TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Cingular Analog/TDMA Surcharge

Re: Cingular Analog/TDMA Surcharge

B. Wright (
Wed, 2 Aug 2006 21:29:33 UTC

John Levine <> wrote:

>>> Any idea if this applies to those of us with GAIT phones that do GSM
>>> as well as TDMA, and analog?

>> The issue is that the new digital protocols use less than 1/50 of the
>> radio bandwidth of a cell tower. So what they really want is for all
>> the older analog phones to be tossed in the trash. But that would
>> upset some folks. So this is a nudge for them to switch to s new
>> phone. And I'm sure they'll "make a deal" if it helps you to switch.

What they really want is to screw all the old long time AT&T
customers into new two year contracts with less favorable rates.

> Except my phone already does GSM. I called them, asked if I can just
> keep the plan I have as GSM-only, and not is there no deal, the
> cheapest plan they offer is ten bucks more than what I'm paying now.

It doesn't have to do with TDMA/GSM, they want to get rid of the AT&T
contracts. This is contrary to what they said they would do during
the takeover. You can find a lot of people with stories related to
this being the case if you search around.

> Time to look at T-Mobile.

That's exactly what we did for my sister, she had a 300+ "anytime"
minutes plan (probably free nights & weekends, I don't know) plan.
She, in actuality used about 15-30 minutes/mo tops and paid around $30
for it. Cingular was making $ on her, no doubt, and as a 6-7 year
customer they are idiots to let people like this leave. They wouldn't
budge on converting to GSM (even though we had our own phone already)
without a two year contract and change of the plan. We sh*t canned
them ASAP and ported the number to T-Mobile ToGo, now after $100 topup
card the balance is good for a year (with further topups extending the
balance another year, regardless of topup denomination). It works out
to be about $8/month (or less) at the rate she uses her phone.

Unless you have strong reasons to stay with them, vote with your
feet, dollars, and number portability!

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I hope we can get a definitive answer
> on this sometime soon. I'll tell you what my conversation was like

The definitive answer is: If you were an former AT&T customer acquired
through the buyout, the really do not care to keep you around under
the status quo. You'll get worse treatment than any new customer off
the street.

> Now the GAIT phone can do both the old style calls and the newer GSM
> calls. I called customer service Monday afternoon to ask if this was
> going to apply to me, at least to the GAIT phone. I was assured it
> will _NOT_ apply to me. To those of you who are on contracts with
> Cingular who wish to break their contracts, this might be an ideal
> time to do so; after all, Cingular is changing the terms of their
> contract with you. PAT]

I would trust the telephone customer service reps about as far as you
can throw them, I hope you recorded the call if you plan to go off of
what they have told you.

There have been people who say that now you can get them to waive the
early termination fee if it was an AT&T contract and you switch to
Cingular. Now, apparently after you do that you have the "30 day
trial" under the new Cingular contract and if you cancel it within
this time you're done (i.e. no fee from the AT&T contract and no
ridiculous new two year Cingular contract that you were bullied into).
I can't confirm this from experience as my sister was well out of
contract by about 4-5 years when we ported her number and got the hell
out of Cingular.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I am going to be watching the bill very
closely this month and next to see how they deal with it. PAT]

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