Top 10 Reasons To Hate Cingular

Consumerist reader Cody has put together a list of the best reasons to not do business with Cingular.

• They don’t honor contracts from the companies they’ve acquired. They have forced thousands of customers to purchase new equipment and pay new fees to join their network.
• They have a system of labelling customers by how profitable or unprofitable they are–and if you’re unprofitable, good luck getting any quality service, upgrades, or discounts.
• If you choose to leave the service because they are no longer providing it to you or any other issue where they have not held up their side of your contract (Cingular believes in one-sided contracts), they WILL try to charge you the $150 early-termination fee.

Cody uses some of our old posts to pack up his claims, so take a walk down memory lane with us, won’t you? Check out his list and feel free to add numbered reasons of your own in the comments.

10 Reasons NOT to Do Business With Cingular [Time for Some Thrilling Heroics]


Edit Your Comment

  1. mysterious1der says:

    Sprint also gauges your profitability. I once got a CSR who must have been new because she was willing to actually tell me how valuable I was to Sprint (I had a ‘5 star’ account, which she said was because I’d had a large plan for a long time. At the time I’d had a 2000 minute plan for about 3 years). Now I’m with Cingular and the service is light-years better.

  2. Plasmafire says:

    I love my Cingular Cell Phone, I love the insanely slow wannabe internet connectivity, and I also love the fact you have to listen to your voice messages before you delete them, even when they are by some wasted idiot who called your cell phone to leave you a rambling 45 minute message about their personal lives… I also love the fact on their own website one week after I got my cell phone, they listed the cell phone as one they do not support in any way shape or form..

    yea I just love Cingular.

  3. Plasmafire says:

    I forgot to mention that since the recent merger of Cingular and AT&T my cell phone service has gone down the tubes. There are people calling me who can’t get through due to some strange network error messages, and now Cingular is dropping calls like crazy.

    Cingular is just a joy.

  4. harmgb says:

    I guess it depends a certain amount on luck….
    I was an AT&T customer who was ‘taken over’ by
    Cingular. I don’t think I’m a very high-margin
    customer, yet I don’t have any complaint with my
    basic phone service. I haven’t used much EXCEPT
    phone service, I admit.

  5. jwissick says:

    Quickly delete your cingular voice mail by pushing 7 twice quickly when the message is playing…

  6. acambras says:

    Thanks, jwissick! I’ve been wondering how to deal with those calls from the insides of pockets and purses (from people who don’t know how to use key lock).

  7. I’ve also found that Cingular service has gone in the shitter since merging with ATTWS.

    Aside from my earlier, pernicious billing issues, it seems Cinfular can’t deal with the simple task of reassinging us numbers based on our new home area code. After moving from 408 to 225, it took five calls and a couple of master resets (thank God for iSync) to get our RAZRs to beleive that yes, they were (225) phones and to get our new voice mail working.

    And for some reason, because of the incredible complexity of moving our account data to a new geography, they had to close the old account and open a new one…instead of, you know, CHANGING THE PHONE NUMBER ON THE EXISTING ACCOUNT.

    This led to all sorts of fun, including the clueless rep asking for _all_ of our data again, and our final bill being sent to our OLD address, subsequently delayed, and assessed a late fee…what wankers.

    One last good one – our new SIMs were off by one digit, but I only had to read the numbers to the reps eight or twenty times to troubleshoot our issues. You would think that they’d have the SIM numbers in their database, since they shipped us the damned things by FedEx.

    I used to love Cingular after being a disgruntled ATTWS customer. Now I’m back in the same damned boat.

    (I guess I should edit my user profile here – no longer being a Cajun in Cullyforneeya…but now a Cajun back in Loueasyanna.)

  8. eliasg says:

    I was an ATTWS customer for many years, eventually a Cingular Blue customer, and finally switched over to Cingular Orange (April 2006). I’ve always been very happy with my service. In fact, reception and everything else improved after the merger because I didn’t have to force my phone to use a Cingular tower in areas where ATTWS had bad reception. I’ve always gotten good customer service from them as well. Cingular may have its faults, but I’m sure it’s much better than Sprint.

  9. Triteon says:

    my cell phone service has gone down the tubes.
    (You just) want to deliver vast amounts of information over the cell phones. And again, the cell phone system is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a truck. It’s a series of tubes. :)

  10. mechanismatic says:

    This is going to take some space, sorry…

    My girlfriend and I had a long and annoying bout with Cingular until we were finally able to free ourselves of their silly nonsense. My girlfriend had been an AT&T Wireless customer before the merger. She had been paying $25 or $30 a month for 1 phone, not a lot of minutes, and a bunch of nice features like free roaming and text messaging. When we got together, we decided to get 2 phones from Cingular. My girlfriend told the Cingular rep that she wanted the same features that she had with her AT&T service or she didn’t want to switch. The rep said okay and my girlfriend agreed to the new contract over the phone. The rep had said that our bills would be like $60 a month. We got our phones and activated our new accounts. We enjoyed our service for 2 months, until we received the first bill. Note that, the first bill came after 2 months. Not only was it really big (because it included all their activation fees and whatever), but even the regular part of the bill was clearly too high. So we called Cingular and asked what was up and the rep we spoke to said that that was the plan we agreed to over the phone. It was $20 more a month that we had been told it would be. When we told them that this was not what we had agreed to, they told us that we’d had 30 days since the activation to cancel the accounts. We told them that we didn’t receive the first bill that informed us of all this until after 2 months. That didn’t matter to them. The rep told us he’d take off some money from our bill even though we made it clear that we wanted to cancel the account without the $150 cancellation fee for each phone that they wanted to charge us since this wasn’t what we’d agreed to. The next bill we got was still too high and we soon discovered that I plan didn’t include free roaming, free text messaging, or in network calling as we’d originally thought. So we called Cingular again and again explained the situation, adding that we didn’t even get the features we thought we were paying so much more for. The rep still refused to let us cancel without charging us the $300 fee, and he said if we wanted to get those features we thought we already had, it would another $20 a month. We asked to speak to his manager. He promptly informed us that his manager didn’t have a phone number. We asked, astonished, why a customer service manager at a cell phone company doesn’t have a phone. He couldn’t give us a good answer. We hung up and tried again a few days later. The rep we spoke to this time gave us the name of a manager, but we couldn’t get in touch of him. So we called back and asked another rep to connect us with the manager whose name we’d been given. We were told that there’s no one by that name who works there. We call back and we finally speak to a manager. Only this manager has no sympathy and states that since we accepted the reduced bill when we’d first called, we were signifying that we accepted the rate plan we were on. We explained that we weren’t given a choice, that the rep just told us he was going to take the money off the bill and we hadn’t suggested by any means that we were okay with the plan. So we finally decide to get serious and file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Amazingly enough we got a call from someone in the CEO’s office within a few weeks of that filing. This rep informed us that in fact the 2 year contract that the original sales rep had us agree to over the phone was invalid since it was their policy to get a signature on 2 year contracts. So he canceled our accounts without charging us the fees and we ported our numbers to Verizon. We get a lot better reception and we actually know what our plan includes now. Happy ending.

  11. Ran Kailie says:

    I have issues with Cingular but no where near the issues I had previously with ATTWS, nor the issues I’ve heard people have with T Mobile connectivity and with Verizon.

    There really aren’t many options for good cheap phone service here in the states. If you want coverage you need to use one of the bigger providers who are there to give you that loving anal rape with your cell phone.

    My real hate is Cingular’s inability to carry any decent phones. But if I could find a provider that isn’t CMDA (I refuse to own a phone that won’t work overseas or in other countries) and didn’t suck I’d switch.

  12. Beckie says:

    I hate cingular. They lie, lie and lie more, plus they do not honor their contracts. Stay away! They are evil and the more people use them, the bigger their monopoly will get. Imagine them being the only choice you have. SCARY HUH?

  13. ratfart says:

    What a bunch of anal-dwelling butt monkeys the sales reps at Cingular are! It was like dealing with a used car salesman and the ol’ bait & switch” routine; promise you one thing but deliver something totally different…and of course, more expensive. I spoke with four reps and one supervisor and none of them had any integrity what so ever. At one point they tried to say the reps in the stores will say anything to make a sale. When I told them that I had done all of this over the phone, directly with them, they could offer no excuse. Thank goodness I was able to get it canceled within the “30 day buyer’s remorse period.” They are truly an in-grown anal hair in the rectum of cellular service providers.