Cingular Wireless Complaint - Roaming Charges
TENNESSEE -- I was a customer with Cingular (formerly BellSouth) for about 4 years.
Has anyone ever heard of Cingular's "mis-information credit"? I had to work out of town (approx. 90 miles and still in my home state) and called Cingular customer service to verify I would not be roaming at the locations. I made this call March 31, 2004, listed my locations and asked them to verify I would not be charged roaming. All calls over the next 5 weeks from the specified sites were charged roaming. The total exceeded $1000. They keep records of calls to the service center and have acknowledged I made this call prior to any subsequent calls that were charged roaming. I have spent over six hours on the phone with them over a three week period while they tried to file for credit. Ultimately, they called me and said they are only allowed a 50% credit for the roaming charges. They said my plan was a promotional plan that has applicable roaming charges in the area I was making the calls. The rep I spoke with in March was very clear that I would not be roaming with my existing plan. They said that since I was mis-informed by their rep that they could give me a "mis-information credit" of 50% of the total charges. I explained that I did not feel responsible for any of the charges, but they would not consider further. I requested they end my service. Some of the people I spoke to were understanding, but as some other reviews have stated, many were rude and handled the situation as if I were defending myself on trial. I was very patient with everyone I spoke to there until their offer of the half credit June 18, 2004.
Also, the rep said if I were roaming, the display would indicate either "roaming, extended, or another carrier". At no time did my phone indicate anything other than "Cingular".
If you are improperly charged roaming with Cingular, you will likely not be fully credited, even if they accept responsibility. They basically apologize, tell you to pay half and let you go.
Approximately a week after my conversation concerning the above credit, I called to check on the remaining balance and spoke to a different rep at Cingular. I explained the entire situation to him and he agreed I should not be charged. August 11th I received a call from Cingular and they have credited most of the charges back. The rep said he will have the remaining charges removed within a couple of days. He was very apologetic that it took so long to resolve.
When dealing with customer service, be persistent and keep the names of the people you speak to. Some of the reps will take the time to consider what actually happened; finding one is the key. The last two people I dealt with made all the difference. Due to contract obligation, I chose to keep my service rather than pay the early termination fee, and changed my plan to nationwide. I also continued to pay my regular monthly charges while the roaming was under investigation. I'll never know if this impacted the outcome, but it seemed to be the path of least resistance. Good luck.
Final charges credited to my account.
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