Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Cingular - AT&T Wireless BS

It seems big business is up to its old tricks again. A couple of weeks prior to the Cingular and AT&T Wireless Merger rolling out into the stores, my wife's AT&T phone died. Knowing the merger was in the works, I checked out the AT&T Wireless website and found this about the merger:

Wireless, as you know it, is changing for the better. Now that you are part of the Cingular family, rest assured you can continue to enjoy your existing benefits uninterrupted and without changes to your plan or its features. In addition, this union will provide you with many new benefits from Cingular in the near future.

* Access to the ALLOVERSM Network*, the largest digital voice and data network in America
* Expanded Mobile to Mobile calling to include 46 million Cingular and AT&T Wireless customers
* Cingular’s exclusive Rollover MinutesSM
* Strengthened commitment to service and innovation
* Faster, broader roll out of advanced products and services

As a member of the Cingular family, you can enjoy all this plus much, much more. Welcome to Cingular – we’re glad you’re here.

Let's focus on just one item. I'm sure there are more issues we could raise, but let's just talk about Rollover Minutes.

Would anyone in their right mind interpret this any way other than thinking that AT&T customers would immediately get Rollover Minutes? Apparently, Cingular thinks so.

Digging a little deeper after getting the runaround from Cingular today at the store led me to this little gem:

Q: If I don’t have Rollover MinutesSM, how can I get a plan that includes Rollover?

A: Beginning November 15th, 2004, Cingular Rollover Minutes will be available to you. Go to, or an AT&T Wireless store, to sign up for a Cingular Nation® Plan and get a new GSM phone to enjoy all the services Cingular offers. To find a store near you, use our store locator.

Rollover is available on Cingular Nation® Plans $39.99 and higher. These plans are a great value and feature no roaming or long distance charges, Mobile to Mobile calling to 46 million Cingular and AT&T Wireless customers, Night and Weekend calling and plenty of Nationwide Anytime Minutes. Switching to a Cingular Nation® Plan is easy.

A new GSM phone will be required.

So, not only will AT&T customers not be getting Rollover Minutes with their existing plans as you led them to believe, but you will also require them to sign a new contract and buy a new phone.

Deceptive? I think so.


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