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Cingular Contract - Any way out?

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Cingular Contract - Any way out?

Old 04-10-07, 01:58 AM
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Cingular Contract - Any way out?

So, I realize that this has probably been asked before, but I did a search and couldn't find anything.

I have had Cingular from the beginning, many, many years. Lately, in the past couple of years my service hasn't been great, but I have put up with it because I have a lot of roll-over minutes, and I figured every provider has some weak spots in their service.

Enter the significant other... we are getting married in September, and she has Verizon - and as far as I know she has very few problems with it. My plan was to get out of Cingular in November when my contract is up and move over to Verizon.

Now, my service is doing nothing but getting worse and worse. I have to tell people who call my cell when I'm at home that I'll call them back because I can barely get a signal. I have dropped calls all the time, I have text messages that I send that the people just don't get - but its a crap shoot - sometimes they do get them. On top of that I have a text junk-mail that I get in groups of 5 or 6 messages at a time about 2 times a month, sometimes more.

Today my fiance doesn't get 2 of my text messages, and I'm fed up. I called Cingular to see what they can do. They tell me that I'm locked into my contract until February (not September like the web-site says - apparently the website shows when I can upgrade my phone - NOT when my contract is up.) They also offer no suggestions or solves for my service problems.

Now I'm really pissed and I want OUT. Does anyone know a way I can get out of this contract? How about improving my service? I'm using a Nokia 6102b. I am in Redlands, CA.

I mean, I pay $40 a month plus additional services for CRAP service. I don't think I should have to stay with Cingular if they aren't providing the service that I pay for.

Sorry for that long rant here, but any help would be greatly appreciated.
Old 04-10-07, 02:42 AM
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see if this thread helps
Old 04-10-07, 08:44 AM
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I've never tried this and don't have clue how well it works, but it doesn't cost anything to try. It only costs something if you get somebody to pick up your contract (I think $15).

http://www.cellswapper.com/
Old 04-10-07, 09:12 AM
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I thought about that when I switched from Verizon to T-Mobile last week. But, I didn't want to wait for someone to pick up my contract (a Verizon rep even mentioned it to me, as I renewed my contract just before their pro-rated cancellation policy went into affect).

I just bit the bullet and cancelled and sold my phone (LG Chocolate) to offset the cost of the cancellation fee. You would be surprised how many replies I got (posted on Craigslist) for my phone. Mostly from people in the middle of their contracts who wanted a new phone (as they charge current customers the full amount for new phones).
Old 04-10-07, 09:13 AM
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I had a similar problem with MSN a few years back. Signed a contract to get a free Xbox. Well the service was terrible. Rarely connecting, and staying connected was also a problem(this was on dial-up). After a few months it was time to call and see how to get out of this crap service. Of course we go through the standard tech issues to try and fix the problem to no avail. After a few calls, I was done.

I spoke to a supervisor who said I would owe the $250 or whatever it was for terminating. I stood my ground. Told them a contract works both ways. I said I signed a contract saying I would pay them to provide me with a service. They aren't currently holding up their end of the deal, so why should I? After going round in circles for twenty minutes, just repeating the same things, standing firm, she said if I don't pay the $250 they will send their lawyers. I told her that was fine.

Never heard from them again. Never even received a bill for the termination fee.
Old 04-10-07, 01:13 PM
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So you would rather continue to pay for bad service than pay a termination fee? How much is the fee to terminate? If it is less then be done with it and get a new phone from Verizon and be happy.
Old 04-10-07, 03:48 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but once you're out of your initial agreement term, aren't you just month to month until you explicitly agree to another set term?
Old 04-10-07, 04:38 PM
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I worked for CellularOne years ago so things have changed however I'll provide my 2. I believe once you're under a year the buyout is pro-rated so it may be less than $250. We never really went after the people for the buyout as long as they didn't stick us with a huge bill. You can talk to the Verizon folks. If you have a phone you're bringing over and they don't have to subsidize the new activation sometimes they'll give you a credit on your bill to cover early termination. If your workplace has a corporate account that can give you some leverage too.

For about 30 days document every mistake and problem calling customer service for a credit each time. This will put it in their system too. Then when you quit you can send them a letter about how bad the service is. I think Michael's solution can work for you too.

Again, things have changed, however I remember when I sold phones the first few times I was selling to attorneys, I was nervous they would freak at the contract. One told me it was totally unenforceable because it was totally one sided. In order for a contract to be valid there has to be standards for both parties and our contract commited the buyer but not the provider.

Last edited by JimRochester; 04-10-07 at 04:41 PM.
Old 04-10-07, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by bunkaroo
Correct me if I'm wrong, but once you're out of your initial agreement term, aren't you just month to month until you explicitly agree to another set term?
That is true, but every time you upgrade a phone, in order to get the discount, you have to re-up your contract for an additional 2 years. My contract is until Feb '08.

Thanks to everyone for the help. I found one thing about the "Arbitration" clause changes that may get me out of it. Now I'm going to wait until May because I need $$$ for the new phone/contract with Verizon before I cancel my service with Cingular. I'm not worried about keeping the same number (I'd like to, but when I move in August/September, my area code is changing anyway, so I may as well not worry about porting my old number over.)
Old 04-10-07, 05:15 PM
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I've never upgraded my phone, yet the ww.cellswapper site tells me that I'd owe $70 if I quit Cingular given my current plan. Maybe there was some termination fee built into my contract.

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