Cingular Wireless Complaint - No Refund for a Returned Unactivated Go Phone
Long story short, I used my credit card to buy a Go Phone for a friend in December 2005. Friend was an AT&T Wireless customer and did not want the Go Phone or the new Cingular plan that came with it, and Cingular guaranteed a refund if returned within 30 days. So, we returned the phone--unactivated and in its original packaging--to Cingular 3 weeks later via USPS Delivery Confirmation.
That was 8 MONTHS ago, and they're STILL giving me the runaround. I have provided them with the cell phone #, the account holder's name/social security #/address, the Delivery Confirmation number, a copy of my credit card statement showing the purchase and the address the phone was sent to. Cingular maintains that they have NO RECORD of the purchase or of the return. I have spoken to a rep in a Cingular store (Terrence Underwood) and their customer service on the phone, and exchanged emails with a rep (Leeann Morton).
I finally filed a complaint with the BBB. Cingular received the complaint via the BBB and has contacted me. They are currently "redirecting" my complaint to the correct region--MORE RUNAROUND. All this, for the paltry amount of $74.84.
Terrible company, terrible customer service.
UPDATE 9-15-06: I received an email from Theresa Holloway at Cingular stating "...the biggest problem is that it is a prepaid account. Because the BBB places a time constraint on the complaints that are filed, we have no choice but to close your complaint. It does not mean that your issue is resolved." Becky McCormick at the BBB has informed me that Cingular hasn't responded to their initial letter, and another has been sent. I have sent an email recapping the entire case to the FCC, and CC'd it to all of the FCC Commissioners and the BBB.
UPDATE 9-22-06: On 9-21, I received a letter from the BBB with Cingular's explanation of their position. Cingular confirmed that I am owed a refund of $74.84. The letter also said that Theresa Holloway will "escalate this credit to upper management". I emailed Ms. Holloway requesting the current status of this case; she responded that upon her manager's return at 2:30, she would email me back with an update.
UPDATE 9-29-06: On 9-27, not having heard anything from Ms. Holloway, I again requested the status of the case. Chenell Cummings, Ms. Holloway's manager, replied saying she has "submitted this request to the manager of the department that will need to process this refund and hope to hear back from them by close of business tomorrow". I have not heard back from Ms. Cummings. Also on 9-27, I emailed an update to the FCC. On 9-28, I received an email from Dawn Tanger at the FCC stating that my complaint was received and assigned a case number.
UPDATE 10-11-06: On 10-4, still not having heard from ANYONE at Cingular, I emailed the following to Stan Sigman (email@example.com): To Whom It May Concern:
This is my last attempt at contacting Cingular directly to resolve this issue. My next step will be to file a complaint with the Florida Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Consumer Services. At that time, I will no longer deal directly with Cingular; the matter will then be handled through mediation. Please note, I currently have open complaints with the Better Business Bureau of Northeast Florida (#4201815) and the Federal Communications Commission (#06-G64019) regarding this issue. On 10-9, I sent that same email to Ms. Cummings and CC'd it to Ms. Holloway, the BBB, all of the FCC commissioners and Stan Sigman. I received an "out-of-office" autoreply from Ms. Cummings. On 10-11, I filed a complaint with the Florida DACS, Division of Consumer Services.
UPDATE 10-21-06: On 10-14, I received an email from Ms. Holloway requesting an official copy of my credit card statement. A copy from the internet was emailed to her on 9-8, but it clearly stated "not an official statement". On 10-16, I received a letter from the DACS confirming that they had received my complaint and forwarded it to Cingular. On 10-17, the credit card company faxed a copy of the statement to Ms. Holloway. On 10-19, I received a tracking number and the following email:
Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Cingular service. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. The issue has been resolved.
Should you have any further needs regarding this issue, please do not hesitate to call us at 1 800 331-0500 and reference the tracking number shown above.
I have not received a check, nor has the credit been applied back to the credit card.
UPDATE 11-6-06: On 10-31, I emailed an official copy of my credit card statement to Cingular. On 11-6, I finally received a check from Cingular in the amount of $74.84.