Cingular account update

I’ve mentioned a few times that I was an old AT&T Wireless customer, which means that I was paying Cingular a lot of money every month to be a second-class citizen. With an AT&T account, I couldn’t buy a new Cingular phone (they’re locked to Cingular’s network) or add features (like a wireless data plan) to my account without trading in my old AT&T account for a shiny new Cingular plan. And I didn’t want to do that for a few reasons:

  1. I have a family plan, which means that I’d have to switch both lines at the same time. Which means that I’d have to buy a pair of new phones.

  2. I had a reasonably cheap plan with AT&T, and comperable Cingular plans cost more and provide less.

  3. Finally, switching plans means that I’d be stuck with at least a 1-year contract extension.

So, basically, it meant that it was a pain to change phones. If I wanted to get a new phone and have some sort of unmetered network service, then I was going to have to pay more for basic phone service and I’d have to replace my wife’s phone. Which is a pain. So I’d been putting it off until just the right phone came along.

Well, with the E61 on the way Friday, it was finally time. I needed to turn on a data plan for the E61, but I didn’t want to pay more for basic phone service. In general, normal customer service reps are helpless to do anything about this sort of complaint, so I decided to bite the bullet and threaten to cancel; the retention department at most carriers is able to make deals, but you need to be willing to actually cancel and switch carriers if you can’t make a deal. So I called Cingular’s customer service and asked the to transfer me straight to the retension department. Once I had a rentention rep on the line, I told her that I’d been with Cingular for years and I was going to switch to T-Mobile if I couldn’t get a deal.

Amazingly enough, she didn’t even blink, and offered me an extra 100 minutes per month for the same price I was already paying, and threw in a decent discount on phones. So, all in all, I’m happy. I feel kind of mercenary, but I figure I can live that if it saves me $400 or so over the next couple years.

[FWIW, I actually wrote this on the E61 and then mailed it to my Mac for posting. I need to find a decent web editor for S60. Any suggestions?]

Posted by Scott Laird Sun, 18 Jun 2006 15:07:44 GMT


  1. J. S. Townsley about 5 hours later:

    I also switched from ATTWS to Cingular, a few months later I needed to add a 3rd phone to our family plan and I am saving a few dollars every month because I am grandfathered in the AT&T family plan vs the Cingular one.

  2. Ryan Daigle about 21 hours later:

    I just got my e61 - it was worth the wait. Hope you enjoy yours.

  3. paraxial 3 days later:

    Cingular plans still offer fewer minutes for more money then the ATT plans.

    My no-contract grandfathered ATT plan gives me 500 minutes/month for $34.99. Cingular’s “upgrade” is 39.99 for 400 minutes. The only hitch is that I cannot get a new phone.

  4. Scott Laird 4 days later:

    Don’t just renew–call up and talk to the retention department. They gave me a much better deal then I could have gotten otherwise.

  5. about 1 month later:

    I would like to find out my recent calls but I deleted them from my phone. Please help me set this up.

  6. Chiquetta McCraw 2 months later:

    I will have to pay my cellphone bill in payments

  7. Michael Dowd 2 months later:

    Hi, Scott.

    How is your E61, which is configured for use in Europe, running on the Cingular network?

    Given the choice, like you, I would rather pay more for an unlocked E61, which includes WiFi. However, the money will not be well spent if the phone doesn’t operate well on Cingular’s network.

  8. Scott Laird 2 months later:

    It works fine. It doesn’t support 3G, but phone calls, SMS, GPRS, and EDGE all work fine. Nokia has a website that you can go to and enter your phone model, carrier, and number, and it’ll send you a SMS message that auto-configures your phone for your carrier. It worked perfectly.

  9. Patrick 4 months later:

    I’m about to attempt something similar, threaten cancelation to switch my ATT Blue plan to a family plan (to add my new wife). The rate is actually equivalent, but I’m unsure the Organge network has equivalent coverage. One quick question: did they go as far to help you set up the IM client on your E61 to work with Cingular’s system? This is the only mMode feature I haven’t been able to find a way to set up.

  10. 4 months later:

    how much is starting your first account going to cost?

  11. yoyo 4 months later:

    ain’t this a bitch

  12. debbie riddle 5 months later:

    am I ready for an update on mmy phone? Iwant to get me a razor phone.

  13. Dyer E. Honeycutt Sr. 6 months later:

    How can I find my account, showing number of minutes used.

  14. 6 months later:

    need to review my last bill from account #548405667 moises licona

  15. moises licona 6 months later:

    need to review the last bill

  16. joe 7 months later:

    heres my deal. i still haven’t switched from AT&T to Cingular. Now Cingular is changing back to AT&T. I called up to ask if I could upgrade now (b/c they would not let me before). The customer service says that is purely spectulative. Can you believe that?

  17. Todd 7 months later:

    I believe it. This new AT&T is unrelated to the previous ATT wireless. Its all a scam. There is a class action suit I am joining against Cingular for deceptive practices regarding this. I refuse to sign up to Cingular as it costs almost 2 x as much. I get tons of dropped calls as it is too.

  18. gaiden 7 months later:

    hello scott laird

    i am also one of those old att survivors got a 39.99 plan for 400 min + 200 bonus + 10mb which really dont apply to anything and somehow they sticked unlimited text message to it i shared it w/ my gf for almost 5 yrs and now got an e61 for bday and was wondering if cingular are going to charge me for data per use if i dont have a data plan? i just didnt think getting charged for using a non-cingular phone while doing wifi connection within my OWN wireless lan does any justice at all. is there a way around this rediculous problem?

    simply put: how do i serve the web using wifi through my phone without getting charged by cingular, OR is it even possible ???

    thanks for reading

  19. kimberly maio 11 months later:

    i have an old cingular account that i would like to pay payments to can you please send me the last statement

  20. kimberly maio 11 months later:

    please send it to my email the last statement thank you