Cingular Wireless Complaint - Anti-Customer, No-Service
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 thru a promotion from my office. Things went along fine for the first year right up 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 exhorbitant cancellation fee but all in all its 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 neighbors 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.