I have been with Cingular (originally Houston Cellular) since 1994, but did not begin having issues until 2005. At that point, I kept getting charged for things that I should not have been charged for and had to call every month for the first 3-4 months of our family plan to get it taken care of. We had a total of four phones and two of them belonged to our young teenaged daughters (13 and 14). Because I did not want to deal with the hassle of texting and internet costs for them, I had both blocked from their phones.
Fast forward two years. We upgraded my husband's phone and renewed our contract to a more frugal plan. Evidently, this reset the blocks on our texting and internet, but I was not informed of this. My daughters discovered this oversight almost immediately and were using the internet to play games. Fortunately, my oldest has been in trouble and had her phone confiscated so she has not had much opportunity to run up much of a bill. Unfortunately, this didn't apply to my youngest.
Let me first say that our bill was nowhere near where it COULD have been, but our younger daughter ran up approximately $65 on internet usage in addition to the $10 that my older used. Let me also say that my family is very frugal (read CHEAP) and not only did I go to a cheaper rate plan just to save around $5 per month, but I also have UNLIMITED internet access in my home for only $10 per month.
In my mind, this was the fault of Cingular and they needed to "fix it". Of course I was also upset with my daughter, but she IS only 13. When I asked her why she didn't mention the fact that she suddenly had internet access, her response was that she thought it just came with the new plan and that I knew about it. She had NO IDEA that there was any charge at all for internet usage since I never mentioned that to her when I had it blocked.
I spoke with Customer NON-Service about this and explained the issue. Their response was that they had no record of the internet EVER having been blocked and "as a courtesy" would charge me only half of the cost. I explained that this made NO sense to me since there had not been ANY internet charges on their phones EVER and that now they SUDDENLY ran up $75 worth. HUH???
The supervisor's explanation was that she thought they had just discovered and started using the internet and they just weren't aware of it previously. WOW, at EXACTLY the same time that our rate plan changed?!?! How coincidental is THAT??? Not only that, but I PERSONALLY attempted to use the internet on their phones to make SURE that it had been disabled. Now I'm LYING?!?! Unfortunately, we just signed another 2 year contract with them (which initiated the situation in the first place). Anyone with any advice???
CHARLESTON, ILLINOIS -- Before activating service in March 2006, I spoke with someone from Cingular to make sure they had service in Charleston, IL where I go to school. They assured me that I would have service. I called a couple of times to make sure of this. I wanted to make sure that there was Cingular coverage, not roaming. Charleston, IL is a somewhat rural area and other services roam here. I had T-mobile and it did not work well due to roaming. I had the phones registered at my home address where my family would have one phone and I would have the other at school.
After signing up with a 2 year contract I brought the phone to school to have terrible service. After calling multiple times the problem is still not resolved. The first time I called I was on the line with a customer service rep for over an hour talking about the situation. She claimed that Charleston, IL is a roaming area and that coverage and service is not guaranteed. I tried to explain that I was told that it would work. Also, we had a billing problem that was eventually resolved after calling several times, we were being charged 40 cents a minute for anytime minutes that were supposed to be in our plan.
It is like we were on a pay as you go plan except we were paying twice. It was resolved after a month of calling. The first person said it was roaming charges. Then finally they said "oh yes its a billing error, it will correct itself next month, our engineers are working on it now." After calling again, a representative would not even listen to what I was saying. I was trying to explain and she kept telling me that the coverage is fine in my area. She would not listen to the fact that I was in a different area, having problems. I asked if they were going to put up a tower and she kept repeating there is no plans to expand to this area since there is already (roaming) coverage.
I kept saying that it doesn't work. Finally she understood what I was saying, I had to keep repeating the zip code. She finally said "Oh yes it is roaming in that area" She said you might get a letter of termination if you roam to often. She said try not to roam. I said that I have to go into the next town 20 minutes away then to make a call?? Completely unhelpful. Basically calls are dropped, calls cannot be placed, low signal, even if there is a full signal there is still issues. Display will say call failed and/or network busy. Calls are missed and voice mails are received hours later.
Basically I just want it to work, they would not let me out of the contract and I just wanted their customer service to improve. I have been paying nearly $70 a month and it does not work well. It seems like they have trouble listening and that I know more than they know. All I believe that the advertisement "More bars in more places" and "fewest dropped calls" needs to be investigated. I think its one big lie. A big portion of their coverage area is roaming, where "coverage is not guaranteed". Just now in November they put a better map on the site.
Had that map been there in March I would have been able to see that Charleston was roaming. DesiredSettlementID: Other (Requires Explanation) Product_Or_Service: Motorola /v360/familytime 550
Account_Number: **. Date Service Started: 03/01/2006. Purchase_Price: 59.99.
I have filed a complaint since, on the BBB site, and they just put me in touch with someone from the corporate office, who was very nice, but said there was still no time frame on better service in Charleston. She did send out engineers to the area and she agreed that there is a problem there. All other CS reps seemed to have no knowledge. All I wanted was an answer. I do not like being mislead. They will be addding new towers in 2007 to the Charleston area. I would still like to see a discount since the services I am paying for are not working correctly.
OTISVILLE, MICHIGAN -- On December 7th, 2006 I went on line to Cingular.com and ordered a refurbished Sony Ericsson phone under a GO Plan for my daughter for Christmas. They charged my credit card $31.79 for this phone. I received the phone via FedEx on December 11th, 2006. When I inspected the phone I found that the power cord was not the cord that goes with this phone, so on Tuesday, December 12th, 2006 I called Cingular and after being transferred about 4 times they gave me a phone number 1-866-391-0749 for the Cingular.com office.
When I got a customer service rep on the line I told them that the power cord they sent me was the wrong one, could they send me the correct one and in return I would put the wrong one and the same box and send it back. I was told NO! I had to send back the entire box, phone and all and then wait 10 days for a prepaid shipping label to return the phone.
I explained that this was a Christmas present for my daughter and I didn't have the luxury of time. I told him that this was their mistake and as a soon to be new customer they should try to accommodate me. He stated that this was their policy, if I wanted another phone sent immediately I would have to pay for another one; I refused, since I already paid for one. At that point I asked to speak to a manager who also was very rude and told me the same thing. In frustration I hung up. After cooling down about the situation I called back on Wednesday December 13th, 2006 and spoke with a rep by the name of **.
I explained to ** what had transpired up to this point and asked him if I sent the phone back myself today by priority mail when they receive it could they just send a replacement phone to me, with the proper cord. He said yes! I also asked him if they would credit my account for the shipping charges and he said yes! He told me to call on Monday December 18th, 2006 to see if they received my return.
So on Monday December 18th, 2006, I called back and spoke to a female rep who told me it was in the warehouse however; it had not been scanned into the system yet. I asked her if they had sent a replacement phone and she told me NO. If I wanted another phone I had to pay for one and they would credit me back for the other one in 7-10 days.
I told her that ** had told me to avoid all that. I could send the phone back for a replacement. She said that he misinformed me. I was absolutely furious now you have my phone and my money and I don't have a Christmas present for my daughter. I said some not so nice things about how this whole situation has been handled then hung up.
I called back on Thursday December 21st. and spoke with a rep named **. I asked him if a credit had been issued for the phone and my shipping charges and he had told me NO. He said I would not see the credit for 7-10 days and as far as the shipping they would credit my account. I at that point told him I do not have an account with Cingular and I wanted it to be credited back to my credit card that I used to purchase the phone.
He said he didn't know if Cingular would do that. He then told me he would submit some kind of request for the ship charges and then told me he would connect me with customer care. I was transferred to a customer care down south somewhere and they had to transfer me back to a Michigan customer care center. I was then connected to a rep by the name of ** and I explained everything that happened to me and she was very sympathetic to my situation but told me she could not help me and wished me good luck.
I have never in all my years been treated so badly by a company as I have been treated by Cingular. As I write this letter I don't have the phone or the money. I have 2 days to try to find my daughter a phone for Christmas. Your company should be ashamed of yourselves for the terrible customer service you provided to a potential customer. I will never recommend any one to Cingular and this letter will be forwarded to the Consumer Agency.
SPRING HILL, FLORIDA -- Spring Hill, Florida Friday September 15, 2006. In trying to cancel my cellular phone service with Cingular so that I could obtain service with a carrier that actually provided quality service to the area in which I live, since Cingular did not work in my living room or any other place that I happened to be. I was told that I was still under contract even though I had made no changes in my contract or otherwise signed for new service from their company.
I had started out with AT&T in February 2004 in Memphis, TN and when Cingular took over AT&T in early 2005 I was among those unhappy people force to be a part of a company locked into a contract (two years originally with one year left) that I did not choose and would not have chosen because of the bad word of mouth on Cingular! When I moved to Florida in March 2005, Cingular told me that AT&T no longer existed and that Cingular would be the only company that I could deal with...
I was getting nowhere, and all I wanted to do was to change my phone # from the Memphis area to a local # in Spring Hill, after many hours on the phone with Cingular telling me that I should just keep the Memphis # even though I had become a Florida resident, they changed the #... to a Gainsville, Florida #... oh good a new long distance #, when I called to complain and at that time I didn't know that it was a Gainsville #.
They told me I should have told them I lived in Spring Hill and would need a Brooksville # (I'm supposed to know that?) I told them that it was their job to know the local #'s for my area and since they had my correct billing and mailing address it should have been easy. (where is their customer service, India?)
Again I spent my time trying to correct their error. Today again I was on the phone wasting my time trying to correct their error again!! It was an error and they admitted it, but still would not give me their name or the name of their supervisor in case the problem does not get solved by the woman (Miss No Name) that assured me she would take care of it. With their track record I do not get that warm and fuzzy feeling that all is well between myself and Cingular.
If you are thinking of opening an account with Cingular think long and hard, because they will be able to ruin the experience for you and you will feel that they are doing something unethical or are trying to in some way cheat you, their valuable customer without whom they would not be in business in the first place. Although I live in Spring Hill, Florida, this complaint could have come from any state. Cingular does not seem to discriminate based on where you live, they give the same bad service to everyone.
AUSTIN, TEXAS -- I contacted Cingular customer service representatives by phone nearly a dozen times over the past six months trying to resolve the matter of the unpaid balance on my account, but to no avail. I was never happy with their phone service as I experienced dropped calls and no bars on an almost daily basis. Most often my phone did not work at all on weekends when minutes were supposedly “free”. I'm appalled that an American corporation can use their weaknesses as an advertising ploy for being their strongest asset!
It got worse with the merger between Cingular and AT&T. I use an automated bill payer through my bank to submit payments. When the January statement was sent to me, I didn't notice the account number had changed. I simply input the amount I owed into my billpayer tool and remitted payment like I always do.
In February I was surprised to see my next statement claimed I never paid January‘s bill and the amount owed was for two billing statements. I paid the new amount including the past due amount to avoid any penalty fees and planned to research and rectify the discrepancy later. I was moving into a new house in March and had already packed most of my belongings into boxes. In March, I received the next bill and it stated I was three months behind. Remembering the February statement and knowing I remitted a double payment then, I paid only the current month's fee. At this time I was in the process of moving and too busy to deal with that.
At the end of March we received a notice in the mail that our service with Cingular has been terminated. Verizon had not hooked up our new home phone yet. We were in our new house with a newborn baby trying to coordinate and switch over all of our utilities and Cingular turned off our only phone service, our only line to the outside world. Inconveniently, it was terminated at a time when we needed it most! My only option was to open a new account with a different cell phone service.
It was only later that I discovered my payments were going to the old AT&T account and not the new Cingular account. When I called customer service, the young lady I spoke to knew right away what had happened because she so had many other customers call with the same error. Many other people who use a bill paying service were still remitting payment to the old AT&T account not knowing that their account number had changed.
I was never advised of that change, and apparently neither were many others. She was able to transfer the paid funds over to the proper account. But there was a positive balance on the account now because I made a double payment in February. She apologized for the inconvenience and told me to expect a refund check within 30 days.
Four months later I still have not received my refund and I am being billed for breaking contract, when in fact it was Cingular who terminated my account for not paying my bills when I had been paying them all along! I have literally spent hours on the phone with Cingular desperately pleading my case and seeking resolution but have gotten nowhere. They maintain that I owe them a contract termination fee of $150 whether I broke the contract or they end the service, no matter what the reason.
I strongly urge anyone who has reached the end of their contract to switch to another cell phone service provider. I would also recommend anyone who has a legitimate complaint to report Cingular to the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Consumer Complaints at this web address http://www.ftc.gov/ by clicking on the “File a Complaint” tab. Also, letters of complaint can be sent to the Better Business Bureau at http://odr.bbb.org/.
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 ** 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. ** stated I would see the bill approximately 7-10 business days after the billing cycle ending April 1, 2006.
April 17, 2006 - 3:00 pm spoke to Cingular representative named **. 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 ** 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 **. 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 Cingular. 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 8 pm 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 ** 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 ** - Contacted Cingular representative ** answers the call I ask to be transferred to her manager. ** 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.
** 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 ** 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 ** 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 **. 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 ** 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.
VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA -- What happened with Cingular is: I bought that BlackBerry and the lady told me she would put it on my bill. I call back for 4 days to get a tracking number and they kept saying we don't have it yet. Sooo I decide to pay my bill $450.00 in advance because I know I am going to get charged for the blackberry.
I call back again to get my tracking number and the lady told me my credit card declined. I told her they told me there were putting it on my bill SO THEY TRIED TO CHARGED MY CREDIT CARD ON FILE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION. Luckily that was my Capital One card I canceled about a month ago and if it was my check card I would have been PISSED.
Soooo I get over it and I'm like I would like to order a blackberry. She told me I couldn't have it at that price without signing a new contract. I told the lady that is the price the lady quoted me and she knew I wasn't renewing my contact and I already have one. I said ** it, not in those words, and told her to charge me full price.
She then said I would have to give her my credit card number. I'M LIKE ** I HAVE A $450.00 CREDIT ON MY BILL. She then says that she could not take it off of my bill. I asked to speak to a manager and she comes back 3 times, after putting me on hold 10 minutes each time, and says that she has a new idea. I still demanded to talk to a manager.
One finally comes on the phone and he tries to resolve it and makes these promises that in the end were not kept. Such as renewing my unlimited minutes for another 2 years and I would get the cheap phone price. So they decided they would credit my card back: NOW I HAVE TO WAIT 7 DAYS TO GET MY MONEY BACK.
I had more money from selling stuff on eBay so I decide to order the blackberry still. I call to order and they TELL ME I CANNOT HAVE THE BLACKBERRY ON MY UNLIMITED MINUTES PLAN. I talk to two more rude ** managers and like 100 customer service reps who have no clue how to do their job.
I then call my local Cingular (they are a lot better and know about former SunCom customers). I asked them if it was possible to keep my plan and have a blackberry data plan. They said yes and they have plenty of people that have it the way I want my account. The only thing is they didn't have any blackberry 8700c in stock and they didn't know when they were getting any. I finally gave up and got a T-Mobile sidekick. THE END! Cingular has the worst customer service ever. When I first signed up with them my bill was over $1,000.00 a month for 6 months until their dumb ** found out how to fix it. They make me sick.
DALLAS, TEXAS -- I had Cingular Wireless about three years ago. I only had the account for a short time (about 4 months.) During that time, they charged me outrageous billings ($300-$400 each) on a $59.99/month plan. If 15 people had been on my phone I might understand these crazy charges, but it was JUST ME and there was just no way that I, by myself, made $400 dollars worth of phone calls in one month, let alone every month for three months. Of course, the plan that I had done not 'allow' Cingular Wireless to provide me with a "detail" of these inane bills... but if I wanted one, Cingular Wireless wanted to charge me $5.00 EVERY TIME I NEEDED A DETAILED BILLING.
In other words, they could not prove that I was making these calls, and yet when I asked them to, they still wanted to charge me MORE money. I finally had to break down and pay the freakin' $5.00 to get MY OWN BILL. When I got it, it was like 40 pages long... NOT ONE OF THESE CALLS WERE MINE. They obviously had my # confused with someone else's.
When I called them back to complain and prove that I did not make any of the calls, I finally got a hold of one of their agents that looked at the account, and said, "Oh I see that we have made a terrible mistake. We are going to send you a refund of $209.34 because that is how much you overpaid for two months' worth of errors." I said thank you very much and hung up. Miraculously, the check for my refund, did finally come.
However in the meantime, Cingular Wireless CONTINUED to charge me erroneously, for two more months. I called them to tell them I refused to pay the bills until they provided me with detail at NO CHARGE since I had already PROVEN that they were screwing up my account! Did they ever send me the detailed billings? Well, here's what they did. They sent me detailed billings of the FIRST TWO MONTHS that they had ALREADY REFUNDED ME FOR. Over and over and over. Like three times!
Every time I got the same bills over and over, I kept calling them and explaining to them that they were sending the WRONG BILLS, and the customer service (haha) reps always said something like, "Well if you want the RIGHT ones, we'll STILL have to charge you $5.00 EACH." I never paid them another dime and got service with another company within a week. I threw the phone away (literally) and wrote Cingular a letter stating that until they could prove that these continued errors were theirs, they would not get another dime of my money and the phone was gone, the account closed.
Well of course in the manner of Cingular that we've all become accustomed to, Cingular continued to bill me for months, and THEN tacked on a cancellation fee on top of all the other erroneous charges. They continue to send me threatening letters stating that they are going to take me to court. Well BRING IT! I still have a copy of my REFUND CHECK from 2003 from you FREAKS!
METRO DENVER, COLORADO -- I just cancelled my account with Cingular Wireless because of their legendary anti-customer no-service. My story goes back about 3 years now. I started my account with AT&T through a promotion from my office. Things went along fine for the first year right until I wanted to upgrade my phone and increase my plan minutes. I missed the 'grace period' by about 12 days and my 'contract' was automatically renewed for another year.
I tried to live with it but my bills kept growing almost monthly, so after about 5 months of ridiculous billings I called and complained because I wanted to get a better deal as my phone usage had gone way up, so they relented and moved me to a local plan with more minutes for a 40.00 monthly increase on my original base price and another two years contract, but no phone upgrade. Again I tried to make that work although my ancient analog phone line kept dropping calls and the phone didn't work at all at my home, the overage charges stopped but my average bill was around 125.00.
I called them early this year and asked them to take a look at my rate plan and see if there was anything that could be done to improve my situation, and to see if they could give me an upgraded phone or a discount on buying one. They only would offer me a new digital phone that I would have to buy at 130.00 and then I would have to agree to another two year contract to get a better rate plan. I decided to try to finish my current contract, so I could switch carriers.
Then I travelled to Las Vegas in April and Phoenix in July of this year and was assessed roaming charges for making calls to my home state from these cities, I didn't argue the bill for the Vegas calls but when the billing came in for the Phoenix calls I really raised the roof - you see originally (3 years ago) Phoenix was included in my calling area. Well when I changed my rate plan apparently my calling area changed, a new map was never sent to me nor could I access a map online for my rate plan - they no longer offer the rate plan I am on so they don't publish information about it on their website. I asked for a map in August, it was never sent.
I argued with their customer service department to no avail - I was told at least 22 times to refer to my service agreement in one phone call. Well last weekend I went to my local mall and shopped the various competitors and was quoted rate plans, free phones, better coverage area etc. and then gave Cingular one more chance to make things right with me.
After explaining the entire history to them and explaining that at least 3 of their competitors not only can do better but wanted to do better, I was informed that my credit with them wasn't good enough to inspire them to match a competitor's offer, granted with the massive bills (including roaming charges) I have been trying to pay. I have been behind for about the last 5 months. I spoke with 3 representatives over a 1 hour phone call to make sure they didn't want to perform any customer satisfaction then I cancelled my service, I am 4 months shy of my contract renewal date so I will probably have to pay some exorbitant cancellation fee but all in all it's worth it.
I signed on with my new carrier, received a free phone the same day and they even threw in a free car charger just because they were so happy to have me. I talked to a friend last night on my new cell phone from my couch in my living room which was great and so much more comfortable than having to sit on the sidewalk in front of my neighbor's house with my head pointing to the east to keep one bar going, like on my old phone.
I also look forward to encouraging my employer to change carriers (aprox 100 company owned and 350 personally owned Cingular customers) as I just volunteered to be on the committee for expense reduction for next year. Cingular is just about to find out the power of one voice.
Absolutely AWFUL customer service. I purchased phone online from Cingular website for $29.99. SIM card sent w/ phone didn't work when activated. Called to get situation fixed and was told a new SIM card could be shipped for free in a week or I could pay $15 for overnight FedEx shipping. I was not happy about paying for their mistake, but I needed my phone for work purposes, so I charged the $15 to a credit card and had them send it overnight.
When it hadn't arrived a few days later, I called FedEx, and found out it was in transit, but that I was lied to - they don't offer overnight shipping. It took almost a week to receive the card. Called back when I finally received SIM card, set up service on a prepaid basis. Plan included 400 daytime and unlimited night and weekend minutes for $49.99 plus tax. It also comes with an option to add money to account in $15 or $25 increments before monthly recharge date if you are running low on minutes. I asked specifically if I needed to be signed up for automated billing in order to use that service. They said no.
About 2 weeks later I was running low on minutes, and called to add $15 to my account. I was bounced between 4 different representatives to get to the right department, then had to talk to a fifth person within that department. I spend 43 minutes on hold for this. They told me I could not add money, but they couldn't tell me why, so I spent 21 minutes on hold waiting for a manager. She was incredibly rude, couldn't answer my questions, and finally hung up on me.
I called back, had to do the same thing all over again, spent a total of 1 hour and 38 minutes on hold and talked to six more people to find out I couldn't add money because I was not on automatic billing (I had been lied to). So I requested to be signed up for that, but they said I would have to pay for another full month ($49.99) to do it, and the minutes would only be good until the next scheduled recharge date. Was incredibly unhappy for being lied to and asked for a credit or other comparable solution. They refused and would not let me speak to a higher manager.
So I was almost out of $ on my account, and quit using daytime minutes completely, but my balance was still going down. I called to ask why and was told I was charged by the minute for voicemails that other people left for me. This is not stated ANYWHERE in their fine print or on the website. I requested a refund or credit since their charges were not in writing, and they refused, and again would not let me speak with a manager and hung up on me.
So I was fed up and I called to find out how to return the phone and get a refund so I could switch carriers. I have only had service for 3 weeks, but remember that week I spent waiting for the SIM card? Because of that I have had the phone for exactly 30 days and therefore they will not issue a refund. I have had horrible service, many rude representatives, and absolutely no resolution regardless of how many times I complain.