Today I called 1-866-290-0901 to add $20 to my cell phone account. After holding for about 8 minutes, a rep answered. Last month I attempted to add funds through their automated system, however, after adding the $20, a rep came on the line and appeared to be confirming the charge. However, when I checked my bank account, she had added another $20 which wound up being a total of a $40 charge rather than $20. I had to call back and, of course, it took forever to get through to a Manager, who did resolve the matter and apologized for the mishap and said she would speak with the rep.
The Manager suggested in the future, when transferred to a rep, to make sure to have them verify the amount already recorded so they don't add it again. Anyway, so that is why I decided to bypass the automated system and speak directly to a rep. The rep answered the phone and I could barely understand what she was saying and had to ask her three times and finally figured out she wanted my phone number. I swear she sounded like she asked me for my last 4 appendages of my number.
In the end she said she asked for my 10 digit number, which is logical, however, I would not put it pass any of them to have fun by asking something that makes no sense considering the lousy service. They know that they have the market pretty well tied up, and that is why there has been a civil action lawsuit filed in 10/2004. After an exasperating phone conversation with her, and thinking I was done, she says "please hold on while I transfer you to someone who can help you with that." This is after I have provided her with my ATM number, and she jumped off before I could get her name. Heaven forbid that they should identify themselves to you first.
Well, I held on for another 10 minutes. Fortunately, I was at home and not in my car. I hung up and called back and asked to speak with a Manager. Another ten minutes. Then I decided to check my account only to find out that the rep had put the charge through already. Obviously, she just felt like having me wait to speak to someone else for no reason except to waste my time and be on some kind of power trip. I called back again and asked to speak with a Manager, only to be put on the phone for another 15 minutes.
Finally, out of frustration I went to the internet to file a complaint online only to find out that "prepaid" services cannot establish an account and can only call to resolve an issue. We all know where that leads to. So, consequently, I find myself at "my3cents" to vent. I thank God that I only have a prepaid account, and in the future, will only buy prepaid cards so I don't have to call them. As soon as possible, I will change to another wireless phone service, if there is one to change to. That is why I am providing the URL to you all in regards to the civil action.
IN ADDITION, AFTER MAKING THE PHONE CALLS TO CINGULAR, I CHECKED MY ACCOUNT CREDIT. After the $20.00 had been added this morning, the account balance was $20.50. An hour later, it had dropped to $19.50. The only calls I had made was to THEM AT THEIR TOLL FREE NUMBERS. I doubt that calls made the day before suddenly were being charged for since every time I make a call, my phone tells me that the money has been charged for the call and my balance is lower.
I THOUGHT CALLING THEM WAS SUPPOSED TO BE NO CHARGE? I would have appreciated being able to either call someone to ask, or send a e-mail, but there is no e-mail for me being a prepaid customer, and I refuse to contact their customer services department that has only proved to be frustrating, except for the one time I spoke with a responsible manager.
So, in the end, who knows what our rights are since calling them to find out information usually only ends up being transferred into an endless zone of waiting which only deters one from wanting to call them to resolve an issue. We just become victims of what seems to be turning into a monopoly situation and a force that can treat their customers anyway they want. Good luck to you all.
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA -- I signed up for a 2-year contract cell phone service in September 2005. There was a 30-day trial where I was able to try the service. For this period the phones worked perfectly! After this period, I could not place or receive phone calls at random hours. After 9 PM, when I have “free” minutes, the phones did not work at all at first.
I (still) get a “Network not Available” message displayed on my screen. This happens with the 2 phones in the contract. I called numerous times to the service department. They have done over 5 “upgrade” downloads to the phones, with no effect at all. I also changed the Sim card. This did not help either. They kept telling me I had 2 defective phones.
In December, the phones were exchanged. At first, they worked fine. Now in January the problems got worse. This time, I can barely place or receive calls and when I can, the signal goes in and out. I can barely hear the person I am speaking to and vice versa. People who call me also say they do not always get my voice mail. Instead, they get a message saying, “The subscriber is not available.”
In late November of 2005 I had spoken to a supervisor who clearly stated that if the problems persisted after the phones were exchanged, it was likely a network problem. If this was the case, I could be released from the contract without an early cancellation fee. When I called to report this, not only was the tech support staff ineffective, I was told this was not an option. They also refused to release the name of the supervisor that told me that, when it is listed in their records. (I was stupid enough to forget her name, so remember to make note of this any time you call for a complaint!)
I called again yesterday, January 27, 2006. They had the nerve to tell me I had to change the phones again, because they are a “cheap” model. My model is retailed at over $200. Should I get a $500-dollar phone to get the service I am paying for??? I have been lied to several times, and I am paying for a service I can barely use. The sad part is, I know I am not the only consumer in this area with this problem.
As a suggestion, if you have a similar problem, please 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 fairness out of this. For those of you thinking on getting Cingular Service, please think this well.
BONITA SPRINGS, FLORIDA -- I already posted, but I want to add this comment since my experience has gotten worse. According to my customer profile, my contract ended July 12. I signed on with AT&T in 2002 and extended it for 1 year. So I called Cingular last night to cancel my service and was told that I would get a $175 penalty for early cancellation. I couldn't understand this since I've been patiently waiting for this very day.
The explanation was that my actual date is now July 14. (I swear to God this is true.) She said that when my service was interrupted for 24 hours last year (the day I left my phone at work and thought it was lost) it changed the contract end date. So I said "okay then cancel it as of the 14th." I was told that because they cannot change the billing date, which is the 12th and that a bill was generated today, I have to pay for the entire month ending August 14. I said that was ridiculous and, even though I shouldn't pay a single dime, to bill me for 2 days. The answer was "we do not prorate service." This is not the information I originally had, but with Cingular, who knows?
Truthfully, I was hoping to switch carriers and keep my number but it will take a few days and I cannot pay for 2 different plans. Why should I? My contract began 3 years ago and I wish to cancel it without a penalty and with no further bills for service. The only solution is to continue using Cingular with my lousy service and I assume I'll be on a month to month plan. Then I'll switch a week before the billing period and just be paying for 2 plans for a few days. I have to believe that there can't be a cancellation fee on a monthly plan since I didn't sign anything.
I truly think the way they've been handling my contract for several months is illegal, if not completely unethical. There should be a Class Action Suit against this very dishonest corporation. Maybe there already is.
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.
Cingular Wireless is by far the worst cell phone carrier I have ever had. Since I started service with them in August 2004, I have had NUMEROUS problems with my voice mail. Instead of my recorded greeting, people calling me would get a message saying “the subscriber is not available right now, please try your call again later”. As a result of this I have lost a large amount of business, since my cell phone is my advertised phone number.
I have contacted customer service and technical support on every occurrence and there never seemed to be a logical explanation as to why the problem kept recurring. Every employee had a different version of the story as to why my voice mail didn't work, but NONE of them solved my problem.
I had been told that is because I initiated service in Florida, but then moved to California (isn't a National plan supposed to work anywhere in the States?) Then someone else said that my “pilot number” programmed for my voice mail wasn't the correct one (so why didn't they fix it?) I have even been told that it was because I didn't powered off my phone every day to allow time to reprogram. I tried that and it didn't make a difference.
During one of my last conversations with technical support I made it very clear that if the problem persisted I would have to close the account, because Cingular was obviously unable to provide me with voice mail. My discontent was bad enough that I was willing to be charged a service interruption fee, which is in my opinion, a bad excuse for not been able to keep their customers otherwise.
What sent me through the roof thou was the customer service rep telling me that my last month service payment was NOT REFUNDABLE. Since Cingular bills in advance, I have used 3 days out of the 30 I have been charged for, and no amount of complaint letters seem to make any difference in their criminal policies. Cingular is one of many arrogant corporations that is forgetting that it's us, the consumers, that turned them into the biggest cell phone company in the U.S. and WE ARE PAYING THEIR SALARIES. If you got screwed by Cingular as well, please voice your opinion and tell us your story.
BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA -- DON'T BUY CINGULAR SERVICE. THERE IS NO SERVICE. I found out the hard way. Got a Cingular phone and service contract. I couldn't use the phone camping, at the beach or out West. I was so disgruntled using my friends' phones all the time to get in touch with home while traveling. The last straw was out in Las Vegas. When I got home I literally threw my phone down on the counter and said you have have your junk back. I have Verizon ever since and haven't had a lost, dropped or no service area! Well lo and behold over 2 years later they are after me for $ since I broke the contract.
I insisted they broke the contract because I paid my bills on time but they did not provide me with service. WELL GUESS WHAT? In small print on the contract.. it states.. THEY DO NOT HAVE TO PROVIDE SERVICE. Got to pay them so my credit stays good.. BUT every time I go to the mall I'm taking my CINGULAR SUCKS SIGN and stand by their door for a few minutes. Hopefully they lose a lot more revenue than what I have to pay them! And their advertising is FALSE. No dropped calls.. Yeah.. RIGHT!!!
SOMERVILLE, MASSACHUSETTS -- My mom who has Alzheimer's tried to turn in her phone and ended up with a two year renewal for a phone which she has no use for. She is not so bad that she can't function at all, but she is clearly confused and disoriented. She wanders around the neighborhood and often gets lost. She no longer has any use for her cell phone and since her contract was nearly up she went to the local Cingular Wireless store with a friend to turn in the phone. We thought that that was the end of the story, however when going through her bills, I found out that she was still being charged for the phone.
I found a new phone still in the box under her bed. She had no idea as to how it got there. I went to the local store with her and explained the situation. They wanted to charge her $150 for canceling the contract! I explained that the phone had not been used and her original account had not one call in six months, but they refused to budge on the charges. What kind of customer service is this???
BIRMINGHAM, ARIZONA -- I have contacted the Prez of Bellsouth on 2 occasions to complain about the poor service with no change over the past 2 years. So I made a little video that I think sums it up best. I hope you enjoy this. I wish it was not as true as it is, but at least it is funny. Thanks.
My husband and I have both had Cingular Service for over three years and have found it to be quite good. I have used my phone from several parts of the country and have never had reception difficulties except in the mountains where no cell phone service worked. My parents have AT&T and their reception is often distorted. We have been pleased with the service.