Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

27 Dec 2001, 20:50 p.m.

Cingular Wireless has gotten on my nerves to an extent…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

Cingular Wireless has gotten on my nerves to an extent normally reserved for members of my family. The fella who sold us a Family Plan at the Stockton store made us several -- I'd say "promises" in everyday life -- statements that have since proven untrue.

  1. He told us that all mobile-to-mobile (cell-to-cell) (do-si-do) calls would be free. After the bill came, my sister had to straighten this out with a Cingular rep.
  2. The Stockton rep told us that long-distance calls would incur no additional charge (the base charge applying during Peak Hours usage). Again, the bill came and this savings had not been applied and some Cingular rep bore my sister's wrath.
  3. I may be forgetting another scammish "forgetting" of a deal we got, but the most recent twist: the Stockton Cingular spokesperson told us that portions of phone calls under 30 seconds would not count as a "minute," whilst portions of 30 seconds and over would. Knowing this, I tried to keep my non-cell-to-cell calls below 30 seconds (or 1:30, or 2:30, ...). But this was in vain, my sister discovered today from some phone rep: even a single second over a minute counts as another minute!

I'd ask whether anyone else has had horror-story experiences with Cingular, but I know it's true, and I know that or some such probably contains several Hellmouth rants on the topic, and I have begun to understand why Joel and Cam seem to spend a quarter of their time as David Horowitz (not the race-controversy one) from Fight Back! (old consumer-activism TV show).

I know, I know, I know that markets are imperfect (conversations). And I try to seek out good news. So: What's the good stuff (that kids go for)? Tell me about a better mousetrap! Tell me about a cell phone service company that provides adequate or superior service! Please!