been a Cingular customer for almost three years now, and have paid that company hundreds of dollars that I DID NOT OWE THEM! I signed up with them when I started my job. Everyone in the office used Cingular and suggested that I sign up with them, since we'd all be in the same network. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE! When my first bill arrived, there we no problems. The following month, however, my bill was approximately $ 15 more than it should have been. I was on a calling plan for about $ 40 a month, with 200 anytime minutes and 5000 night and weekend minutes.

When I called to question the bill, the woman told me that the charges were for call I made. When I told her that I didn't even use of my anytime minutes, she changed her story, started to say they were calls from a past bill - a late payment. Well, since I paid everything in full the prior month and, at that point, my account stated a zero balance, I asked her about it. She changed the story again... in the end, the bill never got changed and the charges stood. For three years this continued, but I could not change companies because I needed to be in the same network as those in my office.

Now....this Monday I paid off a bill for $ 55.24. I paid online, and my account said my balance was zero. Well, yesterday, one day later, I checked online to see if the payment went through. It did, but it also said that NOW I have an account balance of $ 57.62.

Once again I made a call to Cingular, spoke with a VERY rude woman, who told me that the $ 57.62 is a new charge, and the old balance was a late fee. I told her that I knew the old balance was late, but why did my internet account say I had a zero balance? And why is my new balance $ 57.62 when my monthly plan is for about $ 40, and I hadn't even used my phone... still had all my anytime minutes. The problem never got solved. She was very manipulative, changing the story every time I proved that there actually WAS a problem with my bill. In the end I just gave up.

I have 4 months left on my contract, and only two choices. I can either struggle through the next few months, paying this deceitful money that I don't owe them, or I can cancel my plan right now, pay them off the balance (that I don't owe them) in ADDITION to a rather large cancellation fee. Cingular should be put out of business.

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Cell phone contract
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TACOMA, WASHINGTON -- Before my husband and I were married, he had less than perfect credit. As soon as we were officially hitched, I took over paying his bills so I would know that they were on time and also to re-establish his credit. Two years later, we moved and he wanted to put me on his cell phone contract since my carrier did not offer service in the area. We went to the store and after pulling up his file, the service rep said it would require an $800 deposit to get me a phone.

That seemed a crazy price to get a simple phone, so I had them open a new account in my name. I got the same phone free--no deposit. I understand that the company has to protect themselves from persons with bad credit, but for the last two years, all of his payments have been on time--no delinquencies. When I questioned the sales rep, she informed me that because he had to put a deposit down once, he will never qualify for a free phone. I think there should be a point where his credit should be reviewed and if found satisfactory, he should start with a clean slate. Am I wrong??

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Cell phone bill
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OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- My son was charged an outrageous cell phone bill from Cingular while he is serving in Iraq and trying to stay in contact with his family. The bill ended up being $6000 dollars and when him and his wife realized how much it was they contacted Cingular asking them to work with them, being they don't have that kind of money. Cingular demanded immediate payment, they cut off their cell phones and charged them an extra $750 dollar fee for shut off charges and sent this to a collection agency.

Now my son will be in trouble with his commander, being backed in to a corner his family will have to live on $30 a month because Cingular does NOT support our troops and does not care what they do to the individual soldiers lives. I think they should have explained the plan for international was more, because my son said he had international coverage on his cell phone plan and Cingular charges more apparently because there are no satellites in that area.

This is an outrageous example of a company that is only out for the money. I suggested my son's wife go on national tv with this. I hope she does, because I know this will affect a lot of soldiers and their families. They are not getting rich over there and they still have families at home to support, and a lot of the wives don't work.

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Cingular Wireless Cell Phones Rating:
22 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Cingular Wireless
5565 Glenridge Connector
Atlanta, GA 30342
404-236-6000 (ph)
404-249-5599 (fax)
www.cingular.com
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