Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cindy and Me

Once upon a time I was a loyal AT&T customer. I loved them and they loved me. We had an amazing relationship for seven years. Anytime that I had a problem, I could call my friends and they would straighten it out immediately and with aplomb. Accidentally run up my charges in a roaming area? No problem, we’ll just credit you, thanks for being a customer. Don’t like your phone? Here’s a new, fancier one, for free.

I thought our relationship was great. Apparently, though, AT&T wanted to spice things up, so they invited Cingular to the party. At first I thought, “Hey, rollover minutes, I could get used to that.” However, I didn’t qualify for that plan without changing everything about my current plan.

See, Cingular was like Cindy, the new wife in a polygamous relationship who is demanding, pouting, and acts like the 19 year-old child that she is. Surely there would still be love for the first wife. No, I was constantly forced to take a back seat to whatever Cindy wanted. Cindy wants you to change networks. Cindy thinks you need a new phone for the new network. Cindy thinks they should change cell phone towers and make reception impossible at your place of work. If you had a problem, Cindy cracked her gum and said, “Whatever, this is SO NOT my problem.”

Finally, I was through. I ain’t no hollaback girl. I called to close my two (2) accounts with Cindy and her spineless hubby, AT&T. One account was with Cindy, the other, technically, still with AT&T. One account had a positive balance of 37.18; the other, a negative balance of 37.18. Could they, I inquired, possibly transfer the balance from one account to the other? Sure, came the reply.

A month later I got a bill in the mail for the negative balance. I called again and after being on the phone for 45 minutes, I was assured the balance had been transferred. Month after month this went by. FOUR months to be exact. Each time, more and more time on the phone. By the fourth month it was more than 2 hours (I had 12 employees as witnesses) on the phone trying to get them to MOVE a balance from Account A to Account B.

Nothing topped month five. I was at my desk when I got a call, “Hello, this is Sean from External Collection Agency. Cindy has turned your account over to us for non-payment. If you do not cooperate with us we will royally screw-up your credit.”




I called Sean back. He was actually pretty nice. He agreed to put a hold on the collection until I could call Cindy back.
I went home that night, gearing up mentally to call Cindy.
There, in the mailbox, was a letter.

A check.

For 37.18.

The same day AT&T/Cingular sent me to collections, they sent me a check.


Kiki said...

GRRRRRRRR! I TOTALLY HEAR YOU! AT&T was the bomb, and then we were all but forced to join team Cingular, which, by the way, IS NOT "the all-over network" because I don't know ANYWHERE where it's EVERYWHERE. The entire area of Monroe, LA is a coverage dungeon. It's so frustrating. It was NEVER like that with AT&T. UGH!

Last month, I got a bill from a collections agency for an account I closed at Washington Mutual six years ago! I made sure everything I had out had gone through before I closed it (or so I thought). Well, something (I don't know what) apparently happened, and even though I stayed at the same address for two full years after I closed that account, I'd never heard anything about it until last month. It never even showed up on any credit reports as the strange mystery unpaid thing. I was a little pissed because my balance was $250+, and the collections agency wanted to deal with me for 50%. Why should I have had to pay any of it? How did I know this was a for-real thing? I told them to contact the bank and tell them I wanted full documentation on this matter, and I still haven't received anything.

How did your call to Cindy turn out?

compulsive writer said...

ARRRRRRRRRRRGH! So glad you warned me about Cindy. I guess I'd better split while I can, considering a third wife is about to join the party. Here is the latest explanation I got about that: First it was AT&T Wireless, which is separate from AT&T the bell company. Cingular took them over. Now Cingular and AT&T the bell company are sleeping together, but AT&T totally expects to dominate that relationship and will take over completely within the next 12 months. The funny part was the statement: That will be a good thing because you'll get better service and then you'll be able to bundle all your telecommunications services with one company. As if!

Someone else told me about the third-party T-mobile deal via Amazon. She said she actually made money signing up. I'll check it out! Here's my question: How remote does customer service end up being through them and have you had any billing or service issues?

Anonymous said...

OH that Cindy!

I was also once a happy customer with AT&T. Then that Cindy had to make her move! Bah!

My contract is up this month, and I'm switching over, baby!

Anonymous said...

WTF! I don't understand how any company can stay in business when they are always messing everything up. Glad I'm not their accountant!

BowlerGirl said...

Oh how I feel your pain. My relationship with Sprint also ended on a very sour note. (Interpret that with a screaming match held on the street while locked out of my house.) I've liked T-Mobile, so if you are searching I would go that direction. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

T_Mobile is great so far.. speaking of babies, I'm wondering if you would help me round up some ladies (or give me names) to attend a shower for Melody - :)

Anonymous said...

Ditto on Bowlergirls comments. We left Sprint/NExtel because they actually aren't together and are totally retarded. We are now back to TMobile where we had been totally happy customers for years. I'm not sure why we switched to begin with!

Anonymous said...

What is strange, our phone company here used to be SBC and ATT bought them out. I had a few issues with SBC, but ATT has been quite terms of our land line. Makes me wonder if their employees are all being trained the same or if ATT ended up with a disgruntled Cingular employees that are covertly taking out their frustrations on the customer, or my service with ATT is a ticking timebomb.

I haven't had any hassles with T-mobile either...going on two years.

wendysue said...

Sounds like Cindy and her hubby can sleep together but obviously no communication is going on between them!! Seriously, can person A walk a check over to person B? Is it THAT difficult? I guess too many brainwashed kiddos were in the way.

~j. said...

Did Cindy work at Ricks College about eleven years ago? I'm pretty sure she did.

Anonymous said...

So gay.

Anonymous said...

I've been dealing with my screwy At&T bill for about 6 months now and every time I call with a correction they put my bill on hold which means I have 6 months worth of bill to pay right now. But I doubt they'll ever get my bill right which means hopefully I won't have to pay for a LOOONG time. But just to up and leave? You, sister, have a backbone. I wish I did!

noelle feather said...

That is WHY I hate Cingular. I too was in happy land with AT&T. No longer with Cingular and will be gone in one year.

I 1000000000000000% understand exactly where you are coming from.

THE best word verification EVER: pleelz

b. said...

It was voicestream for us! They still dinged our credit-dirtbags!Voicestream is now T-mobile, so even if they have changed their ways...I won't give 'em another chance to screw me over. I'm with Verizon and haven't had any probs.