Cingular Wireless Complaint - Customer Service and Billing Practices
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI -- On January 13, 2004 I left Sprint PCS after 5 years (why, I ask myself now...) because Cingular had roll-over minutes and a family talk plan advertised. I signed up for a 500 minute plan for $39.99 with a 9.99 additional line. I also received 2 phones free. The secondary phone arrived 2 days after I placed my order. A week later, my main phone still had not arrived. I contacted Cellular and they said someone had cancelled the order. After a half hour of convincing the person that I did not cancel the order, they told me to go to my local Cingular store in Overland Park, KS to pick up my phone. I picked up my phone that day, and was charged $43! I called Cingular back that evening and they told me that I would have to call back once I got my first bill to have the $43 credited to my account. That was the start of a long history of me having to call Cingular to fix their mistakes! The last straw was last week when I received a bill for $402!!! At the end of February, in anticipation of having to travel for the month of April and the first part of May, I called Cingular to change my calling plan. I wanted to increase my mintues to 850 anytime and free mobile-mobile. I also wanted to change my billing cycle. The rep I talked to told me "No, you can change your plan or your cycle until you have been a customer for 6 months". Well, I had no choice but to work (unlike the Cingular reps), so I knew my calls would be over 500 minutes. I called Cingular on 5/10 and asked when the exact date would be that I would be at 6 months so I could change my plan. The Cingular rep told me I can change my plan ANYTIME!!! I explained what happened in February and the rep said"Oh, that is not true." The rep changed my plan for me on 5/10 and said it would take effect on 5/11. On 5/14, I received my bill and after recovering from the $402 shock, I called Cingular again to make sure my plan was changed going forward. The person I talked to on 5/14 said, yes - you are on the correct plan, 850 minutes. Great! Finally, they did something right! That evening, 5/14, I decided to call again because by then, I thought - wait, because they incorrectly told me I could not change my plan, I was going to have to pay their $402 mistake! I called again, and the rep I talked to, said your plan is not scheduled to change until 6/11 - it takes 30 days to update! I explained that I talked to 2 different reps and they told me 5/11. He said that they were wrong. He then said he would manually change my plan AND my billing cycle on 5/18 and would call me back between 9:30 and 10 AM CT. On 5/18, at 10:30 AM, I had not received a call. I called Cingular and explained the situation to the new rep. He said that no such conversation took place and I was making this up!! I gave him the names of everyone I had talked to - he said that my last conversation, when the guy said he would manually change it, did not happen because there were no notes. Suddenly, I am delusional now!!! I asked to be transferred to a supervisor. I explained my situation AGAIN to this supervisor, who said, yes - she could manually make the adjustments! She had me on hold and finally came back and said she would have to call me back because it was taking longer than she thought. She said she would call back by 1:30 PM CT. By 2:30 PM CT, I still had not heard back from this "supervisor". I called back AGAIN, and explained AGAIN, why I was calling. This rep, who was actually pleasant, explained that sometimes the reps do not have notes in the system if they are still working on an issue. I asked if it was normal to have an issue pending for more than 24 hours and she said no, the issue from 5/14 should have been resolved and said that the rep probably did not follow procedures and leave notes of the call. She took it upon herself to suggest that I talk with her supervisor - yet again, I explained the situation. This supervisor said that they CANNOT make manual changes. She said I would have to call in on 6/11 and have them re-rate my bill to reflect the 850 minute calling plan. I explained that I was sick of having to call Cingular, but that I would have to because I didn't trust them to their job. She said that she made the appropriate notes and everything would be set for me to call in on 6/11.
This morning, I decided that I did not think I should have to call to fix their error. I called
(again) and talked to a new rep who read the notes back to me verbatim - I explained what had happened when I first tried to change my plan in February. IMMEDIATELY SHE GAVE ME A CREDIT!!!!!! It took me a week, and several calls, but finally Cingular recognized that this was THEIR ERROR! I got my bill down from $402 to $214. This last person was fantastic. But I still should not have had to go through what I did to get to a person who actually knows what customer service is. I never had these problems with Sprint and cannot wait until 1/14/06 when I can leave Cingular without early term fees and go back to Sprint.