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WARNING - Watch Out for Overcharged Cingular Minutes



 
 
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Old February 21st 04, 05:26 AM
Carl.
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Default WARNING - Watch Out for Overcharged Cingular Minutes

If the landline on your end did not end the connection (they sometimes do
that, and you get whoever was on the other end if they did not hang up),
then there is no reason to expect the cell connection to end.

To answer one of your questions, you can't expect the entire connection to
terminate when one end is hung up, especially if it is a landline phone.
Read your contract terms, flyers, etc, or wherever your carrier has the
standard warnings, one of which is usually that calls don't always end when
one party hangs up. Landline systems are far from flawless, and hanging up
that phone might not have had the proper effect. If the landline end of
things didn't disconnect, Cingular can hardly be expected to guess when you
want a call to end.

wrote in message
...

Watch out for being overcharged for Cingular minutes. If you do no
keep your own careful record of minutes, I believe this could be
happening to you without your knowing it.


WHAT I BELIEVE HAPPENED TO ME:

I completed a call but continued to be charged minutes after the
connection between my cellular phone and a landline phone had been
severed.


HOW I NOTICED IT:

A call was placed between a friend using my Cingular phone and myself
using a landline phone. Call was completed.

About 2 minutes later, I called from the same landline phone to the
Cingular phone. The Cingular phone did not ring but rather
connection completed immediately without phone ringing. The friend
did not know call had been completed but I could hear her talking to
another person in the car.

I hung up and waited several more minutes and called again. Again I
was immediately connected to the Cingular phone without it my friend's
pressing a button to accept the call.

Tried waiting and redialing several more times before phone finally
rang. I believe I waited at least 5 minutes before redialing one
time but was still reconnected.


WHAT I THINK HAPPENED:

On a completed call, there must be connections between

1 - Cingular phone and Cingular network
2 - Cingular network and landline network
3 - landline network and landline phone

When I hung up my landline phone only connection "3" was broken.
Every time I redialed I was reconnected to the pre-existing "1" and
"2" connections.

Since the connection between the Cingular phone and the landline
network was not disconnected in a timely manner I was overcharged
minutes.


COMPLAINED TO CINGULAR:

I explained the problem to customer service on two separate occasions
in an effort to get an adjustment to my billed minutes. No
adjustments were given.

1st customer service representative suggested that there a problem
with the cell phone and that I could get an upgrade phone with a new
12 month contract, implying that since I had a defective phone, I was
responsible for the charges. She ignored my comment that even if
phone was defective, "shouldn't the hanging up of the landline phone
disconnect the call".

2nd customer service person suggested that the minutes were justified
as my friend had not pressed the hang-up button implying my hanging up
the landline phone was not sufficient to terminate the billing of
minutes.

I do not know if my friend in fact did this on the occasion I observed
the problem but she should not need to do this as connection should be
canceled automatically shortly after either party has hung up.


SOLUTION:

I canceled my service with Cingular. I had been Cingular customer
for more than three years with no overtime minutes for about 2 years.


COST:

I did not discover problem until at least the 2nd month it had been
happening. Originally, I had called Cingular and they had said my
minutes used had increased substantially. I was surprised by the
amount of the increase but accepted this explanation until I made the
phone calls discussed above several weeks later.

In a short period of time, my rollover minutes were used up and I had
to pay more that $400 in overtime minutes.



DON'T LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU.


Note: For those thinking of other explanations of what happened to me.
The cell phone was not in AUTO-ANSWER mode.
Landline phone was not CALLWAITING to cell phone.




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