Cingular Wants To Yank Docs From Consumerist

Here is the note Cingular’s legal counsel sent us to take down documents we posted. The items have info about how Cingular determines a customer’s “long term value” or “LTV.” This LTV is used to determine how many discounts they will give you to prevent you from cancelling your account.

    Subject: Legal Complaint
    Date: 7/27/2006 7:21 PM

    Please call me promptly. You have proprietary and copyrighted document on your sight (url at bottom below) that belongs to us, Cingular Wireless. We want it removed from your site.
    Thank you.

    Glenn Blumstein
    Chief Counsel – IP & Network
    Cingular Wireless

Notice how site is misspelled at first. Note too, the curious interplay between first person singular and plural. All your document are belong to me.

We’ll be keeping the hot property up until our legal team tells us otherwise.

We are Unicron, eater of worlds. Your attacks only make us stronger!


Edit Your Comment

  1. I probably would have drafted the letter a little differently to avoid the pronoun confusion. But in his defense, I think he’s asking you to call him personally; and, since the documents don’t belong him personally, he’s referring to the company as a whole (us, or rather, them).

    All that said, it looks like the letter was rushed in order to get the documents down as soon as possible. He should have known his letter would get posted. Why didn’t he at least get a clerk to read it over once or twice?

  2. RandomHookup says:

    Rule one of making fun of someone else’s spelling: Your post will always have a mistake, too.

    the curious interplay between fist person singular

    Though perhaps there is something Freudian going on here.

  3. Ben Popken says:

    Ah, but now I will invoke the magical power of update.

  4. Papercutninja says:

    Where are they? I can’t see the images now! All your documents are belong to Cingular!

  5. Papercutninja says:

    Woops. Still there.

    All your documents are belong to Consumerist!

  6. ocean11 says:

    Glenn Blumstein
    Redundancy Counsel

    (url at bottom below)

  7. Pelagius says:

    Dear Consumerist,
    All your document are belong to us.

  8. angela says:

    I thought that this is a freedom of speech. A company can not tell anyone to remove a post. I think cingular are being morons.

  9. Amy Alkon000 says:

    A note to Cingular’s legal counsel:

    Yo, Bunwads, you’re giving out “gift cards” that expire in California. That’s against the law, and I’m going to report you to the California Atty. General. Naturally, I learned about this thanks to Consumerist, and blogged about it, suggesting all my readers (I get about 12,000 a day these days) hit up Cingular to replace their expired cards, and tell all their friends to do it, and link the post around, too.

    I was supposed to get a call from Cingular about this “in 24 hours.” Hmm, it’s about 40 hours now, and counting, and no callie-wallie.

    I guess you’re not concerned with the law when it concerns your customers. Just when it concerns your customers knowing (what I find to be) your rather creepy business practices.

    Oh, and I’ll just email you, Glenn, now that I have your name, and we’ll see what you have to say about the gift card issue. From googling the 425 area code and Cingular, I can see that your e-mail address is probably

    Here’s the link to the piece I posted, “Looking A Gift Horse In The Ass”:

  10. kerry says:

    Amy –

    The gift cards they sell here in Illinois still say they’ll expire, but since it’s against the law they don’t. Are you sure your Cingular gift cards are actually expiring, or do they just have the standard printed expiration clause without actually ever expiring?

  11. Amy Alkon000 says:

    Yup. I called the number and it said the balance was zero. Then I called the customer service people and they said, basically, “expired is expired,” tough titty. The supervisor, Tom Matthews, even got on his high horse about it, huffing he’d been a California resident all his life and had never heard of that law! Clearly, if Tom doesn’t know about it, it doesn’t exist!

    (And why would we expect Cingular employees to be informed about something that clearly affects many Cingular customers?) Hmm, no knowee, no payeee? Just a guess!

  12. Boy, I hope Cingular isn’t getting billed more than, say, $150/hr. from these semi-literate lawyers.

    On the other hand, if they’d just fix my billing issue (still ongoing!) maybe they won’t be able to afford such top-flight legal ass-istance.

  13. etinterrapax says:

    It’s probably their secretaries who are semi-literate. Not that this makes it better, but when my students gripe about how spelling doesn’t matter as long as people know what you mean, I tend to ask them if they would want to be represented as semi-literate by their support staff. Or, assuming that they are the support staff, whether they would want to represent as semi-literate the person who controls their salaries. Even if that person is in fact semi-literate. And, in Cingular’s case, plain sleazy.

    If they’d just treat people fairly, this would never come up. I guess they never absorbed that chestnut about an ounce of prevention.

  14. Ben says:

    Only one month to go on my Cingular contract. I need to find somebody unlikely to merge with them for at least a couple of years.

  15. Josh Michtom says:

    No, it’s probably the lawyers themselves who make these writing errors. In my experience as a lawyer working for a court, I have learned that good English is as hard to come by in the legal set as it is elsewhere in this country. That said, Cingular probably doesn’t have a legal leg to stand on, as far as getting Consumerist to take down the documents goes.

  16. Kat says:

    I don’t think it matters whether Consumerist takes them down or not – the damage to Cingular has already been done. And I am sure the docs have been mirrored by other sites.

  17. Ray Wert says:

    Unicron is teh bomb.

  18. Tom says:

    They have set us up the lawsuit!!