Cingular Prince of Wireless: The Provider formerly known as ATT.


It's my gripe day today, isn't it. The Wireless Provider formerly known as ATT Wireless (and now Cingular) - still refuses to give up its identity.


Case in point:


My Motorola MPX 200 was a 1Gen Smartphone which only ATTWireless had. Now when I wanted to leverage the corporate discounts we have at Microsoft ATT is not an option and I called Cingular.


Sure enough they send me a Cingular phone, but the Cingular Simcard doesnt work on my ATT fone. I called up Cingular and they ask -


"So are you an ATT customer or a Cingular customer."


"Well I was an ATT customer and now am I am a Cingular customer. Either way I am with Cingular - aint I?"


"Yes. But our SIM card wont work on their fones"


"Ok Then how about you send me one their SIMcards?"


"No sir. we cant do that. we dont send out ATT SIMs anymore"


"Ok. Then how about you send me a Cingular phone to replace my ATT phone without charge to me. Since you are forcing me to do this?"


"No Sir. we cant do that"


"Hmmm.. Then atleast give me the unlock codes to my phone, so I can use the cingular SIM on my ATT phone"


"We cant give that either. Infact we dont have that. You should ask your manufacturer for that information. But if you call them they usually ask you to ask us about it"


"ISnt that circular logic? Or lack thereof?"


"Excuse me, Sir?"


"Never mind......"


At the end of the conversation I get into a big billing issue. Cingular gives corporate discounts while checking out the fone but then send me a HUGE bill which is 80$ more than what I should be paying. another 2 hrs of calling later - they figure out it was an ATT-discount-to-MS employees which wasnt on their system.


I ask you how can u blame the "System?". A statement like "The system does not show the discount, sir" is obscenely wrong. Its what the ppl put in it!


Anyways that 2 hrs of fighting later I got my promised 80$ discount and guess what I get in the mail. the same bill devoid of 80$ discount. THe online bill reconciles with my paperbill. Furious, i call to figure it out - and the rep says "The system has the discount, but the billing system doesnt, the service system does."


.... Go Figure ....


One more Strike - and I am moving to Verizon.... The only problem is that Verizon sucks in Data/Internet packages for wireless phones.

Comments (6)
  1. Depending on your new phone model, you can check out http://www.imei-check.co.uk/, which will sell you unlock codes for less than $40 US

  2. Paul Ballard says:

    I too was an ATT orphan. Several weeks after the "merger", my almost new Audiovox SMT 5600 wouldn’t boot. I was traveling in CA at the time and so my cell phone was the only way for anybody to reach me.

    I went into a Cingular store and got basically the exact same runaround that you did. That’s an AT&T phone, no we don’t support them, we can’t give you a replacement, No you can’t switch to another phone.

    This is why I’m now a Sprint customer running on my somewhat larger but much more powerful Treo 650. Sadly, the cool factor isn’t as high as the new Windows Mobile 5.0 phones coming out but at least I don’t have to deal with the idiots at Cingular anymore.

  3. Read the first entry in blog about what I just learned from members of Cingular’s Executive Board about their pricing policies and why they feel they do not have to be competitive with T-MOBILE.

    This speaks VOLUMES

  4. Sunny says:

    Cingular was once a good network. Before they bought AT&T everything was rosy. Then Bang! dropped calls galore. The four bars ad is a phony. The cell towers cannot pass the calls along. My phone goes from no bars, to 30 seconds of billed airtime with no connection, then the drop, then all bars power from the next tower. Keep driving and this repeats. Meanwhile, I am billed for all the partial minutes of airtime because of having to reconnect.

    I am bundled now through Bell South but, when my contract is expired, I am dropping Cingular. Anyone recommend any better service for voice only?

  5. suzi says:

    the merge requires the new 64k sim chip to pick up the towers seamlessly-i know that i have a customer that we credit anytime he has a dropped call per my regional manager-we are striving to become better one step at a time. with any wireless company you are going to experience problems, issues, ect. what do you think people are doing after the sprint/nextel merge? do you think that went over seamlessly? the process isn’t easy. last quarter t-mobile had the highest churn rate of any other company for the greater LA market. i port verizon numbers all day, sprint, etc..

    no company is perfect and it will never be.

  6. Adonis says:

    Cingular service leaves alot to be desired — Although they are using AT&T employees — their policies and procedures remain the same — A leopard cant change it spots no matter what you dress it in — I never had so many problems with cellular phone service until cingular to over AT&T — Customer’s should ban together and demand the AT&T take back the control.

    At least you feel like they try to asist with the problems — Cingular is not customer service oriented!!! Just yesterday — they had an outage in Florida and when I called they said in so many words SOL!!!! Although Ex AT&T employess try to help, they are limited in what they can do — Cingular’s Cheif F*&^king Officers micromanage and dont care about customer retention!!!! I am looking into switching to Metro PCS (Piece of Sh^%) at least I’ll get what I pay for — Cingular is twice as much with the same service — 0

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