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More Cust. Svc. Terrorists - Cingular Mandatory SIM Replacements

0After you read this entry, please call Calvin Ton at +01.408.507.7206 and let him know what you think about his lack of responsiveness to a customer and what you think of Cingular. Or email him at Seriously, I don’t know how else to begin fighting back against the growing Customer Disservice Terrorism Attacks from corporate America. See the past few weeks of entries for various examples.

This is not an acceptable outcome of situations such as the infamous Vincent Ferrari AOL nightmare. Also, it’s not just AOL. Herein you will find some rapidly documented exchanges that I’ve had with various companies over recent weeks. I am not alone in this and the only reason the blogosphere is not already exploding with this stuff is the AMOUNT OF TIME it takes, even with pretty good blog tools, to document the constant stream of offenses dished out by today’s corporations.

Customer Service in America is not a joke, it’s an utter TRAIN WRECK. The promised efficiencies of Holy Grail 1970’s IVR technologies have long since whipsawed against customer satisfaction and company reputations alike. Politeness doesn’t work anymore. It’s taken as a sign of weekness. Service reps answer the phone with an instant defensive attitude because they haven’t yet recovered from the previous ranting customer, so they take the escalation with them to the next call. Lather, rinse, repeat.

As a consuming public, we couldn’t make this shite up if we tried. Today, I received a bill from Cingular with over $100 of download charges that were never made on one of our three phones. The initial subscription charge of $9.99 is duped, followed by what appears to be multiple duplicate download charges for ring tones. The charges are from a THIRD PARTY vendor named Mqube, Inc.. Now, ordinarily this would be an annoyance, because we are on Auto Billing, so Cingular takes the money up front; often a day or two BEFORE the billing notice arrives in the mail. But today is special because on top of this, my son took our phones in on Saturday for a Mandatory Immediate SIM Replacement. He returned my phone with NO ADDRESS BOOK in it.

This is the SECOND TIME in the past three years that Cingular has had a mandatory SIM replacement and completely annhilated my phone address book. This time, it was much worse than the first because there are no straightforward ways to backup your own SIM card without paying Cingular special cables and software. A simple method for user-managed backups should be an absolute requirement of all this mobile phone companies.

Immediately on Saturday, I called the phone number labeled “STORE” on a business card that my son had picked up while having the work done. Did I reach the “STORE”? Of course not. I reached a central robot that led me down 6 levels of phone menu. At the end of the phone menu, the message said, “We’re sorry, but we are closed, regular business hours are …” blah-blah-blah. That was utter bullshite. The time was approximately 4:20pm on a Saturday and we had just been at the store ten minute prior, where the posted hours were until 6:00pm.

I called the cell phone number of the representative at Cingular. Receiving no response, I left a second message, working hard to not yell at the guy because I knew it was not DIRECTLY his fault, but he was the only HUMAN BEING I could reach from the store that screwed me over by deleting my entire phone book during a process that THE COMPANY mandated and I didn’t otherwise need or want. No response.

The next day, I SMS text messaged him. The message was simply this, “Nice job. Great responsiveness.” It’s Tuesday now, three days have passed, and still nobody from Cingular has contacted me. Instead, I got the bill with over $100 of bogus charges in the mail today.

If you’d like to help our situation, please ring up Calvin Ton on his cell at +01.408.507.7206 … and SMS text him, too. He works at one of the Cingular stores in Palo Alto, California. His email is I kid you not and apologize for the cheap dig, but poor ol’ phuc is about to get phcked, if my small band of half-baked readers have anything to do with it.

Here’s a suggested message script:

“Hey, Mr. Cool Calvin at Cingular. You better make things right for that guy whose phone book your store deleted TODAY. You will personally see to it that he gets THREE MONTHS of completely free service at existing levels in compensation for the string of screwups in billing and service over the past week. I will call/message you EVERY SINGLE DAY until his blog says that you and Cingular did the right thing.”

Sorry Calvin ol’ buddy, but if it’s coming down to the CUSTOMERS against the supposed SERVICE PROVIDERS, and if it’s Open War you want, it’s Open War you’ll get. If you don’t like it, then tell your BOSS that the phone number for “STORE” on your business cards better damned well connect to the STORE.

Written on July 18, 2006