Ya, harsh subject line. And for people who know me, I'm not one to start flaming people or companies. But I've had it. And I need to vent this somehow.
About a year and a half ago I switched from T-Mobile to Cingular because I wanted a phone that only Cingular offered. Dumbest mistake of my life. The very second my 2 year contract is up, I'm switching back. Now, granted, Cingular has been better than AT&T, but not by much. And just an FYI - my biggest annoyance with Cingular is that they claim to have the fewest number of dropped calls; I get a dropped call about once a day.
Anyway, I open up my cell phone bill today expecting it to be around the normal $75. Not this time. Today it was 498.54! Holy crap! So I scrambled to figure it what the heck happenned. Of course, disciphering the billing charges requires a PhD and a half, but I finally found the issue. The bill claimed that I had done a 39,578KB data transfer. I don't have a data plan. I haven't done any data transfers since the first month I had service after which I cancelled their $20/mo data plan.
I called customer care and the rep did a little research and found out the transfer occurred at 3:52pm on Tuesday 11/28/06. I was at work at that time and to my knowledge was not using my phone to transfer megabytes of data (I did a quick calculation and discovered it would take at least 2 hours to transfer that much data with my phone). So I told them that and they claimed there was nothing they could do. Ha! I asked to speak with a manager. After sitting on hold for 10 minutes, a manager came on and said the best they could do was credit my account $150. When I proceded to explain to them that I wasn't going to pay any of the erroneous data charge, the connection went dead. Cingular - network with the fewest dropped calls. That was the moment that I almost ate my cellphone while tearing the countertop off my kitchen cabinets.
There is a happy ending. I called back, sat on hold for a while, and finally spoke with a rep who was able to credit me half of the charge and fill out a form that would supposedly credit the rest back within 30 days. I pray that happens; God have mercy on the poor customer care person who answers my call if it doesn't.
There, I feel much better now. :)
I'm happy to report that Cingular did manage to completely reverse the charges. It took a month, but at least it was taken care of. Why I had to go through so much pain is still irritating to think about. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks they sprinkle little fees like this all the time to customers and bank on the hopes that the customer won't go through the hassle to reverse them.
Anyway, in the end, I got even. The very day after my 2 year contract was up I switched to T-Mobile. And, like the comment of one of the readers, I haven't had to think about my wireless provider ever since.
One more funny thing. Just after I switched, T-Mobile put up some billboards in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area stating "Don't drop dad! T-Mobile, fewest drop calls in the Twin Cities". I knew it wasn't just me!