Friday, March 31, 2006

Cingular Sucks Ass

I can hardly believe how incompetent Cingular is. I am almost ready to start a site for people who hate them as much as I do. And hate is a strong word for me, because I love most everyone (except perhaps those folks who backed into our car the other night because they did not bother to look in his rear view mirror, but that is another story I will let Kristie tell). A quick Google Search yielded 492,000 results for "Cingular Sucks".

We have complained about their terrible systems pretty much since the week we signed up. They have occasionally shined, or rather one of the people in customer service did if ever so briefly. I feel sorry for those people, though I remain frustrated with them all. To have such a big corporation in charge which can not get its basic systems of operation and customer service right is incredulous, but ever so true. Cingular sucks plain and simple and I advise everyone to stay away from them at all costs.

What did they do this time? Well Kristie has been kind enough to deal with our latest billing snafus that resulted from her Treo's untimely death and resuscitation, but they forgot about me, or just screwed me after the fact. It seems that they never properly credited our account for returning the phones she bought but returned. When she dealt with this problem last month, they screwed up our plan / service bundle again. The last bill included over $400 in per minute charges, even though we had over 6,200 rollover minutes in reserve. She took care of that problem last week and was told we would get a 30 day reprieve from them taking any actions on the account while they sorted out the troubles.

WED night at midnight however, they shut off both our phones (we are on the family plan) so yesterday Kristie was on the phone with them yet again, explaining the problem to another rep. The rep supposedly corrected the problem and restored service to both our phones. Since my Treo's antenna is broken (anyone have some spare Treo 650 parts laying around?) I did not use it yesterday, but did see that I missed a call last night, which means the service was temporarily restored. Of course, I say temporarily because it is now disconnected once again and pissing me off to no end. The amount of time we have had to invest in correcting their mistakes in intolerable and I have just about had it with them - I think it is time to bite the bullet and switch to Verizon, though I really don't want to lay out all that cash for the new phone and the early termination fee (they should pay us at this point!).

Are there any Cingular folks out there who even listen to this? I suspect not - if I worked for them, I certainly would not be paying attention to the endless stream of complaints, it would probably drive me into the insane asylum. Well, now I get to wait on hold to try to clear this up once again...

UPDATE: 15July2006 - things seem a bit more stable now with regards to the billing, nothing wild lately, but you never know whats around the next bend really. I tried out some of the VCast phones and really lilked the video clip and music download, but I need a keyboard for easier texting. This one is free over at Amazon with their current incentives (will change at some point I am sure) The reviews are pretty good on it, but I have not used it more than putting it through its paces at the booth in the mall. Does anyone have any other reccomendations?



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23 Comments:

At Friday, March 31, 2006 12:22:00 PM, Blogger Chris Heuer said...

Once again, I was told that the supervisor would be taking care of this, and the rep, Evelyn, took care of restoring my service right away. Like I said, it is not the rep's fault. The CIO and head of customer service however - they should be fired!

 
At Sunday, April 02, 2006 5:51:00 PM, Blogger Chris Heuer said...

Later that afternoon it was turned off again inexplanably. Kristie got on the phone and had it restored, but the ridiculous systems of Cingular continue to get even more so...

 
At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 8:33:00 PM, Blogger JackFlash said...

I hate Cingular (singularly bad) to the depth, breadth, and height my sould can reach when feeling out of sight for the end of being. That's pretty much the most you can hate something.

 
At Sunday, July 02, 2006 11:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

For nearly 5 years, with AT&T Wireless I was one happy camper with my service. Sure, I had the occasional poor reception issues, drop calls etc.
But, overall the very reasons I migrated to AT&T in the first place, became painfully apparent with the transition to CINGULAR. When AIRTOUCH pulled the same crap on me back in 1999 ie: Invoice Issues, Service Issues, credits not being applied AS PROMISED...I left.

Again, after two years of CINGULAR Piss poor CUSTOMER SERVICE, it seemed like "Deja Vu" all over again..and I couldn't believe I was again dealing with these issues I vehemently despised with the previous carrier before they became VERIZON....

After CINGULAR gobbled up AT&T coverage towers, it was assumed that perhaps this would solve the reception and some of the drop call issues, that were annoying...but not the major "ROAMING" charges, out of area billings...discrepancies on invoices, and FORCED TRANSITIONING to CINGULAR PHONES, as they would no longer "HONOR" my AT&T contract, I enjoyed for so very long.

I found (Much to my astonishment) that IF...I simply stepped out into my backyard, I was getting "Out of area" billings??? huh?

Thats RIGHT. Even worse, was trying to deal with the Customer Accounts people of whom more often than not, found my issues to be of more technical support, than billing. I got the typical "Run-Around" refused to pay the balances for those charges, and subsequently had to endure the reconnection hassles, the hold "On-the-line" crap, I wanted gladly to pay to CANCEL the account.

When I had AT&T Wireless, Cingular had just announced the aquisition, and you would think trying to "Move" a CINGULAR line, over to an AT&T line would be a matter of switching a port. Not so. I had an existing line, wanted to add a second, and I was forced to drop my AT&T contract.

I know they were pissed, because I had a GREAT AT&T plan! I loved that plan. It worked so well for my business. Adding a second line, was a nitemare. Plus I had to swap out phones, losing money on the new phone I had just purchased 4 months earlier. I was told I needed "Cingular" phones, so basically the nice motorola I purchased was no good. The replacements were inferior samsung flip phones, that I didn't really like to begin with, but if I wanted another phone, it would cost me additional $150.00 each.

By this time, I had almost insisted that the contract be cancelled. Well, guess how MUCH $$$ they wanted to do that? $300.00 uh-huh..yah right?

One other thing I noted, was the level of customer support, along with the quality of support. These CSR's at CINGULAR are amongst some of the LEAST competent, and rude folks in recent memory. They suck.

Having said that, I am enjoying my ride down to the LAST MINUTE of this account BEING CANCELLED! yay

My transition to nextel is nearly complete, since I opened that account last year to "Run parallel" alongside CINGULAR to "MONITOR" the quality of customer support, service and area coverage. So, far so good with nextel. I like the radio features, and even though I still have some "reception" issues in certain areas, the "TRADE-OFF" is worth a million thanks for NOT having to spend endless hours ATTEMPTING to reconcile a lousy stupid billing error.

I am NOT kidding you. CINGULAR is an absolute NITEMARE to deal with....
AND I am outta' there. BIGTIME!

My advice is: "Think Carefully" long
AND hard before putting your name on
that contract. Once you do, watch out.

 
At Monday, July 03, 2006 12:26:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

interesting. My g/f is a manager at T-Mobile and she tells me alot of her customers coming in now are complaining about cingular billing issues and leaving for t-mobile.

 
At Monday, July 03, 2006 3:17:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup...I was with ATT celular befor the "migration" to Cingular. ATT was great. Good coverage rarely a dropped call and almost always a clean audible signal. Then came the "migration" "More bars"?? I don't think so. For two years I've been stuck with this provider and nearly every call sucks. Dropped calls constantly and terrible reception in general. The level of service and the incompetance of the company warrant a class action suit in my opinion. Cingulars marketing is all a lie. In Lee County Florida, (southwest florida) don't even think of signing a Cingular contract. I'm looking into t-mobile and vorizon...tere has to be a better way.

 
At Tuesday, July 04, 2006 2:11:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous Writes:

"For nearly 5 years, with AT&T Wireless I was one happy camper with my service. Sure, I had the occasional poor reception issues, drop calls etc.
But, overall the very reasons I migrated to AT&T in the first place, became painfully apparent with the transition to CINGULAR. When AIRTOUCH pulled the same crap on me back in 1999 ie: Invoice Issues, Service Issues, credits not being applied AS PROMISED...I left.

Again, after two years of CINGULAR Piss poor CUSTOMER SERVICE, it seemed like "Deja Vu" all over again..and I couldn't believe I was again dealing with these issues I vehemently despised with the previous carrier before they became VERIZON....

After CINGULAR gobbled up AT&T coverage towers, it was assumed that perhaps this would solve the reception and some of the drop call issues, that were annoying...but not the major "ROAMING" charges, out of area billings...discrepancies on invoices, and FORCED TRANSITIONING to CINGULAR PHONES, as they would no longer "HONOR" my AT&T contract, I enjoyed for so very long.

I found (Much to my astonishment) that IF...I simply stepped out into my backyard, I was getting "Out of area" billings??? huh?

Thats RIGHT. Even worse, was trying to deal with the Customer Accounts people of whom more often than not, found my issues to be of more technical support, than billing. I got the typical "Run-Around" refused to pay the balances for those charges, and subsequently had to endure the reconnection hassles, the hold "On-the-line" crap, I wanted gladly to pay to CANCEL the account.

When I had AT&T Wireless, Cingular had just announced the aquisition, and you would think trying to "Move" a CINGULAR line, over to an AT&T line would be a matter of switching a port. Not so. I had an existing line, wanted to add a second, and I was forced to drop my AT&T contract.

I know they were pissed, because I had a GREAT AT&T plan! I loved that plan. It worked so well for my business. Adding a second line, was a nitemare. Plus I had to swap out phones, losing money on the new phone I had just purchased 4 months earlier. I was told I needed "Cingular" phones, so basically the nice motorola I purchased was no good. The replacements were inferior samsung flip phones, that I didn't really like to begin with, but if I wanted another phone, it would cost me additional $150.00 each.

By this time, I had almost insisted that the contract be cancelled. Well, guess how MUCH $$$ they wanted to do that? $300.00 uh-huh..yah right?

One other thing I noted, was the level of customer support, along with the quality of support. These CSR's at CINGULAR are amongst some of the LEAST competent, and rude folks in recent memory. They suck.

Having said that, I am enjoying my ride down to the LAST MINUTE of this account BEING CANCELLED! yay

My transition to nextel is nearly complete, since I opened that account last year to "Run parallel" alongside CINGULAR to "MONITOR" the quality of customer support, service and area coverage. So, far so good with nextel. I like the radio features, and even though I still have some "reception" issues in certain areas, the "TRADE-OFF" is worth a million thanks for NOT having to spend endless hours ATTEMPTING to reconcile a lousy stupid billing error.

I am NOT kidding you. CINGULAR is an absolute NITEMARE to deal with....
AND I am outta' there. BIGTIME!

My advice is: "Think Carefully" long
AND hard before putting your name on
that contract. Once you do, watch out."
=====================================
Hey former ATT Customer....
Wow, I can't believe how your describe
account of problems synchs up with mine. That's amazing. Good post.

BTW/Do you recommend running side by side with another carrier? that idea sounds interesting. Did you document results? or no?

 
At Wednesday, July 05, 2006 5:52:00 PM, Blogger littleredhedgrl said...

it is so comforting to read all these other 'i hate cingular' posts!!! I was an AT&T customer - and actually I thought it was just fine. It didn't even get bad when Cingular bought it. But a couple months ago my contract ran out and I switched fully to Cingular. Holy moly. Piss-poor reception, dropped calls all the time, static, low bars at major intersections of major metropolitan areas. Gah! I just hate talking on my phone!!

And I haven't even had the billing problems you guys have had -- at least not yet.

My question is: wouldn't you think that other cell phone companies would give customers some kind of incentive to break their contracts with competing companies? Like a rebate or something? Do you think there's some kind of behind-the-scenes agreement not to do that kind of thing, or do you think there's just so many cell users that the companies don't have to fish too hard for business... ?

just curious. thx for your thoughts...

 
At Thursday, July 06, 2006 11:24:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to believe, they are all in a
fist-fight competition...

One that SEEKS to KEEP folks "BOUND"
by a contractual agreement.

I have no problems with signing contracts.

I just want good service.

Cingular has failed MISERABLY on that.

NO SECOND CHANCES.

I'm done with EVER dealing with them
Not ever....NEVER AGAIN.

I've had it. Good-Bye CINGULAR.

 
At Friday, July 07, 2006 11:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My name is Mike,
You guys here, are speaking volumes.
I too had a bad experience and, I am
still wrangling with the outcome.

I like the notion of running service
versus service on this issue.

Signed:

Unhappy in Palo Alto, Calif.

 
At Friday, July 14, 2006 6:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good riddence, I say. $36.00 for restoral charges, when the problem began as theirs? Good Riddence.

 
At Thursday, July 20, 2006 11:46:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am glad I am NOT the only one.
My text messaging stopped working, and
as of now STILL does not work. I have
been put on eternal hold, given the
mega runaround, and yet no one seems
to know how to get it right.

I truly wonder how this CINGULAR stays
in business.

How can that be?

 
At Monday, October 09, 2006 9:37:00 AM, Anonymous wtfpicsban said...

CINGULAR SUCKS FUCKING DICK.

that is all. i'm so pissed i cant even articulate my frustration beyond an 8th grade level.

 
At Thursday, October 12, 2006 5:56:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they do suck! My phone stopped working and they blamed me for it! They said I damaged it. So, I got rid of them like a bad habbit. I went back to Nextel. I ended up paying more for Cingular for the comparable plan from Nextel. Cingular nickels and dimes for everything. I had Nextel for 3 years previously without any problems.

 
At Tuesday, November 14, 2006 8:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cingular is the absolute worst company I have ever experienced!

I am sick and tired of the overbilling. Now its ringtones we NEVER ordered!

What kind of mickey mouse compmany is this?

Pay the termination fee, you bet you I will and a copy of that will be taken to my lawyer for review as well as all the overbilling, dropped calls, network busy and the myriad of other crap I have hade to put up with!

 
At Thursday, November 30, 2006 11:42:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so mad I just filed a complaint with the FCC. I'm sure lying and poor service are not illegal but it made me feel better.
I've been calling for 3 months trying to straighten out a $300 screw-up. Customer service agrees with me, says they'll put in a credit request, blah, blah, blah. What happens then is a black hole.
Today, we're in the worst snow and ice storm in a decade. My son is at work 40 miles away. The roads are bad, it's freezing outside. At 10pm, conveniently after service hours, they turned off service to our phones.
I hope they rot in hell.

 
At Monday, January 01, 2007 7:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just got 1066$ bill for this month as a new year gift from Cingular wondering what to do on this , everymonth I'm paying my bills regularly , when I spoke to customer rep.They said they can change my plan and they can adjust my bill.can anybody advise me what to do.

 
At Monday, January 22, 2007 1:09:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unbelieveable these problems. I have a friend who is a manager for Cingular and has been for many years. His own company is trying to fire him because he doesn't sell over 31 new services (phone numbers) a month, but he has awards in his group for being their top customer service rep. You don't try to sell more services when people are having problems with the service they already pay for. Geez! Anyway, my case Cingular sent me some vouchers for a free upgrade since my contract is within the month of being fulfilled. Also, I received a phone call in December from Cingular for a free upgrade in exchange for a one year contract. I wasn't ready at the time with all the headaches of Christmas and such, but last week I went to the local Cingular shop to do the upgrade. I'm told by the customer service rep (CSR) that they won't do it because I had service interruptions. I was confused, so I called the main office from the store. The CSR at the main office stated that because I had 3 interruptions within the past year, that I was not eligible for an upgrade for another 10 days. What?!!! My service has never been turned off! I told him of the voucher sent to me in December and the phone solicitation from them...The CSR states to me, "If you incur a late charge during a billing cycle, it's considered by their billing system an interruption of service, the same as though it was turned off." I pleaded my case of paying off monthly, a 2 year contract...the CSR says, "Sorry, it's the Cingular policy for 2007." What a really crappy way of doing business!! Cingular is really beginning to suck big time. I've also been over-billed and couldn't get it back without serious manager escalation, and also, be sure you watch your account closely, because certain small changes you make you your accout can cause an automatic renewal of your contract. After 30 days of renewal, you can't get out of it.

 
At Tuesday, January 23, 2007 8:00:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work for Cingular and yes, some changes to your account do result in an extension of the existing contract. We are trained to "set expectations" (as we put it) and we can get counted off and put on disciplinary action for failing to do so.

But...I digress. Anytime you are more than halfway through your current contract and you change your pricing plan, it does add 11 months to your existing contract. Ex) your contract date is from 01/06 to 01/07 and today is 7/15/07 any change in the price plan would result in an 11 month extension. We're supposed to advise customers of this before we make any changes and I always do it, because I know I would want to know.

I know that there are some reps out there who are horrible, because I've called in before (we can't make changes to our own acct) and experienced it. That being said, many of us REALLY do want to help and try to the best of our ability. I HATE calling into Customer Service anywhere and I know what it's like to receive horrible cust service, so I really do try to treat the person on the other line the way I want to be treated. I do this regardless of whether or not the other person has just finished cussing me out. I understand the frustration.

One last thing, if there problems on your bill we really aren't trying to screw you. We don't get paid a commission or receive any incentive for not crediting the bill. The bill that shows up on our screen is a screenshot the same bill that gets sent out. When I'm reading the overage charges and text messaging charges, I'm reading the same bill that gets sent out. I swear I'm not making anything up.

About dropped calls...
We have a system that shows us what the coverage in all areas is. If I say that the coverage should be great in your area, it's because that is what our system is pulling up. I hear this from time to time and when my system tells me otherwise I hate having to say that it looks like the coverage is great, because I don't want to call anyone a liar. But, there's really nothing I can do from my computer.

I dunno what else to say... I hate hearing that people are unsatisfied with our service. Because I really do try to resolve every problem with every call that comes in. Every problem that I solve as a 'one and done' makes it easier for me and the customer. The customer gets the problem solved, it reduces the amount of incoming calls, takes off some of the workload, and lowers holding times.

I'm sorry that you guys are unhappy with the service :). I really am.

 
At Monday, March 05, 2007 7:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate cingular!I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular!I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular! I hate cingular!

 
At Tuesday, September 25, 2007 9:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in Greenville Texas. I had my singular family plan for about a month then and it worked perfectly. After that, It drops every cal when I get about 15 miles from town. I work across the Dallas metroplex in Irving and I can never(I mean....NEVER) connect back to Greenville. I hope I never have an emergency on the interstate.

 
At Friday, February 01, 2008 1:12:00 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

Quote: littleredhedgrl
"My question is: wouldn't you think that other cell phone companies would give customers some kind of incentive to break their contracts with competing companies? Like a rebate or something? Do you think there's some kind of behind-the-scenes agreement not to do that kind of thing, or do you think there's just so many cell users that the companies don't have to fish too hard for business... ?"
___________________________________
I can answer that. according to the FCC any carrier can pay an old carriers early termination fee as well as any other outstanding charges from the old carrier, For the benefit of the new customer, and for the benefit of the new service for you, The customer. I would talk with a rep from whatever carrier you want to switch to and see if they would help pay your old balance from Cingular.

 
At Friday, February 01, 2008 1:47:00 PM, Anonymous Jason said...

I had Cingular From August 2006 to December 2006. EVERY CALL AND I MEAN EVERY CALL dropped within 30 sec to 2 min of the call connecting (if it even got that far) because I would get "Network Busy" or "Call Failed" messages most of the time. If the call did stay connected for more then a few seconds, the call quality was so bad that I could not understand a word the person was saying. And I had 4-5 bars in most places. I switched to US CELLULAR (a regional wireless carrier in my area) and have had excellent service. The calls are so clear, that people tell me that it sounds as if I’m calling from a landline. I have only had two dropped calls, and those were the result of me failing to register my phone with the new cell towers. Ever since I’ve learned to do that, I have NEVER had a call drop or break-up. I have also NEVER found a no service area. My phone even works great in my basement. Take my advice everyone, and get rid of Cingular if you have them and get US CELLULAR (If they have service in your area) or otherwise take advantage of your carriers 30 day trial and make sure they work for you.

-Jason-

 

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