Cingular To Refund $18.5 Million to California Customers Who Were Charged ETFs

If you live in California and canceled Cingular (back in ’00-’02) due to trouble making or receiving calls, this might be of interest to you. From the AP:

Cingular Wireless will refund $18.5 million to thousands of former California customers who were penalized for canceling their mobile phone service because they had trouble making and receiving calls.

The settlement announced Thursday with the California Public Utilities Commission ends a lengthy battle revolving around Cingular’s treatment of dissatisfied subscribers from January 2000 through April 2002.

About 115,000 customers who left Cingular during that time will receive average refund checks of $160 to cover the fees that they were charged for prematurely ending their contracts. The refunds include interest.

A spokesperson from Cingular says the company expects to issue the refunds within 60 days.—MEGHANN MARCO

Cingular Wireless to refund $18.5 million to unhappy California customers [Daily Report]
(Photo: Paul!!!)

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  1. Coder4Life says:

    Haha… why do these companies insist on keeping customers that can’t use their service. For the love of god if people are complaining about your service, just get them away from you.

    They will give out bad publicity.

  2. FLConsumer says:

    Now if I could only get Cingular to refund the $120 they stole from me by sitting on a number transfer (port) for 2 months…then 2 days into the 3rd month, transferred the number and charged me a full month’s worth of service ($120) for 2 days of service.

  3. FLConsumer says:

    I forgot to mention this before hitting send:
    CINGULAR — If you’re reading this, your decision (in my post above) cost you 48 lines of service. Shortly after that happened to me, I started transferring all of our corporate accounts from Cingular over to Alltel. Alltel’s treated us great for the past 2 years on the corporate accounts, and as of this week, 10 great years on my own personal line.

    Cingular/AT&T… Never again. Regardless of any name change.

  4. dandyrandy says:

    So I paid my ETF back in ’00, a long time ago. I have since divorced and moved, so there is no way for them to send me the money, and I have no information to help them – I don’t remember the numbers we had. I can imagine THAT conversation with a friendly Cingular/at&t rep!

  5. typetive says:

    Back in 1999 I had cingular … I got it because there was some sort of major malfunction in my neighborhood and there was no land-line phone service for two weeks. So I went and got a cingular phone. Bad news … it didn’t work in my home (unless I went outside). It also didn’t work at my new job, or much to or from my new job. I lived in Los Angeles and worked in Hollywood … it wasn’t the middle of nowhere.

    I complained to them a lot.

    But I waited it out and cancelled when my contract was up.

    Funny part was I cancelled and requested a final bill. They sent it and I paid it, then I got a check from them for something like 60 cents. Then I got another bill from them for 60 cents (some uncollected tax from the last bill or soemthing). So I signed over the check to them and sent it with the bill. Then they sent me another check … it’s like they didn’t want to let me go.

  6. mathfeel says:

    FTA: ”…Cingular’s business practices have changed significantly since the period in question, and the company is now the industry leader in customer-friendly initiatives.”

    I donno about that…

  7. pdeantonio says:

    Cingular advertised free mobile to mobile minutes. Wow, my AT&T account just switched to Cingular after their buyout a few yrs back. Now I can talk to my girlfriend for hours without charge…. WRONG..,I was billed for every minute. Cingular told me that my phone was not equipped for the free mobile to mobile. I argued that nowhere in any of their advertising does it let me know that my AT&T phone didn’t qualify for free m2m. After multiple calls to “customer service”, they refused to rescind the charges. I couldn’t afford to pay the $465 bill for one month and now they’ve hurt my credit by putting me into collections. I dropped them like a hotrock and got T-Mobile.