Cingular Wireless Complaint - Cingular
TEXAS -- I have had an incredibly bad experience with Cingular which is a long story. The short version is I signed up and for the next four months my expensive, state-of-the-art phone Cingular sold me dropped well over half of all my calls. I sought help from phone technicians and store clerks numerous times. They tried all sorts of signal modifications and reprogramming. Each time I was told "that should do it" or "try it for a week or so and see if it gets better" or "this area has been going through a software update and the service has been erratic lately...it'll get better. I actually didn't know anyone who had Cingular, but I knew EVERYONE couldn't be having my problems or it would have made the news. The store TWICE gave me a replacement of the same phone. When the third phone was even worse than the others, I asked the store if I could try a different type phone. They said no, because I had purchased a particular phone and that was all they were allowed to replace. When I became upset in the store, the manager said I could drive to their main center (about 30 miles away through heavy traffice). I "might" be able to get a credit on an exchange.
At the point I had clients, friends and family insisting I get a phone that worked. I was not only wasting my time, but theirs also.
I left the Cingular store and drove to a TMobile
store and signed up. TMobile said I could use my
old phones if I would ask Cingular to unlock them. They believed the phone that had given me so much problem would work fine for them. I made
numerous calls, but all the Cingular people refused to unlock the phone. So I also purchased new phones.
Cingular sent me a complete bill within about four days. It was over $600 for breach of contract and various charges. I had already prepared a long letter of explanation to their arbitration department asking them to accept some responsibility for their service, but before I could even mail it the very next day a collection agency called me at 8 AM on a Saturday. He gave the usual rude lecture and when he stopped I started in with my story.
When I was finished, he laughed and said he heard that all day every day. Many mamy Cingular customers had the same issues and he had no doubt
they ALL couldn't be fabricating the same story...however he was the money collector. He said Cingular didn't have any intention of listening to my side of anything. I broke the contract and I had to pay or they would ruin my
credit rating. He went on to say some people did
get so angry they refused to pay, but almost all of them called back later begging to give their payment. The normal individual could not afford the time or money to fight Cingular. He encouraged me to chalk it up to a bad experience and just put it behind me.
At the time I did have a lot of unusual things going on and had no business "taking on AT&T"...
even for justice. As I was contemplating my surrender, he suddenly asked if I would be willing to settle for a reduced amount, since obviously I experience was worse than many.
He said if I would agree to this settlement, I would NEVER HAVE TO HEAR FROM CINGULAR OR HIM AGAIN....exact words.
I'm sure he knew exactly when to make the offer and I agreed. In reality it was over half the bill and he ADDED on the "Collector's Fee" which
was close to $100 more.
He put me on hold and got his supervisor's approval on the amount. When he came back he said it was approved, but they would need to DRAFT the money that VERY day from my bank. By then I was deciding they might be a scam and refused. He finally agreed to fax an official bill to my office that Monday morning. I could call the number on the bill and verify it was Cingular, give my approval and they would "take the money",,,which they did.
Now four months later, I haven't had any problems with TMobile and life is much happier, until yesterday. The SAME collection agency called and DEMANDED the rest of the bill. I told them it hac been resolved and they said Cingular could change their mind at any time...and they had done just that. I told her that the first collector had assured me my payment would end the matter forever. The woman said she saw that was indicated in my file, but I had no written proof of that. She continued on explaining my stupidity
to me.....and suddenly my land line phone battery went dead. I'm sure she thought I had cut her off, but I think it was a sign from above to stand up for American consumer rights.
Since then they have called AGAIN several times, but I just couldn't take the calls. I'm not quite ready to roll over in the mud to get kicked twice for these crooks. I have a great credit rating built carefully over many years and I certainly don't want to loose it, but I don't want to loose my self-respect or make it just that much harder for the next victim. While it's really to late for me, I would like to help make these practices known. By just recent reading, I now find Cingular has many victims. I'm starting to collect names and addresses of those who might be have any influence on this ignorant, greedy bunch of something-for-nothing monopoly monsters.
Companies operating like Cingular are the fastest growing blight of our free world democracy.
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