Cingular's FAQ Contradicts Cingular's Anti-Cancellation Rhetoric

Cingular has been denying customers’ right to cancel over the rise in pay-per-use text-messaging rates, contending they,

“only promised to let customers out of their contracts if we raised the price of a service they “subscribe” to. Pay per use SMS is not a service customers subscribe to.”

However, this contradicts language in Cingular’s MEdia Net Mulitmedia Messaging FAQ

Why do I need to subscribe to MEdia Net?
Consider MEdia Net as the highway down which the Multimedia Messaging travels. MEdia Net bills separately from Multimedia Messaging. You can either subscribe to a MEdia Net package or pay per use. If you subscribe to the pay-per-use plan and don’t ever use MEdia Net outside of Multimedia Messaging, you will never be charged. Learn more about MEdia Net packages.

Here, Cingular refers to a pay-per-use plan as a subscription. Also, if you don’t use the function covered under the pay-per-use plan, you won’t be charged. This is exactly the same as how text-messaging works. Therefore, since a = b, and b = c, then a = c, then text-messaging is a subscription.

Therefore, Cingular customers should be allowed to escape contract without early termination fee.

Cingular’s not one to be stopped by mere logic. Andy tried the above approach, and Cingular told him to seek arbitration. Translation: Oh yeah? So sue us.

Someone should. — BEN POPKEN


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ben Popken says:

    The prospect of customers arguing their way out of contract without penalty has Cingular more confused than a donkey in a semiconductor factory.

  2. homerjay says:

    Oh my God! Get that picture of a terrorist bomb down right now! The Boston bomb squad will be on your ass!!!

  3. kcskater says:

    Cell phone companies need to be slapped…hard. They treat their own customers like corporate farm animals – with no emotion, no empathy, and locked in unforgiving conditions. They need to stop FORCING commitment and instead focus on developing customer LOYALTY. Mutual respect is far more beneficial.

  4. royal72 says:

    class action lawsuit please :)

  5. Stepehn Colbert says:

    oh they’re not confused Ben. They’re just being children about their own breeches of contract. So, I guess ya just gotta sue em and tack on the bill for lawyer fees. Send them a certified letter first stating the fact of them being in breech and you wanting out as well as your legal ultimatum. When time is up, press on young Jedi.

  6. nrgsd says:

    Class Action law suite is too kind!

    Due to a mistake in their billing, I received an early termination fee..

    It took me 2 1/4 hrs and 6 customer reps to force them to respond and rule in my favor.

    Let a senator have the same issues and watch how fast the situation changes, just as fed law
    allowed us to port our numbers to and from other carriers.

    The best way to handle all carriers is to run out of the service contract, only take a year agreement, then purchase all your phones from an outside source and put your sim card in, viola new phone, no service agreement, tell the provider to pound sand, no matter what they keep offering.

  7. Jobeleca says:

    nrgsd, you’re spoiled and too used to Cingular LOL many of the other companies don’t even allow that.

  8. commorancy says:

    This article is exactly why I am now a firm believer in non-contract pay-as-you-go plans. Sure, you don’t get ‘minutes’ included or other post-paid ‘benefits’, but you also don’t get screwed over by the billing department. You also use only what you pay for. Best of all, no ETFs and you can end the service at any time. Sure, the up front cost for the phone is a bit higher, but that higher cost prevents the ETF. You also don’t have all those infrastructure fees and extraneous taxes that you also get slapped with on a post-paid plan. Plus, post-paid contract plans ding your credit report. Prepaid plans do not.

    Consider that Cingular’s pay as you go plan with $1 access fee only on the days you use it (max $31 a month) + 10 cents a minute + unlimited M2M is actually cheaper than their least expensive contract plan ($40 a month). Prepaid has no contract or ETFs! Inbound/Outbound SMS is 5 cents per message. If you need data service or want a family plan, then contract plans are probably cheaper.

    T-Mobile’s pay per minute plan is .10 a minute all the time (with $100 or more worth of minutes) with no access fee and free inbound messages, but coverage in some locales is less than Cingular. This plan also has no ETFs, contracts or excess taxes.