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(WFMY)   Cingular collects old phones from customers for "charity." A word that in this case means "to be sold on eBay"   ( divider line
    More: Asinine  
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15669 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 Aug 2005 at 5:53 PM (12 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

50 Comments     (+0 »)
2005-08-25 11:41:10 AM  
I'm having trouble understanding the headline. Am I special?
2005-08-25 11:42:29 AM  
pinchy the lobster

No. Well, yes.

"Than" = "that"
2005-08-25 11:50:55 AM  
sounds like the employee stole two of the phones and sold them on ebay...not actually anything to do with Cigular selling phones
2005-08-25 11:52:27 AM  
What kels in the morning said.

Nice idea, poor execution.
2005-08-25 11:55:21 AM  
The wireless company I work for actually *does* use them for charity.

They're either refurbished and sold, with the proceeds going to charity, or they're refurbished and sent to poor countries where land lines are impractical to install.
2005-08-25 01:01:44 PM  
The article is lacking details.

Does Cingular, in fact, accept old phones for charity? Or did the employee make that up to get his hands on the phones?
2005-08-25 02:11:47 PM  
lol.... my wife was involved with an Ebay scam by a Cingular employee last year. Said employee would steal phones from the Cingular office, then sell them on Ebay for unbelievably low prices!

Needless to say, that didn't last too long. Especially after he received payment for about 20 phones he didn't have time to steal before he was fired.
2005-08-25 06:06:06 PM  
Whether this is Cingular's fault or not, F 'EM! Glad I dumped those bozos for Sprint. I will never miss an opportunity to tell people to avoid them.
2005-08-25 06:10:21 PM  
"taking steps to".... really means "we'll be more cautious when we sell on ebay again"..
2005-08-25 06:10:40 PM  
Sounds like one bad employee. I'm ver h ppy wi h my Cing ar servi e, it' ery rel abl and I alw ys coun on that great ingular " ore bars in m re pla es" quality.

/I anwer my cingular phone "callMeOnaLandlineThisDoesn'tWork!" when I'm at the office.
2005-08-25 06:15:32 PM  
Firstly, the customers donating phones are comlpaining about their invasion of privacy because the people who got the resold phones have their phone directory. If that's the case, then DELETE YOUR INFORMATION before giving it away.

Secondly, this just looks like a case of a single rotten employee. There's probably a cardboard box somewhere in the back where they stash the useless phones and he probably just grabbed a couple.
2005-08-25 06:39:51 PM  

But the phones never made it to a women's shelter. Both of the phones were purchased on eBay by Carol Winslow in Norfolk, Virginia.

[image from too old to be available]

2005-08-25 06:45:00 PM  
As a recently hired customer service rep for a large wireless company that begins with C and ends with "ingular," I can say that our dealers are a bunch of assgaskets, and one pulling this brand of crap doesn't surprise me in the least. On average, half my day consists of angry calls about things that our dealers didn't feel necessary to explain, like activation fees and weird features that are added to jack up commissions. Buy your phone from the damn website after you play with them in the store, and this goes for everybody else except T-Mobile, because they're not too bad. Their network's not so great where I live, though.

And Mr.Tweak, I totally empathize. Even with employee access to all of the nifty network tools and technical support, I still can't get my damn Sony Ericsson to work at my house.

/we're shiatty
//but so are the other guys
2005-08-25 06:48:31 PM  
what good would a cell phone do for a charity anyway? they're not gonna shell out the $40+ a month to use it. seems like they should be selling them all on eBay and just giving the money to the charities.
2005-08-25 06:50:18 PM  
davidshi123 makes a good point: DELETE YOUR INFORMATION before giving it away.

I don't know about the other brands, but on all the old Motorolas I've ever given away, I always did both a "master clear" and "master reset," and then checked to make sure.

Same concept as dumping an old Palm, computer, etc., at least do something to protect your data.
2005-08-25 06:51:02 PM  
I was a manager of a "Cingular" store here in central IL. Most stores are actually franchise re-sellers, not Cingular itself, even though it has all the same furniture, displays, and everything. This "donation" scam is widespread, it almost always involves a womens shelter that doesn't exist, and ultimately the phones go on ebay or wholesaled for a couple bucks.

My company was named Midwest Cellular. CROOKED CROOKED CROOKED. These scum will say anything to make a buck, we were regularly encouraged by upper management to lie now, when they complain later, lie then too. lie lie lie. I couldn't sleep at night thinking about all the people I farked over that day.
2005-08-25 06:51:09 PM  
mediaphile: what good would a cell phone do for a charity anyway?

They're meant for 911, not generic use.
2005-08-25 06:53:43 PM  
Explain to me why people have these damn things again? I used one for about a week recently, and not only was the reception terrible, it was never actually necessary, in the sense of "I would have been greatly inconvenienced to have not had it".

More to the point, why do you all pay through the nuts to have them?
2005-08-25 06:54:03 PM  
Cingular sucks, even without jackhole employees doing this bullshiat.
2005-08-25 06:55:05 PM  
Ex-employee thief != Cingular.
2005-08-25 07:02:06 PM  

my friend dan worked for a local cellular reseller called The Cellular Connection. the salesmen there would routinely lie and lie and lie to sell accounts, then when people came in to complain they'd tell 'em they had to call the customer support line.

then if they got irate the store would call the police because inevitably _someone_ was getting their ass beat if they didn't.

this MO was encouraged by the owner of the store, who wound up firing this guy after he'd designed enough ads so he could just swap them in and out of the paper for the next 5 years or something.

fortunately dan password-protected his PDF files.
2005-08-25 07:02:38 PM  
No Such Agency: More to the point, why do you all pay through the nuts to have them?

My wife and I don't have a landline, and it's just as cheap to have both of us on the same cell plan with two phones as it is to get a phone in the house.
2005-08-25 07:07:39 PM  
The local Verizon store has the donate-to-a-battered-woman-charity hand-in thing.

So, like, why do battered women suddenly need phones, and if they are living in a shelter, how can they afford to pay for a calling plan? I just don't have enough info to make the scenerio sound legit...
2005-08-25 07:07:52 PM  

Same concept as dumping an old Palm, computer, etc., at least do something to protect your data

Yeah, but the vast majority of people are too stupid to know better.

suitandtieguy: fortunately dan password-protected his PDF files.

And the owner was probably too stupid to know that password protection is left up to the viewing application. There are many PDF apps that will open a password "protected" PDF file.
2005-08-25 07:09:23 PM  
mediaphile...Locally we have a donation program for the battered womens shelter. Even though the phones aren't activated, they can still call 911. A lot of these women leave their homes suddenly, some have to abandon their jobs to avoid an abusive boyfriend and husband and they can't afford to get a phone. Giving them one of these cell phones enables them to call 911 if they start having problems again with their boyfriend/husband.
2005-08-25 07:12:07 PM my post to mediaphile.
2005-08-25 07:13:45 PM  
Speaking of deception, this headline is a prime example. Don't blame Cingular for one customer serive rep. Schmuck.
2005-08-25 07:16:26 PM  
another thought on the password protected files. If Dan was in the employ of the business, and getting paid for his work on the ads, then, I believe, by law the information in the .pdf's belongs to the company, and with a court order, the passwords have to be handed over to the company.
2005-08-25 07:17:35 PM  
For those of you not in the triad and want to know about the newsstations in this area, WFMY has the lamest advertisements hidden as news stories as well as a weather segment that's graphics look like someone was trying all the different types of fades and animated graphics possible like you did for a project in 9th grade.
2005-08-25 07:23:03 PM  
Cingular sucks. Not just because of this story. They suck. I say again: Cingular sucks.
2005-08-25 08:02:44 PM  
angrycripple can you prove this or are you just playing a game to see who will bite? we are total farkers and need facts, otherwise we will eat you alive....
i notice your profile lacks a lot of info...are you a troll????
2005-08-25 08:02:48 PM  

"Cingular sucks. Not just because of this story. They suck. I say again: Cingular sucks."

I agree.

2005-08-25 08:14:30 PM  
cingular sucks even more if you happen to 'a former AT&T customer', i keep asking what i currently am, and they keep saying 'a former at&t customer'.
2005-08-25 08:18:04 PM  
Can anyone tell me where to get a $29.99/300 anytime/5000nw cell phone service that is actually good?
2005-08-25 08:31:07 PM  

cingular sucks even more if you happen to 'a former AT&T customer', i keep asking what i currently am, and they keep saying 'a former at&t customer'.

You were with AT&T, which was bought by Cingular, making you... work with me here, 'a former AT&T customer'.

Seriously, what kind of stupid complaint is that? Customers find the dumbest-ass things to complain about.
Take comfort though, all the reps you asked 'what i currently am' they all at least thought the same thing.

/Cingular Customer Service
//read your goddamnedcontract
///know your goddamnedplan
2005-08-25 08:35:32 PM  
A reference to "A serious of unfortunate events"? Nice...
2005-08-25 08:36:25 PM  
JoeBlack: ...5000nw

5000 nanowatts?
2005-08-25 08:40:24 PM  
I give my cellphones to homeless.
2005-08-25 09:08:42 PM  
My sister and her daughter went to go live in a battered woman's shelter for a month or so. When she got out, she was given a prepaid phone (I think it was Verizon) with something like 10,000 minutes loaded on it. She was able to use it to find herself a job, contact family, arrange to buy a car. And of course, spend most of those minutes talking to her friends.

When the time ran out, the phone was hers. But she promptly took it back to the shelter. I made sure the contacts were wiped out. She got maybe 3 months use out of the phone. Farking chatterbox.
2005-08-25 11:55:00 PM  
Y'know, I had AT&T wireless service for over three years. Perfect service, never once had a problem. As soon as Cingular took over, I started having horrible service problems, and technical support basically told me "sucks to be you." Screw Cingular.
2005-08-26 12:17:29 AM  
There are probably thousands of cases of employees stealing company property (and I don't mean just pencils and paperclips), and selling the items.

If you work in a high-tech industry for a largish company, you probably use a phone which costs at least $300 retail and likely more. Steal it (someone took my phone!), sell it on Ebay for $75. Profit.
2005-08-26 01:15:39 AM  
Unfortunately, in my experience w/ 3 providers, Cingular, Sprint and Verizon, they all suck in one way or another.
2005-08-26 01:48:16 AM  
Eugenicist :
thats the answer the give to everything though, not the question.

i bought a full price f9100 but it was locked to cingular, so i have a cingular account right? wrong, i have a former at&t account, so i can't use it, and guess what i can't have them unlock it directly either, cant use my sim, sure i can get myself another long term plan on a different rate, if i want to use the phone that i paid full price for. strange every time i pay my bill, it seems to go to cingular and not att&t, so im a former at&tt customer in everything but paying the bill. pretty much every tech support question has ended in, sorry youre a former at&t customer, not a cingular customer, which is bs, i am a cingular customer, since they get my money.

but yeah you seem about the level of moron they have for customer support.
2005-08-26 02:48:56 AM  
I currently work for Cingular, and have worked for AT&T, Sprint, and Nextel in the past. I can honestly say that they all do this shiate. All wireless companies are the same. As far as the "donating" old phones thing goes, this is pretty common. People just give us their old phones a lot of the time, we don't even make up some B.S. story about donating them to a womens shelter. Not a big deal for most people, they'll just throw them away whenever they upgrade. But the people that lie about that are pretty messed up. We either use the old phones for parts or sell them to someone who lost their old phone for like $30. We delete the contacts first of course.

charliex: Of course a Cingular phone won't work, why did you even buy it (especially an F9100, and at full price)? You are a former AT&T customer, so to get a NEW phone, you have to actually switch your service(rate plan) to Cingular. AT&T no longer exists, so you can not pay your bill directly to them. You are free to keep your old AT&T phone and rate plan as long as you want, but if you need a new phone, you have to get a Cingular rate plan, and a Cingular phone. How does this not make sense? Quit biatching and pay someone $20 to unlock that crappy LG if you aren't satisfied. Or better yet, return that p.o.s. and get a Nokia, Samsung, or Motorola. Seriously dude, that phone sucks. If it's less than 30 days take that beast back to the store and get a refund.

/long post.
//sick of stupid customers that don't listen.
///sorry the merger didn't work out for you, most people are cool with it.
2005-08-26 02:56:53 AM  
People who buy used cell/wireless phones are idiots.
2005-08-26 02:56:56 AM  
xfkirsten: Y'know, I had AT&T wireless service for over three years. Perfect service, never once had a problem. As soon as Cingular took over, I started having horrible service problems, and technical support basically told me "sucks to be you." Screw Cingular.

San Diego must be a divested market where Cingular didn't really buy your contract from AT&T. In some areas Cingular was not allowed by the FCC to buy out the market, so they had to sell of the area to another carrier (Alltel in my market). Where I live, former AT&T customer's call quality immediately went down. Wherever Cingular really did take over, you should have the same exact service plus the use of any towers Cingular has that AT&T was not allowed to use before. If you are in a divested market, then yes, it does suck to be you. The former AT&T customers in my market got stuck with Alltell and it has been a fiasco, and we haven't been able to help them until recently when Alltel let them out of their contracts. I won't say they don't screw up as much as the next wireless company, but in this particular case it looks like it's really not their fault.

/long post #2
2005-08-26 05:58:48 AM  
Hmmm, when I traded in my old Ericsson last fall for a new Nokia, I dealt with a Cingular store and they told me the cellphone would be donated to a battered women's shelter.

I asked, "Did you need the charger and the handsfree headset too?" They just said, "No, don't worry about that." Hmmm. Oh well. I just gave my charger to my sister, who uses a SonyEricsson phone that uses the same kind of adaptor.

But yes, most "Cingular" stores are not actually owned and operated by Cingular, they are just contracted to do the retail services. Here in the Los Angeles area, they are run by Affordable Portables, who usually sell personal and car stereo equipment.
2005-08-26 12:29:56 PM  
Y'know, I had AT&T wireless service for over three years. Perfect service, never once had a problem. As soon as Cingular took over, I started having horrible service problems, and technical support basically told me "sucks to be you." Screw Cingular.

AT&T never sent me a $100 rebate that required a 2-year service commitment. When the rebate didn't arrive, I called and was told that I had 30 days from mailing to contest a rebate that didn't arrive.

Pointing out that the rebates take far longer than 30 days to process and can take up to 3-4 months resulted in a "sorry cannot help you". when I questioned how long my service contract was, they said "2-years". When I said why, they said because I got a rebate. when I said there was no rebate then why am I still on a 2-year contract? the service rep said (and I quote): "Tough luck".

October 15th this year will be a very happy day for me.
2005-08-26 04:04:49 PM  
I used to have Cingular service. I hated it, the service sucked, the customer support sucked, and I felt that they had no loyalty to existing customers (I had been an Ameritech customer previously). I switched to AT&T. Not bad, not perfect. Then Cingular bought AT&T's service. I wanted to continue my existing service with a new phone...couldn't do it because I was an AT&T customer. Fine, sign me up with a new Cingular plan with a free phone...sorry, you're an existing customer. Which is it?

Fark Cingular

/T-mobile customer
2005-08-26 05:28:56 PM  
kels in the morning:

I'm not sure what facts you'd like, but feel free to ask. My store was here in Bloomington mall, but the company had others in Springfield, Champaign, and maybe Decatur. I think there were a couple other stores, but I had little dealings with them.

We were told to lie about coverage areas, lie about what CS could and could not do, lie about charges and the removal of them, lie about phone battery life, lie about credit checks, lie about pre-paid minute plans, LIE LIE LIE.
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