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Cingular must really like me

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This blog post is over 20 years old. It's possible that the information you read below isn't current and the links no longer work.

After suffering through a year of terrible service and living with a broken phone for months while I waited for number portability, I finally switched from Cingular to AT&T Wireless last November, the day that number portability took effect. Cingular did a brief bit of marketing to me to try and convince me to stay with them. They offered new phones and touted their infrastructure upgrades but I could not be swayed. I still switched.

Now they’ve taken extreme measures to get me back as a customer. They bought AT&T Wireless for $41 billion dollars.


February 18, 2004 1:42 PM

My first thought was that my brother, who has never been happy with AT&T, will be better off. Now I am not so sure.

Scott C.
February 19, 2004 5:41 PM

I've had the MPX200 since 12/1/03 and so far its a terrific phone! I do not have problems with usage, calendar, contacts, MS Excel, MS Word, music, etc. Aloha.

Phillip Harrington
February 19, 2004 11:41 PM

That'll teach ya!

Dougal Campbell
February 20, 2004 2:36 PM

That's just like how the state of Alabama had to design entirely new car tags, just so they could eliminate my offensive custom tag that I managed to slip through their system!

February 22, 2004 2:13 PM

You also have to remember that the only part of the purchase that has acually gone though is the money part. The purchase will not acually happen if and only if the FCC approves the purchase. It could go either way because if you remember cingular tried to purchase T-Mobile when they were still Voice Stream. The FCC however didn't let the buy go though because they thought that that would corner touch of the market, since AT&T has more of the market they might say the same thing.

Adam Kalsey
February 22, 2004 2:17 PM

The difference here is that AT&T has primarily business customers while Cingular has primarily consumers. AT&T and Cingular also have less overlap in coverage area than T-Mobile and Cingular. Add to that the fact that the current stance of the FCC is to allow more consolidation, and I bet this merger will be approved.

February 28, 2004 10:37 AM

ive been working as a customer service rep for cingular for 4 years and i make a little over $10 an hour and i had previous experience. they choose their hourly rates based on cost of living. for example, the dallas call center pays $2-3 more per hour than the wichita falls center. the midland center also pays more than wichita falls. wichita falls labor force is desperate for jobs and cingular knows that which is how they get away with paying a lower rate. there are several problems working for them now. they tend to hire a lot of new people, train them (very little) throw them on the call center floor for 2-3 months (making a lot of mistakes) and then let them all go. this has occurred repeatedly. their turnover is unbelievable. we are in union negotiations now and they (cingular heiarchy) has stated due to the fact they are buying at&t for 41 billion they can no longer afford to pay our "high" salaries. they proposed to cut each call rep's pay by $4,000 a year and to abolish earned sick days with pay and accrued vacation. that's not including the health benefits they are wanting to drop. unless those that are supposedly in the know in the head offices get their heads out of their asses, there will be a strike in five states. a lot of people who have worked for them for years were never union members but have since joined supposedly to protect their jobs. they; however, are the same people who say they cant afford to strike if we go out - which is pretty chicken shit. "yeah, i'll join up for the protection, but i wont stand up for my rights. let some other schmuck put their butt on the line while i sit back and reap the benefit of both sides." the media is finally starting to take note of what cingular is doing. cingular has given strict instructions that employees are not supposed to talk to the media. recently, after walmart got slapped with a lawsuit for having their employees work off the clock, cingular has decided to stop that practice, even though they have done it since the beginning call center was opened. the national labor relations board is being advised of how they have practiced this for years by forcing employees to come to work before their shifts so they can get their pcs up and running before calls come in. cingular has given written orders no one can take sick days or vacations days on saturdays. their are a limited number of open spots on each day of the calendar. if you call in sick, you will get an "occurrence" which can lead to disciplinary action or dismissal. all in all, to the general public, cingular offers supposed benefits. what they don't tell you is that you are discouraged or punished at every turn from using them. the doctors have a new medical term for cingular employees who are totally overstressed. it's called the "cingular syndrome." it has become a standing joke. no one know at this point where it will all end. we have all come to expect this kind of treatment from Big Business. basically, it's just a shitty way of doing business my advice? if you're looking for a job, keep looking if you're thinking about cingular. they are totally dishonest in their dealings with their employees unless you're in management or the head office!

Patrick Hopkins
March 16, 2004 4:24 PM

With the combination of Cingular & AT&T, I'm sure Cingular will change the way they have done business in the past. I work for Cingular, and since the deal came through, I noticed a huge attitude change in the representatives. They are always there to help you. Admit it - if you have tried all of the companies, the service is never perfect. Cingular & ATT use GSM technology that has just taken a full swing - this technology is awesome, and brand new to our country. My phone is amazing, and the no-roaming plans are amazing! Just wait a year or two...The trusted name will be CINGULAR WIRELESS...Verizon will just be sitting there ;P

Lou Ragone
March 26, 2004 5:39 PM

I have never been so unhappy with produsts & services before in my entire life. Cingular is a disgrace! I have 3 cell phones and after this contract I swear i won't EVER use this company again.I'll go without phones if i have to.But I know Cingular doesn't care!

ray bertrand
March 27, 2004 8:41 AM

My reason for writing this is to see if singular is as poorly managed as I have seen ...especially in this past 18 months. Does this sound familiar ...please call me at 860-689-3125...or 860-482-5642 This may be too long for anyone to care reading ...but this is a real world experience that every cell phone user must know about ...and needs to know before signing up with a cell phone group that has evolved from the "BEST" to absolutely the worse (worst , wor-cest)...not just my opinion, but many among my associates who have shared these same kind of frustrations.. by the way I've been a singular customer from the time they were SNET in early 80's when the phones weighed 30 lbs. Where to start!? #1 Their web site is totally useless... you cannot retrieve your user name or ID if you've forgotten it (due to infrequent use). It also will not allow you to re-register ...because you cannot use your same e-mail address...IT RETURNS THIS RESPONSE; "sorry, but that e-mail address has already been used by a registered user....I've complained ..nothing's been done 18 months. #2 So, now that you're not able to contact them on their web page , you would think that you'd be willing to muddle thru their tel-prompts on their cell line 611 "service" number, even though you've tried to get thru 10 times before ...and have been recycled automatically over and over, and over ....repeatedly to the beginning no matter what choice you make #3 you're disputes regarding what seem like purposefull overcharges cannot be resolved...they have twisted you into buying a new phone in order to allow changes in your plan (as you may need more or fewer minutes from time to time)- as in my case, when I'm assigned to be on the road every few quarters. However, After you've agreed to buy the new phone in order to "activate your new plan"..You will find that they have not changed your plan as they said , and you are now responsible for the extra 400 or so minutes used even though (they've) dropped the ball. they have tried to justify it as my error...and think I will ,(like a fool), pay it. #4 They refer to the history of a customer ...and claim that the info as, I state it, would be confirmed in customer "history " file. The problem however is that they do little monitoring of their "new" employees. They have admittedly the highest turnover rate in any call center that should be customer service ....but has actually become "CUSTOMER DIS-SERVICE . There's more " RCB continued"

Brian Williamson
April 6, 2004 8:26 PM

I just called to reduce the number of minutes on my wife and mother-in-law's plan. I have 700 anytime minutes for $50. Plus $10 for the second phone on family plan. She told me she could get me 450 anytime for $40, and $20 for second phone. My heart beat with rage at this stupidity and greed. I'm done with Cingular.

April 14, 2004 7:52 AM

Dear All I have stumbled on your website by accident while doing a research on Cingular for my University thesis. After reading all the complaints regarding the service provided by the customer care service I am curious to find out if in the United States you do have a service called "pay as you go" which is the same as a normal service with the exception if you are not satisfied you can switch your sim card to another provider only costing here in the United Kingdom Ł4 pound sterling with no need to go through the harassement of cancelling your contract and limiting your contact with any accounts or customer services...bliss...

April 26, 2004 12:45 PM

I, too have stumbled on this site. I am fighting with Cingular right now over reconnect fees. I have been a customer for three years and have no history of delinquency. I usually pay my bill on-line, but stopped as I was getting so much spam from the company. As my bill was due on the 6th of this month, I sent it via US Mail on the 9th. Yes, it was three days late. I did include the late fee. They claim the payment was never received, disconnected the phones and are currently assessing me $108.00 in reconnect fees. My bill was only for $82 for Pete's sake! Now I have paid the $5.00 late fee and would even agree to paying one of the $36.00 reconnects in assuming some part of the responsibilty. But to pay $36.00 each for the other two of which has zero minutes on it since February!!!! I have contacted their office of the president...his secretary..Debra...doesn't care. Fees stand...thank you for calling Cingular...have a nice day. I intend to write to the president, (Debra assures me the mail will come to her), file with the BBB and Consumer Advocacy in SC. I will also write a letter to the editor of our state newspaper, every one on my email list, and post it with my own technologies chat forum of 4,000 member of which I am a moderator. I will continue to stir the pot and advise all that consider Cingular...DON'T DO IT. My new service is with Verizon.

Mark McHugh
April 26, 2004 3:44 PM

I have had the most amazingly bad customer service experiences of my life. I have been overcharged nearly $1000 for international calls made on a Cingular Phone in Dec/Jan. I called Cingular several times to try and resolve this issue. In mid January they said they would get back to me and that I was due a refund. They did not get back except send me a new bill and a cancellation notice, in Febuary they said they had referred my rebate to higher authority and that I should wait, I received another cancellation notice. I called and paid the minumum charge to have my phone re-activated. In March we went through a similar exercise. Now in April, I was advised that the basis of the refund was probably not valid, as I was not entitled to the international call rates, which were my reason for signing with Cingular in the first place?! I asked what I should do? Was this Cingular customer service? Should I wait 4 months for an answer? "I'll send an e-mail to higher authority was the response." "Who is dealing with this?" I naturally asked and was told "It is beyond the authority of our management, it needs to go to the board of directors !!" I imagine that my mobile refund was going to be sandwiched between a discussion of whether to by AT&T for $41 billion.....somehow this did not sound right?! Please give me a name who I can write to. We don't know the names of the directors came the reply, you can write to me......but you just said you had no authority to resolve this issue, I want to write to somebody who can solve my problem......I was put on to hold with those nauseous Cingular ads. Cut off in full flow, I decided that I would get even and advise to anyone who is thinking of signing with Cingularto beware.... this company hasn't got a clue about customer service

Adam Kalsey
April 26, 2004 3:47 PM

While all these stories of customer service problems are fascinating, it was not my intent to become a dumping ground for venting your complaints. I'm closing comments on this page.

These are the last 15 comments. Read all 19 comments here.

This discussion has been closed.

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