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cingular and customer service

I’m currently listening to the on-hold “music” for Cingular. It is informing of various services they offer and telling me how I can go online and do all these wonderful things.
I’m on hold with Cingular because I am still having problems with my phone. For those who don’t know, after I arrived in Austin following by trip to Chicago/South Bend, various Cingular customers, at various times, have not been able to call me. They have been greeted by a friendly little Cingular voice informing them that my phone number is not a working number.
The same people can text message me to tell me that my phone is not a working number, however.
I have called them multiple times, starting over the weekend of November 4th. That was the weekend of Lambda Omega Alpha’s 15th Anniversary Weekend. Yes, the weekend of a very large event for the fraternity of which I am the president. It is always great when issues like this occur before a time when you are needed and you can’t be contacted. Remember, I’m of the mindset, both technologically and financially, where I only need a cell phone. No landline for me, except my office phone.
Everyone was nice on that first call and promised everything would be taken care of by that Thursday. Some people could call me who couldn’t before, but some people still can’t. I call after that point. Everyone was nice and they promised it would be taken care of soon.
Now, it is almost 45 days since this started and one person, at least, has never been able to call since then and many cannot call at various times, including myself. Sometimes I’m told that my phone isn’t a working phone when I’m using my phone to check my voicemail.
Me: “Just to let you know, this is getting better. At first, almost no one with Cingular could call me. Now it’s a much smaller group of users and mostly at variable times.”
Customer Service (CS): “I understand sir. We will take care of it this time. That is why we are issuing a trouble ticket for this event.”
Me: “Of course. I just wanted the tech you’re conferring with that whatever they’re doing is making it better- this is the third or fourth trouble ticket issued related to this.”
CS: “Please hold while I give the tech this additional information”
This has been my life for the past hour. I will convey some important information to the CS agent, who then places me on hold to tell the tech. Why could the tech not talk to me directly? Are engineers not “people-people”?
I feel like this CS Agent is like Tom Smykowski in Office Space. You remember him, don’t you?
“Well-well look. I already told you: I deal with the g** ***n customers so the engineers don’t have to. I have people skills; I am good at dealing with people. Can’t you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?”
In her credit, she is good at dealing with people. When the tech called me for a “test call”, she seemed like she was good at dealing with people as well. Except for when she said, “now, I’m going to switch back to your CS agent and let her get back to you.” That wasn’t what I was hoping to hear. Maybe a “man, you’re having a dilly of a problem there sport, let me just get my hands dirty and help you myself.” Perhaps without that many cliches, but my point remains the same.
They have just informed me that if you have a Cingular phone and have had problems calling me, you should contact them. It might be a problem on your end. Yes, I know that you only have problems calling me, but it still might be your fault that you can’t call me.
If you cannot call me, call Cingular at 1-800-888-7600. After you enter your wireless phone number and the next prompt beings, press 0. When the prompt following starts, press 1. Tell them you’re a friend of mine, but refer to me by my wireless telephone number, since I am just a number to them. Please be sure to have written, word for word, the error message you have been hearing. When you tell them error code “3cx” or “3xc” or whatever it was, (It is 3CX right?), they won’t believe you, since that error only occurs when they are dealing with phone numbers that have switched providers, not native-Cingular/AT&T accounts.
For now, the midnight oil is running low and I have much more to do before lying down for a night of call-less sleep.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

4 replies on “cingular and customer service

the cell works again?

Update: I think the cell phone is fully functional again. I was contacted directly by a tech to discuss the situation further and gave me his direct phone number, which I attempted and in fact rang directly to his desk,…

this is war: a cingular story

Alright. So I thought the problem I was having with my phone was fixed. This weekend, I find out that Vanessa and Stephanie both had this happen to them while attempting to call my phone. I call Customer Care tonight,…

This problem began for us in December of 2004. They refused to open a trouble ticket. I was finally able to get them to open one in August. Every few weeks, when a customer is told my number isn’t working, or when I have to make three and four calls to reach my partner (with identical Cingular service).
Same deal for me. The techs won’t talk to the public, and the customer service reps take the position that they don’t know anything about it and they’ve never heard of such a problem. I put a voice mail message on my phone, explaining it, and I often am left messages that begin, “I’m also on cingular, and I have the same problem.”
Perhaps Cingular ought to do some web searching, because the above post pops right up as the first of many hits with a search of the form:
cingular “not a working number”

round 3: cingular vs kraft

For those keeping track of my various and many problems with Cingular, I heard back from them today. They asked if I am still experiencing the problem, of which currently I am not. Apparently, field techs report that problems in…

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