Re: A Call to Let Your Phone Loose

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Mr. Wright on Friday sent a reply to my complaints on Thursday about Cingular Wireless. He saaid it was 'not for publication', and I asked him if I could use it anyway with no name on it. He did reply it would be okay, however as of now I no longer have his original letter. His letter basically talked about all the broken promises and commitments Cigular had made to him and his family at one time or another. PAT]

Hi Pat,

It was originally sent directly for you in hopes that it might give you some ideas of how they seem to operate and how you might deal with them. If you think it's worth publishing to the digest then that's ok too.

The main thing that never ceases to amaze me is the way many companies today want to detach themselves from their employees actions and have no accountability then the extremes the customer has to go to in order to resolve the problem. When one of their employees, a representative of their company, tells you bad information or even intentionally lies, these companies don't care and simply want to point you to some corporate policy. In the least, they should take responsibility, make things right with you, then take the issue up with the employee that caused the situation. Instead, these places just make big call centers with anonymous people who never have consequences for their actions or sales people who get rewarded by making up whatever lie they need to in order to make a sale.

Cinngular, while not the only one, is at the top or near the top of my list. Qwest is there too, one of their phone reps signed my sister up for a two year contract on her DSL connection when we called to make a small change to the provisioning. This is after she asked if we wanted the "price for life" (more like a useless two year commitment with a $200 early cancellation fee) and we made it quite clear that we did NOT want a contract and it needed to remain as month to month, then she agreed not to put it on contract. Later when we realized the bill showed a two year contract they keep refusing to take it off and telling us that my sister's husband agreed to it. This is on the date that *I* called, he has never once spoken to them probably within the past few years, I also made it clear when I called that I was her brother, not her husband.

I asked them to prove this with one of the call recording that they supposedly have of him agreeing to this but they never could produce that, funnily enough, because it never happened! Their other excuse for not taking it off was we only had a 30 day window to cancel it before being locked in to the contract, well, isn't that funny, since we were lied to by the phone rep we didn't KNOW there was a contract until the bill arrived. By then it was past 30 days, isn't that convenient for them? This is similar to your brother's situation where the 30 day cancellation window has passed by the time he could have realized he was sold something based on a lie.

Wish you luck > I hope you will not mind if I use your Cingular complaint in the Digest?

You wrote a very good letter on Cingular fraud and lies ... I'll hold > off until sometime Saturday using your letter if you have any really > serious objections to me using it. > PAT
[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Here is how I got my history with Cingular: In the year 2000, while I was in a nursing home/rehabilitation center in Chicago, Mike Sandman very generously gave me an AT&T cell phone to use, and it sure came in handy. After about a year in the nursing home, with little or no progress being made (doctor said I was pretty much where I was going to be phsically) I checked out of there and returned to home here in Kansas, bringing my AT&T cell phone along. It worked great on the bus trip here; only rarely went into 'roaming mode' and worked all the way into Tulsa, OK. Coming north out of Tulsa toward Independence, the signal got very 'iffy' but the phone stayed in 'extended mode'. Mike decided we should try for a local carrier here in Kansas, since AT&T had closed up shop here. So, the decision was made to go with Cingular with the same Nokia phones, etc. Then, about a year ago, we decided to renew the contract, although I wish we had not. PAT]
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B. Wright
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