DALLAS, TEXAS -- I had Cingular Wireless about three years ago. I only had the account for a short time (about 4 months.) During that time, they charged me outrageous billings ($300-$400 each) on a $59.99/month plan. If 15 people had been on my phone I might understand these crazy charges, but it was JUST ME and there was just no way that I, by myself, made $400 dollars worth of phone calls in one month, let alone every month for three months. Of course, the plan that I had done not 'allow' Cingular Wireless to provide me with a "detail" of these inane bills... but if I wanted one, Cingular Wireless wanted to charge me $5.00 EVERY TIME I NEEDED A DETAILED BILLING.
In other words, they could not prove that I was making these calls, and yet when I asked them to, they still wanted to charge me MORE money. I finally had to break down and pay the freakin' $5.00 to get MY OWN BILL. When I got it, it was like 40 pages long... NOT ONE OF THESE CALLS WERE MINE. They obviously had my # confused with someone else's.
When I called them back to complain and prove that I did not make any of the calls, I finally got a hold of one of their agents that looked at the account, and said, "Oh I see that we have made a terrible mistake. We are going to send you a refund of $209.34 because that is how much you overpaid for two months' worth of errors." I said thank you very much and hung up. Miraculously, the check for my refund, did finally come.
However in the meantime, Cingular Wireless CONTINUED to charge me erroneously, for two more months. I called them to tell them I refused to pay the bills until they provided me with detail at NO CHARGE since I had already PROVEN that they were screwing up my account! Did they ever send me the detailed billings? Well, here's what they did. They sent me detailed billings of the FIRST TWO MONTHS that they had ALREADY REFUNDED ME FOR. Over and over and over. Like three times!
Every time I got the same bills over and over, I kept calling them and explaining to them that they were sending the WRONG BILLS, and the customer service (haha) reps always said something like, "Well if you want the RIGHT ones, we'll STILL have to charge you $5.00 EACH." I never paid them another dime and got service with another company within a week. I threw the phone away (literally) and wrote Cingular a letter stating that until they could prove that these continued errors were theirs, they would not get another dime of my money and the phone was gone, the account closed.
Well of course in the manner of Cingular that we've all become accustomed to, Cingular continued to bill me for months, and THEN tacked on a cancellation fee on top of all the other erroneous charges. They continue to send me threatening letters stating that they are going to take me to court. Well BRING IT! I still have a copy of my REFUND CHECK from 2003 from you FREAKS!
METRO DENVER, COLORADO -- I just cancelled my account with Cingular Wireless because of their legendary anti-customer no-service. My story goes back about 3 years now. I started my account with AT&T through a promotion from my office. Things went along fine for the first year right until I wanted to upgrade my phone and increase my plan minutes. I missed the 'grace period' by about 12 days and my 'contract' was automatically renewed for another year.
I tried to live with it but my bills kept growing almost monthly, so after about 5 months of ridiculous billings I called and complained because I wanted to get a better deal as my phone usage had gone way up, so they relented and moved me to a local plan with more minutes for a 40.00 monthly increase on my original base price and another two years contract, but no phone upgrade. Again I tried to make that work although my ancient analog phone line kept dropping calls and the phone didn't work at all at my home, the overage charges stopped but my average bill was around 125.00.
I called them early this year and asked them to take a look at my rate plan and see if there was anything that could be done to improve my situation, and to see if they could give me an upgraded phone or a discount on buying one. They only would offer me a new digital phone that I would have to buy at 130.00 and then I would have to agree to another two year contract to get a better rate plan. I decided to try to finish my current contract, so I could switch carriers.
Then I travelled to Las Vegas in April and Phoenix in July of this year and was assessed roaming charges for making calls to my home state from these cities, I didn't argue the bill for the Vegas calls but when the billing came in for the Phoenix calls I really raised the roof - you see originally (3 years ago) Phoenix was included in my calling area. Well when I changed my rate plan apparently my calling area changed, a new map was never sent to me nor could I access a map online for my rate plan - they no longer offer the rate plan I am on so they don't publish information about it on their website. I asked for a map in August, it was never sent.
I argued with their customer service department to no avail - I was told at least 22 times to refer to my service agreement in one phone call. Well last weekend I went to my local mall and shopped the various competitors and was quoted rate plans, free phones, better coverage area etc. and then gave Cingular one more chance to make things right with me.
After explaining the entire history to them and explaining that at least 3 of their competitors not only can do better but wanted to do better, I was informed that my credit with them wasn't good enough to inspire them to match a competitor's offer, granted with the massive bills (including roaming charges) I have been trying to pay. I have been behind for about the last 5 months. I spoke with 3 representatives over a 1 hour phone call to make sure they didn't want to perform any customer satisfaction then I cancelled my service, I am 4 months shy of my contract renewal date so I will probably have to pay some exorbitant cancellation fee but all in all it's worth it.
I signed on with my new carrier, received a free phone the same day and they even threw in a free car charger just because they were so happy to have me. I talked to a friend last night on my new cell phone from my couch in my living room which was great and so much more comfortable than having to sit on the sidewalk in front of my neighbor's house with my head pointing to the east to keep one bar going, like on my old phone.
I also look forward to encouraging my employer to change carriers (aprox 100 company owned and 350 personally owned Cingular customers) as I just volunteered to be on the committee for expense reduction for next year. Cingular is just about to find out the power of one voice.
Absolutely AWFUL customer service. I purchased phone online from Cingular website for $29.99. SIM card sent w/ phone didn't work when activated. Called to get situation fixed and was told a new SIM card could be shipped for free in a week or I could pay $15 for overnight FedEx shipping. I was not happy about paying for their mistake, but I needed my phone for work purposes, so I charged the $15 to a credit card and had them send it overnight.
When it hadn't arrived a few days later, I called FedEx, and found out it was in transit, but that I was lied to - they don't offer overnight shipping. It took almost a week to receive the card. Called back when I finally received SIM card, set up service on a prepaid basis. Plan included 400 daytime and unlimited night and weekend minutes for $49.99 plus tax. It also comes with an option to add money to account in $15 or $25 increments before monthly recharge date if you are running low on minutes. I asked specifically if I needed to be signed up for automated billing in order to use that service. They said no.
About 2 weeks later I was running low on minutes, and called to add $15 to my account. I was bounced between 4 different representatives to get to the right department, then had to talk to a fifth person within that department. I spend 43 minutes on hold for this. They told me I could not add money, but they couldn't tell me why, so I spent 21 minutes on hold waiting for a manager. She was incredibly rude, couldn't answer my questions, and finally hung up on me.
I called back, had to do the same thing all over again, spent a total of 1 hour and 38 minutes on hold and talked to six more people to find out I couldn't add money because I was not on automatic billing (I had been lied to). So I requested to be signed up for that, but they said I would have to pay for another full month ($49.99) to do it, and the minutes would only be good until the next scheduled recharge date. Was incredibly unhappy for being lied to and asked for a credit or other comparable solution. They refused and would not let me speak to a higher manager.
So I was almost out of $ on my account, and quit using daytime minutes completely, but my balance was still going down. I called to ask why and was told I was charged by the minute for voicemails that other people left for me. This is not stated ANYWHERE in their fine print or on the website. I requested a refund or credit since their charges were not in writing, and they refused, and again would not let me speak with a manager and hung up on me.
So I was fed up and I called to find out how to return the phone and get a refund so I could switch carriers. I have only had service for 3 weeks, but remember that week I spent waiting for the SIM card? Because of that I have had the phone for exactly 30 days and therefore they will not issue a refund. I have had horrible service, many rude representatives, and absolutely no resolution regardless of how many times I complain.
SUFFERN, NEW YORK -- I opened my account in February of 2005. I ordered two phones, two phones lines and two car chargers. I received four of everything, two of each in the first package, and two of each in the second package. A customer representative told me on 2/10/05 that a call tag would be issued and the phones could be returned at no charge.
On 2/15/05 I called customer service again to find that the call tags had not been issued and no notes were made on the account, billing for both accounts had begun. I was told again that one account would be closed with no charges and a call tag would be issued to return the extra package of equipment. On 2/26/05 I called again and spoke to **. She informed me that no notes had been made on either account and no call tag was in the mail. I shipped the phones back to Cingular that week, received a credit for the shipping, but continued to be billed for an account that was supposed to be closed.
Meanwhile, on the account I was using, roaming charges were appearing on my bill when they were supposed to be included in the plan. The plan that was recommended to me started out costing me $300 a month. When first purchasing the plan I stated that my husband would be traveling to Canada and we would need to use the phones in the US and Canada. I was advised to purchase a family plan with roaming, long distance and roll over minutes included. Little did I know that the roaming and long distance were not effective for calls in Canada.
On 3/19/05 I spoke with **, first about the account, which was never activated and supposedly closed. I was informed that the balance of the "closed account" was past due and put into collections. After 40 minutes on the phone ** assured me he closed the account and the balance was waived. My second issue with ** that night was the roaming charges on my bills. The first line of the account never left the Rockland County area and should not be acquiring roaming charges.
He told me that other customers were having this problem; competitor's towers were picking up Cingular customers. He told me that the problem would probably be resolved internally by the next billing cycle and to turn my phone off for at least ten minutes a day to allow the signal to reset.
Toward the end of April I received a mailing for Cingular World Basics. I called on 5/1/05 and spoke to **** asking what I could do to lower the charges for calls to and from Canada. At that point she recommended adding the World Basics to my plan, apologizing that there was nothing Cingular could do about the calls being made from Canada. Because I was a new customer she could not add the plan right away, she informed me that I would receive an email or text message when/if I was approved and the World Basics plan activated. I received nothing. On 5/15/05 I waited on hold for 45 minutes and hung up.
6/1/05- I spoke with **. He told me I had been miss informed about the roaming charges on my account and the only way to investigate them was to open a case and submit my bills from January to present for review. I was told that while the review was in process I would not be able to obtain any information or updates as to the status. I would be contacted by either phone, email or text message when the review was complete.
At that time the charges would be explained and corrected if need be. I asked ** if I should be paying the entire amount of the account. I was advised not to pay the amount in question; "make payments for the basic plan, but wait to see what the amount is when the credits come through from the investigation, you will still receive past due statements but your service will not be interrupted because the account is in review." He also informed me that my other account was in collections and a payment was required, (this was the "closed account.")
After explaining the situation to ** I was transferred to **. SHE WAS ONE OF THE ONLY TWO CUSTOMER SERVICE REPRESENTATIVES WHO EXPLAINED WHAT WAS WRONG AND ACTUALLY FIXED WHAT SHE SAID SHE WAS GOING TO FIX. It took her another half an hour, but she finally closed the extra account, 5 months after 3 other people had "closed" it.
6/14/05 - ** informed me that the account was still under review and she would not be able to inquire as to its status. I asked her what to do about payments and past due statements, if I should pay the amount in question or not. She advised me to pay the total for the plan and taxes only, not to pay the amount in question and ignore the past due statements as they are computerized and sent out even though the account is in review. I submitted a payment with ** that day for the amount of the plan and taxes.
7/18/05 - Still no notification about the review on my account: I spoke with ** - the account review was completed on 7/14/05. They decided the charges were correct and over $1,000 is due. She stated, "They are not required to notify me of the completion or decision." I asked her to have someone contact me to explain the situation if she could not. She said she would submit the account again for review and make a note for someone to notify me when the review was complete.
7/19/05 - My service is disconnected with no notification or warning. I called customer service and spoke with **. She was blunt and refused to listen to anything I had to say. She repeated over and over that a payment of over $480 was due; until payment was made my account could not be reinstated. I asked to be transferred to a manager and ** refused. I had to say on the line and listen to her tell me that a manager could not do anything for me and I was wasting my time; this went on for 10 minutes before she finally transferred me to **. Molly had nothing say except pay the account. At this point I had been on the phone for an hour and a half, I was angry, embarrassed, frustrated and belittled; ** was of no help so I hung up.
I calmed myself down and called back 20 minutes later - I was on hold for 25 minutes, then the customer service representative could not access information for the region I was in. He transferred me to a closed telephone line, which disconnected me. I spent a total of 4 hours on the phone this night to try to resolve my situation. The last customer service representative I reached said the service for my region was closed and no further information would be accessible this night.
7/20/05 This morning I spoke to **, (WHO WAS THE SECOND REPRESENTATIVE THAT ACTUALLY TOOK HER TIME AND TALKED TO ME NOT DOWN AT ME). She explained what the account review was, what happened during the review, what the decision was and FINALLY what that decision meant. She told me she would transfer me to billing where I would be able to work out a payment plan and have my service reinstated this day with a waived re-connection fee. I was transferred to ** who told me I was misinformed; I could not have a payment arrangement, and service would not resume until the entire amount is paid.
Again I asked to be transferred to someone in the financial department, as ** said only they could make this decision. She told me they do not take outside calls, I asked her to contact them about my situation, she said it would do no good, the only thing she could do was transfer me to her supervisor. I asked her to transfer me to someone who could close my account; her response was "why?" I was transferred to **, who told me that as long as my account was past due it was as good as cancelled. She clearly stated that no other charges would amount from month to month; "this is the same as the account being closed, you won't get any more charges."
After spending over 15 hours on the phone with customer service representatives; receiving conflicting information, not receiving information about plans which would of benefited my situation with my husband in Canada and being told should not expect to be informed or contacted when charges regarding my account have been decided - I would like to make a final arrangement with Cingular to take care of the ridiculous charges accumulated on my account. I would like to deal with someone who can give me accurate information in a civil manor not making me feel like I am unintelligent. I feel I have been dealt with very dishonestly.
CALIFORNIA -- I called to cancel my cell phone service with Cingular. They said they would cancel. The reason for canceling was that I was leaving the U.S. for at least a year. I had no contract with them so there was no commitment. I paid automatic by credit card so was paid up. I cancelled in Dec. and left the U.S. On Jan 2005 I was billed by Cingular and then again in Feb and again in March. I asked my credit card to not pay these bills anymore. My credit company tried to contact Cingular and they never responded to them. I started trying to contact Cingular and found that they had no e-mail contact. When I started trying to contact them by phone from overseas which is not a free call, on the first attempt they rerouted me to California after waiting quite some time. The California office said they were closed. I waited until the appropriate time and in March at 10:30 p.m. my time I started trying to connect to clear up this matter.
I called their international line and waited a very long time before I was connected with someone. They then rerouted me to California and I again had a very long wait. I was told, yes, I had asked to cancel in Dec and they had not canceled. They then rerouted me to someone to cancel me. I was put on hold several times during all the different reroutes. The next person finally said I was now canceled. I asked what about the refund of the $224.14 that had been billed to my credit card. Oh, that was another reroute. I was rerouted and the next was a person that said the auto-pay needed to be canceled. Another long wait with being on hold followed. The announcement came that my auto-pay was now canceled. I again asked about my refund. Oh, that was another reroute. After more time being put on hold I was finally told that I would be refunded $224.14. I asked when this would be refunded. I was then rerouted again to another person with the same hold and wait process. I was told that my credit card could not be refunded because they had canceled my auto-pay. They said in 4-6 weeks that they would send me a check. 58 minutes after I began the process at international phone rates, the call with all it's holds and rerouting was over. Had I not asked the questions I would have had to re-call to get my refund and go through the entire process again
This is now almost June. No check was ever sent. I have had to contact Better Business Bureau and California Attorney General for fraud. I wish I could say that the matter is now fixed, but I just received a bill for $1.38 from Cingular for whom knows what. Try logging onto their website. It rarely works. I still have to pay the enormous phone bill that I will receive and now would like to give them their $1.38 to get them out of my life forever. It appears that the $224.14 has finally been cancelled. Military beware of this company. Buyers Beware
NEWTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA -- I have never had to work so hard for the privilege of giving a company money for poor service. My bill has a charge for what they call "DirectBill Charges." The bill does not list what these charges are for. The bill sates "To view detail go to www.cingular.com/db."
When I log into this site it prompts me for a log in. This page is a very long list of things that I may buy from Cingular (remember that I am trying to find out the detail on my bill, not add to it). I scroll up and down the site searching for anything that says Bill Detail or billing or Customer service or - nothing. I select Contact us. They have a phone number. I call and go through several menu options (non of which say talk to a representative). I final "0" out and wait on hold for a while only to find that they don't have customer service on Sunday.
I go back to the website and search on the contact us page and find something that says email. I think to myself - good, I will just email my issue to them. I select this and find that it is a service to email anyone (but not them). They don't provide an email address for customer service. I suspect that if I were to use this email service it would probably appear on my bill next month as a DirectBill charge (is this their way of generating more revenue).
I go back to contact us and find a pick for billing information. I select it. I scan the quick links - nothing about explaining your bill. I see that there is a pick called "Additional charges on your bill." Now I think that I am actually getting somewhere. I select it. It prompts me for a zip code and tells me about the regulatory fees. What about the other additional charges?
I return to so called Customer Service and then select the next best option: "Introduction to your bill." I get a movie. The movie shows me a picture of the bill I have in my hand. It has a menu item that says "Problem with your bill?" I select it and takes me to the phone number for the customer service that isn't available on Sundays - been there done that. I try common questions about DirectBill - they have two - what is my limit and how can I buy something. Useless.
Next I try "My Account". It has options for viewing and paying my bill. Maybe this will help me find out what the charges are for. I notice that I need to login. Remember that the bill told me to go to a different log in screen for details of my bill. The login for "My Account" is different than for DirectBill. I login with my new login.
I navigate to "My Bill" to see if I can find the detail for this item. The online version of the bill does not provide any additional information about the charge. I see a pick for customer service. I select it. I am back to the previous page of customer service that got me here in the first place.
Two logins one phone call and an hour later I have no more information than I did by just looking at the bill. I would be happy if someone would actually let me communicate with a person at Cingular and explain the bill. What a concept.
Let's see, where to begin... I'm at day 7 and counting to get my phone properly migrated from AT&T to Cingular. After bouncing around for phone orders, finally get to a guy who tells me the phone I want I can get at $50. Sweet, it's the Nokia 6280, "but I can't sell it to you, you have to call this number." Call said number, only to be told that it would be $150. Don't like that. Through my company, I can get a Nokia 6230 for $103, according to the person on the phone. Call back the next day, deciding to go with the offer. Guy tells me it's free. Sweet. But he can't hook me up with the company discount, "Call back tomorrow, give the system time." OK.
Getting hooked up w/ the discount was not a problem. Or so I thought. Monday comes, no phone. Tuesday, no phone. Realize Monday that they are shipping me the Nokia 6010. Um, no call. Talk to a kid who says, "just take it to a corporate store and exchange it." Fine, closest store is 20 mins away, not a big deal. Now it's Wednesday, still no phone. Check tracking, they had my wrong address. Lovely. Call the corporate store, ask if they have the phone I want, "yes". "Can I exchange a phone they shipped in error?" "yes". Go to FedEx, get the phone, go to store. As you've already figured out, I can't do what I want.
In addition, they can't even sell me the phone I want at the price I was quoted on the phone. Moan and complain, but the manager can't do anything. "This is the second complaint this week like this." Call 611, get dropped a few times. Finally get through, talk to a floor supervisor Paul, who tries to be helpful. Calls Cingular support for me, but the people who can "help" are gone for the day. Gives me a number to call back tomorrow.
To recap: Since ordering the phone on 2/9/05, I've talked to 12 people on the phone, two people in person, spent at LEAST 6 hours on the phone, and put 40 miles on my car that I didn't have to. I will call them tomorrow and demand the following: The free phone I was promised, overnight shipping for free, activation for free, other compensation for my hassle.
Failing to get this, I will: Cancel my migration on the spot, go to T-Mobile at lunch to pick up a new phone, cancel my AT&T account as soon as I determine new phone works, demand a waived cancellation fee, find every other site like this and post the same story. I never had a problem with AT&T's service. I lost my phone in the snow, they had a new one to me in 3 days. They weren't able to replace the model (dummy me, no insurance on it) but the customer service rep at least gave me a decent deal on a model. I hate to leave AT&T, but if my experience with Cingular is any indication, I might not regret it for too long.
TEMPE, ARIZONA -- Is it just me or does the slogan "more bars in more places" leave you wondering, where are those places? I hit so many drop zones and usually have to go outside to use my phone. Others seem to have no problem. I know, then change companies. But I really want to know if this is a problem for a lot of Cingular customers.
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, FLORIDA -- UTTER CONTEMPT FOR THE CUSTOMER! The worst service of any large company I've ever done business with. First, the Bait and Switch: I called to discuss the 8525 phone. I purchased one immediately and switched my service over, only to receive the outdated 8125 model. Then, AT&T would not honor the originally-quoted price. Begin the month-of-hell trying to get refund. Have you EVER had to wait "30 days" for a refund from anybody? I have spent about ten hours on the phone speaking to over 20 people and am still not refunded. AVOID AT&T.
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.