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January 16, 2006 12:03 AM

Broken: Cingular phone and customer service

Cingular_1Greg Kloiber writes in:

My phone calls on my Cingular service have been breaking up and dropping out.

When I went to the Cingular site to tell them, it suggested: "For faster service, we can best help you with this question over the phone." And then it told me to call them on my Cingular phone... which is dropping calls.


Well, they did admit to your problem. And that is the first step to recovery.

No, wait. They admited that you admitted to your problem. Not quite the same.

Posted by: Josephc4 at January 16, 2006 12:17 AM

I say damaged, but not completely broken. You don't necessarily need to call from your cellular telephone. Use a landline.

Posted by: Thunder_gryphoN at January 16, 2006 12:38 AM

Actually, the number of people without a landline is rising, so I wouldn't be suprised if somebody only had a cell phone. Even my dad doesn't have a land line.

Posted by: Jello B. at January 16, 2006 01:21 AM

"I say damaged, but not completely broken. You don't necessarily need to call from your cellular telephone. Use a landline."

if the company expects you to have a backup for their own product then i'd call it pretty broken...

Posted by: Robert the Devil at January 16, 2006 02:32 AM

Agree with Robert, if the company expects you to have a back up, it's broken. I don't have a land line and like hell if I'm going to use a nasty pay phone..those things are disgustingly filthy.

Anyway, I had this problem with a non Cingular phone one time and the culprit was the battery itself. I could go get another one but rather than lose everything on my SMART card, I just turn the phone off every so often. Apparently that solves the trick. Worth a shot.

Posted by: Faolan at January 16, 2006 09:04 AM

Call them, then blame them for not fixing your problem when your call breaks up.

Posted by: Fuzzy at January 16, 2006 09:42 AM

We changed to Cingular 07/05 and have had nothing but problems, including poor service. The time spent on the telephone trying to correct each issue has been very time consuming and not always rectified.

Posted by: M L Beam at January 16, 2006 11:22 AM

Not completely broken, but it plays nicely into their tagline:

"Cingular... raising the bar" (to getting service).

Posted by: Pat at January 16, 2006 02:27 PM

I also have Cingular and have had this problem for a year. It does no good to call them. They sent me a rebuilt phone which didn't solve the problem. Then they told me I was in an area of poor to average service and the tower serving my area wasn't even theirs but belonged to a "partner" company. They told me to drive to an area about 3 miles from where I live and reboot my phone. There was NO SERVICE when I got there. I have tried to cancel to no avail. Cingular is definitely broken in my area!

Posted by: Tom at January 16, 2006 03:02 PM

Funny how telecom companies don't realize that they're in the communications business and that a failure to communicate threatens the core of their business model. The whole industry is broken.

Posted by: Confused Shopper at January 16, 2006 04:34 PM

Agree with Tom. Same multitude of problems with Cingular in my area (MEMPHIS! BIG F-IN' CITY!). Finally someone said something about it and I can go back to hating the hundreds of other companies that ruin my life.

Posted by: abcdario at January 16, 2006 04:49 PM

Not exactly broken. You can dial the 1-800 number from a regular phone OR 611 from your mobile phone. Sheeesh!

Posted by: A random caller at January 17, 2006 01:31 AM

The truly broken part of this is that you have to drill down through three or four levels of definitions and subdefinitions of your problem - each one causing an excruciatingly-slow reload of the extremely crufty page - to be told that you must make a phone call instead. And - I checked this - in most of the categories, "call us" is the answer for every one of the subcategories.

So by the time you dial the phone, even before proceeding to wade through all the phone menus and the inevitable hold time before talking to an actual human who will then be unable to solve your issue - you're already ticked off.

Posted by: Anonymouse Coweird at January 17, 2006 10:34 AM

The worst was when I called my cellular provider to tell them that I couldn't make or receive any calls from inside my apartment. I called them from outside my building, and they told me I had to call - on my mobile phone - from inside the building to see what the problem was. "Huh?" I asked. How can I call you from inside, when the phone doesn't work inside. "Well, sir, we can only see what's wrong with your reception when you are on the phone in the affected area."


Posted by: Michael McWatters at January 17, 2006 11:45 AM

I've had similar things happen with Verizon Online. I have Verizon DSL, and I have to call them if I have a problem with the service (like no connection and therefore no access to the internet). While waiting on hold, the message says something similar: you can also reach us at Well, duh! If I had internet access, I wouldn't be waiting in the queue for tech support!

Just curious: are any of you who have had problems with Cingular in the DC area?

Posted by: Mae at January 17, 2006 11:59 AM

they mean that if you dial 611 from a landline it wont get to them.. should be dial the 800 number, or dial 611 from your cingular wireless phone

Posted by: infinity at January 17, 2006 10:10 PM

I (and many, many friends with Cingular) are having the same problem. We have all called to inquire and complain. On my last call to Cingular CS the clerk asked me if I was having trouble MAKING calls. I explained that outgoing calls were no problem, I was just unable to talk on incoming calls for more than a few seconds before it drops out. He then asked me, "OK, so you can MAKE calls, then what's the problem?" (!).

Posted by: ScottRandolph at January 18, 2006 12:26 PM

When they say call over the phone, it doesn't specifically say to call using the same phone that drops the calls; the simple solution would be to call using another phone instead of taking up space on this site!!!

Posted by: Mike Perez at January 18, 2006 09:01 PM

Don't be a douche, Perez. We all don't have easy access to multiple phone lines, and sometimes Cingular says you DO have to call them from the affected phone. Broken broken broken.

Posted by: abcdario at January 18, 2006 11:14 PM

It's not saying you have to use your Cingular phone. It's just saying that if you do, you just have to dial 611 instead of the phone number listed previously.

Though, this reminds me of when I was calling customer service for FedEx and the on hold message kept saying "for faster service, use our website" and the whole reason I was calling was because the website told me I had to call to get the problem corrected.

Posted by: SillyGirl at January 23, 2006 05:05 PM

The service technicians at Cingular never seem to see the painful truth that the reason that they cannot understand me is the reason that I'm calling.

Posted by: Kevin at February 21, 2006 01:49 AM

Just be nice to the cingular rep when you get them on the phone, and call from a landline, you should be able to get things taken care of. Cingular reps got through hell on a day to day basis and are paid next to nothing, so they want to get you off the phone as quickly as possibile if you are interrupting them or yelling, even if they don't solve your problem. Now if you are nice to them, and a cheer to talk to, they will keep you on the line as long as they can and do everything to get you fixed. I know, I'm one of the people that answer when you dial 611.

Posted by: Liz at February 26, 2006 04:27 PM

Dude, U don't HAVE to call with your cingular phone.

Posted by: Daniel at June 20, 2006 10:34 AM

No one can hear me on my cingular phone.Store says it is probably your mike and hands it back.

Called cingular they can do nothing to help except sell me a new phone.Where is the service


Posted by: John at July 11, 2006 04:16 PM

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