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Cingular Wireless / Cingular Warranty Department scam on making false accusation

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On 3/5/07 I upgraded my phone at the end of my current contract. Upon ordering / receiving the "newly designed" KRZR (Blue) K1 cell phone I purchased through Cingular Wireless, I noticed after a few days of using it that it often dropped calls, muted the sound (conversation) both ways and even the sound when the keys were depressed was muted. For the first couple of weeks, I thought that maybe I just had weak signals from my workplace, but I had the same problems when I made calls standing outside, on the highway and even at home. I also thought at one time that maybe I was accidentally pressing on a smart button located on the side of the phone that may possibly be muting and/or disconnecting my calls. After reading the manual, I found out that I had not used the phone improperly. At that time, I called and talked to a BellSouth / Cingular (I have a combined billing account) representative and after telling his of my problems with this newly marketed Motorola KRZR K1 cell phone he processed an order for a replacement phone which I surprisingly received in 3 days.

I returned the defective phone with the original manual and accessories in a secure mail package envelope with the RMA barcode and preprinted return label they included in the box with my replacement phone. This transaction occurred in May 2007. Today, June 15, 2007 I get a package from Cingular Wireless with just the defective phone I had returned to them weeks prior with 2 pages of correspondence. One of the pages dated 6/11/07 stated that the original KRZR phone was found defective by the warranty department due to "water damage". Here's the kicker.

Cingular stated in writing that I will be billed for $265 for the replacement cost of the new phone they had sent me because the warranty does not cover "water damage". When I called and expressed my concern to a female representative of Cingular Wireless(now the new AT&T) she got very nasty and told me that I should have found a "red sticker" on the back of the damage phone that signifies a water damaged unit. I told her that there was no sticker placed on the phone by the warranty department and that how in the hell could the original phone I returned could have had water damage if I had "never" dropped it in water, spilled water on it, or even talked on it while standing outside in the rain (DUH!!!). I told her that evidently this is some sort of fraudulent scam that Cingular / AT&T is using on their consumers. I told her that I have been a valuable customer of BellSouth since 1982 and Cingular since 1998 and now since AT&T has taken over they are trying to scam me out of $265 . I told her also that I had still yet to receive the $100 rebate for purchasing the $299.99 KRZR phone with a 2-year contract on 3/5/07 evening when their "Young America Rebate Status website showed that my rebate was approved and mailed to me on 4/9/07.

She put me on hold after I refused to let her falsely accuse me of sending them a water damage phone. She said that the first person I talked to about the problem I was having with the cell phone should have told me that the warranty does not cover "water damaged phones. Again I told the scandalous customer service rep. not to try to insult my intelligence because I did not want me last name to fool her (Gomez). I told her that was my ex-husband Portuguese (Spain) surname and that I was born and breed in the sweet USA and I don have a degree in Economics and minor in Engineering. About five minutes later she said that her supervisor was "kindly" going to credit my account for $210. I told her that the letter stated $265 and she said that she could not understand why the letter stated that I was being charged $265 when her records showed the $210 and that I needed to call Cingular billing myself to find out why. Of course I told her that it was her department's responsiblity to clear up their own mess.

Again I was placed on hold and when she returned, she told me that it would probably take two billing cycles but the $265 charge and credit should cancel each other out and sarcastically asked me if there were anything else I needed her help with. I told her no thanks, because Cingular(the new AT&T) have helped themselves enough on unsuspecting buyers of their cell phone warranties. Why do I know this?

Once I returned to work I told my manager about this issue and he quoted before I could get it out of my mouth. "Did they (the warranty department) say that your returned phone had "water damage?" I said, "Yes they did!" He had problems with 2 phones he purchased from Alltel with the cell phone warranty program. He was jilted out of $600 and a negative item was posted on his credit report. And his two phones was never exposed to water. If I see any charge of either $210 or $265 on my cell phone bill, I am going to contact my local TV Station with the person who investigates business scams / fraud and reports the companies on the news report. My boss said that if need be we will use the news station contacts and ours (we are employees of the State of North Carolina) to post a message on a website for all other consumers who have been scam to respond to see if we need to get an attorney to file a class action lawsuit if conditions for fraud are met by the issuer of the cell phone / warranty. After this contract ends, I definitely will be considering leaving BellSouth / Cingular AT@T for all my combined services (Residential, Wireless and DSL-Highspeed). Future buyers, please beware if you ever have to return a defective phone and get the "water damage" excuse.


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N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Wireless - Terrible experience
Cingular Wireless
United States

I am like a lot of you on here in the respect that I have spent the last 3wks. Going round and round with the worse customer service dept. of ANY company I have ever dealt with. I had issues with a rebate that I had not received since the end of Jan.08 for $100. I also was charged to reactivation fees for two phones for a mis-communications error between depts. that they even admitted to doing. All the cost. Service reps. and so-called managers. were the most rude and obnoxious folks I have ever encountered. I made numerous attempts to ask for their assistance but they didn't care and said there is nothing they can do to help me out and if I cancel I would be charged $150 for early termination. After reading this board my experience seemed all too familiar. I did some research and located the companies "Headquarters". Finally after getting the phone number I was able to get a "nice, friendly, and caring" individual. I asked to speak to the President's secretary. I was immediately helped by a lady named Sharon. She was SOOOO helpful. She immediately credited my account the $100 for the rebates and credit me the 2 re-connect fees. I only had to explain the situation one time and she never questioned me or my integrity. I commend her for her professionalism and assistance. The cust. Service dept. could and needs some lessons from Sharon. Here is the corporate number if anyone else is getting the run around like me. 404-236-**** and ask to speak to the Presidents secretary.
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Wireless - Awful company
Cingular Wireless
United States

I sent my 14 year old granddaughter a phone so we could send pictures to each other and stay in touch.She ended up with a $1000 phone bill in one month and doesnt even know how it happened. She is devastated that her single working Mom has to pay this bill and is now looking for a job. She would never have intentionally caused her Mom such a hardship. She doesn't really know how this happened, something about internet pictures, she thinks. Cingular has offered no help to her Mom with credits or anything for this devastating bill.How often is this happening to people and how can it be avoided?Where are the safeguards to prevent these huge bills and what are the wireless companies doing to help their customers?Or are they just taking advantage of their customers and their ignorance of how these huge bills occur?
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
Did you or her mother sit down with this 14-year-old child and explain to her what is and is not included on the phone's plan? So that she would know what she can do with it and what she can't?
If the answer is yes, then it is her fault, and she needs to learn responsibility. She should do as much babysitting, etc. as possible for as long as it takes her to repay this bill. It is not Cingular's responsibility to teach her, it's her family's responsibility.

If the answer is no, then it is entirely the fault of you or her mother, whichever of you decided you couldn't be bothered to be sure she knew what she could use the phone for. Why should Cingular "help her with credits"?

There are safeguards, you just want to blame the phone company for something they had no control over. Stand up and take responsibility for your own actions, or lack thereof. And if it was you who didn't bother telling the girl what was on the plan, you'd better hope her mother speaks to you again someday. But I wouldn't bet on it.
A  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
well when you send pictures and recieve pictures on your phone it can use data same thing with text messages. But yes companies should let customers be aware of how can you be charged for such things. Thats why its important to have a data plan on phones.
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Wireless - Unauthorized billing
Cingular Wirelesst
United States

I called Cingular to change my monthly billing from the $59.00 to the $39.00 plan since I never use all my minutes and had over 1200 rollover minutes stored up. I was informed that I would lose all but 400 of my rollover minutes because of a new rule that went into effect October, 2006. I was planning to have the rollover minutes augment my new $39.00 plan. I was told by the sales person at Cingular when I signed up for their service that I could change to a lower monthly rate after I had saved enough rollover minutes. This is clearly a case of false advertising and the new rules should apply to customers who sign on after the new rules take affect and not to those who signed on prior to these new rules. How can we take these criminals to task? Why can these companies to get away with this type of fraud. Something concrete should be done about this or else there will be many like me joining the list.
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Wireless - The worst of the major cell carriers
United States

This was sent to Cingular by me, on 10/28/06, due to horrific service, poor customer care, and exorbitant charges. The addresses are all public information available on Hoovers.com. I would appreciate it being posted as both a complaint and a resource for people wishing to complain. Thank you.


Cingular Wireless LLC
Glenridge Highlands Two 5565
Genridge Connector, Atlanta, GA., 30342

CC: Chairman Rayford Wilkins
President/CEO Stanley Stigman
COO Ralph de la Viga

AT&T Inc.
175 E. Houston
San Antonio, TX., 78205

CC: Chairman/ CEO Edward E. Whiteacre Jr.
SEVP, Bus. Dev. James W. Callaway
COO/ Director Randall L. Stephenson
Bell South Corp.
1155 Peachtree St. NE
Atlanta, GA., 30309

CC: Chairman/ President/ CEO F. Duane Ackerman
President/ COO/ Director Mark L. Fedler
CFO W. Patrick Shannon

Dear Sirs:

I would like to inform you of my experience with Cingular Wireless. First, a little background on my account. I am a former AT&T Wireless subscriber. I have been with the service for over 10 years. When I first signed up, my AT&T service was flawless. I could receive and make call from any location, never had a single dropped call, and always received superior customer service. At the time, I recommended AT&T service to everyone I knew. My parents and entire family signed up for it based on what a great experience I had. I have two accounts with you, one a GSM, and one a TDMA (which happens to be the only phone that always works right).

Then, Cingular Wireless purchased the service. It has never been the same since.

Since that fateful day, sometime back in 2004, when by my poor luck Cingular acquired AT&T, I have had at least one dropped call per day, generally more like 4 or 5. I have experienced being unable to get service in my own house, particularly on my GSM phone. The speech quality is poor. I’ve experienced at least 2 occasions when I had an emergency and suddenly Cingular’s service was down and I was unable to make calls for home. Luckily, no one died. I’ve made call after call to Cingular and I always get the same run around- the service is being worked on, blah, blah, blah. I happen to know, since I am a part of it, that there is a class action lawsuit against your company for just such dropped calls and unavailable service. More bars in more places my ###. I can’t even get two bars in my bathroom. I could probably wrap my phone in tinfoil to get better reception. This happens on both the TDMA and GSM phone, by the way, with the GSM phone being by far the worst – everyone I know with your GSM service has said it’s horrible. The TDMA one is the only reliable one, which brings me to my next point.

A brand new $4.99 charge every month for having a TDMA/ Analog phone. Penalizing customers with old phones using the “old”service, when 80% of the country still has analog.

I don’t make millions of dollars as the CEO of a company with stock options. I can’t afford to upgrade my phone. No one has ever offered me a “free” phone with a service upgrade (which of course, would be far less minutes for far more money, since I only pay $29.99 on one phone now and get 800 minutes under my contract). I can’t even afford to upgrade my service. I don’t make much money. But yet, I’ve stuck with Cingular, even through all the problems, and transitions, and never once considered going to another company.

Until now.

I saw the $4.99 charge on the bill I just received in the mail. I called customer service to ask about it. I was told it was on my July bill. Well, I certainly never saw any notification on my July bill, and I would think that it would have been sent separately in order to ensure that people did not overlook the so-called “notification”. Honestly, I wouldn’t even be writing to you right now if your customer service department had done one simple thing. Credit the $4.99 for this month to give me a chance to either look for an affordable upgrade or to cancel my service. However, they did nothing.

The only thing I got was a bunch of runaround and a “we can’t do anything about it”. I’m sorry but that is BS. How much does it take to get a $4.99 credit? I got a $10 credit, TWICE, simply because my voicemail went down, and I didn’t even ask for it. I asked to speak with a supervisor this time, whom I had to ask for 3 TIMES before the rep would give me one, and I got the same rhetoric of “we can’t do anything”. I said “you mean to tell me that you can’t give me a $4.99 credit for a charge I never received notice of, when I have TWO ACCOUNTS with you that I spend almost $100 per month on, have been with you for almost 10 years, and my whole family is on Cingular? You can’t give me a simple credit on one phone for one month based on the fact that you are going to lose a customer if you don’t?”

They said “NO”.

I have to tell you, based on that no, you have now lost an entire family of customers. I am distressed and upset. I had more faith in Cingular than that. I thought that once AT&T took back controlling interest, problems would no longer be common.

I was wrong.

I am currently in the process of looking for new service. Within the next two weeks, unless I receive that simple $4.99 credit from Cingular, I will be canceling service on both phones. I really don’t think a $4.99 credit is too much to ask for simple one month period. I will also be posting this letter to the Better Business Bureau as well as several websites that deal with consumer complaints. I will also pass a copy along to the group that is heading the class action lawsuit, as I am sure they would be interested to know how shoddily longtime customers are being treated by the wireless service “with the fewest dropped calls”. Fewest dropped calls- ha! Unless you own the “independent” market research company that did the surveys, I have no idea where you got your information. Consumer Reports even rated Cingular the worst of the major cell carriers, TWICE- two years in a row. It’s a sad day when a once proud phone giant reels in new customers through advertising lies, and exiles old ones by forcing them to pay for new services that don’t work or be penalized for trying to stick with old ones that do.

Sign me,

A new Verizon Wireless / T-Mobile/ Sprint Customer

N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I've also had problems with Cingular. For some reason, even though my parents and I had the same phone models and we shared a plan, my phone would always have poor reception when my parents had good reception. The last time we took our phones in to Cingular to trade them in, they told me that I had poor reception because I was using an old SIM card (the one from my last cell phone). This made sense to me, because she told me that the SIM affects the reception.

Well, when we updated our phones and renewed our contract with Cingular, we all received the Samsung SGH-C417, and I got a new SIM card.

Since then, even though Cingular bills itself as the plan with the fewest dropped calls, I've had more dropped calls in the last month than I ever had in the last two years with my last phone, with the old SIM card (a Siemens phone - with the old card from a four year old Nokia).

Now, I don't know if it's the phone or Cingular, but my reception really sucks with my "new" card.
A  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Like you, I was an AT&T customer before the merger and didn't have any complaints.

When Cingular merged with/took over AT&T, they sent out all this marketing literature about how the new company could now draw on the resources of both networks, raising the bar, blah blah, and I was duped into signing a new 2-year contract with the promise of a free or low-priced "upgraded" phone, which was a GSM. When I switched phones, it seemed I could not get service in many places that I used to be able to. Coincidentally at the time I had just changed jobs, so was working in a different office and was also traveling quite abit. I was unable to receive a signal in the building I worked in and in many of the hotel rooms I stayed at. Since I was working in a different place and going to different places than when I had the old phone, I couldn't really make a direct comparison, except that I felt I was getting worse service.

After complaining several times, they sent me another phone -- a refurbished one. It was marginally better than the other phone, but not significantly. I usually got low or no signal inside stores or shopping malls.

Recently, as soon as my contract expired, I switched to Verizon. I am now able to get service in the places I work and even in the underground Metro. Since I spend up to 8 hours a week in subway stations or on trains, it's important to me that I have cell phone service if I need it.
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Thats not uncommon about the early termination fee on each line. Every single service provided does that. Ps about tmobile not charging for broken phones. My dad has t-mobile, and he was charged for a broken phone. Why? Because its not the provider that charges you, its the manufacturer. [duhhh probably why they call it a manufacturer's warranty!] if you had insurance, why didnt you just fine an insurance claim?
A  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I totally agree with you! Customer service of AT&T is terrible! I got a new sim card but my phone has a problem dropping calls and not calling out, the only thing customer reps can do is to blame me. I never dropped my phone or anything like that but they still say AT&T has the fewest dropped calls! Sooooooo LIE!!!
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Cell Phones - Faulty cell phone, useless insurance
United States

Trying to figure out why I'm still being charged for a subscription i cancelled months ago. just got a message that i got renewed again, and i don't and haven't used the services since i canceled.
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Wireless - Faulty cell phone, useless insurance
United States

Cingular Wireless - Faulty cell phone (I did purchase the insurance which was useless).

I recently called for assistance with a broken cell phone. I have been a customer since July. I explained the nature of the broken piece and after being transferred about 7 times and being told oops sorry this isn't my job, I got the warranty department. The warranty department said oh I will let you send the phone back and we might even send you another one, but if we think this is your fault, "you broke it" then we can send you a bill for the repair or the cost of a new phone. I have had multiple problems with the phone since the 30 day review period, and once they replaced the charger, (but the subsequent issues were never resolved including not stocking styluses for certain phones in the store so you have to go out and find one that will work.)

I said why put me through this, let me come in and buy a new phone and just sign a new two year contract and they said sure, you can do that at FULL retail cost of any new phone.

The point being that full retail was trip the cost of any deal they are offering to new customers. I then was transferred to customer service after explaining that I didn't want to be phone less for 5 to 7 BUSINESS days, and asked them to help me. After a heated debate and much frustration I got the agent to ask his supervisor to speak to me and the agent came back again stating that he could offer me a phone at 359.00 that is being offered in the store at 150.00.

On top of it I have been emailing and emailing about my rebate that they claim they mailed me and I never received and no one answers the emails or even makes a phone call to assist you.

After not getting anywhere with this, I transferred my service to T Mobile who if your phone breaks you send it out and they send you a replacement immediately.

And you can upgrade your agreement mid stream at any time with no hassles. I am so upset and angry that a company of this size is so misleading to the public and so non consumer friendly that I have asked other people there experiences and found out that they are having the same really bad customer service issues with Cingular for all sorts of reasons.

I also found out that someone who wanted to change his service to another carrier was told by Cingular that they would have to pay a termination fee for each family line. Amounting to about 775.00.

Of course the person didn't switch and there was no recourse with Cingular to sort it out. I would am spreading the word about this because I am now facing a termination fee and loss of my security deposit. On top of my already charged bill for may and the month is not even over yet.

N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Wireless - Charge for wireless bill we don't owe!
United States

On 10-07-2006 We canceled our wireless account (Prestige Hair Design)(606)5215415 and (606)521-8007 and got new numbers with an upgraded phone on line. We did a new contract that they told us we had to take new numbers, which was okay. The representative told my daughter that he would turn off the old numbers and we wouldn't be billed for the remainder of the time, since we wouldn't be using it. We thought everything was okay until we received a bill (Prestige Hair Design) for over $98.00. When I called 11-30-2006, I was told that we had to pay this and that they would not honor what we had been told by the representative on 10-07-2006. Does your Company care about the lies that are told to people or are they only concerned in making a buck? I feel that we were wronged and how can we ever trust Cingular Wireless if you don't stand by your word or what the representatives that handle your accounts tell costumers? I feel that we have been a good customer and would like to stay that way. I don't feel that anyone should have to pay for something they aren't using. I would like a response and I also know that my bill was never $98.00 or more. I wasn't like we stopped using your service, we had renewed a contract and got new phones.
Thank you in advance,
Joyce and Don Justice
N  5th of Aug, 2016 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Cingular Wireless - Conflicting message regarding my contract term
United States

I am writing to complain Cingular wireless conflicting message regarding my contract term and the way they handle this. Here is what happened

1. In early May, 1995, I migrated my wireless service from AT&T to cingular wireless, I paid activation fee and some discounted fee for the cell phone.

2. In end May, 1996, I lost my cell phone. And then I called Cingular wireless and asked how much it would cost for a replacement cell phone. The representative told me it would be around $100. That sounded too expensive to me. I then asked what my contract length was. He said that it was one year. So he confirmed to me that I have finished my contract and I was free to go to other wireless company. I remember that he also said something like "This is weird, usually people have two year contract, but yours is one year". I just thought maybe because I paid activation fee so my contract is one year less.

3. I then transferred my service to sti mobile and ported my number in early June, 1996.

4. I received bill charged me $150 termination fee from Cingular in June, 1996

5. I called them immediately and asked why I was charged $150. The representative said that I had 2 year contract so it was early termination. I argued that only a few week ago, you representative told me that it was one year contract and I was assured that I could cancel the service without penalty. She said that it was not the case. I asked for:

1) If there was record for the conversation between me and that representative a few weeks earlier. The answer was NO. And I did not remember that representative name.

2) And I then asked if there was a signed contract stating that I had two year contract. The answer was still NO.

3) And I then asked if there was a record for the phone conversation a year ago indicating that I was told that it was a two year contract. The answer was again NO.

6. The whole thing was so confusing and I could not prove myself as they did not have phone record. And they could not prove I had two year contract either. To me it seems that they suddenly change my contract term from 1 year to 2 year at some point. It did not seem right and it was so cheating! So I refused to pay and then they reported to collecting agency and hence it affects my credit. It is really not fair that they just reported the whole thing against me and I have no where to explain myself.

Any help to handle this is appreciated.

Fayu Li

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