Okay, so here’s the Cliff Notes version of our Cingular Story.

Download the unabridged version here (PDF)

So, last November when the portability option came out – where you can “port” you cell phone number from one carrier to another – we used it as an excuse to jump ship from Sprint. We had terrible cell service from Sprint, ancient phones and they messed with our billing. So we did our research and Cingular looked like our best option. Apparently the porting functionality wasn’t quite ready for release, yet it was still offered as an service they provided. So, the porting process took almost 4 months. Many times I was on the phone with their Port Activation Center and Customer Service for 4+ hours at a time. They finally got our phones working, yet admitted that the port hadn’t gone through completely. Since then, our phones have had many dropped calls & missed voice-mails. Basically your run-of-the-mill shotty service. We felt right at home, since this was what Sprint was like.

Fast forward to November 1st, last week. The time should have changed on our phones with Daylight Savings and they didn’t. So, I called and had two Cingular reps tell me that our phone should have changed. They got a Motorola rep on the phone with me and they confirmed that our phones should have changed. So, Cingular sent me two refurbished replacement phones. Neither of them updated the time either. Cingular suggested that I bring it to our Cingular store to have them check the phone over to make sure it was set-up correctly. They did and it was. So, I spent the next 2 1/2 hours on the phone with Customer Service while sitting at the Cingular store.

It was like pulling teeth to get them to offer me a different model phone (refurbished, of course) to try. They gave me a short list of models to choose from. I checked them all out and picked the only one that I wanted. She’s putting the order through and then tells me that she was mistaken and they don’t have any of that model. That was the last straw so I asked to cancel my account then and there. She transferred me.

The next guy said he could get me brand NEW phones of my chosen model but I would have to sign up for a 2 year contract. I let him know that it was ridiculous to try and penalize me with a contract for their shotty service. He didn’t see it that way. When I wanted to cancel, he insisted that an early cancellation fee would happen. I let him know that I would not be paying any early cancellation fee. It came down to three options – none of which I was taking.

a) New phones with 2 year contract – nope
b) Cancel and pay a fee – not gonna happen
c) Try again with two more refurbished phones – no thanks

We then realized that our contract was officially up next month, so we let them know we will be calling back on that day to cancel our service and switch to Verizon. They then asked if they could help us with anything else… I almost threw the phone through the wall.

What kind of customer service is this? They’re so focused on making new sales that they don’t do everything in their power to keep their existing customers.

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