Cingular Wireless Ripoff, doesn't provide service, rudest customer service I have ever encountered Broomfield Colorado
I guess we should start from the beginning:
I was an AT&T Wireless customer who was satisfied with my service. I rarely had billing or coverage issues and the few times I did need to call customer service (First off, I always got a person who routed my call!), they were curteous, they understood my problem, and they did everything in their power to creect the situation. Then AT&T announce a merge with Cingular Wireless.
At couple months after the merge, my fiancee's contract with Verizon was up. I was starting my own business, and I would need many more minutes a month. My fiancee and I went in to a Cingular store that was formerly an AT&T Wireless store and signed up for a joint account. I put my fiancee's name and SSN on as a manager of the account.
A couple months later, my fiancee travelled internationally. She called and tried to set up international dialing and was told tht she was not an authorized agent on the account. I called and was on the phone with Cingular for no less than two hours (I am not exaggeratting) trying to set up international dialing plans. Of course, when the bill arrived, the lpan had been setup on my phone, not hers, and our bill was $200 to $300 more than it should have been. When I called to complain, it took me another couple hours to finally speak with a supervisor who corrected the problem.
BTW, at some point during the int'l dialing setup, I got signed up for a $9.99 a month text messaging plan. I never mentioned text messaging, never wanted text messaging, and haven't used it since.
After this fiasco, both phones began receiving text message advertisements from Cingular. Annoying, but not so bad. Then, a couple of months later, I noticed that our bill was $0.30 different one month, and $0.40 different another. Looking into the problem, I noticed I was being charged for text messaging. As the only messages I received for Cingular, I deduced they were making me pay for their own advertisements to me.
I again called customer service. This time I was given a runaround. We don't charge for our messages. They must have come form a third party. We can't help you. I told them I would not pay my bill until they could prove it. When I received a late charge, I called again. I got a supervisor and explained the issue. She looked into it, credited back the $1.10 (Not a real big deal, but the principle sucks) and apologized. I haven't received a text message charge since.
Then, I began to notice a real decine in coverage. Half the time I was at home I didn't receive signal. Traveling around Denver I would find that I was roaming. I looked into it and saw on the 'net that Cingular had shut down many of their towers tht were on the old AT&T network. Great...
About a year after my fiancee and I had signed up for new service, we went into a store and asked about upgrades. We also wanted to lower our minutes as we only use a third of them and were trying to lower our bill. The sales guy said they weren't a corporate store and that, beause we were on the old AT&T plan, he couldn't help up. He recommended we went to the corporate store across the street. When we went there, we were given the same line about being AT&T customers and that we'd have to call Customer Service. They did say if we wanted to re-up our contract, they could get us new phones and lower our contract, but as we were AT&T customers, it would cost more to lower our minutes than to keep what we had. Not wanting to go through that again, or call Customer Service, we decided to keep the phones we had and wait until our contract expired.
Now, here comes the juicy part. About a week or so ago, my phone died. I am pretty hard on it, so I'm sure it is my fault. At the same time, my new bill arrived and it was $30 more than normal. We finally found what it referred to: DirectBill Communications Downloads. Now, when I first received my phone, I did download a couple of ringtones, but that was nearly two years ago. There is nothing else I have ever done with my phone other than call people on it. So what's this charge?
MY fiancee and I went into the orporate store the mall employee referred to earlier. We spoke with Kevin. Now, let me set this up first. We walked into the store and tere were four employees visible. Two were on the phone, and two other were helping customers. We went over to the billing counter and waited. At one point, one of the employees said they be with us in a second. We waited and one of the employees finished with her phone call, she did not acknowledge us and I figured it was because she was a sale person and not authorized to help us with our bill. The employee who had said she would be with us, came over to the counter to help the people before us. She gave them a card and the customer asked for her name. The name she gave him was different from the name on her nametag. That was strange.
At around this time, Kevin finished with his customers. He looked at us standing there and started to talk to the other employee who had gotten off the phone. Finally, the manager, who was on the phone, asked if we needed help. It was only then that Kevin began to help us.
I explained that I needed to get a new phone. I also explained that we had a billing problem. He looked up the billing issue. While he was doing that, he noticed our minutes usage and told us that we could get a better rate if we signed a new contract. I told him No offense to you. I have a problem with Cingular. I've had nothing but problems since the took over and I will not renew my contract. We're waiting until our contract is up and then we're going with someone else. He began a big sales pitch. I interrupted saying that we didn't want to be sold anything. We were moving on. He went quiet for a momoent, looked at our bill trying to figure out the Direct Download charges, and then started to sell us again. Once more, I started to talk. I said, No offense, but... He looked at me and said, No offense to you, but I'm going to talk to her Referring to my fiancee. I hadn't raised my voice. I was frustrated and upset, but not ever rude. By this time, the manaer was standing next to him and handed him a piece of paper with a website for us to visit to resolve our issue.
I started to speak again, and Kevin looked at me and said, I know you don't want a sales pitch, but I'm trying to talk right now. And if you don't like what I have to offer, you can leave my store. I was aplomb. I have never been treated so rudely by anyone I have ever done business with. I said, Regardless of that, I need a new phone. He said, You can get one through eBay, but I can't help you. We walked out.
My fiancee called Customer Service and filed an official complaint. The CSR said he was amazed that someone would say that. They asked if we had spoken to the manager. We told him that the manager was right there and didn't seem to have a problem with what Kevin said. The CSR apologized and said tht they would deal with it. He seemed to take it very seriously.
He also checked on our bill. He explained that the charges were a third party charge for ringtones, data, or something else. The details would be on my bill and we would have to take it up with them.
But here's the odd part. The website given on the bill is Cingular's. And it leads me to a website to log in. As I've never done media with Cingular (Only the ringtones on the AT&T website), I don't feel comfortable loggin in and wonder how tey have my information.
I looked up the company name listed: M-Qube. And here's what their website says:
How do I get a refund?
You may pursue any claims for refunds or credits with your wireless carrier or the merchant. You should call your wireless carrier first. If you fill out our support form provided above, and give us a valid email address we will send you two emails. The first acknowledges that we have received your request and the second provides information about how to contact the merchant.
So, Cingular says it's not their charge, but their website says I have to sign up in order to use this download (Which I never authorized or looked for). And the vendor, M-Qube, says that I'm supposed to take this charge up with my wireless carrier. Who do I believe? I am pursuing a refund with M-Qube and haven't received a charge back. But everything that have indicates that Cingular is playing a role in this charge. I could understand if I had done some download and accidentally signed up for something, but that is simply not the case. I'm very careful about these things as I have had problems in the past with other websites.
I am going to file a complaint with the BBB and I'm definitely not going to pay my bill until this is resolved.
I'm not going to go to eBay to buy a phone that my wireless provider should be able to sell me. Cingular's universal response is that the phone is an AT&T phone and won't work on their network. They bought AT&T Wireless, and I would think that they should be able to continue to provide service for any of the customers they gained. Apparently, Cingular seems uninterested in providing service to AT&T customers. I'm not going to pay their $175 per phone charge to cancel, either. (BTW, I know that's higher than what AT&T charged.)
What I don't understand the most, is that I didn't chose Cingular. They bought the wireless carrier I had. As part of my agreement, I'm supposed to pay the bill on time, and follow the rules and regulations that Cingular imposes on me. But they don't have to honor the agreement I signed up for with the company they bought? They don't have to provide promised coverage, or good customer service, or a phone that works on their network? I'm not asking for a free hpone, I'm even willing to pay the price-gouging prices to not sign a new contract agreement. But I can't even pay for a phone with Cingular. It just doesn't seem right.
Hopefully, someone here or the BBB will be able to provide a solution. As it is now, my fiancee and I are sharing her phone until our contract is up. Then we will never use Cingular again, and we will tell every person we know (And eveyone we know is already pretty sick of hearing it) that Cingular is not a good wireless provider.
Finally, I just read an article stating that Cingular has three to four times the customer complaints as any other provider. They have more complaints than most carriers combined! Here an article: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/electronics-computers/cellphone-com plaints-a-sorry-picture-for-cingularatt-305.htm
Why are they not addressing this issue?
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