Cingular Wireless Complaint - Cingular Store Removed My Free Text Message W/o My Knowledge
NEWARK, CALIFORNIA -- One evening, on November 9, 2006, I called Cingular to inquire about not being able to conference it with another call. The polite rep told me there's nothing wrong with the phone, nor my cell phone plan, which includes conference calling. Eventually, he was able to convince me that I can upgrade my phone for free and without a change to my existing plan as long as I sign up for another 2 years of service. I'd like to hold on to my plan because it's an old plan (circa 2001/2002) that includes 300 peak minutes, 3000 off peak minutes + 300 text messaging ALL for $29.99/month. The 300 text messages feature also allows me to send messages internationally for free.
I've always been renewing to a 2-year contract without a change in my plan over the years as a way to upgrade my phone. I picked the new Samsung A707.
On November 15th, I got the A707 and noticed that the battery cover at the back of the unit is not secure enough when in place. So the following day, November 16th, I went to the Cingular store in San Carlos to exchange the A707 with the Motorola V3 + a case/cover for an even exchange. Two weeks later, on Nov 30, 2006, I had to return the v3 again because of voice reception problems (covered within 30 days of purchase), in exchange for an LG CU500.
Recently, I have noticed that my bill shows charges for text messaging. Specifically, I'm being charged a higher rate for international texting.
When I called Cingular to complain about the charges, the rep told me that my plan was changed without my knowledge when I purchased the LG CU500. This change caused for the 300-text messaging to disappear, making me pay for the text messages at $0.10 per message domestic and $0.20 per message on international messages. I asked them to put it back on my plan and they said this plan or feature is already expired and they can no longer give me the text 300 messages feature in my plan.
I called again today and representative supvervisor Douglas Bevard confirmed that they can no longer add back the text messaging feature to my old plan even if the "unauthorized" change was caused by Cingular.
March 16, 2007:
NOTE: I was able to avail of this $29.99 plan + the free Text Messaging feature because, since I signed up back in 2001, I have always renewed to a 2-year contract for the SAME PLAN each time I upgrade to a new phone. I do this because, if I switch to another carrier and come back to Cingular, I will not be able to get the $29.99 original plan + feature for my service. Hence I kept on renewing. This means Cingular is not able to offer the $29.99 plan (it's an old plan) to customers unless the customer signed up for this plan when it was still available -- back in the early 2000s, when they still offered the $29.99 plans. Now Cingular's lowest-rate plan goes for $39.99.