View Full Version : Cingular is pure garbage

05-09-2004, 11:52 AM
Man I'm so sick of Cingular it makes my blood boil. I cannot wait until my contract runs out so I can switch and take my phone number with me. That's been the only thing keeping with them for all these years, I needed to keep my number because way too many people have it and it's my only phone. I went through the "number change" when I ditched my home phone, and I wasn't doing that again.

I had to call my Mom 3 different times today to try and wish her a Happy Mother's Day, only to hear each time "I can't hear you". Well Cingular is fixing to HEAR ME come Monday. If in fact I can even get a clear call through to them. I'll probably have to go out of my way to get a ride from someone to one of their stores just to get my message across. "Sorry I couldn't call and complain, your service sucks!" I'll tell them that too. :D

But from what I've heard, most other companies aren't any better, so I don't know if it's even worth switching. But I have to find some kind of alternative because Cingular is pure garbage.

Anyone know of a cell company that there aren't alot of horror stories about?

05-13-2004, 05:38 PM
So anyway, since Monday morning (if not Sunday night, I'm not sure) my phone suddenly got kicked over to Cingular Extend, which is their roaming/long distance network. Why, I don't know, but I haven't called out because I can't afford the extra charges on the phone.

So I finally get my mom over here today and she calls them. At first they tell her that I must be getting a signal from an AT&T tower, and after a few times of her mentioning it they don't grasp the fact that she's sitting 2 feet from me and is not having any problems with her phone. Nor did they grasp the fact that I've lived in this particular apartment complex for nearly 3 years and haven't had any problems like this.

Then they had the nerve to say (about 15-20 minutes later) that "there's nothing we can do and he'll just have to pay the roaming charges." WHAT!? Nothing you can do? You can for once provide me appropriate service morons and fix problems that are obviously you're fault.

So another 10 minutes go by and we eventually come to the understanding that she "put a note" with my account saying to reverse all long distance charges that are made. Which half way works, except that I still can't call *99 to get my voice messages.

I'm waiting on the bill to see how well that's going to work out. Yeah, I can already guess how too.

Luckily she told us that my contract expires the 24th of this month. Goodbye for good Cingular. I really don't care who I switch to at this point, this has been years of constant pathetic service. But I know people on other services and they have no better luck, so I'm not really sure who to switch to. I guess it's time to do some Google'n.

05-15-2004, 06:39 PM
Dont go with Nextel. They are expensive, service sucks, and they had a north and south carolina black out friday. Lots and Lots of mad people!

05-15-2004, 07:11 PM
Heh, that's who I was looking at. Would cost me about $100 to switch (phone, service plan, connection/setup, etc.).

I know Sprint and Verizon are horrible, because I know people with them.

05-16-2004, 07:37 AM
Yes, Cingular has some of the worst (US based) customer service in the world. I think it's becuase of how they treat their employees. I worked in a cingular call center right after I graduated from college and it sucked. Their average employee turnover rate is somewhere around 3 months, and 2 weeks of that is training where you don't even have to do anything except show up and stay awake!

Is your phone GSM or TDMA? How about your mom's? What models are your phones?

05-16-2004, 07:41 AM
Have a look at Shawn Weeks' old site.... http://www.wirelessphonereviews.com/

05-16-2004, 07:51 AM
Is your phone GSM or TDMA?I have no idea. :confused:

What models are your phones?
Mine is a Nokia 5165. She used to have the same one but recently got her a new phone because something happened to her other. I'm not sure what model exactly but it's a Nokia, and looks similar to the 6340i.

05-16-2004, 10:44 AM
Your's is TDMA. There are 2 things that I think could be wrong:

1. Your phone is programmed incorrectly. This will cause it to use the wrong company's towers. You need to make sure that your SID and SOC numbers match the ones in your mom's working phone. Here's a website with instructions on how to check or change the settings on a 5165: http://www.barrykclark.com/pix/5165_program.htm You want the FULL PROGRAMMING SEQUENCE. You'll need to google for programming instructions for your mom's specific type of phone. You should be able to find her model number on a sticker under the battery. You may also be able to call Customer service and ask them to guide you through verifying your phone's programming. Sometimes it's just a matter of calling back until you happen to get someone who knows what they're doing.

2. The other possibility is that your phone IS programmed to use the correct towers, but it is set to report those towers as EXTEND instead of CINGULAR. This won't affect your billing, just what is displayed on your phone. Cingular customer service can correct this by "Flashing" your phone. Some areas can do this over the airwaves, and some require you to bring the phone to a Cingular service center to get this done.

Good luck. You may be better off just bringing the phone to a store. They seem to be much more knowledgeable than customer service.

05-16-2004, 10:59 AM
Thanks, I'll check that stuff out when I get a chance. If I decide to even stay with them I may just go to a local store and see if we can get it straight, but at this point I've just had enough of Cingular.

What would make a phone just stop responding correctly though? I've had this phone for years and have been been all over Alabama and Florida with it and never had problems hitting the correct towers. And as I said I've lived here for going on 3 years and it has always connected to the Cingular towers.

I know Cingular and AT&T are supposed to be merging. Could that be effecting it? Crossed signals?

05-16-2004, 12:03 PM
Cingular periodically updates the list of towers that do and do not count as roaming for their customers. When new phones are sold, they put in the newest version of the programming. When they make changes, they also try to keep things working with the old settings for a while for phones that are not up to date. Eventually, they phase out the legacy settings and things get screwy for people whose phones are not updated (mostly people who have had the same phone for a long time.)

I'm not 100% sure that this is your problem, but it sounds like the most likely candidate to me. Just stop by a cingular store and ask them to verify your programming and make sure that you have the latest roaming database.

Or you could just dump Cingular altogether, because as you've found out, their customer service sucks.

05-16-2004, 01:31 PM
Woops. I think I screwed my mom's phone up. I gave her the 5165 code without thinking it's phone dependent, and it did nothing. But she removed the battery to check the model # (it is in fact the 6340i) and when she turned it back on she got alot of screwy stuff.

Alot of this appears on the display (she doesn't have the icons in the upper left corner anymore):

A276 97
A 191 -101

<scrolls down>

Cellbar accepted
BTS Test Off
Not Allowed

Scrolling through the address book with the up/down keys no longer works.

And in her Select Menu she now has Field test. Field test shows up for me, but only when I go into the programming. Is there anyway to get her phone back normal? :eek:

05-17-2004, 07:01 AM
Sounds like you've got it in field test mode. :) Don't change any of the settings. To get out of field test mode, press *3001#12345# and power cycle the phone.

05-17-2004, 10:03 AM
That worked and she said to "tell him thank you, thank you, thank you." Although it took a bit of convincing to put the same code back in that screwed it up in the first place. :) Thanks.

05-17-2004, 11:37 AM
No problem. Glad I could help. :)

I hope you can get everything straightened out with your phone. Just remember, no matter how frustrated you get, don't do this (http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Central/05/14/store.rampage.ap/index.html)!

08-06-2004, 05:02 PM
I'm free! I'm free! I'm free of those slackass morons. I swear if intelligence was a necessity for living, everyone at Cingular would drop dead immediately.

Apparently what happened was, 2 or 3 months ago Cingular "upgraded their technology" and suddenly my phone wasn't compatible, hence the phone suddenly switching to Cingular Extend in order to be able to reach the network. Only today were we told this, after debating on the phone for an hour to get them to reverse the most recent set of charges that we were told 2 months ago would be removed if they were accrued.

I'm still not done with Cingular the company, I'm going to get that last word as soon as I'm sure they can't cancel my account before the number gets moved over. The only way to take your number with you is if both accounts, new and old, are active.

I'm with Nextel now. They may not be any better (will take 48 hours for the number to be ported) but they sure can't be any worse.

Edit: Another funny thing in between now and then. We called, after getting the big bill the first time, to get the charges cleared and while on the phone we went through the same crap trying to figure out the problem. The woman on the phone had the nerve to say "well, if he upgrades to a new plan he can be assured of recieving proper service". WHAT? What does my plan have to do with getting a signal from a tower I've been getting a signal off of just fine for 2+ years. Morons. :rolleyes: