I would like to enclose the nightmare I went through with Cingular Wireless and also the "attitude" they took on my complaint: Cingular Wireless - Today I had the worse Cingular Wireless nightmare - 4-1/2 hours that I personally will never want to repeat. However, I challenge every person holding a position of management from Directorship up to the CEO and COO.
If different, the Owners of Cingular Wireless to experience what I have experienced, this should include all of the adult family members who benefit financially from my hard earned $$$$. I would insist that he or she personally experience the nightmare and not one of the appointed Cingular flunkies.
Needing to get a replacement telephone for ** for my 13-year-old son - at the time I ordered the phone on December 27, 2004. I felt a need for him to have a phone. He attends an excellent Magnet School, KO Knudson on the eastside of town; unfortunately, the area leaves very little to be desired and is influenced by a gang environment.
The caution of being sure that if he is in "harms-way" he has immediate access to communicate. At the time I ordered the telephone in December, I also ordered the Media Service and extra insurance - Media Center - should he witness trouble, he can capture on camera and send immediately; the extra insurance - is it obvious, he is a 13 year old.
On January 31, I finally got around to calling Cingular for a replacement telephone - at the time, I thought that being transferred to the wrong departments, and disconnected many times was abnormal and I patiently called back each time.
My first call - I got a male agent, I gave him my pertinent information - "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code" - he informed me that I am an AT&T subscriber. I explained that I had upgraded my service and was told that I am now with Cingular -- he put me on hold and without my knowledge, connected me with the AT&T section anyway. 5-10 minute hold.
Having to give me pertinent information again "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code" - talking with the AT&T person -- she said I needed to talk to Customer Service. 5-10 minute hold - disconnect. Called back - (5-10 hold) after giving the pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #", explaining that I was upgraded service from AT&T to Cingular. This agent asked me where did I order my phone's from. I told him that I saw the add in the internet, but I called in for the upgrade. She connected me to another department (?). 5-10 minute hold.
I gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code", explained all of the above and what I was trying to do. This guy says, "I will need to connect you to telesales". I asked "what is the telephone # to the department you're connecting me to in case I get disconnected". He said "I just came back from vacation. It is a new department and I don't have the telephone number and no one around me has it either. You just have to call back this number and you'll be connected again". I was amazed at this explanation. I just wanted to get it over with and he connected me.
Went through 2 songs on the radio and 3 commercials going 1/2 way through the 4th song while on hold - disconnect. Called back - 5-10 minute hold - I asked for "telesales", before I could be transferred I needed to give all the pertinent information, "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code", I asked for a direct fon # to Telesales, and then I was transferred. 5-10 minute hold.
I gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #", explained the situation, I was connected to the "exchange by mail". 5-10 minute hold. I gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code", explained the situation. I was connected to the "warranty line". 5-10 minute hold.
I gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code", explained the situation. I was told I had no extended warranty. I was , she quoted me $150 to replace the telephone and by now I just wanted a refund, and no longer wanted the Cingular Service. The agent said she would need to connect to, I believe was, Customer Service. I have to give credit to this agent - when she connected me, she did not release me, and she explained my situation to the next agent before she transferred my call.
The next agent was very nice, I explained to her the above situation and I didn't want to have to pay for a replacement phone. She said because of all the problems I've been going through, she would send me a new phone at no charge. I asked if I would still need to pay for the Activation Fee, she said "no, I will waive the fee." I was happy and accepted her offer. I also added Media Center to the additional 3 telephones and wanted to be sure of the extended insurance on my 13 year's phone. She explained that my contract with Cingular would begin anew and I would receive the new phone in 10 days.
PERFECT - I had resolved the problem. It was behind me and I could start a new day. I thought I was done. Approximately 2 days later, I received a message on my home phone inquiring if I still wanted to cancel my service and I needed to call back and advise. I was surprised at the message. I had never finalized any cancellation and as far as I was concerned everything was moving forward as planned. Continued service and a new V220 replacement phone.
It wasn't until there was a message on my 13 yrs old phone inquiring about the cancellation. I called and spoke to someone at Customer Service advising "no, I do not want to cancel my service and I am waiting for a replacement phone to arrive". This agent advised that she cannot see the order because she is in Customer Service and I placed the order through "Telesales" (?) and she is sure that it is on it's way.
I called today, February 9, 2005. 5-10 minute hold. Gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code", inquired about a replacement telephone that I have been waiting for 702-856-6083 and had not received. I began calling at 10 am, 888-333-2355 - I gave the Order Number **, the agent said this is not correct there is not enough numbers after the dash. She said she needed to connect me with "Telesales". 5-10 minute hold.
Gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code", explained my situation she put me on hold, every 5-minute intervals returning to ask me 1 question each time - that went on for 3 questions. Then I was on hold for the longest time and another voice was on the line - it was Customer Service. I started all over again, gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code". She put me on hold. She said she needed to connect me with the Sales Dept. I asked for the phone number, then transferred. 5-10 minute hold.
Gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code". I explained my situation. This agent said I needed to talk to someone in the Secondary Sales Department. I asked for the phone number, then she transferred me. This hold was memorable; I started to actually time how long I was on hold - 30 minutes then DISCONNECT.
I called the number the agent gave, 800-866-1514 - this phone # is a nightmare in itself. You call the #, it gives 4 options, you chose an option, it give another 4 options, you chose an option and it gives another 4 options, etc, etc, etc - it almost seems like an "infinity" nightmare. "Zero" is not an option just to get a live person on the line. By now I was into trying to resolve this for 2-1/2 hours. What I had forgotten about - January 31st and never had any intention of remembering it. Now I was 1 notch less happy...
Called back 888-333-2355, I asked for a supervisor, the agent would not give me a supervisor until I gave my pertinent information, "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code" - so I gave the info, and he transferred 20 minutes hold to whom I thought was a supervisor - but it was not - it was another Customer Service Agent. Unbelievable. I asked for a supervisor and this time I refused to give my pertinent information. With some going back and forth about needing my information, he transferred me. 25 minute hold - DISCONNECT - by now I was timing every hold - 45 minutes have passed.
Called back 888-333-2355, asked for a supervisor, refused to give my pertinent information, fighting to get a supervisor without giving my information took 15 minutes alone. I was connected to a supervisor ** - I was relieved to talk with someone in authority. I explained my situation, he put me on hold, 10 minutes passed, asked a question. Another 5 minutes passed he asked another question. 10 minutes passed he said he was trying to read my record to find authorization for the free phone. I told him if he was going to transfer me. I didn't want him to release me until it was straightened out. He promised he would stay with me until it was all resolved. He put me on hold. 17 minutes hold.
A woman's voice was on the line, I was shocked. I asked what department she was in, Secondary Sales, I asked if she was a supervisor - No, an agent. I asked for her supervisor - I explained what just happened, I gave my pertinent information "telephone #, first and last name, last 4 digits of SS #, pass code", put me on hold, 19 minutes pass, she asked how many phones I had? I told her 4, put me on hold again - 30 minutes hold.
Another voice, department - Customer Service, position - CSA. I asked for a supervisor - refused to give info because of the 7 and 8 situation - this battle took 15 minutes to get through - I was so flustered that I decided to call the Cingular Headquarters ASAP and apprise them of my situation - when I got the supervisor, I didn't care what her name was, I just wanted to get the Headquarter phone # and address. I was surprised there was no phone number, only an address - no Quality Assurance Department to speak of.
And I thought I was smart, I would find the Headquarter phone number in the internet, NO such luck. I called Directory Assistance for the Cingular Headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas - that was a joke. I decided to try one more time. I called feeling only someone with authority could help me and no one else, not even a supervisor, I wanted a manager. I knew I would have to battle the CSA to get a supervisor, which I did - I asked the CSA, "are you refusing me service by not connecting me to a supervisor?"
He connected me to ** -Supervisor. I wanted his manager - ** absolutely refused to transfer me to the Operations Manager - **. **, denied me service by not transferring me to **. I can almost bet that Lance Brewster did not want to take my call. It is 5:30 am and I haven't slept yet. My head is spinning from all of this, and reliving it all over again... geesssszzzzzoooo. 4-1/2 hours - I have never had this kind of customer service - and no resolution I must say, the department that answers quickly with a 1 minute or less hold is the "I WANT TO PAY MY BILL" Department. Once you hit that option - dang - everything else is cake. You are in-n-out in no time.
As I ponder my need for a cell phone, it is no longer as important as I thought it was. Because Cingular could not nor would not resolve my dilemma - I have come to the conclusion I need to resolve it myself. SOLUTION - cancel my service completely with Cingular immediately; without any negative report to any of the credit reporting agencies. Experian, Equifax or TransUnion or any other credit reporting agency nor within the cellular industry or any other communication companies. Every attempt has been made on my part to resolve the situation with no success.
CINGULAR CUSTOMER SERVICE CRITIQUE - I recommend the following companies that have excellent Customer Service that you might emulate their style. Chase Bank - Master Card - in the 4 years that I have been with them, there has never been a time that I could not get immediate resolution, an answer to my inquiry, even if it is not what I want to hear - it is the answer. Of the 4 credit cards I have, Chase Bank is the preferred and frequently used because of their excellent Customer Service.
Hilton Grand Vacations Company - I am employed with this company and I can tell you, we work hard at a permanent solution to the problem with one call-in from the customer. A call is never transferred without it being announced and explained to the next department or agent. If a customer wants to talk to a Supervisor or Manager, the agent will try to resolve it - but the customer is never denied the opportunity to speak to a Supervisor or Manager, never.
With ** refusal to transfer my call to ** or ** refusal to take my call, it has forced me sit and relive the nightmare and now, it is documented in writing and sent to all listed below. I am, however, sure that the as big as you are, my $$$ and my time will be filed away with all the others - in the "to be shredded" file. Cancel my service immediately... Due to work related use, I am currently using the cell phones until service is cancelled, advise when this will occur. I will then turn on new service with your competitor.
Complaint 2. My reaction to Cingular's response to the BBB or S. Nevada: It astonishes me the Cingular Wireless response. On or about March 3 or 4, 2005 - my all Cingular Wireless service was disconnected, after which time; I received a message from ** to him on this same date. This is the only time I was contacted and no other time.
I can honestly say, their statement in the 1st paragraph is a blatant lie. I have anxiously waited for a call from Cingular Wireless since February 11 to resolve this problem with the hope of no interruption to my wireless service. My family knows that I have been waiting for a call from Cingular Wireless, when ** called - my Son call me ASAP to notify me when he heard it was Cingular. No call prior to this and only after my service was disconnected on March 3 or 4.
What amazes me most, why wasn't I contacted on the cell number/s? As I stated in my complaint, I use the cell phone for work purposes, therefore, must have the cell phone on me and turned on 24/7. Interesting part is in Cingular Wireless response, 1st paragraph it states "...which is the contact number located within ** complaint". The phone number they used to contact me, is my home phone which is no where on my complaint. The only number/s "located within... complaint", is the cell telephone numbers. Again another lie.
When I spoke to **, he did not acknowledge my complaint, he wanted me to verbally tell him all over again, as if I wanted to purge? I just wanted to move forward and resolve the problem. I called ** on March 3 or 4, and "NO", I was not satisfied. A whole new problem - they want to charge me $522.12. I am waiting for the bill to arrive for review. The only bill I have received from Cingular is dated 1/12/05 for $141.21 and 2/12/05 for $143.39, and no other billing statement. I am not prepared to give a full response on this matter until I am able to review billing thoroughly.
If the "Office of the President for Cingular Wireless" is endorsing its representatives to blatantly lie, then I have no recourse but to permanently end my service with Cingular. As I am talking to people about my Cingular Wireless nightmare, I am finding similar problems with those who had AT&T prior to Cingular Wireless. P.S. I thought it was important for me to have my cell phone for work purposes, especially because the number was printed on literature, but Cingular has showed me that having their service was not important.
MORENO VALLEY, CALIFORNIA -- After being with Cingular for over 6 months all of a sudden my husband and I noticed that we weren't receiving our bills in the mail (causing us to be late). So after this happened about 5 times in a row I called them about it. The lady said that I had signed up for email billing. I told that I did not nor did my husband. She then went on to say that I must have since it was activated. Basically calling me a liar. After arguing with her for almost half an hour we were set up to start receiving regular bills via snail mail again. Needless to say before hanging up I found out when our contract was up. What the hell ever happened to the customer is always right!!!!
BLACKSBURG, VIRGINIA -- I neglected to pay my Cingular/AT&T bill, that is my fault and I accept it. The ironic part is that I was going to pay my bill online yesterday but needed to add my bank account which I didn't have the account number with me, so I put it off until later last night. Then my phone gets cut off last night. Again, this was my fault, so I proceeded to go online this morning to pay my bill like I intended to do yesterday, but I cannot get online to manage my account because it was canceled!!
How idiotic, I am willing to pay instantly online to get my service back but I can't. I've canceled a credit card and was still able to get online to view my previous statements. Again, I know this was my fault, but I should still be able to get online to pay my bill!
N. MIAMI BEACH, FL -- I have never had such a bad experience with a mobile carrier. I am located in North Miami Beach, FL and joined Cingular in 7/2004. The main reason why I joined Cingular was because they have GSM phone and international agreements in all of the countries I travel to in a regular basis. I bought 2 Motorola V600 devices which have to be replaced 8 times during a course of a year.
In addition to those issues, during the first year, Cingular made 3 billing mistakes, on the first one, they charged me $1000 more than what I should have paid (Mostly for international calls) just because the rep that I spoke with before going abroad forgot to add me to the international discount plan which costs $4 and gives you significant discount.
When I called regarding the bill, I've been called a liar and I had to call almost 20 times during a course of two months trying to resolve it. I have agreed with a manager from customer support that I won't pay the bill until the dispute will be settled however I got threatening letters and calls telling me that I have to pay right away. After 2 months they have realized that they made a mistake and returned the money.
After replacing the phones almost 8 times within a year, I have decided that I might get another model (Cingular has discontinued the Motorola V600 due to unreliability). Cingular wasn't willing to give me any discount or a replacement model for the phone that I bought and they made me buy new phones (September 2005). I paid $450 for one Motorola Razor phone and one AudioVox SMT5600 phone.
Two month after it hurricane Wilma came and ever since people can't get a hold of me unless they try to redial 5 or 6 times, the message that they get is all circuits are busy”. I called Cingular almost every week but they kept telling me that they don't have any open tickets in my area. I noticed that whenever I try to call other Cingular customer in my area I get the same message but that didn't change the fact that Cingular has ignored all my complaints.
Since too many customers have complained about the same issues, this topic has reached the news today and now when you call Cingular, they tell you that there is a known issue since 2/1 and that the resolution date is unknown. They also tell you, and it is obvious that they read a text paragraph from an email or something) that all other provides are also effected by this issue which is not true.
I called Cingular today and asked to break the contract due to all the issues I have and they want to charge me for almost 400 for that. I am so furious and might try to arrange a class action against them. So here is a summary: Don't buy a Cingular phone. If you are a Cingular customer, check your bills carefully, and document all your calls with customer service. Move from Cingular the moment your contract expires.
I was a Cingular Wireless customer. My husband and I both had phones. Well, the first month was the high bill, which we expected. It was just a tad bit above one hundred dollars. The second month bill was about $70, which is what we were expecting. Then came the 3rd bill, for almost $500!!! Now, I must tell you, that the few months until this was nothing but problems. I had to exchange my phone 4 times and my husband twice. Our phones went for 2-3 hours a day without functioning, mostly at the same time even when we were in 2 different areas.
I was forced to call 911 one day while my neighbor's house was being broken into, and my phone transferred my call to another states 911 dispatch - the 911 dispatcher told me to call my telephone provider regarding this, because they needed to fix it. I did call them, they claimed to fix it, but when my daughter was choking one day and my husband and I couldn't seem to get it up. I called 9-1-1 again and was again routed to another state. It takes several minutes to get transferred back to my state, and it was very scary. Luckily we ended up getting the object from my babies throat on our own or she may have died.
Cingular would never resolve any of their issues, and each time I had to call they would put me on hold for over an hour at a time. They didn't have good customer service at all, in fact, they were flat out rude at times. One day I even asked "so what your telling me is I have to deal with the fact that my phone rarely receives my incoming calls?" and the man responded "Yes" and hung up on me. I couldn't believe it!
Another problem was that Cingular themselves began text messaging me every day, asking me to call and confirm my billing information. I would do it, and then the next day they would text and ask me to do it again. Each time involved at least a 45 minute wait on hold, and they would tell me it was just a mistake anyway, so finally I just stopped replying to it, and they shut my phone off! So I had to call and wait on hold every day to be sure my phone wasn't shut off, and they wouldn't fix that either. This lasted until I received my $500 bill!
Upon receiving the bill, I called and asked them how it came to be so high, the woman simply responded "Do you want to cancel your service?" in a rude tone. I said yes, and they charged me $150 per phone to shut them off! It's been 6 months of fighting with them, and finally after making a report to BBB they were willing to take off the cancellation charges. I told them that I should not be responsible for my bill because their 911 dispatch didn't meet legal requirements, but they said there is no record that I ever made a 911 call - let alone 2 of them.
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- My problem started over a year ago, but I was unaware of it. Three month ago I had a problem with my internet service (SBC). At the end of the call I was told if I move my cell phone bill to the SBC billing I can save $5.00. So I told the rep to proceed. After two months had gone by, I called to see why my billing was not moved. I was then informed that I am still under the AT&T network. Over a year ago I received a letter to switch to Cingular Network, I responded, and got a new phone, moved all of my phone numbers to the new phone. Although I did everything I was told to do, I was not moved to Cingular.
The reps I spoke to stated I should have known this. Why would I know this when my bill comes in as Cingular, and when I turn my phone on it reads Cingular. The reps even told me I was lying about the letter I received a year ago regarding that I had to change from AT&T to Cingular. Now I have to get another phone to change over completely. When I was on the phone with a rep, the conversation was going nowhere, I asked for a supervisor, only to be given to another rep who stated they were a supervisor. I was promised everything I wanted.
When I was transferred, I was then told the person I was talking to did not have the authority to promise anything. I could not get any satisfaction until I came across your web site with the Cingular corporate phone number. I was told by them they can switch me over, I just had to cancel my account, get a new contract, and phone, and call back to have my account put back to a year contract. I was not promised anything more, no credit for my inconvenience for being lied to, or tricked a year ago.
Over this weekend my phone would not work at all, so I went to the store, got the new account. The rep was nice, but ended up keeping my old phone which I wanted. When I called back he stated my old phone would be given to a woman shelter. If my phone was broke, how could they give it to a woman in dire need. Today I called the normal customer service area to ask for the corporate phone number, they would not give it out. In fact the first rep I spoke to hung up on me.
The second rep did understand and stated she would have a manager call me back. The manager did call me back within two hours only to tell me he could not give out the corporate number. I then told him about this web site filled with complaints. He told me I would have to come back to this web site to get the phone number, which I did.
Lucky for me I kept your web site listed in the bookmark section of my PC. Cingular has very bad service, and will be moving my account over to another carrier next year. Most likely to Verizon, unless I see complaints listed on this site about them. Thank you for having the corporate number listed for Cingular, otherwise I would still be in the dark. Is there any companies out there that help their customers anymore, or are the all out the make a buck.
KENTUCKY -- I have read several complaints on Cingular, and in fact they rank #1 in complaints. Today, I have experienced the worst customer service ever. A little background: I have been a Cingular customer for almost 5 years. The first two were great, no problems that were not at least partly my fault, except for being on a plan that didn't exist and adding minutes which actually changed my plan without notice, I didn't like, but I got over it. Also, it should be noted that I use my phone for business and I'm not a $39/mo. customer.
So a few months ago, I had a phone die that was replaced under insurance. Within two weeks that phone died too, another replacement arrived. Within a month, that phone died as well. This time I finally complained that I've been through three phones in a month and a half. Also, all of the ringtones and what not that I paid to download from Cingular (not even another company) had been lost twice and I wanted some sort of compensation. They basically explained that's just the way it is. They did offer to ship the phone out next day air for free, something they've always done in the past anyway.
So the next day, I stay home to get the phone thinking it would be thereby morning. 10 o'clock comes, no phone, 1 o'clock, no phone. I waited all day and no phone ever arrived. I called the next day and they said they weren't sure what was going on with it and would have to check it out, but that it would probably show up that day. It never did. I finally went to a Cingular store and had a rep call in, as the only phone I have is my cell phone.
After a couple of puzzled looks, she hands me the phone (the store phone that she was talking on). The person at the other end of the line informed me that the phone hadn't even shipped yet and that it was marked for 5 day shipping and couldn't be changed. I said, this is the only phone I have, and I use it for work, what I am I supposed to do?
Again, the attitude was, that's just the way it is. I had to have a new phone so I was basically forced into another 2-year contract. A week went by and my old phone replacement still hadn't arrived. I called and a rep I spoke with was the only person I've ever talked to at Cingular that offered to do anything for me. They upgraded my old phone for me, but when it came in, only part of it was there!!!!!
Anyway, that's not even the worst part. I had a couple of months were I went over quite a bit so I upgraded my plan. Since they charge to do this, I decided to go with a 2000 min. plan and bank up some roll over minutes then I could drop back down. Recently my access to my online account manager had been disabled for no known reason. This took a couple of months to fix.
Today I found that it was working and went to change my plan. A note popped up that said if you go to a lower plan you will loose all of your roll over minutes over what the new plan offers. I called in and was told that this policy was enacted October 1st without notice. Any rep you talk to will tell you if you have just an occasional month where you go over, it's smart to select a very high plan, bank a bunch of roll over minutes then drop back down. You can easily make up for the charge to change plans (which also keeps going up without notice).
They force us into a lengthy contract, but they can change the terms of the contract in a very significant way without notice? Yes they can. What's more, I attempted to change my plan via the website last month and would not have lost 3100 roll over minutes, but as I said through the fault of Cingular, I was not able to. I would think that they could waive this policy in a case where the fault was on their end, but again the answer was NO, that's just the way it is. It's going to cost me around $200 to cancel my service early, but you can bet that I'm going to do just that. I can promise them that it will cost them much more than that.
My monthly bill is never below $100 and I have 22 months left on my contract so that, $2200 right there. It's unbelievable that you can't explain to them that they will be losing much more than it would have cost them to simply allow me to keep what I was told I could keep. If anyone could give me names and contact information on places to report them, I will report them to any agency who will listen. Feel free to email me.
CARLSBAD, CALIFORNIA -- I bought four cell phones, one for me and each of my 3 children. I picked "THE FAMILY PLAN", which was 'Unlimited, free cell-to-cell', so my family could call each other anytime without extra charge. All we would have to pay for was monthly fees and any "Other" calls we made. All was fine at the store. My first bill was wrong. They had inadvertently charged me for "Unlimited nights & weekends". So I had been charged for all the calls my family made to each other, which was a whole lot! When I called the store, they told me that they would call and take care of it.
The following months' bill was even worse. Evidently, the store where I signed up did not take care of it. I called customer service and explained what had happened. They were very rude. They said that they did not have a copy of my contract, and that I should fax them a copy. I faxed them a copy, and I never heard from them again.
The following month, the bill came, and it was the same billing, which was wrong. I called customer service again, explained the entire thing to them, again, and they told me that there was no record of my phone call to them the previous month, and there was no fax. I told them that I did fax the copy of my contract to them, but they insisted I was not telling the truth for some reason. They said they didn't receive any fax, and I told them that the person I had spoken to previously should have called me and told me if the fax didn't go through, as I had no idea. I assumed it had gone through.
The person I was speaking to acted like I was making the whole thing up just to get out of the bill. I said to this person, "Why in the world would I get free nights & weekends instead of free cell to cell, since the 4 phones were to keep in constant contact with my three children? That's why I chose the "Family Plan!"" I told them I was disputing the bill at this point until they could get it right.
Now 3-4 months later, I then went to the store where I signed up for my service and bought the four phones. I stood in the store and explained this entire mess to the girl working there. She remembered me from when I came in with my three boys. She told me that she would PERSONALLY fax a copy of the contract to the billing/customer service that day. She told me she would take care of everything and not to worry. The next month the bill came, and it was still wrong! I called customer service again, and they said that they never received any fax from the girl at the store, and there were no records of anybody calling.
By this time I was about to burst with anger! I called the store and asked for the girl that had "Helped" me the month before, to ask her what had happened. I was told that she no longer worked there! The 'Other' guy who worked there searched the entire store for my records. He could not find my file or a copy of my contract! Nothing! It was as if I did not exist! Apparently she had left no notes or information about my file. She obviously did not do anything to help me, and did not fax a copy of my contract.
Unfortunately, as I had recently moved, I could not find a copy of my contract either. BUT IF CINGULAR DID NOT HAVE A COPY OF MY CONTRACT, HOW WERE THEY BILLING ME FOR THE WRONG PLAN??? I called "Customer Service" again. They were always so VERY RUDE and EVEN NASTY TO ME! They treated me like I was some kind of SCUMBAG THIEF trying to get away with some kind of scam!
I am a SINGLE, DISABLED, MOTHER OF THREE! I have done everything in my power to fix this problem that THEY caused from the beginning! Not once have I been spoken to respectively, nor have I ever been actually helped by Cingular! They did not care if THEY GOT IT WRONG! THEY WOULD NOT DO ANYTHING. They told me, "IT IS YOUR PROBLEM AND YOUR BURDEN TO PROVE TO US THAT WE MADE A MISTAKE!!!"
None of the employees that I had spoken to had bothered to document any of my calls/inquiries to them. That's just plain LAZY workers! They finally disconnected my phones for NON-PAYMENT. Again, I told them that I was disputing the bill because they had billed for the wrong plan since the beginning. COULD THEY PROVE THAT "I DIDN'T CONTRACT FOR THE FAMILY PLAN?" COULD THEY PROVE THEY WERE BILLING ME CORRECTLY? NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not only did they disconnect all our phones, but since they were also my regular house phone company, they turned off all the "Extras" on my house phone. No call waiting, caller ID, NOTHING! THEY EVEN TURNED OFF MY LONG DISTANCE CALLING!!! It has now been around 5-6 YEARS since then, and now they are suing me for over $11,000.00 worth of bills!!! They can see by looking at the physical bill that ALL THE CALLS ARE "CELL TO CELL" between my children and I. You would think that they would be smart enough to know, that if ALL the calls we made were "FROM CELL TO CELL" between the family, that I would have picked the "FAMILY PLAN!"
It became apparent that CINGULAR WIRELESS, known also as "SBC", WAS NOT WILLING TO ADMIT THEY MADE A MISTAKE! How could they do this to a single mom? Don't we have it hard enough without all this extra STRESS! They ruined my credit! I have not been able to get a credit card since then. I can't get a loan of any type. My son wanted a dirt bike, but I couldn't even qualify for a $3,000.00 loan! Once I tried for a $500.00 loan and couldn't even get that!!
Is there anybody out there that can help me with this ongoing thorn in my flesh? I would really like to have cell phones again for my family. My kids do go out riding dirt bikes in the desert, etc., and it kills me that I cannot stay in contact with them in case of an emergency! My 11-year-old went out riding and his bike broke down. He had to push his dirt bike all the way home, a couple of miles, because he no longer has a working cell phone, and with my credit, I cannot get one! Thanks for listening! Can anybody help?
DAYTON, OHIO -- We signed up with Cingular in June of 2003. A 2-year contract at signing came with a free phone, so that is the option we took. In May of 2004, nearly one year after having signed up for service, the power button to the cell phone broke off and fell inside the phone. This was causing the phone to shut itself off. So we took the phone to the local Cingular office for replacement or repair. After waiting nearly 45 minutes for someone to help us, we were told that they would have to send the phone back to the manufacturer and if that company covered it under warranty (not considering this a result of the phone being abused) then there would be no charge.
However, if the manufacturer did not consider it under warranty, then we would be billed for the new phone. No big deal there, as we were sure that they would cover the broken power button. We were also told at that time that the phones came with a one year manufacturer warranty. We were given a new phone (same exact model.
In fact they sent us away with our old battery instead of the new one that was with the new phone) and waited another 35 minutes while 3 employees tried to share the same computer to process 3 different transactions (are the other computers in that store there just for show?? or maybe to hold the counters down?). All was well for 3 months. Then the new phone started to turn itself off. We called customer service and they said that the phones will do that to "update" and not to worry. This seemed strange to us, but figured there was not much to do about it at this point.
Well we soon noticed that the phone would shut itself off if you pressed anywhere on the face of the phone. We called the store that we had gotten the phone from, and explained this to them. A young lady there said that since the phone was only 4 months old it would be under warranty from the manufacturer, if we brought it in the phone would be replaced.
Off we went to the store to exchange this phone. Low and behold the guy there said that the phone was not warrantied. That the warranty offer was for one year from the date of the contract, not one year on the phone. We had been told differently by several of their employees, but none the less the phone was not exchanged.
At this point we could no longer keep the phone on long enough to make a call. So I call the customer service line. The person I spoke to there offered to sell us a brand new phone if we would sign another contract for an additional 2 years... otherwise I was told that I would have to contact the manufacturer to see about repairing the phone.
They would only sell us a new phone if we signed on for 2 more years!! I contacted the manufacturer and was told that the phone is warrantied for one year from the date that phone is activated, not contract dates, and that it would be repaired for free. We never repaired the phone though, instead we have paid to cancel the contract early and switched to a different wireless company. I have never before heard of a cell phone company that would not help you to remain a customer simply by selling you a phone that works.
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/.