Jul. 2nd, 2004 @ 12:08 pm
I've been annoyed as all hell with my cell service for the past few months. Ever since the AT&T/Cingular merger went through the service as SUCKED. "No Network", "No Access", "BEEP BEEP BEEP", that stupid "no calls allowed" symbol... I just haven't been able to use my phone how I used to... and I'm fairly certain it's not the phone (it's a Sony Ericsson T616... EVERYBODY has this phone), and everyone I know has been complaining about the issues.
So I made it my point to call on an almost weekly basis, and finally said something similar to "look, if you didn't have me locked into a contract, this call would be about cancelling my service... so I need you to make this better." I was really only looking for a $20 credit on my service or something. Instead I got a new Motorola T721 for free, a $20 call credit, and no mandatory contract renewall (read: I can still cancel if I want in August, I think). This only worked because I just happened to be standing in an AT&T Wireless store when I was talking to the customer care guy and said "Well, in your own store, the Sony Ericsson shows "No Access", the Siemens shows "No Network" and the Motorola has full signal... tell me how that works". He did have an answer except "Well... I can send you the one that apparently works". Okay... that's fine... I'll take it :)
What's the lesson here folks? BITCH, BITCH, BITCH!
So now I've got a new cellphone, and have to relearn it's quirks, but maybe (despite what I believe) the service will be better with it... and I can still switch to Sprint when my contract's up anyway. it's even a little bit smaller... hopefully it still fits in my ashtray ;)
|Date:||July 2nd, 2004 12:36 pm (UTC)|| |
You've now learned the secret to cell phone companies. The squeaky wheel gets the lube. hehe. When you go to renew your contract, if you decide to stay with them, don't ever bother with advertised plans. You call up customer service and bitch and threaten to dump them entirely, then get yourself transferred to the "retention department." Once there, you can pretty much write your own plan.
Same with Internet providers people... my DSL modem died and I got really lousy customer support to figure that one out... they sent a technician who wanted to charge my $60 for service (because it was my fault...) and $99 for a new modem... I bitched and bitched and then bitched a little more and even if I was locked in the contract for another 8 months I got off with no charge and a new free modem.... it was enough to say that I was very discontent with the service and that I would have switched over to comcast cable internet service as soon as it was going to be economically sound....
|Date:||July 2nd, 2004 02:49 pm (UTC)|| |
Yeah, we learned the hard way about Cingular (and T Mobile too, which apparently uses the same towers in this area, so has the same problems). I got my new Verizon cellphone (after the two new T Mobiles one I tried wouldn't work in our apartment) and then called them up to say "I know you can comp some of my bill at your discretion so can you do something for me?" (I wasn't even calling to complain, I just wondered whether they'd reduce the bill) and the guy credited me $40 on the spot for no reason. Yippee for squeaky wheels!
Good job negotiating with them, but since the provider hasn't changed, I suspect the service might not either. Good thing they didn't make you renew the contract!
|Date:||July 2nd, 2004 08:02 pm (UTC)|| |
just for the sake of clarity
The Cingular/ATTWS merger HAS not occurred.
From a GSM network perspective in the bay area. The Cingular network is the old Pac Bell GSM network. T-Mobile rents access on it and ATTWS has its own network.
Just before the merger, ATTWS and Cingular signed cross-roaming agreements to get better national GSM coverage. So Cingular customers can use the ATTWS network and vice-versa.
Now here's the catch, Cingular just agreed to sell the CA/NV GSM network to T-Mobile to raise enough money for the ATTWS acquistion.
So for now, as a cingular customer you have both Cingular + ATTWS network coverage. As an ATTWS customer, same. As T-Mobile just the cingular network.
Post merger (probably about 1/1/2005 unless moved up), Cingular (including ATTWS) customers will ONLY have the ATTWS network in CA/NV. T-Mobile customers will be on the former cingular network.
Is the Motorola a GSM phone? I miss Verizon more and more every day. I've been wanting to get one of the new EDGE GPRS phones but since the network is doing so badly right now I'm not sure whether I want to invest money into another AT&T phone that'll lock me into the AT&T network. My friends try to call me and get locked into an error message. Not voicemail, mind you, an error message. Whenever I step out of the subway I have to restart my phone. Whenever I want to use the wireless web to check MUNI arrival times, I have to restart my phone. Their service got really good for a while after they merged networks with Cingular, but it's gotten horrible over the past few weeks. During Pride I couldn't place a single call. "Network busy. Retry?"
Perhaps I'll call them and squeak for a while too. I'm month-to-month so I can leave if things get bad, but I do love my Sony Ericsson phone, which won't work with Verizon's network.
|Date:||July 5th, 2004 02:59 pm (UTC)|| |
Sprint is worse...
I didn't want to change my number, so I had to sign up with them again. When my contract expires in October, I'll be shopping around to find a service I like.
My phone got messed up (I had to literally use a rubberband to get it to stay on), and paid the $35 deductible for a new phone. It's somewhat better than the old one, but still gets poor reception in exactly the same places as the old one did. I have complained, both on the phone to customer care, and to the manager at the local Sprint store. They offered me a $150 credit toward a new phone, but only if I sign up for another two years. I told them flat-out that there is no way I'm going to sign up for a longer term unless they can prove to me that their service will work. They can claim it's the phone all they like, but if another service will give me a phone that works, I'm moving on.
At least the customer service for your provider gave you a decent phone.