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They billed me for wrong contract; suing me for $11,000.00
Posted by Mclmn35 on 03/20/2005
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 eachother 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 inadvertantly charged me for "Unlimited nights & weekeds". So I had been charged for all the calls my family made to eachother, 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. The 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 BURDON 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 dirtbikes 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 dirtbike 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?

Truthfully yours,

Michele C.

     
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Posted by Rich2300 on 2005-03-21:
Let me get this straight. A poor disabled mother of three needs four cell phones to keep in touch with her children when they go out riding thier dirt bikes? I guess being poor isn't what it used to be. Then, in the process of being sued, the most important thing to prove that the cell phone company is just a buch of evil, greedy meanies, the contract, goes missing. Sounds like something is missing in this story. Here's an idea; don't have cell phones, sell the dirt bikes and pay your bills.
Posted by HIT on 2005-03-21:
To Cingular Wireless Complaint: Have you tried filing a complaint with the Attorney General's Office in your area and the Better Business Bureau. I find that they are very helpful. You can email them. Always print out all correspondence and responses between yourself and the companies you email to.
Posted by TXRoadTrip on 2005-03-21:
Cinular sucks. Call Cingular Corp. 1-404-236-6000 and ask for the President's secretary’s office. File complaint with FCC.gov and ftc.gov.
Also why did they not just disconnect service earlier - instead of waiting 5-6 years?
Posted by virginiasoreback on 2005-03-21:
Michele C.

Your experience with Cingular, seems to be complex, confusing and, obviously, frustrating and unnerving to you.

Both, you and Cingular seem to regard each other with contempt and in terms of “lying” to make your respective cases; perhaps of the sort that Sir Walter Scott railed against: “What a tangled web we weave when first – we practice to deceive.”

If you are fortunate enough to find your contract it would seem that you could begin to assert your proof by making copies of it; have it witnessed by, perhaps, a Notary Public. The “documents” could then be mailed to Cingular by Registered or Certified Mail for verification and to establish a “paper trail” that has the potential for legal weight.

I could not positively infer from your post if you consider yourself, for the time being, to be indigent. If so, and depending on your place of residence, there may be local resources available to you such as pro bono legal assistance, financial consultation, including credit counseling and socio-legal strategies for debt forgiveness or restructuring; among others.

I recognize that you are probably aware of these resources and judiciously place them in the context of your family preferences and their appropriateness to your needs. .

A voluntary community based program such as a Family, with Children, Supportive Services Agency, may serve as an initial advocate and as a conduit to arrange for other supportive services.

This may be a sensitive area in which to explore but we, all, are assured anonymity and are free to consider or reject any comments without personalizing them.

Anonymous or not, I believe, it takes a measure of courage and daring to share your family’s concerns in the forum; an admirable strength. But, Rich2300’s challenge to you to prioritize your options and to make maximum use of your present assets in the service of your self and your family’s “enlightened self-interest,” I believe, have merit.

The “hard-biting” suggestions, offered by HIT and TXRoadTrip, to contact governmental sources - that have legal authority and enforcement powers - to urge them to use their clout on her behalf in your tussle with a callous corporate giant; make a lot of sense; to me.

I wish you and your children well!
Posted by tander on 2005-03-21:
First of all I missed where she says shes poor, and if she is poor what does that have to do with disputing a bill? I agree with Rich, to write or call the Attorney Generals Office in your state and explain in detail, what has happened, they do intervene and help.
Posted by AnilKPatel on 2005-03-24:
e mail me i have perfect solution for you
Anil@prepaidlegal.com or visit my site www.prepaidlegal.com\go\anil
Posted by flygirl0502 on 2005-04-01:
email the CEO at stan.sigman@cingular.com I got a resolution to my problem within an hour from sending the email. they are a despicable company
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Cancelled contract on my credit report
Posted by Kaylebsgma on 06/21/2006
BEAUMONT, CALIFORNIA -- I accidently stumbled upon this site as I was looking for a new cell phone provider. I am really shocked to hear that Cingular has had so many complaints yet they are still in business. I too was a very satisfied ATT customer until I needed a new phone. The only way that I qualified for a new one was to switch my contract from ATT to Cingular. Well if ATT is this good the two of them together ca only be better. (That's what I w was thinking). I signed another two year contract only to break it after three months because of outrageous bills. My calls were constantly being dropped. The first two months my bill was adjusted accordingly. The third month when I again called to complain I was told that there was no record of my previous sessions with their customer service representatives. EXCUSE ME... I had spent HOURS on the phone trying to get some satisfaction. On the third attempt I insisted on speaking with a supervisor. HE told me that it was my problem and that I would just have to pay the entire bill this time. I cancelled my contract but it now shows on my credit report. There must be a way to put them out of business. By the way I am now a very satisfied customer of T-Mobile.
     
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Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-06-21:
This is the risk that you have when cancelling a contract that you signed with a service provider. All service provider do this if you cancel early. And it will follow you and effect you when you try to start up new service with someone else. You were able to sign up with T mobile before it got in your credit report.
Posted by warddw1526 on 2006-06-21:
The only way a cancelled contract should show on a credit report is if it goes unpaid. Unfournately by extending your contract, the early termination fee is part of the contract. If unpaid, they have the right to report it to the credit bureau.
Posted by Praetoguy on 2006-07-07:
i had to read the post 3 times and each time I was like DUH!!! any unpaid debt may appear on your credit report. so your a deadbeat and now every company you signe with in the future will know it. you are only hurting yourself. also FYI to other people out there NO cell phone company and I repeat NO cell phone company has a contract stating they have to provide service everywhere and all the time. if you drop a call and you dial that call again you made the call and are responsible plain and simple. also claiming dropped calls after 15-20 minutes sounds stupid even to the reps on the phone.
Posted by kbunker on 2006-08-10:
Loyal to AT&T Wireless for 15 years. I had no problems or complaints with AT&T. Unfortunately, I too upgraded and singed a new 2-year contract with Cingular after the merger. In January I purchased a new Razor at full price becuase I was not eligible for another upgrade until December 2006 (now they are saying March 2007).

I have dropped calls 50% of the time and horrible trouble with my ohone from day one. THe manager at the Cingular Store told me, basically, that it was my problem. His suggestion was that I purchase (at full price) another new cell phone for each of my two lines to replace my 6-week old inferior Razor. Don't tell me about the recall earlier this year. CIngular woulod not even look at my phone and instead told me that were certain that they would not have sold me a defective Razor. As to purchasing 2 new phnes, if I purchase two new phones I am going to purchase them elsewhere. I might as well pay the $300 incancellationm fees and sign-up for service with a new carrier (and get new phones at a lower rice-rather than paying $300-600 each for new phones from Cingular. Add in the overbilling and I will save a fortune by dumping Cingular Wireless. Aa to it being put on a credit report. Bring it on Cingular.

Hey everyone, when your contract expires go to Verizon, T-Mobile or anywhere except Cingular. Check with famioy, friends and online. Shop around. Wish I had.
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Refund due after canceling service
Posted by Beckym on 03/24/2006
MISSOURI -- I had Cingular - at one time AT&T who were great to work with - for over 3 years until late December of 2005. I had tried the year before to get a new phone and keep my number - was more than willing to sign a new contract. They wanted everything from me 2 credit cards, my SS card, my DL and a credit check - despite my being an existing customer with a perfect history with the company - bills paid promptly every month. I refused to deal with all that, tore up the new paper work - which was NOT signed and walked away from them. Kept the phone and service with them with almost daily problems with them, dropped calls, etc. I was told it was because my phone was not supported by the network any longer and my calls would be "roaming" due to that. I explained I had tried to get a new phone and what I was being put through. In December of 2005 I switched companies. I called Cingular to cancel my service with them and request a refund of the credit on my account of 128.73. It has taken 5 phone calls and STILL NO REFUND. I was told every time that I called that a check request was entered. After 90 days and no refund and another invoice with a credit due me I called and spoke with a supervisor. I am being told that it will take 4 to 6 weeks for them to cut my check. They want me to forget about this, but no way. I will tell anyone and everyone how miserable this company is to deal with.

     
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Posted by miketech on 2006-03-25:
I have a friend who had an old AT&T package and when Cingular bought AT&T out they pretty much wouldn't renew the package and according to him it was as if Cingular just wanted rid of them as a customer. They had to spend about $300 on new phones and get a more expensive package but did stay with Cingular. Oh and it took about a month for them to get the new phones to work in his area.
Posted by augustajosephine on 2006-09-08:
I am in the middle of a problem with Cingular that is very much like yours. The timing is the same--December 2005. I bought and returned a Go Phone (without activating it) and they won't refund the money. It's been 8 months, and still nothing. They don't want to deal with us; you're right--they just want us to go away.
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DO NOT USE CINGULAR WIRELESS
Posted by Tonieb04 on 02/27/2006
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 Tonieb04@aol.com

     
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Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-02-28:
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....

http://clarkhoward.com/
Posted by 1CutePeanut on 2006-03-22:
Tonie, WILL definitely be emailing you!
Posted by Hubert on 2006-07-21:
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: www.metnews.com/articles/2006/cing062106.htm June 21, 2006
Court of Appeal Upholds $12 Million in Fines Against Cingular Wireless
Posted by texasJake on 2006-08-25:
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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$500 for one month of service?
Posted by Kronenberg on 01/04/2006
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 up 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.
     
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Posted by miketech on 2006-01-04:
1st thing is 1st, DO NOT COUNT ON A CELL PHONE FOR 911 CALLS. If you have to use one with no landline option well good luck, but my cell on 911 gets the wrong county alot at best. (I have called to report a couple of wrecks)
On to the post. I hate cell phone companies, I love the convience but they are all sharks. I can't see how you can't be somewhat fair and make money, and niether do they. Seems like they draw names of people to harrass so they don't lose the whole customer base but like 10 or 20% catch heck. Sorry you are going through it.
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-01-05:
It is not hard to rack up this much on a bill in only one month, I have seen way more. If you have web access on your phone you need to either cancel it out entirely or get a plan to cover it. The access charges are murder. The same goes for Text messages,although you have to do a lot to rack up much. The majority of the time is the internet charges. Downloading music or games or anything for that matter. I hate having internet access on my phone. I had them stop my phone from even accessing it by accident.
Also never rely on the phone for emergencies or 911. Cell phones are unreliable for much of anything.
Posted by KateM on 2006-01-06:
Mike & CrazyRedHead: It seems to me that you guys have bad service providers if that is the way you feel about them. Not ALL cell companies are bad, just the majority. It really all comes down to how much are you willing to pay for good service? Sure you can rollover minutes on Cingular but you wont have good service (cell reception or help from customer service). T-Mobile might have a lot of minutes for not a lot of money but they have poor service as well. It really is worth the extra money every month to go with a more reliable service provider. I may pay a little more for my EXTREMELY reliable service from Verizon but I've never dropped a call or been out of a service area or charged for roaming. My text messages come through quickly and in 2.5 years my bill has been incorrect twice and the problem was resolved in a simple phone call. I find the reps to be helpful and nice and when I did have an issue that needed a supervisors help I received a call back within the promised hour. Maybe I should just write a complimentary review on them....
Posted by CrazyRedHead on 2006-01-06:
I agree Kate. I have had service with Suncom, Cingular, AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile and Sprint and some are better around here than others. Cingular and Verizon is best and then T Mobile and Sprint. I have never had a problem with T Mobile in the 2 years that I have been with them. Cingular has been okay and Verizon made me wonder if the rep passed Kindergarden. Each service provider has the high and low points. But from my experience it is not the service provider that determines the level of service you will have. The phone, area, surroundings and even traffic has more of a determination than anything else. I am not saying that I am an expert but there are a lot of things that I do know that isn't common knowledge. I am still learing about this to this day.
Posted by Kronenberg on 2006-09-26:
After asking many people around here, I find it most common for people to like Verizon Wireless (but not their land-line service). I've also heard very few complaints from TMobile customers, although I have a friend whose service is constantly saying "All Circuits Busy". I have only heard one person say they like Cingular, and they had military benefits from the company, other than that I hear a bunch of stories about being ripped off by them. I've also been hearing quite a few complaints about Sprint.
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From AT&T to Cingular
Posted by Mike M on 12/14/2005
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 completly. 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 transfered, 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 inconvience 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 women shelter. If my phone was broke, how could they give it to a women 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 corporte number. I then told him about this web site filled with compliants. 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 compaines out there that help their customers anymore, or are the all out the make a buck.
     
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Posted by Administrator on 2005-12-15:
Sorry to hear about your ordeal. But glad our site was able to help you get the contact information you needed!
Posted by jsix1441 on 2005-12-15:
Check out the complaints about Verizon. I had a phone for 2 days under their 15 day trial and they keep billing me for 88.39. I have called them every month and I still keep getting a bill even though it should only be 6.99 for the 2 days.
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Responsiveness to Customer Complaints
Posted by Cap10seadog on 03/22/2006
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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Posted by Anonymous on 2006-03-22:
Can you here me now?
Posted by MollyDolly on 2006-09-30:
I agree I hate cingular and pay as you go plans do sound better. I am gonna do that when my contract is up which isnt 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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Stay Away From Cingular - True Horror Story
Posted by Logmaster on 02/16/2006
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.

     
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Posted by ejack053824 on 2006-02-16:
I have Cingular and had no problems. Hopefully its just an isolated matter with you.
Posted by KateM on 2006-02-17:
Isolated matter-yeah right. Seems like there are more Cingular complaints then any other cell co. I had them myself and ran screaming when my contract is up. If I had as many problems as you I would pony up the money just to be rid of them.
Posted by 1CutePeanut on 2006-03-22:
You are darn right you should go through with that class action suit against cingular, because they are very unethical. At least with Verizon they are in total accord. Their no's are straight across the board and their yes' are straight across the board. At least you know in the BEGINNING what you are getting. You are informed UPFRONT, but not with cingular. Verizon customer service is excellent, but cingular's--->HAHA This is laughable JOKE! Being a former employee of cingular there was just a handful of us who cared. And that is so unfortunate, but is is so true. Much *Good Luck* to you LogMaster.
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End of contract /watch those dates for porting
Posted by Jewelz on 10/07/2005

I changed to Verizon at the end of my contract. I called Cingular three times before my end of contract date to ask EXACTLY when I could port my number, since I used it for business calls. They told me the contract expired on August 9. I ask them if I could port on that day WITHOUT a termination fee and the answer was (three times) yes, and that I MUST call to cancel on that day.

I called them on the 9th, asked again for confirmation that I wouldn't be charged a termination fee, with affirmation from the service person.

I got a bill for over $407.42 for termination on two phones. When I called, they told me that I had canceled on the 9th and that actually the contract ends at twelve midnight of the 9th, so therefore I had early termination. Now, most contracts, I believe, expire as of 12:01 AM on the date named and they SAID it expired as of the 9th, not 12:01 AM of the 10th.

I called with complaint and they said they would reverse the termination fees, but then I would have to pay to the "end of the billing cycle" which does not coincide with the end of the contract.

A few days ago I got a credit statement of $338.98. Since I was an "auto pay" from my bank account, I checked my account and sure enough, no credit there. I called. They told me they could not credit my account as they "no longer had the information". They could, however, send me a check. I presume I will get the check, but suspect that if I had not followed up on this, the credit would never have been refunded.

After the three advance calls and checking on the day of cancellation I believe the "fuzziness" of their contract expiration is deliberate.

Why I changed service: I had an AT&T contract, which included no fee extended area. Cingular charged for the extended area. When I called them, a number of times, the only answer was that I had "never" had inclusive extended area!

So, if you are replacing Cingular at the end of your contract, watch out for those dates!

PS=Had I called on the 10th instead of the 9th, would they have told me I missed my end of contract date and therefore would have been charged a termination fee on the new, automatic contract or would they have charged to the end of the billing cycle? Who knows?
Janet
     
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Posted by Dmoney on 2006-01-20:
Like the previous person stated when the contract ends it ends. Plus when you port a number you don't want to cancel the service from you previous provider. you want that number to be active or you run the risk of not being able to keep your same number.
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Service/Customer Service
Posted by Cingular on 03/10/2005
I list this post as informative, because I have been a Cingular Wireless customer for 3 years now, and I really would like to see that no one else makes the mistake of locking into a contract with this company. First of all, don't buy into any 'free month of service' gimmicks or 'free phone' deals from this company, because you get what you pay for. The service is horrible anywhere outside of a major city, and even then it's not even that great. As if the service wasn't bad enough, the customer service is probably just about the worst experience I've ever had with any call center in my entire life. They change all of their policy as soon as you sign the contract. Please pay attention to these bad reviews, they are very legitimate.
     
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