I am a former AT & T customer who became a Cingular customer during the merger. When it came time to renew my contract a month ago I decided to stick with Cingular since I had continued to be happy with my service. I have had nothing but grief since.
First I was told that in order to switch rate plans I had to buy new phones. This seemed illogical, since the phones I had worked on your network already, and switching rate plans seems as if it is a transaction that takes place purely within your computer system, but I didn't argue. Then I was told that there was no phone I could get for free with a one year contract, despite the fact that I had gotten two very nice phones, one a camera phone, free with my old one year contract. The cheapest phone I was told I could get was $99 dollars. Seeing no alternative, I bought them, one each for the two lines on my family plan.
This has proved to be a big mistake. The samsung 427M is a terrible phone. The reception is far worse than my old phone, and it drops calls or fuzzes out frequently. It often fails to notify me that I have voice mail, only to have me find a week's worth of back-logged messages later. Alternatively, the voice mail icon will stay up for days when I in fact have no voice mail. Turning the phone off then back on has no effect on any of these problems. My boyfriend's phone will neither send nor receive text messages, an especial annoyance since we are paying extra for a text messaging package. Text messaging only works within two or three minutes of the phone being turned on, and then promptly ceases to work again. Additionally, despite the fact that is has a ring+vibration setting, when set to ring+vibrate it ceases to ring OR vibrate, causing us both to miss calls.
When we called Cingular to address these issues we were told that the phones had to be replaced, but that the model had been discontinued (assumably because they are terrible), and that there was therefore nothing that could be done.
I have never felt the need to complain to a company before. I generally feel that one should assume the company is doing its best, and take little inconveniences in stride. This, however, is ridiculous. We were forced to buy new phones, apparently for no other reason than to scam a few extra hundred dollars out of us. We were charged, after taxes, over $200 dollars for phones that do not work, and which we did not need. When we complained that these phones did not work we were completely brushed off.
I feel that this is unfair, and bad customer service in the extreme. I am happy to be flexible in settling this matter, but I do insist that something be done about it. I would like to request that the phones be replaced, at no charge to us. I personally feel that the $200 dollars we are expected to pay for the defective phones should also be taken off the account, but at this point I would settle for phones equivalent to the perfectly good phones you forced us to replace. Alternatively, I would be happy to go back to using the old phones, if that is possible, assuming again that the charge for the defective ones is removed. Additionally I would like the text messaging charge to be removed for this month for the second phone, as we have been unable to use it due to the text messaging feature not working.
Thank you for your time and cooperation,
Has anyone dealt with Cingular before and have an idea what I can expect? I really don't want to keep hounding them about this forever, but I am not going to pay them for phones that we didn't need and that don't work. Anyone know if this "have to buy new phones if you want less minutes" thing is a scam? It seems totally ridiculous to me. What on earth does the phone have to do with the number of minutes you are paying for? It's not at if you can't buy the same phone for whatever rate plan you like.
EDIT: Oh yeah, and I paid the $55.99 for my service this month, but I am absolutly not going to pay them the $232 they want for the phones until they settle this.