Horror Story


A few years ago I signed a one year contract with Cingluar wireless service. Although my credit was spotless I was required to post a hefty cash deposit for the service. From the very beginning the quality of the service was poor. I called and complained about the poor service on a regular bases, but to no avail. Each month the service would deteriorate a little more until after 10 months there was no service at all. I called and tried to cancel the one year contract because of the poor service, but was told the quality of service wasn't guaranteed and there would be a $300.00 cancellation fee plus I would still be liable for the last two months service fees.  I turned the phone off and tossed it in a drawer. After the contract had ended I contacted Cingular to find out when I would receive my cash deposit back. That's when I found out Cingular does not automatically refund deposits. One must make application for the refund. I made the application and was assured I would receive my deposit in 30 days. It took 5 months of continuous calling to finally get my deposit back, less fees of course.

After leaving Cingular I went with an AT&T program which required no contract. $39.95 plus tax was simply withdrawn from my checking account each month and I received 400 minutes, which I never really used up. It was the perfect plan for me. Nothing to think about, just good service, which I've received for the last two years.

After two years no problems, Cingular took over AT&T wireless last month. On January 9, 2004 my wireless service was disrupted without notice. I called AT&T, now Cingular, and was told that my service was disrupted because I had not paid my bill. I pointed out that the payment was supposed to be taken from my checking account automatically. After checking, the Cingular representative agreed with me and re-established my service. I was also told I could have avoided this problem if I had called Cingular and reported the problem before my service was disrupted, clearly the problem was my fault. On January 10, 2004, my checking account was debited $41.15. On January 11, 2004 my account was debited an additional $41.15. I On January 12, 2004 Called Cingular and talked to Tim Honeywell who offered no explanation as to why I was charged twice. He also told me that he could not credit my checking account the second $41.15. He said the money would be applied to my next month's bill. I asked to speak to his supervisor. He refused. When I asked how to spell his name, he finally connected me with Mike Rafter who told me, yes he would have my account credited and to allow 6 weeks for the credit to be applied. This was all he could do. Not satisfied with the way Cingular was handling things, I requested the name and mailing address of the President of Cingular. Mr. Rafter put me on hold and after a minute I got a dial tone.
Some things never change.

Jim Fournier