The California-based nonprofit consumer advocacy organization Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) has filed a lawsuit against Cingular alleging that the company breached the contracts of more than 20 million ex-AT&T Wireless subscribers. FTCR, which is seeking class-action status for its suit, is claiming that Cingular purposely failed to maintain the AT&T Wireless cellular network after its $41 billion acquisition of AT&T Wireless in 2004, resulting in degraded service for former AT&T Wireless subscribers.
According to the terms of the lawsuit, this action forced many AT&T Wireless customers to move to Cingular's cell network. That meant buying new phone equipment, moving to higher cost plans, and, in some cases, incurring an $18 "transfer" or "upgrade fee." Some customers who tried to go to another company were hit with "early termination fees" of $175. Others who didn't want to pay or couldn't afford the fees were stuck with riding out their contract with AT&T Wireless while suffering poor to no reception, says FTCR.
Former AT&T Wireless subscribers who are still on the Cingular network and who feel that they have received sub-par service may want to call Cingular customer service. While Cingular has not fared well in recent wireless industry customer service surveys, the company is trying to improve itself in this area and may be willing to work with dissatisfied subscribers to improve their service.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org