In 2004 I used Cingular as my cell phone carrier. I had a rate plan on my contract that cost me $40 a month. The service was spotty, but I was told that once the company merged with AT&T they would have improved coverage, and my problems would be over. I wish... My problems were just beginning. One month I went over my minutes and called the customer service reps to increase my minutes for that month, something Cingular did cheerfully if I exceeded my minutes and let them know about it.
With Cingular, if I needed to bump my minutes up for the month, they allowed me to return to the original terms the following month without incident. I could pay the next increment of $65 for that month. However, I was now an AT&T customer. So I was very wary, and pointedly asked if I would be able to get the original minutes back once the month was adjusted up. I was told there would be no problem.
When I called AT&T back the following month to return to my original $40 rate plan, the representative told me that my rate plan was a promotion that they no longer offered. I countered that they had made me a verbal authorization, that the rate plan was part of my contract and that they had to fulfill the terms of the agreement. After much back and forth, I became frustrated and demanded they restore my $40 plan, and said flatly that I refused to pay more than $40.
When the bill came the next month, I learned my new rate plan offered 100 minutes for $40, and the other 2900 minutes were billed to me at 45 cents a minute. Mind you, this was for local calls, not national. The bill rang in at $1350!! For the same amount of minutes I had been under for my original contract. I tried to work it out with customer service, to no avail. I said I would send them my usual $40. Period. Next month, they canceled my service and I switched to T-Mobile, happily... The bills kept coming, and they tacked a $200 early termination fee on. Now they wanted $1500.
I called again and explained that there was no value inherent in a month's local calls being billed at $1500. I also said they were really exercising poor judgment, as they had me paying $40 a month consistently, and now they would get zero. Years have gone by... Now they've sold my paper on to a collection agency, who are suing me for $1700. This is to be sure a nuisance suit, and AT&T can afford to harass their customers who keep them in business. Meanwhile, I subscribe to AT&T for my home line, DSL and digital cable, and am realizing just how deep AT&T's corporate greed goes!
At&t's fraud department is a joke, and I would not recommend the company to anyone. A little bit of background:
A few months ago I received a collection notice in the mail from an accredited company, stating an AT&T account in my name had been handed over for collections. The shock was indescribable, but when I looked into it, I found I had been the victim of identity theft. (yay... not!)
For those of you who have had to go through it, you know the nightmare. Calling the credit companies, contacting the police and filling out a report... etc... etc... etc. I went through all that lovely nonsense only to have AT&T's fraud department lose my information (to specify for those of you who are lucky enough to not have had to deal with it... information means copies of various accounts with addresses and dates, police reports, copies of birth certificates, social security cards and drivers licenses... etc... etc. All of which they do not help you attain.)
After two correspondences, no less. I receive a notice in the mail stating I am responsible for a debt of close to 1,000 dollars in a state that I don't even live... and haven't even visited. When I contacted the fraud department the person I spoke to (and of course she failed to give her name) was very rude. Treated me like I was a criminal, and would not listen to a thing I had to say... and then she hung up on me.
So after calling them back, and sitting on hold for almost another hour while my phone battery beeped at me continuously. I finally reached **. Thank goodness for people who value their jobs!!! He cleared the account after hearing my story, and even tracked down all my lost information which had apparently been entered into their system under the wrong name (hooray for competency.) After going through all that, I'm relieved to have the dispute taken care of but still offended with the representation. Is that how a company treats loyal customers of almost five years? After all this, I think at my next sign on period I am going to just cancel the account.
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- Customer service with Cingular is absolutely horrible. Unless you want to sit on the phone waiting for a representative for an hour, don't bother. I called to cancel my account, only to face a very rude lady on the other end of the line after waiting for over an hour. FINALLY I had to sternly say that I wanted to cancel my account for the hundredth time before she finally would listen and accept my decision. Then, I inquired what the cancellation fee was, since I did not have my contract in front of me. She informed me that it would be $130.00.
Of course, I get my bill a week later to find that it was actually $175, and when I call to ask about it, they say "Oh well I'm sorry she told you that, but we can't do anything about it". Great. Total crappy company that cares NOTHING about their customers whatsoever. They just suck you into a contract, provide you with a terrible quality phone, hook you up to their spotty network, and then ignore your complaints. I switched over to T-Mobile and couldn't be happier with my service, their customer support, and my MUCH MUCH MUCH lower monthly bill.
LOUISIANA -- My son recently purchased a "blackberry" cell phone. Within 15 days, my cell phone bill exploded to over 300.00. Why? Apparently, the blackberry uses the internet. It uses the internet whether you uses it or not. He swears he has not accessed the net. I am very upset with these particular business practices. I plan to file an official complaint with ALL possible government agencies. Additionally, I plan to contact their main office. Though since the merger, I don't believe it will help.