In article <email@example.com>,
Steve <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> TELECOM Digest Editor noted in response to the original writer
> about whom Steve Sobol later complained, saying:
>>> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I think what you will find is the
>>> contract you signed at some point or another expressly gives _them_
>>> the right to assign your contract. It did not give _you_ any rights
>>> like that however; just AT&T. PAT]
>> Yes, the cell phone contracts generally allow companies to assign
>> contracts to third parties. Read your original contract.
> I expected this type of answer. And I'm sure _you_ read through your
> entire contract letter-by-letter, yes?
If you do not do it, you have only yourself to blame when something in
it bites you 'unexpectedly'.
> You miss my point though. I
> know AT&T had the right to transfer the contract when purchased by
> Cingular. What I don't like is the regulatory issue that then forced
> Cingular to divest to some "third party" (in this case, Alltel). What
> I am expecting is for them to at least continue the options I've had
> with AT&T.
For the term of your contract, they _are_ required to provide the
services specified in that contract, at the price specified. Unless
there is something _in_the_contract_ that allows them to change
I can't speak for _your_ contract -- you *will* have to actually read
all that boring stuff -- but such contracts usually provide that the
carrier can change the service offerings, and maybe even the pricing,
"whenever they want to", *BUT* if/when they do that, you have an
'escape' window, where you can 'refuse' the new terms. Depending on
contract language, if you _do_ refuse the new terms when offered, that
either *cancels* the contract, _without_penalty_, or they are obliged
to continue the contracted services for the contracted period. Note
well that the contracts are written such that if you _do_not_object_
then you are deemed to have agreed to the new terms, and they are
binding on you.
> I look forward to the day when consumers have more power of choice and
> are not locked into long-term contracts.
You're not locked into long-term contracts. You *could* have bought
service with _no_minimum_term_. Yes, all the major carriers do offer
such contracts. If you did that, it would have been considerably more
expensive, no "free phone", no free activation, or any other
'freebies'. You pay for it all, one way or another.
> This is not a case where a
> company is giving its customers what they want. Under THESE
> circumstances, we should have the RIGHT to change to another company.
You have the right to get _what_you_paid_for_. As long as you are
getting the services you contracted for, you have no basis for
complaining about _who_ is delivering that service.
If you are _not_ getting the services you contracted for, then you
_may_ have the basis for complaint. If however, the contract allows
them to change the services delivered, and they notified you of the
changes, and you did _not_ exercise your rights in a timely manner,
you _have_ agreed to those changes, and you do not have recourse
against them for your failure to act.
Note: this is just one reason why it *is* a good idea to read all
those messy little details on the contract -- if not before you sign,
at least sometime reasonably soon thereafter -- so you have some idea
of what rights (limited though they may be) you *do* have. And so
that you _can_ exercise those rights , in a "use it or lose it"