I just spent an hour on the phone with Cingular, because once again, nearly every call I try to make is a disaster. This weekend I had a phone interview with a reporter who had to call back five times before finally giving up on my cell. Others in the past few weeks have called and received a message that "the number you are calling is no longer in service." Yet Cingular--who first advised me to get a new phone, and then to trade that new phone in when it didn't work--now says that there is nothing they can do, but that I will be held to my contract and assessed a penalty for cancelling my service. Of course, I asked to speak to a supervisor, Xavier Graham, and when all he could do was read from the prepared customer service script, I asked for another supervisor, and got Rashad Goggins, who screamed at me and put me on hold before coming back with a very soft voice and telling me that it was my fault for not cancelling my contract sooner. When I said that I had been assured the problem was fixed, and only now was discovering that it was not, he didn't care. Of course, why would he?
The most amusing aspect of all of this was when they noted that I'd used 800 out of 2000 minutes that I'd paid for. Therefore, they say, I must have a working phone. What they didn't want to discuss was how many of the minutes were calls to customer service. I'd guess about 240 minutes minimum.
Second most amusing aspect: At the end of the call, Rashad said, "Don't hesitate to call again."