Jul 212005

Lately, travel for me has been low, but obviously, when I am doing a lot of traveling my cell phone usage increases a lot. It can be difficult to try to balance the plan you are on. I was with T-Mobile and also had data service via an air card. That service is as slow as molasses.

I decided to try Cingular for a number of reasons. One was their Edge network, which was reviewed as being faster, and I could us the phone as a modem, take a smaller data plan, and save the company some money. On top of that, I figured their roll over would allow me to take a smaller plan, more than adequate for the months with little travel, and the roll-over from those months would cover the heavy travel months.

I made the switch about three weeks ago, and on top of it all, got a Nokia 6230 phone, which I think may be about the best phone on the market. Porting over the telephone number was seamless, and all was going well until sometime yesterday. I did receive a call around noon. In the evening, Lay called on the office phone to tell me he’d been calling me on the cellular on and off all evening, and it was going straight to voice mail. I started testing, and he was right. Called their customer service. The first person said she saw the problem, and was going to fix it. Clicked around on her keyboard a while, then tested the phone, and voilà!, all was right.

Lay called on the office again in about an hour, and he’d just had the same problem, so I tested, and again calls were going directly to VM. I called back again, punched my way through a government agency like voice response system. This customer service person said she could see exactly what the problem was in my setup, and she’d take care of it. She couldn’t explain how my "setup" had changed after three weeks. She tested, and the call came through. I then asked her to test again, and this call went straight to VM.

She then said she would turn in a ticket and it would be fixed within 24 hours. I explained that 24 hours just wasn’t acceptable, and asked for a supervisor. Joseph Richardson came on the line, and he had a little bit of an attitude, but agreed to transfer me to Technical Support. I explained I was tired of explaining the problem over and over again. Mr. Richardson promised to stay on the line and explain things himself, but the minute the transfer started ringing, he released the call.

The lady in tech support was nice enough, but she was getting the same result. After having me cycle the phone on and off, she had me use a setting to "end all forwarding." This allowed two test calls from her to come through, so she considered the problem resolved. On an interesting note, she did tell me that I was supposed to turn the phone off for at least an hour every day. I noted that meant the phone would have to be off 30-31 hours each month…which basically means I’m without phones service for a day and a half every month.

Well, about 30 minutes later, I decided to test the phone again, and you guessed it…straight to voice mail. I tried recycling the phone myself, and using the cancel call forwarding. This time, no calls came through. So, I called back again, again punched my way through six menu levels, only to be told I was now calling after hours, and would have to call another number. Now I ask you, how hard would have been to play that message for me at the beginning of the call, rather than after six levels of choices? Of course, their menu takes so long, I probably started the call before they shut down for the night.

Anyway, at the after hours center, I explained the who thing again to a customer service person, who then transferred me to tech support. The lady there said I would need to get a new SIM card. I explained that would take several days to get through, and she said I could go to one of their retails outlets, and notes she was putting in my file would clear the way for me to get a new one. I went to the closest Cingular retail location bright and early this morning. Ken, after insisting I explain the whole situation to him, gave me a SIM card, but said that wasn’t the problem. He claimed they were just having broad network issues with an upgrade to the voice mail system, but installed a new SIM anyway.

Well, he tested it and the first two calls got back a message, "Call cannot be completed as dialed." He tapped some more on the computer, and then got two test calls to go through. I left, but stopped at the T-Mobile store on the way home. A nice guy there told me about a special offer the on-line people would probably give me to return, and he explained T-Mobile was also going to Edge in September, and getting a new offering of phones. Right now, I think their selection sucks unless you prefer Motorola’s. I prefer Nokia.

When I got home, I tested the phone again with all attempts getting a "call cannot be completed message" except one. My fifth call to Cingular got me Jennifer, and boy did Jennifer have an attitude. It was very clear that someone had peed in her corn flakes. Her answer to my problem was to turn the phone off and back on after each call. Now I ask you ….. ?

That’s all it took for me to go ahead and call T-Mobile and switch back. I did get the offer the guy at the store told me about, and I’m going to struggle along with this Samsung phone I now have (which sucks big ones) until September. I can live the data issue until then, and maybe they’ll offer the 6230 as well.

Everyone I talked with at T-Mobile was very gracious, and the cut-over has partially processed. I can call out on the T-Mobile phone, but am still getting a "call can’t be completed" message for incoming calls. Hopefully, that will resolve by later this afternoon.

So much for my experiment with roll overs.

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Comments (1)
  1. That is horrible, and unfortunately all to familiar. Customer service sucks in this country. I wish you good luck.

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