Friday, December 23, 2005

Stardate 59976.42 – Furious at Cingular Wireless – Spoiled Christmas

All I wanted for Christmas was to upgrade my crappy AT&T Wireless cell phone…and Cingular (who purchased AT&T Wireless) let me down, as I’m sure they let other customers down if this is how they run their business.

I’ve been going to the Cingluar website once a month or so for the past 6 months or more, trying to upgrade my phone. At first, the site told me that because I was a former AT&T Wireless customer with an international plan, I was ineligible to upgrade via the web. I finally went into a Cingular store where an associate told me that I had to wait until 3 months or so from my contract expiration before I could upgrade. I continued to check the web site, and finally in October it told me I couldn’t upgrade because I had not met the requirements of the contract. Finally! Light at the end of the tunnel!

In late November I went to the site and it permitted me to upgrade! I picked a phone and plan, and I ordered accessories from Amazon (cheaper than from Cingular). The next day, I received an e-mail that told me “Unfortunately, either we have not heard from you in several days, or you have chosen to cancel your order. In either case, this e-mail confirms your order cancellation.” Huh??? You heard from me yesterday, you bastards, when I placed my order! And I sure as hell didn't cancel it!

I called them up, and the customer service rep (who was actually helpful!) told me that there was a bug in the web page and I should not have been permitted to upgrade until December 20th, as that was the date close enough to the end of my contract to make me eligible to upgrade. I set a reminder in my calendar for December 20, and looked forward to getting my new phone as a Christmas present to myself (and to Cheryl, because I'd finally have a decent phone and she would not have to hear me bitching about my old phone any more).

On the morning of December 20 I went to the web site and upgraded my phone and plan. I received the following e-mail later that day:

“Thank you for upgrading your former AT&T Wireless account. We look forward to providing you with the best coverage over the largest digital voice and data network in America. Remember, if you need help at any time, you can count on our knowledgeable customer service representatives and convenient online account management tools to be there when you need them.
You should receive your item(s) within one to two business days, based on the shipping method you selected.”

Now, since we were going to NJ for Christmas in 2 days, I had the phone shipped there. Even though it said 1-2 days, I figured I was safe just sending it to NJ. We went to NJ on Thursday. IThe phone did not arrive 2 days after the order, and instead I received the following e-mail Thursday near 5 PM:

Cingular Wireless - Order Status UpdateDear Cust Sawyer ,Thank you for choosing Cingular Wireless. Your order has been received. We’re glad to have you join the largest digital voice and data network in America.
We look forward to servicing your wireless needs for a long time to come.”


I checked the link they provided and was able to get to the UPS site, and it tells me:

“Your package is in the UPS system and is on time with a scheduled delivery date of Dec 27, 2005.”

For the record, we'll be back in NY on the 27th.

So, to recap, I ordered the phone on the 20th with a promise of 1-2 day delivery, Cingular claims to not have even received my order until 2 days later, with the phone showing up two days after Christmas. Just for the record, that is four business days (7 calendar days) after I placed my order.

Cingular sucks. Spoiled my Christmas.


CAPT_Sawyer said...

To add to the stupidity of Cingular's ignorance, I just got the following e-mail:

"Dear Mr. Chriss,

Thank you for your recent upgrade! Your new Cingular phone will allow you to take advantage of all of the great services and features available to you as part of the nation’s largest wireless family. "

Mr. Chriss is my father-in-law. It was to his house I am having the phone shipped.


JamesF said...

Don't get me started on Cingular. I suppose it's an alright network if you started there, but if you're one of those that were former AT&T customers, they don't give a rat's ass about you.

We have 4 bars of coverage at our new house, and then after getting switched over to Cingular, the first couple months were fine. Then we stopped getting service at our house, and I figured it must have something to do with merging the networks and eventually everything would start working. It wasn't until once when my Mom was up, who also has Cingular and was getting 4 bars at our house when we were getting none that I suspected the truth may be something else. Apparently they just sort decided to stop supporting the old network and forcing people to buy a new phone and contract in order to have any type of decent service. Ginger has more of the details. She actually called and complained once (like that did any good).

Cingular blows chunks.

Ryan said...

Yes, Cingular customer service sucks. In fact, Google "Cingulars Sucks" and you will find several sites and even a club devoted to their suckyness. I have my own Cingular sucks story and will post the whole sorted affair on my blog when I get the time...