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It's The Principle of the Thing
Posted by on
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???
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warddw1526 on 04/30/2007:
I used to work for T-Mobile in a supervisor's role, so I will give my 3 cents. When you upgraded the phone, did they advise you that some features may change? When doing an upgrade or rate plan change, agents were advised to tell the customer that.

While I can see your point, my personal opinion is that if they are offering to split the charges (and taking half of the responsibility), that seems fair to me. Although, I am biased based on previous employment.
Pomona Guy on 04/30/2007:
I'd pay the 50% and chalk it up as a lesson learned. Oh, and maybe feed your girls half rations for a month to pay off the remainder.
killerklown on 10/26/2007:
Don't give children cell phones. They don't need them.
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Coverage Is Misleading Lots Of Places Still Roaming!!
Posted by on
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: XXXXXXXXXXX
DateServiceStarted: 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.
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voiceoff on 03/28/2007:
Perhaps the wireless reps are all cut from the same cloth because Verizon's reps also know nothing and won't do anything either. They do not even know what states are in the US. I was told Santa Domingo was in Puetro Rico and therefor was not an international call but not a roaming call either. It was international long distance. Ever hear of that? It's called Geography ala cell companies. Some services do have better reception in areas than others. Research that. Good luck with BBB.
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Horrible Service
Posted by on
OTISVILLE, MICHIGAN -- Cingular Wireless
Glenridge Highlands Two
5565 Glenridge Connector
Atlanta, GA 30342

Re: Formal Complaint

Dear Sir or Madam,

On December 7th, 2006 I went on line to 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 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 Dave. I explained to Dave 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 Dave 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 Patrick. 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 Leanne 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.

Very Disappointed,

Unsatisfied potential customer

CC: Better Business Bureau
Consumer Relations
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tnchuck100 on 12/23/2006:
Cingular could not care less if you are happy or not. What is most disgusting is how many CSR's tell you they "can't" do something when, in fact, the truth is they just "won't".

Dispute the unjustified charges with your credit card company.
Anonymous on 12/23/2006:
Agreed with chuck; they don't care about there terrible customer service or potential customer's. The market says they are OK if they don't get your business or keep a customer.

Fight them!
tnchuck100 on 12/23/2006:
You know, I have never understood why cell phone companies will go to great lengths to get you to sign up with them. But will do absolutely nothing to keep you as a customer.
CrazyRedHead on 12/23/2006:
What about the go phones that are sold in the stores? I have seen them in Wal Mart and Target, and you can go in the malls to one of there kiosks and buy one. I'm not sure how it is up there. Although you can get a better deal online, the store will charge you full price for the phone. The ones in Wal Mart are 19.95. You can also purchase a regular cingular phone and use it as a Go phone, I know that is what I did.
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Most Bars Less Dropped Calls NO WAY
Posted by on
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 descrimenate based on where you live, they give the same bad service to everyone.
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CrazyRedHead on 09/15/2006:
I'm confused. Are you with AT&T or Cingular. If you are with Cingular you must have switched over from AT&T, which in turn will put you on a new 2 year contract. If you received a new Cingular phone during that time then you signed on for a new 2 year contract. Credits, rate plan changes, new phone, new promos, there are a lot of things that can automatically renew your contract.
JPSD on 09/17/2006:
CrazyRedHead works for Cingular!!! She is everywhere. the fact is Cingular lies and misrepresents and we existing "customers" must tell all other potential consumers to stay away from Cingular while we wait for our unfair contracts to run out so we can escape.
Praetoguy on 09/19/2006:
Hmm like anyone who receives a new phone or if you make a change to a new area KEYWORD CHANGE to a new area which is not the original area you signed up for service in well guess what you are changing the agreement you originally made. don't cry foul now cause they could be worse like sprint or nextell or what ever they call themselves now.
CrazyRedHead on 09/19/2006:
Why is it when someone disagrees with someone it is because they work for that company. I don't work for Cingular, I never have. LOL
Kronenberg on 09/26/2006:
The sad thing is that Cingular pretends they have the right to do certain things that they don't really have the right to do, and they'll treat you like there is nothing you can do, which makes it very frustrating. Don't give up, though, because the fact is that unless you actually signed or said the word "yes" to a new contract, they cannot trick you into one. they can't just hand you a new phone, or phone number, or whatever else, and not inform you that by taking it you are agreeing to something and have it legally binding.

Unfortunately they'll just pretend they can do that, and you have to go out of your way to show them that you know better than that, and that you'll take legal action in order to resolve it. Then they have to stop pretending and finally work with you.

I can't believe people come here and argue that a company has a right to rip people off, and then get surprised if people think they work for that company. Perhaps they don't work for them, and their just completely irrational.
MollyDolly on 10/08/2006:
Cingular is terrible! They don't give a two s.hits about the customers; all they like to do is steal your money and charge you for things you don't even owe. Our bills are wrong every month. Is it just me or do other people here have billing problems with cingular?!
karenpompom on 11/28/2006:
I too was a former ATT wireless customer and when Cingular purchased our contracts (from ATT) we were not required to sign new contracts with Cingular. I loved ATT and when Cingular took over I experienced a couple of forgivable Cingular customer service and billing issues. I am still on the old network and am concerned about upgrading to the "new network" with Cingular. I would have liked to stay month-to-month but they increased my rate and over the last couple of months the "old network" has more dropped calls- even with 5 bars, switches to Roam randomly, and frequent voice mail delays. I called customer service yesterday and discussed my concerns with a very helpful rep. that there have been a lot of people that haven't been satisfied on the new network. I might as well take my number and business elsewhere.
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Breaking contract agreement
Posted by on
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 billpayer 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 by clicking on the “File a Complaint” tab. Also, letters of complaint can be sent to the Better Business Bureau at
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Hugh_Jorgen on 07/20/2006:
Had you simply called Cingular at any point in this, up to and including when they cut your service off you could have cleared this up right away. Don't blame them because you were "too busy" to deal with it until it was too late. Hopefully you learned a lesson - don't ignore billing problems.....
*Brenda* on 07/20/2006:
Why didn't you all them in the beginning? You could have avoided the trouble.
warddw1526 on 07/21/2006:
Cingular told you about the new account number. IT was on your bill. Also, the contract was broken by you when you did not pay it. A word of warning, if you don't pay the termination fee, it will be sent to collection agencies. For everyone who says cell phone companies had bad customer service, well collection agencies are worse.
MrDave on 08/09/2006:
Apparently we don't read very well. I called them MANY times, and I'm certain that you all compare all your account numbers to the previous month's bill, every month. Not the response I was expecting from you all, but I got the response I expected from Cingular. They retracted the cancellation fee.
kbunker on 08/10/2006:
Ditto. But, again, the biggest bargain that Cngular has is paying $150 per line to dump their sorry ass. I was a loyal AT&T customer for 15 years before the merger. I had excellent service and excellent customer service. With Cingular, I have neither. I have calls that are dropped, calls that do not go through because the network is busy and failed calls.

I have been overbilled because Cingular "forgot" to deduct overages from my 20,000 rollover minutes. It takes months to straighten out this billing problem (each time it occurs).

I urge everyone who has Cingular to switch to a new carrier when their service contract expires. But for me, I'll pay the $150 per line to end my contract and will take my $200 per month cell phone contract to a carrier that appreciates my business or at least pretends that they do.
Dana77 on 08/11/2006:
I used to be a customer service rep for Cingular. If you had actually contacted someone at Cingular when you got your bill in Feb, none of this would have happened. You have several options to contact, 1800 number or go into a local store. Cingular didn't do did. As for the contract fee, it is a valid charge. It doesn't matter if you disconnect or if Cingular has to disconnect for non-payment. Anyway you look at it, the service is being disconnected because of you and your actions.
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Ongoing Billing & Usage Problems
Posted by on
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- This complaint involves my two wireless numbers. This includes my bill from 04/27/06-05/26/06 and my current bill 05/27/06 through today. I am being charged for Mobile to Mobile minutes that are supposed to be included free on my family plan. I am in TX and my husband is working in GA. When my husband and I talk mobile to mobile, my number list the call as a mobile to mobile call and no charge is added, but my husband's number is being listed as a regular call and his minutes are deducted from our 1400 anytime minutes, at a daytime peak time rate. I have called Cingular 6 different times and a supervisor finally adjusted my bill for last month and deducted $247.78 overage charges and added 1000 rollover minutes to this month, in case we go over. We have gone over as of today, 119 minutes. I have checked this month's minutes and I am still being charged for mobile to mobile minutes. So far, Cingular has charged us over 270 minutes, that should be mobile to mobile minutes and free. I have tried all the steps Cingular has told me to do, to solve the problem on my end, but it does not work.

Update: We both have unlimited mobile to mobile minutes and we verified we are both on the Cingular Towers (Network) when we talk. We are finding out now that my husband is being billed for roaming charges, instead of receiving free roaming charges, like Cingular advertises.

I have finally found where the problem lies. My husband is out of town and his follow me calls are listed twice on the bill. One time the follow me call is listed Dallas time and we are not charged, but then the called is listed again at Atlanta time at a daytime rate and we are being charged for those minutes.
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CrazyRedHead on 06/20/2006:
If I remember correctly, you need to have the M2M on both lines, not just the main one. This is even for a family plan. You should call a CSR and ask her about his and if it is not, have it changed there on the spot. I hope I am correct in this and it solves your troubles.
warddw1526 on 06/21/2006:
Not 1005 sure on this, but some companies mob2mob minutes only work if both parties are on the same network. For example, if you are on Cingular and your husband is on a Verizon tower, they would not be mob2mob. This is definitely worth verifying with Cingular.
tiredofcingular on 07/24/2006:
I know exactly how you feel. responding to the other person's response it doesn't matter if the other party has m2m or not
if you have it
then it's free for you supposly
I have m2m and my bestfriend in nyc had a cingular go go fone
I asked cust service if this is free for me
they say yes
on my bill it reads m2m
but they tack my minutes
the past two months I have received 2 bills from cingular over $500
this past Thursday I had 250 mins remaining
my besfriend and I talk 4 2-3 hours a day @ a time
when I *646# and send
102 message says I'm over my mins as of 7.23.6!!!
cingular tech rep on 04/25/2007:
The server or switch from the network will count the mins to show how people are using the service on the bill not to say that you are being billed mtm. Also we do have plans to where say its a promo plan that may not included mtm in the features again the feature will list under the features page in the bill. (Doubt if you read the bill but hope you do) also on the plans make sure from go go under plans pick the plan your on and READ the details of the plan. Also did your plan look like this NAT1400RUMTMUNKNW again doubt it..why?...That is a Nationwide 1400 daytime with rollover if not used unlimited mobile to mobile and unlimted nights and probley had 1400RUKNW please notice the difference here thanks
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Responsiveness to Customer Complaints
Posted by on
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA -- Over the past three months, I've experienced intermittent and frequently unusable cellular service, lack of carrier/signal, dropped calls, lack of a two-way connection (one party can hear/talk, the other only hears dead space)

It’s not always convenient to call customer service, especially since it’s no longer as convenient, like it was with Suncom's 611 service. The lack of convenience means I can't complain as much. Must mean complaints are down for the company :-)

The last two months, I could not even maintain the connection from my cell phone to customer service without dropping the call. Another indication that customer complaints are down :-)

This web site has been an awesome find for me. I reviewed your complaints and based on all that I found; I have successfully minimized the impact of Cingular's lack of service and benefited from my final call to their Customer Service.

CINGULAR: Well Mr. Smith, we can get you on to a new phone at no charge. This will eliminate all these unfortunate problems you have experienced, and we can do this at no charge to you.

ME: .... (The devil is in the details) I am not interested in either a new plan or a new contract!

CINGULAR: Well you would have to get on a new rate plan for us to upgrade your service.

ME: I am not interested in a new plan. Would you look at paragraph 1C of the Cingular Terms & Conditions Agreement? It states that my service is available to my phone within the operating range of the Suncom system. This is not true. There is no service quality within your service area for customers on the former TDMA network. I would like to find out how I might cancel my service while avoiding the Early Termination Fee.

CINGULAR: If you will agree to remain on the service through the end of your agreement, I will credit the service fees for each month through the end of this agreement.

With a little more conversation, I accepted this offer as an easier approach to that of putting up a fight. I think maybe Cingular may have been reading some of these posts also.

Good luck to any of you who take this approach. Through my own research, I've concluded that Pay as you go plans are the way to go. Watch out though. The providers are equally as tricky in this area also. The top three plans I found were through Net10, TMobile and TracFone. In my area, TMobile has the best all around offer. For those who purchase time in blocks of $100, the minutes cost $0.10 each and do not expire for one year. There do not appear to be any other hidden fees.
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Anonymous on 03/22/2006:
Can you here me now?
MollyDolly on 09/30/2006:
I agree I hate cingular and pay as you go plans do sound better. I am going to do that when my contract is up which isn't until 2008 unfortunately. Do you know anything else about pay as you go plans? Like I heard it costs $1 for the whole day.
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Find a way out of your contract
Posted by on
STERLING, VIRGINIA -- I was a cingular customer for over 10 years--largely because my phone usually died before the 2 year period ended, so I had to keep getting a new contract. Recently I learned two very expensive lessons about how Cingular manages their contracts. 1) Several years ago, I added a second phone to the account. I learned when trying to cancel the account this year that early termination fee (of $150) is PER PHONE. Apparently each phone has its own contract, though I have never signed more than one piece of paper. 2) I had a phone stolen from my car in December and found Cingular to be extremely unhelpful. First, they told me that there was nothing they could do for me (I could have course buy a new phone, but to get a new phone number I'd have to get a new contract). Then they said that if I just cancelled the phone that had been stolen, I would have to pay the full (2 phone) monthly fee anyway and would have to pay the $150 early termination fee, for the phone that I NO LONGER HAD. As I recently failed in my final attempt to have this resolved, I thought I would pass along the supervisor's statement to me. "With all due respect, that stolen phone was still under contract." Keep in mind that I had been a faithful customer for well over 10 years... When the phone was stolen, all I wanted them to do was convert it to single phone account without a fee, but that was not something they were willing to do. I was, and remain, very disappointed.
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Hugh_Jorgen on 03/21/2006:
If they allowed you to do that, then anyone that wanted to cancel a contract early would simply claim "my phone was stolen".
RAJ49 on 03/21/2006:
My friend had her purse stolen a year ago, and cingular was very helpful. They sent her to a local store who had a new (cheaper, yes) phone waiting for her- without extending her contract (she had recently renewed it). I used to have Sprint before but had nothing but customer service problems, and now I have cingular. The only other cell company I haven't heard a lot of negative things about is Verizon. You must have had a bad rep on the phone.
Ponie on 03/21/2006:
Did you make a police report for the stolen phone? If so, wouldn't your homeowner's insurance help out in any way? Some years back when my car was stolen, my homeowner's covered all the personal items in the car. But I didn't have my phone stolen. It was in my pocket. I don't know whether they'd have done anything about it or not.
wary-consumer on 03/22/2006:
Hugh is right. Look at it from the companys point of view. That is why they have these contracts, to garauntee revenue from you either way (every contract with any mobile phone company is like this, even Version). They don't care if you lose it, they just want your money every month.
You run the risk if you don't buy mobile phone insurance though them (which is a scam too as its probably a wash once you add up all the addiontal insurance fees over the course of the contract).
Ponie has the best solution, of filing under homeowners insurance(if you have that), assuming your deductible is low & it will not affect your future premiums.
Yet another another solution is to buy a cheap replacement or loaner handset to have programmed with the same phone number as your old handset to use for the durration of the contract. Just be sure this replacement phone is made for the Sprint network and not another carrier.
Or the last option (and probably the cheapest) cancel the contract and pay the termintion fee. This way you can get a new phone at a discounted price when you sign a new contract. Just be sure to keep track of your phone at all times so it isn't lost or stolen, or gets broken, or you could be right back where you started.
wary-consumer on 03/22/2006:
correction to above...I meant 'Just be sure this replacement phone is made for the "CINGULAR" network and not another carrier.' for option number 2.---not Sprint network as I mistakely put.
1CutePeanut on 03/22/2006:
Jen, this is EXACTLY what I am talking about! Cingular doesn't/didn't care about you as a human being. They ONLY cared about the revenue that you generated. That situation definitely could have been handled differently. I know that I could have taken care of this matter easily for you. Cingular is disgusting and they disgust ME! So sorry that you had to suffer for cingular's stupidy and uncaring/unconcerning about your situation :-(
ohno on 08/01/2006:
when every new cust starts contract with cingular they are offered mobile phone insurance...if you choose not to spring for the extra 3.99 a month, sounds like a personal problem to me...PEOPLE DON'T REALIZE that the majority of the problems are caused by themselves...cell phone companies pay a lot more than 29.99-79.99 for the equipment, that is why there is a contract, and there are early term fees if that contract is broken. that is why if you lose your phone and chose not to get insurance, cingular cannot just crap a phone for you--take responsibility for misplacing the phone
monieshan on 08/25/2006:
You know, they do make these handy little devises called cell phone cases that strap conveniently to your side and even secure in place to where you can constantly have the phone attached to you. If your phone is that important to you, you would not have lost it to begin with. I bet you exactly where your tv remote is at all times.
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Posted by on
SHREVEPORT, LOUISIANA -- I was charged over 2000 dollars when my husbands phone was stolen while he was overseas serving in Afghanistan. I called Cingular when my husband told me that he could not find his cell phone. The customer rep said that they could not do anything because they cannot suspend service if the phone is outside of the United States and that any calls that are made on the phone would have to be paid for by us. I have been fighting with their billing department for a year. Every month we are charged for services that we do not have. I am at my wits end.
I called this afternoon and the resolutions department is horrible. David Carter called me a liar 4 times and accused my husband of making all those calls himself and not wanting to tell me about them so he pretended his phone was stolen. Then his supervisor screamed at me and talked to me like a child, when I asked her if she treated all service members and their families this way she said I DO NOT CARE ABOUT SERVICE MEN OR THEIR FAMILIES and hung up on me.

I have contacted the Better Business Bureau, the FCC, the State Attorney General, as well as Cingular Wireless's CEO, and as of 1 hour ago I have contacted the media. Including but not limited to Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, local news channels, local news papers, and many other media outlets. If the situation is still not resolved then I will be sure to find the millions and millions of other Cingular customers who are screwed and welcome them the join me in filing a lawsuit against Cingular. I already have a lawyer in place waiting for the word. Anyone else who has had a similar problem with the rudeness and ignorance of Cingular Wireless please contact me at
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Hugh_Jorgen on 02/28/2006:
I think this might be right up Clark Howard's alley. He's not on the air in Shreveport, but his home station is in Atlanta, same as the HQ for Cingular. It might be worth seeing what he can do - the story has all the makings of a good media story - soldier in middle east, big mean company bullying faithful wife waiting at home....
1CutePeanut on 03/22/2006:
Tonie, WILL definitely be emailing you!
Hubert on 07/21/2006:
I recently lost my job. Cingular called about bill, I explained I lost my job & had no money. They turned service off. I then got a bill for $ 806. I called them, told them that was wrong. Woman said "new young guy" had mistakenly kept charging me for $ 70 a month (for months, service was disconnected.) Today (July 20, 2006) I got a call on my home phone from a woman at Cingular "Operations Division", # 405-722-0778. She called at 8:52 a.m. (Central time). She asked me when I was going to pay the $ 800 bill. I then explained I lost my job, have no money. She stated to me: "I think you're full of s _ _ t, and I think you are lying to me." and slammed the phone down in my face. I filed a complaint with F.C.C. (July 20, 2006, 11:40 p.m.). including that: Cingular's own employee used "profanity and vulgarity".
It unacceptable, and I want that woman fired, and I do NOT want anyone from Cingular ever calling me again. I doubt if I will ever have wireless service for the rest of my life, and it surely would not be with Cingular. After filing my F.C.C. complaint, I then did some searching on the Internet. This one of the many "dillies" I came across: June 21, 2006
Court of Appeal Upholds $12 Million in Fines Against Cingular Wireless
texasJake on 08/25/2006:
Hubert, that so called "lady" works for a collection agency, not Cingular. The "Operations Div", (405) 722-0778, works out of Oklahoma.
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Service Issues
Posted by on
BLACKLICK, OHIO -- I had Cingular as a provider until I could not put up with there so called adequate service.

I called there customer service representatives several times. I played there games for couple of months of turning the phone off and back on having upgrades sent to me and still no decent reception. Finally I switched back to my old provider I might add I did not have to go through all the above since I ported my number back on October 17th 2005.

I had written to the BBB, FCC and the Ohio Attorney General. Cingular's response was that they give adequate service and Cingular does not guarantee service at all times and in all places per their correspondences to all the above agencies.

Advise to anyone if you get a new provider and if you are having any service issues most providers will give you 30 days which you can terminate or cancel your contract. This lesson cost me $450.00 to terminate three phones. Do not be patient like I was it will not get better. I do not know what I was thinking I really thought we could solve the problem.

This is no doubt a very crooked industry. It is big business. They can make their own rules and looks as though they can take advantage of the consumer with blessings of all the above agencies.

CINGULAR should get an award for the most dropped calls possible. When I had them as a provider I would have a dropped call couple times a day. With my new provider I get a dropped call once or twice in a month. Usually when I am talking to someone using Cingular, What a surprise!

Cingular should be forced to change there slogan from Raising the Bar to Raising the Bar for Some.
If we can not get them on their inadequate service maybe we could call them on their false advertisement.
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Ponie on 02/21/2006:
Does your contract 'guarantee service at all times and in all places?' I doubt very much these words are printed in black and white and also doubt very much that ANY phone company would make such a statement. You must have been searching for a very good deal on phones (cheap) to sign up for three of them. Had you just taken one to see how service would be, you'd have saved yourself $300. I have a very basic, simple plan with T-Mobile and haven't had any compaints in the 3 years I've been with them. But, of course, I don't demand all the bells and whistles others might.
SuperSteve on 04/01/2006:
I must say the same! I changed to Version because of all the dropped calls, that I had on Cingular!

Their problem is, that they are moving the old clients, and placing all their new clients onto the GSM system, without building a single new tower to handle all the expanded need for bandwidth. The result being, that the calls which have been on air the longest are dropped when new calls come on. All these new Cingular commercials saying that they have the least dropped calls are pure bull! They have absolutely NO proof for this claim.
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