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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, after leaving a voicemail with the engineer who called me after the December 11 phone call. The customer care said that my trouble ticket was still pending with tech and that, after consulting to tech, my problem could be fixed by transferring from the old AT&T network to the Cingular Orange network. She highlights what all that would entail: a slightly changed rate plan and new phones. The new rate plan is more or less what I have now. Currently, I have 400 anytime minutes plus 300 promotional minutes, plus unlimited night and weekends and unlimited mobile-to-moblie calling. The new plan would have only 450 anytime minutes, 5000 night and weekend minutes with unlimited mobile-to-mobile. While it is a great reduction in minutes, since having free mobile-to-mobile, I haven’t needed all 700 anytime minutes, or anything close to it. In short, I was willing to forget about those minutes since they aren’t that vital to me.
I wasn’t ready to make the switch as I wanted to do a little more research on my options. My thought is if I can get roughtly what I have now for the same price, I’ll undergo switching phones and whatnot to get myself in a working situation.
I call them back after deciding that I would go with it. I do have one question though: on the old AT&T network, it cost me $0.10 to SEND each text message and there is no charge to receive them. Is that the same on “Cingular Orange”?
No. It cost $0.10/event to send OR RECEIVE a text message.
But, as the Customer Care rep said in her very broken English, “you currently have a $4.99 text messaging plan that allows you to send 100 messages. With Cingular, for the same price, it will be 200 so it offsets.”
As I pointed out to her, it doesn’t offset. I limit myself to 100 sent messages but I am sent many many more messages than I send.
I don’t have a problem jumping through hoops to make my service better (or in other words, save their engineers the work of fixing my problem) as long as that is all it is. I don’t want to be charged for something that I get free now.
All of this while thinking that text messages are cheaper to send/receive for Cingular than one minute of voice traffic. Remember Hurricane Rita and how no one in Houston could actually talk on the phone but had no problem sending SMS messages? That is because a voice call has to create a dedicated digital channel for the call while a text message uses only one packet of the data stream. (I don’t really know the details so I might be using the wrong words, but more or less, that is the case).
I’ll be paying a visit to the Cingular store to speak with someone who hopefully can speak English and see what can happen.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

One reply on “this is war: a cingular story

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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