Thursday, December 29, 2005

Stardate 59994.25 - Cingular Continues to Suck my Ass

To continue my story on why Cingular sucks….

So my wife’s brother Steve and his family and my father-in-law came out to visit today and brought my phone with them. Following the instructions, I plugged it in and allowed it to charge for 8 hours. I then turned it on and left it on for 2 hours, during which time it was supposed to register on the network.

Did it happen? No.

So I called the number on the form that Cingular had inserted into the shipping box:

If you are experiencing activation issues or have issues with your order please call 1-866-391-0749. One of our order specialists will be happy to assist you.

Lies. Based on this note, you would think that this number would be the activation number (wrong!) and that the activation center would be manned 24 hours (wrong!).

First, that number did get me to a person (Chris), who told me that there is a different number for activating the phone: 1-866-895-1099. OK, that's not what the form says, but at least Chris was helpful. So he transferred me there, and at least he gave me the actual number in case I got disconnected. He failed to tell me the working hours, however, that the activation number was manned (continue reading).

So onto the second phase. Now connected to the "activation number" I proceeded to wade through about 3 solid minutes of voice prompts. I first had to figure out which one to choose right off the bat, since “activate service” was not an option. I finally figured out that “problem with my order” was the magic phrase. I then had to continue to provide information, including my cell phone number, social security number, and billing zip code. I also had to say that I agreed to some long-ass service crap that seemed to go on forever, the words of which did not seem to match the plan I selected at all (it talked about month-to-month and I am pretty sure to get the price I got for the phone I had to agree to 2-years, but WTF). And I sure wasn’t going to press anything that repeated any part of this process.

Finally, just when I think it is all about to wrap up with a positive result, I am told:

We’re sorry, but we cannot help you at this time. Please call back or, to talk to a representative, please press zero.”

OK, the automated system has failed spectacularly, but perhaps I can finally get to my second actual person at Cingular! Maybe I can get my phone working tonight!!


Third phase, I press zero, and am told:

“We’re sorry, but our offices are closed. Our offices are open Monday through Friday from 7 AM until 9 PM, and on Saturday…”

And, of course, since I turned my phone on at 7 and waited the damn 2 hours for it to auto-register it is now past 9 PM. So now I have to wait until tomorrow.

So in review, Cingular doesn’t have the correct activation number on their insert with the phone, they do not have 24 hour customer service, and their telephone system just sucks.

I should have just gone with T-Mobile. Sprint has nice ads also. And Verizon’s network is supposed to be the best. Consumer reports did a review recently of all the cell plans and AT&T/Cingular customer service deservedly received a low score.


Ryan said...


JamesF said...

Ok, my laughing practically woke up Quinn when I read the post's title. Nice one.

Rick Anderson said...

Nextel. done.