What Cingular Tells Customers Canceling Over Text Message Rates

This is what Cingular will probably tell you if you call up trying to get out of your cellphone contract and service without paying an early termination fee based on their recent text message rate raise.

    Q. Since Cingular is raising its rates, are customers entitled to cancel service without paying an early termination fee?

    A. No, that doesn’t apply here. This is simply a pricing change for pay-per-use text and instant messaging, which is an optional service. It’s similar to buying a ringtone – that’s optional as well. It’s not part of your monthly rate plan.

    Customers who pay for text and instant messages on a per-use basis are generally those who use text messaging occasionally. Frequent users generally purchase packages or bundles, so they can send and receive messages for as little as a penny each.”

This was provided to us by a Cingular employee and directly copied from the Cingular Knowledge Management System.

It’s also a giant bologna train shoved up your ass.

Text-messaging is not an optional service. Cingular phones are set to receive text-messages by default. It’s only optional If a user has a text-message plan or blocks text-messages. Only then have they exercised a choice.

Cingular’s legal team is wrong, and Cingular is lying to its customers. A battle-royale in the courtroom over this would find in the customer’s favor.

If you’re trying to cancel, be adamant and demanding. They’ve locked down the organization, but you might get lucky and hit a weak rep. Or, keep escalating and escalating, and escalating, which costs Cingular a lot of money, and might get you some traction. — BEN POPKEN

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