• Report: #205862
Complaint Review:

Cingular Wireless Aka Comcast Aka Cincinnati Bell - AT&T

  • Submitted: Sun, August 13, 2006
  • Updated: Mon, October 15, 2007

  • Reported By:San Francisco California
Cingular Wireless Aka Comcast Aka Cincinnati Bell - AT&T
www.cingular.com Nationwide U.S.A.

Cingular Wireless Aka Comcast Aka Cincinnati Bell ripoff-unfair merger tactics - Cingular wants all AT&T users to sign a new 2 year contract to receive adequate services Nationwide Nationwide

*UPDATE Employee: Cincinnati Bell is NOT the parent company of Cingular/AT&T and is in no way associated with their policies

*Consumer Suggestion: Call the California Public Utilities Commission - 800-649-7570

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I was an AT&T customer since 2001. Since Cingular bought AT&T, I have had problems with my phone. Last December, Verizon customers were unable to leave voice messages and instead received an error message. Now my voice message does not come on at all, so I do not get any voice messages. In addition, my phone reads roam in my home.

I called Cingular and was on the phone for 2 hours today. They had me turn my phone off and the customer support rep. put me on hold while he worked with their IT department. David Lemonte, the Cingular customer rep., told me that the IT department did not know what the problem was. I asked to speak to a floor manager, and was placed on hold for another hour, despite him saying that I was the next call in line to talk with the floor manager. In the end of over two hours on the phone with David Lemonte, he did not resolve the problems with my phone and did not put me in contact with the floor manager. In addition, he refused to give me the corporate office contact information, and any other contact information that I could place a complaint with.

He persisted to insist that I sign a new 2 year contract to transfer to Cingular's GSM network. He said the problem was not with my phone; he said the problem was with the TDMA network that AT&T used and Cingular is phasing out. He stated that the government is allowing Cingular to discontinue service with the TDMA network January 2008, so all TDMA user will not have any service. Until January 2008, Cingular is disassembling the TDMA towers, and charging TDMA users an extra $5 monthly charge starting September 2006 for upkeeping the towers because Cingular is not turning a profit. This is a charge that TDMA users have not agreed to, and is fraud since the TDMA towers are not being maintained since they are being disassembled. For example, there use to be service on the Ferry to Marin, however, a Cingular rep. told me that they took those towers down, and now there is no long cell service on the Ferry to Marin.

David Lamonte stated that 6-8% of Cingular's customers are using the TDMA network. He stated that Cingular's parent company is Cincinnati Bell, which is owned by Comcast which is changing to AT&T--a very tangled web of mergers. I could not find any contact information for a corporate office on Cingular's website or the web.

It seems like good business sense to offer courtesy GSM phones to TDMA users to merge us into Cingular's network at our current contract plans. David Lamonte told me to either sign a new 2 year contract with Cingular and pay all their fees, or leave the company. I have a corporate company discount and would like to remain a customer, but not under duress.

I am interested in a class action suit, or any information that would help me resolve this. I am also interested in obtaining the contact information (phone, fax, address, email and name) of someone with this company that I could address.

Thank you in advance for your consideration.

San Francisco, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/13/2006 12:45 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/cingular-wireless-aka-comcast-aka-cincinnati-bell-att/nationwide/cingular-wireless-aka-comcast-aka-cincinnati-bell-ripoff-unfair-merger-tactics-cingular-205862. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

Cincinnati Bell is NOT the parent company of Cingular/AT&T and is in no way associated with their policies

AUTHOR: Tdub81 - (U.S.A.)

I'm sorry about the hassles you have had with Cingular/AT&T, but I need to inform you that the information you were given that Cincinnati Bell is their parent company is untrue. Cincinnati Bell is only associated with AT&T's network, meaning we use their wireless towers nationwide and they use ours in the Cincinnati area.

I am an employee of Cincinnati Bell and am well aware of our business practices. We do not do consumer contracts and when we switched off our TDMA network last year, customers were given a free GSM phone and did not incur any additional charges. Customers were sent out a letter, voicemail & text messages months before the network was officially shut down to make sure they stopped in a store to pick up their free phone or order one by mail. They were then given instructions on how to set up their new GSM voicemail.

Maybe if Cingular had followed these practices, things would've run smoother for you.
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#2 Consumer Suggestion

Call the California Public Utilities Commission - 800-649-7570

AUTHOR: Nancy - (U.S.A.)

There is not much you can do when technology changed. You should be able to receive corporate discount if you switch over to GSM. Class action may not stand because the merge was approved by Federal Communications Commission. It may be a waste of time!

Brief corporate history: SBC purchased AT&T and kept the AT&T name. The new AT&T owns quite a lot Cingular Wireless shares. After AT&T's purchase of Bell South, it will become the majority shareowner. Cingular Wireless will revert back to AT&T Wireless in the next couple of years.
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