Since this didn't fit anywhere, I thought I would make it all encompassing.
Most companies I have read about on here and those that I have worked for or done business with cellular phone companies that provide an "out" for your contract. This is usually done through an arbitrator of some sort, that you must pay for at your expense. If you win, the company pays. If you lose, you're out your money and the termination fee. Furthermore, any "breach" of contract you feel is on the cell phone company's end must be proven by YOU at the arbitrator's hearing. In other words, the contracts are written in a way that places the burden of proof (unfairly so) on the consumer.
The terminology "penalty" with regards to cancelling your serice is not correct. The correct terminology for this is "Liquidated Damages." These companies are providing a phone to you at a significantly reduced cost at the time of activation or upgrade. By breaking the contract, the cell phone company is simply trying to recoup its costs lost by an early termination. Don't believe me on this one? Go to Best Buy or another retailer and see how much the retail price on a non-branded Motorola V3 Razr is.
ALL cell phone companies state that their maps are ONLY approximations of service and that they cannot guarantee service in all of those places at any given time and are held blameless for failure of said service due to congestion, weather, off-network service failures, etc.
Keep in mind that this is an over the air service. Lots of things can interfere with it including wind speed and direction.
Re: Rude reps
Keep in mind some of these reps are overworked and sometimes in overcrowded centers where they get screamed at, cussed at, otherwise verbally abused/insulted by hot head customers. Many would LOVE to do more, but cannot because there are policies and procedures that must be followed, lest they are out a job and cannot collect unemployment because the rules are written to the company's favor.
Read your contract and review any and all written documentation you get when you sign up for service. If you don't get said documentation, do not activate.
39.99 is the price before taxes, fees, and surcharges.
Your service agreement says that you are subject to a reconnection fee if your service is interrupted for a past due bill. Electric companies, cable, gas, and landline companies have been doing this for years, why would cell phone companies be any different?
Never ever EVER text to a number you see on TV. Once you're on the list, it practically takes an act of God to get you off of it.
Yelling and screaming at a representative on the phone accomplishes nothing and could make your situation far worse as some companies state in their contracts that doing so can result in your account being terminated immediately.
Yelling and screaming at a collections agent is even worse. Remember, one click of the mouse and your service is off or being sent to the analyst or risk management queue to be placed with a collection agency, an action not easily undone.
Hope this helps! :)
Mineral Ridge, Ohio
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Alltel Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on AT&T Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Cingular Wireless Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on CellularOne