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Cingular- Make a partial payment, get your phone disconnec..

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Anonymous
July 31, 2004 9:15:10 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

There slogan is "Cingular Fits You Best", but that's most certainly not true
for many people.

My bill with Cingular was $190.00. It included two activation fees plus
service for one month. The bill was due on the 16th, on the 20th I got a
reminder notice (text message) I called and made a partial payment of
$120.00, it was explained to me that this would be alright as long as I paid
the remaining balance on the 1st on the upcoming month.

On the 31st the phone was deactivated, no phone call to warn, no text
message. My wife was broken down on the side of the road and tried to use
her phone only to find it would not work. She managed to get to a pay phone
and later that day I contacted Cingular. The rep stated that the account was
disconnected because of failure to make payment in full and that there would
be a $39 reactivation fee. I reminded them of our agreement and the best
they could offer up was "I'm sorry that rep did not have the power to make
that arrangement with you". I then ask if I could have the activation fee
wavered just once. The answer "No". I asked to speak to an account manager.
This took about 20 minutes, once on the line this person was one of the most
soulless human beings I have encountered, the conversation went something
like this:

Me- "There's been some misunderstanding about my account, I had made an
arrangement to pay off the remaining balance in full on the 1st".

Collection Manager: "We do not make those kind of arrangements sir".

Me- "Well, seeing as there was a misunderstanding, would it be possible to
wave the $39 activation fee"

Collection Manager. "I'm unable to do that"

Me- "Come-on I'm only 16 days late on this account, don't you have kind of
grace period"

Collection Manager. "No"

Me- "Can I speak with your supervisor?"

Collection Manager. "My supervisor is not in the office right now"

Me- "Well I..."

Collection Manager. "My supervisor would tell you the same thing I am
telling you now"

Me- "Well can I get their name anyway?"

Collection Manager. "He will have to call you back"

Me- "Can I.."

Collection Manager. "Do you intend to pay your bill today sir?"

-------------------

This is what to expect to get from Cingular should you have problems paying
a bill. They have a zero tolerance for late payments. While I understand
that is their right and I don't feel consumers should abuse credit or
service contracts I think its best to have a service provider with a little
understanding. If you agree, Cingular most certainly does not "fit you
best".

-Bill
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 9:15:11 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Calvin White <cwhite@ctech.nospam.com> wrote:

> My bill with Cingular was $190.00. It included two activation fees plus
> service for one month. The bill was due on the 16th, on the 20th I got a
> reminder notice (text message) I called and made a partial payment of
> $120.00, it was explained to me that this would be alright as long as I paid
> the remaining balance on the 1st on the upcoming month.

Which probably shouldn't have been said to you, because typically cellular
companies don't do this. I had to call and talk to Financial Services/
Accounts Receivable and make special arrangements a couple times when I could
not pay my Verizon bill in full. Customer Service generally does NOT have
the authority to make arrangements like that, regardless of which carrier
you use.

> On the 31st the phone was deactivated, no phone call to warn, no text
> message. My wife was broken down on the side of the road and tried to use
> her phone only to find it would not work. She managed to get to a pay phone
> and later that day I contacted Cingular. The rep stated that the account was
> disconnected because of failure to make payment in full and that there would
> be a $39 reactivation fee. I reminded them of our agreement and the best
> they could offer up was "I'm sorry that rep did not have the power to make
> that arrangement with you". I then ask if I could have the activation fee
> wavered just once. The answer "No". I asked to speak to an account manager.
> This took about 20 minutes, once on the line this person was one of the most
> soulless human beings I have encountered, the conversation went something
> like this:
>
> Me- "There's been some misunderstanding about my account, I had made an
> arrangement to pay off the remaining balance in full on the 1st".
>
> Collection Manager: "We do not make those kind of arrangements sir".
>
> Me- "Well, seeing as there was a misunderstanding, would it be possible to
> wave the $39 activation fee"
>
> Collection Manager. "I'm unable to do that"
>
> Me- "Come-on I'm only 16 days late on this account, don't you have kind of
> grace period"
>
> Collection Manager. "No"
>
> Me- "Can I speak with your supervisor?"

> Collection Manager. "My supervisor is not in the office right now"
>
> Me- "Well I..."
>
> Collection Manager. "My supervisor would tell you the same thing I am
> telling you now"
>
> Me- "Well can I get their name anyway?"
>
> Collection Manager. "He will have to call you back"
>
> Me- "Can I.."
>
> Collection Manager. "Do you intend to pay your bill today sir?"

Yeah. Verizon's better than most in this regard - at least the collections
people aren't complete drones. :) 

> This is what to expect to get from Cingular should you have problems paying
> a bill. They have a zero tolerance for late payments. While I understand
> that is their right and I don't feel consumers should abuse credit or
> service contracts I think its best to have a service provider with a little
> understanding. If you agree, Cingular most certainly does not "fit you
> best".

If you talked to CS, that's your problem. I know nothing about how Cingular
works, but in the future, perhaps people who can't pay the entire bill all
at once should talk to someone other than CS - I'd suggest asking for
Financial Services and explaining the problem. (Note that the appropriate
Cingular department may be named something else; "Financial Services" is
just a suggestion.)

Don't expect Customer Service reps to be allowed to make payment arrangements
on your account.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
July 31, 2004 9:15:12 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Steven J Sobol wrote:
>
> If you talked to CS, that's your problem. I know nothing about how
> Cingular works, but in the future, perhaps people who can't pay the
> entire bill all at once should talk to someone other than CS - I'd
> suggest asking for Financial Services and explaining the problem.
> (Note that the appropriate Cingular department may be named something
> else; "Financial Services" is just a suggestion.)
>
> Don't expect Customer Service reps to be allowed to make payment
> arrangements on your account.

I would at least expect CS to say something like "We are not authorized
to make adjustments of that kind. Would you like me to connect you to
Financial Services?"...

Customer Service should be a single point of initial contact for customers.

-Quick
Related resources
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 12:22:06 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon Quick <quick7135-news@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:

> I would at least expect CS to say something like "We are not authorized
> to make adjustments of that kind. Would you like me to connect you to
> Financial Services?"...

Well, yes, I too would expect that.

> Customer Service should be a single point of initial contact for customers.

Mmm, I'd modify that slighty to say the first point, not a single point. More
often than not they should be the only people you need to talk to, but in
some cases they WILL need to transfer you elsewhere.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 4:37:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <jbWdncPAs6n8RZbcRVn-tA@lmi.net> on Sat, 31 Jul 2004 12:35:29 -0500, Steven
J Sobol <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote:

>Calvin White <cwhite@ctech.nospam.com> wrote:
>
>> My bill with Cingular was $190.00. It included two activation fees plus
>> service for one month. The bill was due on the 16th, on the 20th I got a
>> reminder notice (text message) I called and made a partial payment of
>> $120.00, it was explained to me that this would be alright as long as I paid
>> the remaining balance on the 1st on the upcoming month.
>
>Which probably shouldn't have been said to you, because typically cellular
>companies don't do this. I had to call and talk to Financial Services/
>Accounts Receivable and make special arrangements a couple times when I could
>not pay my Verizon bill in full. Customer Service generally does NOT have
>the authority to make arrangements like that, regardless of which carrier
>you use.

Whether CS has "the authority to make arrangements like that" or not is
irrelevant -- if CS did indeed say that (and noted it in the CS computer log),
then the company is *bound* by that representation. I'd be willing to bet
that the OP could get satisfaction with a bit of persistence.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 4:37:51 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

> Whether CS has "the authority to make arrangements like that" or not is
> irrelevant -- if CS did indeed say that (and noted it in the CS computer log),
> then the company is *bound* by that representation. I'd be willing to bet
> that the OP could get satisfaction with a bit of persistence.

Again, we're talking about Cingular here. My experience is with Verizon and
Sprint. You may very well be right.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 4:38:10 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <1091318982.495217@sj-nntpcache-5> on Sat, 31 Jul 2004 17:13:16 -0700,
"Quick" <quick7135-news@NOSPAMyahoo.com> wrote:

>Steven J Sobol wrote:
>>
>> If you talked to CS, that's your problem. I know nothing about how
>> Cingular works, but in the future, perhaps people who can't pay the
>> entire bill all at once should talk to someone other than CS - I'd
>> suggest asking for Financial Services and explaining the problem.
>> (Note that the appropriate Cingular department may be named something
>> else; "Financial Services" is just a suggestion.)
>>
>> Don't expect Customer Service reps to be allowed to make payment
>> arrangements on your account.
>
>I would at least expect CS to say something like "We are not authorized
>to make adjustments of that kind. Would you like me to connect you to
>Financial Services?"...
>
>Customer Service should be a single point of initial contact for customers.

Correct.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 9:53:12 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:50 GMT, John Navas
<spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>Whether CS has "the authority to make arrangements like that" or not is
>irrelevant -- if CS did indeed say that (and noted it in the CS computer log),
>then the company is *bound* by that representation.

Bound? Even if it was logged, the contract trumps all oral
(mis)representations. Please take that argument before an arbitrator
or judge sometime and let us know how long they laughed for.

>I'd be willing to bet
>that the OP could get satisfaction with a bit of persistence.

And I'd be willing to be he'd get even more satisfaction if he handled
his finances better. He knew he had a large bill coming in (with
activation fees, so this wasn't some "accidentally high" bill), he
should have known it was coming and made preparations for payment. If
he didn't have the money, he shouldn't have signed the contract.
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 9:54:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

On Sat, 31 Jul 2004 17:15:10 GMT, "Calvin White"
<cwhite@ctech.nospam.com> wrote:

>They have a zero tolerance for late payments.

And so do I. When I do work for a customer, I expect payment by the
date they agreed to pay. My power company doesn't take IOU's from
deadbeat clients of mine, so why should I be put in a financial bind
because someone else cannot manage their financial affairs?

>While I understand
>that is their right and I don't feel consumers should abuse credit or
>service contracts I think its best to have a service provider with a little
>understanding.

You mean for them to understand why you didn't live up to the contract
you signed? If they make that exception for you, what exception do
they make for the next person? Where does that line finally wind up?

>If you agree, Cingular most certainly does not "fit you
>best".

Maybe it is you who does not fit Cingular best.

I have a friend with the same type of attitude that you have. She got
pissed off at VZW because they cut her off for being chronically late
on her bill. Wanna guess where she wound up? Cingular.
August 1, 2004 4:01:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

If this was the first bill (and new customer) the fact that he/she couldn't
pay the first invoice would be a red flag with any company.


"The Ghost of General Lee" <ghost@general.lee> wrote in message
news:n0fpg0lve54dtls50ge4a8usakfkos7lh9@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:50 GMT, John Navas
> <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
> >Whether CS has "the authority to make arrangements like that" or not is
> >irrelevant -- if CS did indeed say that (and noted it in the CS computer
log),
> >then the company is *bound* by that representation.
>
> >
> And I'd be willing to be he'd get even more satisfaction if he handled
> his finances better. He knew he had a large bill coming in (with
> activation fees, so this wasn't some "accidentally high" bill), he
> should have known it was coming and made preparations for payment. If
> he didn't have the money, he shouldn't have signed the contract.
>
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 6:41:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"The Ghost of General Lee" <ghost@general.lee> wrote in message
> And I'd be willing to be he'd get even more satisfaction if he handled
> his finances better. He knew he had a large bill coming in (with
> activation fees, so this wasn't some "accidentally high" bill), he
> should have known it was coming and made preparations for payment. If
> he didn't have the money, he shouldn't have signed the contract.
>


That's an easy statement to make now isn't it. Unfortunately not everyone
lives with a cushion in the bank. Unfortunate events happen sometimes. When
I signed the contract I had full intention of paying the bill in full, when
that wasn't going to be possible I made payment arrangements Cingular (had
made payment arrangements.. they voided those arrangement without warning or
notification) I believe they did this because. A.) According to the terms of
the contract Cingular knew I could do nothing about this behavior. B.) They
wanted to collect an additional $40 from me (the re-activation fee).

This model isn't new. It's been done on a smaler scale for many years now.
Look at movie rental shops. They make considerable profits from late fees on
movie returns. Those fees are in fact part of their strategy, why would a
phone company be any different? I believe when you sign a contract you are
bond by that contract, but I also feel companies should be ethical and
understanding.

Based on my experience I believe Cingular to be an unethical company that
likes to put punishment (and bank) on customers mistakes (and in my case
outright lie to customers). The proof of this is in their actions. How much
money are they losing by reactivating an account? This entire process is
done electronically. It takes a few minutes of a customer service reps time
to complete this process. This customer service time is provided to all
Cingular customers anyway (yes, part of our monthly bill pays their wages).
I wouldn't expect Cingular to waver reactivation cost again and again, but
it seems they could make an exception, especially in the light of my
circumstances.
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 6:52:54 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <n0fpg0lve54dtls50ge4a8usakfkos7lh9@4ax.com> on Sun, 01 Aug 2004 05:53:12
-0400, The Ghost of General Lee <ghost@general.lee> wrote:

>On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:50 GMT, John Navas
><spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>>Whether CS has "the authority to make arrangements like that" or not is
>>irrelevant -- if CS did indeed say that (and noted it in the CS computer log),
>>then the company is *bound* by that representation.
>
>Bound? Even if it was logged, the contract trumps all oral
>(mis)representations.

The contract trumps only if it disclaims such oral representations (which
would be pretty silly and probably unenforceable; e.g., "Subscriber may not
reply on oral representations, even by responsible employees of the
Company.").

>Please take that argument before an arbitrator
>or judge sometime and let us know how long they laughed for.

I think (based on experience) there's a very good chance that such an oral
representation would be taken quite seriously in appropriate forums.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 6:56:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <n0fpg0lve54dtls50ge4a8usakfkos7lh9@4ax.com> on Sun, 01 Aug 2004 05:53:12
-0400, The Ghost of General Lee <ghost@general.lee> wrote:

>On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:50 GMT, John Navas
><spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>>I'd be willing to bet
>>that the OP could get satisfaction with a bit of persistence.
>
>And I'd be willing to be he'd get even more satisfaction if he handled
>his finances better. He knew he had a large bill coming in (with
>activation fees, so this wasn't some "accidentally high" bill), he
>should have known it was coming and made preparations for payment. If
>he didn't have the money, he shouldn't have signed the contract.

You're making assumptions that I find pretty offensive. The unexpected can
and does happen. It's quite possible that the OP had expenses and/or lost
income that couldn't have been reasonably anticipated.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 7:10:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <Ei7Pc.12987$Zm3.10735@fe2.texas.rr.com> on Sun, 01 Aug 2004 14:41:40 GMT,
"Calvin White" <12345@nospam.com> wrote:

>... When
>I signed the contract I had full intention of paying the bill in full, when
>that wasn't going to be possible I made payment arrangements Cingular (had
>made payment arrangements.. they voided those arrangement without warning or
>notification) I believe they did this because. A.) According to the terms of
>the contract Cingular knew I could do nothing about this behavior.

I believe you could do something, as I've explained previously.

>B.) They
>wanted to collect an additional $40 from me (the re-activation fee).

Or C) Cingular expects contracts to be honored, and wasn't sufficiently
persuaded to do otherwise.

>This model isn't new. It's been done on a smaler scale for many years now.
>Look at movie rental shops. They make considerable profits from late fees on
>movie returns. Those fees are in fact part of their strategy,

In this area at least, those late fees simply constitute additional rental and
compensation for lost use, and are thus quite appropriate.

>why would a
>phone company be any different? I believe when you sign a contract you are
>bond by that contract, but I also feel companies should be ethical and
>understanding.

Ethical, yes, but "understanding" only when it's in the best interests of the
company. OTOH, I feel subscribers should be prudent, realistic, and willing
to accept responsibility for their own conduct.

>Based on my experience I believe Cingular to be an unethical company that
>likes to put punishment (and bank) on customers mistakes (and in my case
>outright lie to customers). The proof of this is in their actions.

I see no such "proof," just inferences.

>How much
>money are they losing by reactivating an account? This entire process is
>done electronically. It takes a few minutes of a customer service reps time
>to complete this process.

There is a real cost of reactivation to the company, but think of it much like
a returned check charge, because there's also the real cost of dealing with a
delinquent account.

>This customer service time is provided to all
>Cingular customers anyway (yes, part of our monthly bill pays their wages).

Those costs aren't incurred when bills are paid on time.

>I wouldn't expect Cingular to waver reactivation cost again and again,

OTOH, this was the first bill, so there wasn't an established history with the
company, and thus the company might well fear that it would happen again and
again.

>but
>it seems they could make an exception, especially in the light of my
>circumstances.

As I've noted previously, I think Cingular could be persuaded to honor such a
representation (if such a representation was actually made).

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 7:31:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 14:52:54 GMT, John Navas
<spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>The contract trumps only if it disclaims such oral representations (which
>would be pretty silly and probably unenforceable; e.g., "Subscriber may not
>reply on oral representations, even by responsible employees of the
>Company.").

Ever see a cellular contract lately that didn't have that in it?

>>Please take that argument before an arbitrator
>>or judge sometime and let us know how long they laughed for.
>
>I think (based on experience) there's a very good chance that such an oral
>representation would be taken quite seriously in appropriate forums.

Based on the word of a CSR who doesn't have the authority to issue
such offers? I don't think so, unless you mean usenet to be that
"appropriate forum".

The breach of contract had already occurred with the late payment.
Cingular could have been really nasty and hit him with the ETF, but
decided to give him another chnace to redeem himself. They owed him
nothing more.
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 11:35:01 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"John Navas" <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote in message
news:qJ7Pc.5072$54.80059@typhoon.sonic.net...
>
>
> >How much
> >money are they losing by reactivating an account? This entire process is
> >done electronically. It takes a few minutes of a customer service reps
time
> >to complete this process.
>
> There is a real cost of reactivation to the company, but think of it much
like
> a returned check charge, because there's also the real cost of dealing
with a
> delinquent account.
>

I want to thank you for your comments, they have been helpful. This one
point though is very important. The reactivation fee is really what the
argument is over and I still don't see "real cost" involved. The return
check analogy is flawed. Let's examine that scenario: If a check is written
for an amount of funds unavailable, multiple parties are unconvinced. First
you have the receiving (third-party) that provided goods or services in good
faith that monies were available to back the check. When the check "bounces"
this delays payment to the third-party. There's also a direct correlations
here between irresponsibility of the check writer a returned check. There
are few circumstances out this persons control, many times are hard and they
don't have funds available. It's still irresponsible of them to write a
check for an amount they know is not available in their account. It is also
their responsibility to know how much is available in their account at any
given time.

If you contrast his with Reactivation/Activation of a cell phone there is
very little in common. For starters there generally isn't a third-party
involved in the reactivation. The service rep will key in a request for
reactivation and from there the automated system picks up the request and
sends a signal to the phone to "activate" it. For a detailed explanation of
this process (with all the technical garbage) see:

Wireless Internet Applications & Architecture
by Mark Beaulieu

How do I know this? Because I work with wireless application development and
have been involved with cell phone technology more than I wish to discuss.
The point is, and this is a very pivotal point to this whole discussion;
when we talk about activation/reactivation fees, we're talking about a
service that has traditionally been billed to cover the clerical cost of
data entry (all of which requires 5-10 minutes of filling out a few
electronic forms). When a company such as Cingular would try to lead its
customers to believe otherwise, that's where the question of ethics comes
into play. The cost to reactivate an account is next ot nothing because
there aren't any forms to fill out, perhaps there is a comments section for
a sentence or two, but the majority of the information is already in the
system.

Make no mistake, reactivation fees are a form of penality/punishment.
Namely, they are a way for Cingular to collect big on their customers
mistakes (and in my case misfortune). Cingular should be shamed for what
they are doing, there may be a story here for anyone who cares to follow it
(assuming I'm not an isolated case).


















is almost 100% automated. The only portion that isn't automated takes about
five minutes and maybe a fifth grade education to perform. I know this first
hand from



> Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
> John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 1, 2004 11:35:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

"Calvin White" <12345@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:FBbPc.26570$Gk4.17505@fe1.texas.rr.com...
>

Calvin- think of the reactivation fee not in terms of the cost of
reactivation, but in terms of the money spent to collect on past due
accounts. Cingular (or any other company) needs a flow of money to maintain
operations, and by making it hurt to go past due, they stand a better chance
of maintaining revenue. They want it to be painful, as does just about any
other company or service I deal with on a monthly basis. High late fees and
reactivation fees are now the norm for just about anybody.

You're right about the extra revenue they receive from these fees, although
there are associated costs. When someone calls in to reactivate a phone,
the call costs the company somewhere in the vicinity of $20 in wages and
back-end costs, possible a little more. No company charges at cost, so they
make a little money in the process. But these are real easy charges to
avoid by paying according to their terms.
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 1:16:40 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

You never mentioned if there was anything noted in your account about the
agreement.
Do you have the CS reps name who made the agreement?
Is there anything to support your agreement with the CS rep?


"John Navas" <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote in message
news:D w7Pc.5071$54.79983@typhoon.sonic.net...
> [POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]
>
> In <n0fpg0lve54dtls50ge4a8usakfkos7lh9@4ax.com> on Sun, 01 Aug 2004
05:53:12
> -0400, The Ghost of General Lee <ghost@general.lee> wrote:
>
> >On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:50 GMT, John Navas
> ><spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
> >>I'd be willing to bet
> >>that the OP could get satisfaction with a bit of persistence.
> >
> >And I'd be willing to be he'd get even more satisfaction if he handled
> >his finances better. He knew he had a large bill coming in (with
> >activation fees, so this wasn't some "accidentally high" bill), he
> >should have known it was coming and made preparations for payment. If
> >he didn't have the money, he shouldn't have signed the contract.
>
> You're making assumptions that I find pretty offensive. The unexpected
can
> and does happen. It's quite possible that the OP had expenses and/or lost
> income that couldn't have been reasonably anticipated.
>
> --
> Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
> John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 3:51:38 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 14:56:35 GMT, John Navas
<spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]
>
>In <n0fpg0lve54dtls50ge4a8usakfkos7lh9@4ax.com> on Sun, 01 Aug 2004 05:53:12
>-0400, The Ghost of General Lee <ghost@general.lee> wrote:
>
>>On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 00:37:50 GMT, John Navas
>><spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>>>I'd be willing to bet
>>>that the OP could get satisfaction with a bit of persistence.
>>
>>And I'd be willing to be he'd get even more satisfaction if he handled
>>his finances better. He knew he had a large bill coming in (with
>>activation fees, so this wasn't some "accidentally high" bill), he
>>should have known it was coming and made preparations for payment. If
>>he didn't have the money, he shouldn't have signed the contract.
>
>You're making assumptions that I find pretty offensive. The unexpected can
>and does happen. It's quite possible that the OP had expenses and/or lost
>income that couldn't have been reasonably anticipated.

Well, I find people who sign contracts and fail to honor them quite
offensive. It offends me because I honor those that I sign, and
people like this OP help run the cost up for everyone else. Even if
he did have more pressing $$$ needs at the time, bitching about
Cingular enforcing the contract he agreed to (especially x-posting it
to the VZW group) is absurd. So be offended, you'll get over it.
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 7:14:02 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <FBbPc.26570$Gk4.17505@fe1.texas.rr.com> on Sun, 01 Aug 2004 19:35:01 GMT,
"Calvin White" <12345@nospam.com> wrote:

>"John Navas" <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote in message
>news:qJ7Pc.5072$54.80059@typhoon.sonic.net...

>> There is a real cost of reactivation to the company, but think of it much like
>> a returned check charge, because there's also the real cost of dealing with a
>> delinquent account.
>
>I want to thank you for your comments, they have been helpful. This one
>point though is very important. The reactivation fee is really what the
>argument is over and I still don't see "real cost" involved.

Real costs:
* account referred to Collections, which analyzes the account;
* turn off service;
* customer service call from delinquent customer; and
* turn on service.

You greatly underestimate the fully loaded costs of such services, which are
probably much more than the amount at issue.

>The return
>check analogy is flawed. [SNIP]

I disagree.

>... There's also a direct correlations
>here between irresponsibility of the check writer a returned check. There
>are few circumstances out this persons control, many times are hard and they
>don't have funds available. It's still irresponsible of them to write a
>check for an amount they know is not available in their account. It is also
>their responsibility to know how much is available in their account at any
>given time.

The same logic applies to signing a contract. ;-)

>... When a company such as Cingular would try to lead its
>customers to believe otherwise, that's where the question of ethics comes
>into play.

Nonsense.

>The cost to reactivate an account is next ot nothing because
>there aren't any forms to fill out, perhaps there is a comments section for
>a sentence or two, but the majority of the information is already in the
>system.

Also nonsense.

>Make no mistake, reactivation fees are a form of penality/punishment.
>Namely, they are a way for Cingular to collect big on their customers
>mistakes (and in my case misfortune).

No, they are cost recovery.

>Cingular should be shamed for what
>they are doing,

And you?

>there may be a story here for anyone who cares to follow it
>...

Not really.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 7:19:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <9vgqg01me57rgbnj1kuknjhlmanotvarm4@4ax.com> on Sun, 01 Aug 2004 15:31:45
-0400, The Ghost of General Lee <ghost@general.lee> wrote:

>On Sun, 01 Aug 2004 14:52:54 GMT, John Navas
><spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>>The contract trumps only if it disclaims such oral representations (which
>>would be pretty silly and probably unenforceable; e.g., "Subscriber may not
>>reply on oral representations, even by responsible employees of the
>>Company.").
>
>Ever see a cellular contract lately that didn't have that in it?

Yep -- my Cingular contract.

>>>Please take that argument before an arbitrator
>>>or judge sometime and let us know how long they laughed for.
>>
>>I think (based on experience) there's a very good chance that such an oral
>>representation would be taken quite seriously in appropriate forums.
>
>Based on the word of a CSR who doesn't have the authority to issue
>such offers? I don't think so, ...

We'll just have to agree to disagree.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 7:19:23 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Mon, 02 Aug 2004 03:19:22 GMT, John Navas
<spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>>Based on the word of a CSR who doesn't have the authority to issue
>>such offers? I don't think so, ...
>
>We'll just have to agree to disagree.

No, we can go before an arbitrator, as required by contract.:) 
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 8:06:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

Hopefully the reactivation fee is so large that it weed out those
that don't pay on time. Charging an extra deposit would be good too.


Scott Stephenson wrote:

> "Calvin White" <12345@nospam.com> wrote in message
> news:FBbPc.26570$Gk4.17505@fe1.texas.rr.com...
>
>
> Calvin- think of the reactivation fee not in terms of the cost of
> reactivation, but in terms of the money spent to collect on past due
> accounts. Cingular (or any other company) needs a flow of money to maintain
> operations, and by making it hurt to go past due, they stand a better chance
> of maintaining revenue. They want it to be painful, as does just about any
> other company or service I deal with on a monthly basis. High late fees and
> reactivation fees are now the norm for just about anybody.
>
> You're right about the extra revenue they receive from these fees, although
> there are associated costs. When someone calls in to reactivate a phone,
> the call costs the company somewhere in the vicinity of $20 in wages and
> back-end costs, possible a little more. No company charges at cost, so they
> make a little money in the process. But these are real easy charges to
> avoid by paying according to their terms.
>
>
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 4:02:59 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

> You either had the money or you didn't -- you can't have it both ways. It
> appears that you spent your cell phone money on something else. That was your
> choice. Accept responsibility for your own actions.

OK, here I have a bit of a problem with what you and General Lee are
saying. It's not outside the realm of possibility that some expense came up
(car-related repair perhaps, which *needs* to be dealt with if you use your
car to get to get to work) and he had to dip into the money he had set aside
for the phone.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 5:42:31 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

On Mon, 02 Aug 2004 12:02:59 -0500, Steven J Sobol
<sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote:

>In alt.cellular.verizon John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>> You either had the money or you didn't -- you can't have it both ways. It
>> appears that you spent your cell phone money on something else. That was your
>> choice. Accept responsibility for your own actions.
>
>OK, here I have a bit of a problem with what you and General Lee are
>saying. It's not outside the realm of possibility that some expense came up
>(car-related repair perhaps, which *needs* to be dealt with if you use your
>car to get to get to work) and he had to dip into the money he had set aside
>for the phone.
>

But, in the normal course of human events, wouldn't the OP have said
something along those lines already? Yeah, if he had a kid and needed
medication for it, buy the medicine first. I considered the
possibility you raised, but during one of his posts, he made a comment
about "customers paying for their mistakes", but referred to his own
situation as "misfortune". I've been around long enough to recognize
someone trying to cast themselves in the victim role for sympathy's
sake. And I'm still wondering why he initially cross-posed to the VZW
group.

My point is, and always will be, if your finances are so tight you
have to chose between a cell phone and
medicine/food/clothing/transportation/housing/etc., then the cell
phone should lose every time. That's why I keep an extra car (well,
now 2 extra ones). If my primary breaks down and I need a little time
to get it fixed, I still have something to drive.

It's all about responsible planning.
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 10:42:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <wtudnbAILORe7pPcRVn-rQ@lmi.net> on Mon, 02 Aug 2004 12:02:59 -0500, Steven
J Sobol <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote:

>In alt.cellular.verizon John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>> You either had the money or you didn't -- you can't have it both ways. It
>> appears that you spent your cell phone money on something else. That was your
>> choice. Accept responsibility for your own actions.
>
>OK, here I have a bit of a problem with what you and General Lee are
>saying. It's not outside the realm of possibility that some expense came up
>(car-related repair perhaps, which *needs* to be dealt with if you use your
>car to get to get to work) and he had to dip into the money he had set aside
>for the phone.

As I noted earlier. But what would he have done if he had already sent the
money to the cellular carrier? He really can't have it both ways.

The fact remains that he made a commitment that should have been honored.
If he's that tight financially, then he probably shouldn't be signing up for
expensive cell phone service in the first place.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 10:42:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In article <EWvPc.5204$54.84891@typhoon.sonic.net>,
John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

> The fact remains that he made a commitment that should have been honored.
> If he's that tight financially, then he probably shouldn't be signing up for
> expensive cell phone service in the first place.

That's outside the point. He called customer service, and got an
answer. When he depended on that answer, he found out that the next guy
wouldn't honor that original information.

Your point notwithstanding--it's not relevant--we as consumers have an
expectation that if we come to an agreement with a company, the company
will honor that agreement.

Such is not happening in the cell phone business; it's random luck who
you get and what you end up with. You can have the provider make a
representation that the provider then retracts or ignores later on;
that's a big problem in the industry.
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 10:47:35 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon The Ghost of General Lee <ghost@general.lee> wrote:
> service in that area" to "all towers around you are up and running".
> Turns out the first answer was correct. They came back online a few
> weeks ago. That's a gripe I have with VZW, too. The CSRs are too
> removed from the technicians in the field, and are often unable to
> give accurate answers to service problem questions. You would think
> telecommunications companies could communicate in-house a little
> better than that.

That was one of my major, major problems with VZW that led to my switch to
Sprint. Yes, I'm saving money with Sprint, and yes, I have a buttload of
family members that use Sprint too (including my wife :)  but what pissed me
off was my inability to get any answers from VZW Customer Service about their
repair issues in my area. And no, I'm certainly not upset with Customer
Service. It's not their fault.

I understand and agree with the principle one VZW CSR put forth, that if
they give due dates on repairs and miss them, they'll irritate customers; and
sometimes things happen that are beyond VZW's control that delay finishing
repairs. But I could get NO information from CS because they are given NO
information by the field techs. I would have been happy with at least some
info and it didn't have to include an ETR. I never had any indication from
them that they were doing anything.

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 11:47:44 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <elmop-1C847E.15412702082004@text.usenetserver.com> on Mon, 02 Aug 2004
15:41:27 -0400, "Elmo P. Shagnasty" <elmop@nastydesigns.com> wrote:

>In article <EWvPc.5204$54.84891@typhoon.sonic.net>,
> John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>> The fact remains that he made a commitment that should have been honored.
>> If he's that tight financially, then he probably shouldn't be signing up for
>> expensive cell phone service in the first place.
>
>That's outside the point.

Actually, it's not.

>He called customer service, and got an
>answer. When he depended on that answer, he found out that the next guy
>wouldn't honor that original information.

If indeed he actually got that answer (which I've come to doubt), then he's
got a valid issue, and can probably get satisfaction, as I made clear way back
in the beginning. You did read the entire thread before jumping in, right?
;-)

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 2, 2004 11:47:45 PM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

In alt.cellular.verizon John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:

>>> The fact remains that he made a commitment that should have been honored.
>>> If he's that tight financially, then he probably shouldn't be signing up for
>>> expensive cell phone service in the first place.
>>
>>That's outside the point.
>
> Actually, it's not.

Actually, it is. Not that you're wrong -- you're not wrong. But if he made
payment arrangements -- which most of us have had to do at some point in our
lives when unexpected expenses popped up and we already owed money to others
-- they should be honored. The Cingular CSR, if he/she didn't have the
authority to make such an arrangement (which I don't believe he/she did),
should have either forwarded the OP to someone who does, or said "I'm sorry,
we can't do that."

--
JustThe.net Internet & New Media Services, http://JustThe.net/
Steven J. Sobol, Geek In Charge / 888.480.4NET (4638) / sjsobol@JustThe.net
PGP Key available from your friendly local key server (0xE3AE35ED)
Apple Valley, California Nothing scares me anymore. I have three kids.
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 1:56:08 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <seyPc.7980$Qp.4392@twister.nyroc.rr.com> on Mon, 02 Aug 2004 21:20:24 GMT,
Ryan <mudesno@yahoo.com> wrote:

>So now everyone that lives in a trailer has a freeway of junk in their
>front yard is on welfare?

Of course -- this is Usenet after all! :) )

--
Best regards,
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/&gt;

"Usenet is like a herd of performing elephants with diarrhea - massive,
difficult to redirect, awe inspiring, entertaining, and a source of mind
boggling amounts of excrement when you least expect it." --Gene Spafford
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 2:36:29 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <7hetg0heds2i1430os06ekgkddmgs5i09c@4ax.com> on Mon, 02 Aug 2004 18:11:32
-0400, The Ghost of General Lee <ghost@general.lee> wrote:

>... That's a gripe I have with VZW, too. The CSRs are too
>removed from the technicians in the field, and are often unable to
>give accurate answers to service problem questions. You would think
>telecommunications companies could communicate in-house a little
>better than that.

The problem, of course, is that we customers have been voting for cheap over
good, and high-quality customer service isn't cheap, so it's really just a
matter of getting what we're asking and paying for.

>>Depends, what if that cellphone is what puts
>>medicine/food/clothing/transportation/housing over your head and under
>>your ass?
>
>Then you take the hit from Cingular, abide by what your contact says,
>pay the fees, and quit bitching and moaning about it.

Or switch to some other carrier.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 3, 2004 9:45:22 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon,alt.cellular.cingular (More info?)

[POSTED TO alt.cellular.cingular - REPLY ON USENET PLEASE]

In <h8OdneMCo76pTpPcRVn-rg@lmi.net> on Mon, 02 Aug 2004 18:50:12 -0500, Steven
J Sobol <sjsobol@JustThe.net> wrote:

>In alt.cellular.verizon John Navas <spamfilter0@navasgroup.com> wrote:
>
>>>> The fact remains that he made a commitment that should have been honored.
>>>> If he's that tight financially, then he probably shouldn't be signing up for
>>>> expensive cell phone service in the first place.
>>>
>>>That's outside the point.
>>
>> Actually, it's not.
>
>Actually, it is.

We'll just have to agree to disagree. ;-)

>Not that you're wrong -- you're not wrong.

Thank you.

>But if he made
>payment arrangements -- which most of us have had to do at some point in our
>lives when unexpected expenses popped up and we already owed money to others
>-- they should be honored.

I agree. But that's outside the point, which is that he made a commitment
that he didn't honor.

>The Cingular CSR, if he/she didn't have the
>authority to make such an arrangement (which I don't believe he/she did),
>should have either forwarded the OP to someone who does, or said "I'm sorry,
>we can't do that."

Of course. And if the CSR actually said that (which I've come to doubt), then
the company is obligated to honor it.

But nonetheless, he made a commitment, claimed to have the money, but then
spent it, which was a breach of that commitment.

--
Best regards, HELP FOR CINGULAR GSM & SONY ERICSSON PHONES:
John Navas <http://navasgrp.home.att.net/#Cingular&gt;
Anonymous
August 4, 2004 9:11:48 AM

Archived from groups: alt.cellular.verizon (More info?)

On Sat, 31 Jul 2004 17:15:10 GMT, "Calvin White" <cwhite@ctech.nospam.com>
chose to add this to the great equation of life, the universe, and
everything:

>My bill with Cingular was $190.00. It included two activation fees plus
>service for one month. The bill was due on the 16th, on the 20th I got a
>reminder notice (text message) I called and made a partial payment of
>$120.00, it was explained to me that this would be alright as long as I paid
>the remaining balance on the 1st on the upcoming month.
>
> On the 31st the phone was deactivated, no phone call to warn, no text
>message. My wife was broken down on the side of the road and tried to use
>her phone only to find it would not work. She managed to get to a pay phone
>and later that day I contacted Cingular. The rep stated that the account was
>disconnected because of failure to make payment in full and that there would
>be a $39 reactivation fee. I reminded them of our agreement and the best
>they could offer up was "I'm sorry that rep did not have the power to make
>that arrangement with you". . I asked to speak to an account manager.
>This took about 20 minutes, once on the line this person was one of the most
>soulless human beings I have encountered, the conversation went something
>like this:
>
>Collection Manager. "Do you intend to pay your bill today sir?"

What was your answer to this? It sounds like it might have been the prelude
to exactly the concession you were asking for. If you were going to be able
to pay on the 1st, could you have paid on the 31st? If not (and I don't see
how that could be, since the 1st was a Sunday and most banks are closed, so
most likely either you could have paid on the 31st or you actually couldn't
have paid until the 2nd), did you try saying "No, but I can pay it
tomorrow"? By what method did you intend to pay it?

--
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http://home.att.net/~dwstreeter
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Expect a train on ANY track at ANY time.
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