Towards A Good Samaritan World

Saturday, March 05, 2005


A cell phone plan is something you pay $40, $50, $60 a month for, right? No. That's just when you get lucky. Make one false move and you're in deep deep trouble.

We thought we had a national instead of a regional plan with Cingular. We made a lot of calls while on vacation in California and Hawaii. When we got back, I called and they said we had a bill for $1400 or so. That sounded crazy, but when I got through to a representative she said to ignore it, that was a mistake, we owed $110.

It turned out the computer-voice was right. When I called about my account later, sure enough, it was $1600 (it was a month or so later). By that time, we had gotten an extra line for my wife, not knowing that they had screwed us so badly already.

I called them and appealed to their business department to reduce the charges. For two weeks we were in suspense. Finally they cut them 25%, without ever calling me as they promised to do. I then called back and asked them if I could appeal the decision, to which they eventually said no, and then if they could waive the termination fees for us. The one thing they conceded was to waive my wife's termination fee.

We're a lot poorer now, but at least there's the psychic relief of having dissolved our commercial relationship with the dastardly corporate thugs at Cingular. Let everyone be warned.: it could happen to you. The whole episode opened my eyes to Cingular's business model. Give a good deal up front, play shylock in the fine print, then SCREW THE SUCKERS. You could be one of the suckers.

In case you missed it, let's just mention the name of that gang of pirates one more time. CINGULAR.


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