I was a customer of AT&T wireless before they were purchased by Cingular last year. As an independent contractor and a small business owner, I loved the service and didn’t mind recommending it to partners and employees. AT&T was a great provider and I was able to get a mountain of promotional minutes through their different rate plans. After Cingular bought out the company however, they eliminated my ability to check out the minutes used up in my promotional plan with ATT. So, I still had a great plan, but no way to measure whether or not I went over my minutes.
Well as you can expect I went over my minutes. I called and complained because I didn’t think it was fair that I couldn’t see the minutes I used… they told me to go fish on any refunds of the overage charges, but if I wanted to see what minutes I had used I had to change over to their GSM technology phones. Well, that would have been great, except that at the time their GSM service was terrible in my area, and was extremely unreliable.
Long story made short, it happened again, only this time I went way over. I had no idea how many minutes I was using and I got hit pretty bad. The tragedy is that I couldn’t see my minutes. I didn’t have this problem with ATT Wireless. When I called Cingular, again they were gracious enough to reduce the overage charges by a third, (as a one-time courtesy, they said), but they added that there was no way to measure my minutes. They told me I had to switch to GSM. Now their GSM service is better but is still very unreliable in my area.
Now, I’m not the type of guy to sue someone. As a matter of fact, I am quite repulsed by the idea, however for a company that creates as much profit as Cingular to treat its customers with what I consider to be pretty manipulative tactics, I feel is really wrong. Apparantly Paul Weiss of Freed and Weiss felt that it was potentially of class action gravity. (His firm is the same one that won the suit against Hollywood Video for false late charges… click here to read about that). It’s only available through an idexed page so read it while it’s hot Either way, I wrote a letter to Cingular Wireless and I hope to hear back from them that we can resolve this issue quickly. If anyone else had the same thing happen to them, I would encourage them to do the same.
Anyhow, from my personal experience, I’m thinking I’ll probably end with Verizon Wireless for my next service provider.