Counting Down The Days
I was just expressing to a co-worker at US Cellular today how much Cingular pissed me off on a couple of occasions. The worst being when an employee flat out lied to me about an AOL instant messaging feature on a $200 phone I was buying.
I specifically said to the guy "are you sure that's how it works, because I heard from a friend that it worked [like this] instead and I don't want it if it does" (except I went into more detail in my question). He assured me it would do what I wanted and that what I heard was wrong. A couple days later, upon discovering it wasn't doing what I wanted with AOL IM, I asked a different associate about it, and she told me that it worked exactly the way my friend said that it would. The same guy was working that day and I told this woman "That's the guy that told me it didn't work like this." Then she asked him about it right in front of me and he confirmed -without even so much as looking at me out of the corner of his eye- that the AOL IM feature worked in the way that I said didn't want. I was turbo pissed and returned the phone in exchange for one of the free Nokia phones they were selling at the time, even though in hindsight I think I should have just left Cingular.
I've never had a problem with Cingular as a service or the other Nokia phones I've had with them (Nokia = God, in cellular form), but working in the cell phone market I hear from customers on almost a daily basis about how incredibly horrible Cingular's customer service is. Also because I work in the cell phone market I see customer service study lists occasionally, with Cingular pretty much always hanging out down at the bottom along with Sprint. Even though after the AT&T merger Cingular became the largest cellular company in America, if they don't shape up they are doomed to be crushed. If there is anything I have learned from working in this industry is that the vast majority of people hate cellular companies but see it as a necessary evil. I also realized that word of mouth and suggestions from friends is in most cases what decides for someone what company they will go to.
All this considered, its no wonder I ran across this bit of news today. It looks like this business ethic may sooner or later come back to bite them in the ass if they don't do something about it. After receiving 200 reports (20 still completely unanswered) about Cingular last year the Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York officially terminated their membership. It's kind of a small step, but it may open some eyes of consumers in the market. It makes me feel better anyways. I unfortunately am still under contract with them until December 14th, but you better believe that I will be ditching them that very same day. I suggest you all think twice about falling for one of the crazy high tech phones they offer. You better hope that nothing goes wrong in the next two years of your contract, otherwise you will probably wish you hadn't.