Towards A Good Samaritan World

Friday, February 18, 2005


I looked at my mobile phone bill today and I owe $1600. I thought I was signed up for a national plan. It turns out it was some sort of regional deal. It must have been an accident on my part, I'm sure I never would have signed up for a regional plan knowingly. We used the phone liberally in California and Hawaii on our vacation and ended up with that bill. We can't afford it. We've got the money for now but student loans will eat it up.

What's sickening is that this is probably their business model. Offer a decent deal to most people, with huge fees for those who slip up. Screw the suckers! Reminds me of an old song...

Well it's one foot on the platform
Th'other one on the train
I'm going down to New Orleans
To wear that ball and chain...

I'm over $80,000 in debt to Harvard. Now another $1,600 in debt to a sleazy phone company. I wish I was dead.

The name of the evil phone company is CINGULAR. Remember that name and be warned.


  • Oh my... usually they'll contact you when you hit numbers like $600 in a single month. That they didn't certainly says to me that it's part of Cingular's business plan. Definitely time to move to another service if possible.

    I had a surprise $572 bill when I mistakenly thought (I don't know that I was misinformed, but I believed myself to have gotten my impression from T-Mobile customer service, which has misinformed me before on other things) we had unlimited minutes between both phones on the same account - something that could have been very damaging since bills are automatically paid straight out of my bank account. I'm glad you have enough ready resources to cover yourself for the meantime, but I very much understand your concerns about debt. Good luck with all that.

    By Blogger Nato, at 12:13 PM  

  • You know, if they misled you on the details of the plan you have recourse. Figure out what you have in writing and try to write down what you spoke about when signing up for the plan. If you have had the plan for a while see what your bills disclose about your plan and charges. If you really feel you were misled and that a reasonable consumer would have been misled, then call the company and explain why to customer service.

    If you get no satisfaction, you can turn to the Better Business Bureau ( to search for complaints, the FTC (they have a complaints service at their site), and your local state department who handles these matters. If you feel you are not being treated fairly, ask for a supervisor and explain the next steps you intend to take and why. Tell the supervisor you will send copies of the complaint to the company and ask for the address. Then see if they don't deal.

    Cingular Wireless has a number of different locations registered with the BBB, and a brief check on them seemed to show few complaints. Check the office you do business with and see what you get.

    By Blogger MaxedOutMama, at 1:57 PM  

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