With Our Help, Reader Escapes Cell Plan For Free

We helped reader Michael leave his Cingular cellphone contract without early termination fee.

Michael recently moved to North Carolina. There, he found he and his wife, “…get dropped calls indoors, if we get a connection at all. We get bad reception and dropped calls while driving. We get dropped calls sitting on our porch. We get dropped calls when we step out of our offices. When we’re not getting dropped calls, we’re getting bad reception.”

He wanted to switch service but was only 6 months into a two-year contract. How could he leave Cingular without penalty?

We advised he call up Cingular and simply ask. Cite the bad service. Cellphone companies are contractually obligated to provide you with cellphone service. If they’re not providing it, they’re not holding up their end of the contract.

Today, Mike wrote in his results:

“It worked out! They let me out of my contract with no penalty. On January 17th I’ll be on a new provider.”

This concludes today’s lesson on getting what you want by asking for it. — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. Anonymously says:

    With Our Help, Reader Escapes Cell Plan For Fee

    Irony, or a typo?

  2. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I makes sense that you shouldn’t have to pay for a service you can’t use…but we often see things happen that make no sense. Glad to see all worked out. Now he should put a shirt on!

  3. MarcAnthony says:

    Wonder if this will work on my good friends at Sprint! Im into my second year of service, and well from one dropped call to the next im more than fed up! I guess I can try…I’ll mention the part about their contractual obligation to provide service!

  4. john_nyc says:

    This sort of story is always heartwarming.

    I was able to get out of a Cingular contract with a penalty a few months ago myself.

    They kept on deleting my voicemail account for some reason and the last time it sorta pissed me off because it took them two days to fix it.

    The first night I called the rep tried to tell me that if I upgraded my vm service to “premium” then they’d stop deleting it.

    The 2nd night when I called, I told the rep this and apparently the hard-selling rept broke a rule by trying to extort an upgrade. At first she was only going give me a credit, but I insisted that be released from my contract with no fee.

    Eventually after I explained that if I wasn’t released I’d never buy another BB device from Cingular for my company again (we have about 300 now), she relented.

    I switched back to VZW and have never been happier.

    Interestingly enough, right after this they committed major fuckups with our corporate account which forced me to follow through with my threat anyway.

    Oh, well…

  5. non-meat-stick says:

    hmmm, if your phone doesn’t work at all anywhere I would suspect user error or a bad phone, not necessarily bad coverage.

  6. ddunston99 says:

    I’ve consistently had problems w/ my Cingular bill. Almost every month for the past 7 or 8 they have overcharged me for random and completely unfounded reasons. For example; 1 month I recieved my bill and on the first day of the new billing cycle, about 25 text messages into my 1000 they began charging me $.25 per for the next 15-20 texts, Then stopped and it continued on as it should… free. Or rather paid for. At least twice now my media package has been dropped or reduced for no reason and I have been charged and forced to call and argue my pooints in order to recieve credits to fix their mistakes. Good cell service; extremely suspicious bookkeeping.