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  1. #61
    Russell
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger


    "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Steven M. Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    >> Steven M. Scharf wrote:
    >>> Russell wrote:

    >>
    >>> Do they let you sign up if you're not in one of the states that they
    >>> list? If so, when you're in an area that they don't cover, are you
    >>> roaming, or are you okay as long as you're on the AT&T/Cingular TDMA
    >>> network?

    >>
    >> I'll answer my own question. The answer is that you can sign up for
    >> Beyond Wireless, no matter where you live, using one of their area codes.
    >> However you will be roaming for every call, at 4x the cost, so it will be
    >> about 57 cents per minute on the cheapest card. I think that they are
    >> using some other TDMA network other than AT&T, hence the roaming when you
    >> are on AT&T.
    >>

    >
    > Not true. I've signed up for their service (which they don't offer in my
    > area code) and I don't roam as long as I'm on the AT&T network. They use
    > the AT&T network - now Cingular blue. I've had them for some time using 4
    > phones - I've no connection with them otherwise.
    >
    >> You get 35 minutes when you sign up (no credit card needed). So you
    >> actually can have an emergency phone for about 18 months, at no cost, as
    >> long as you make one call every 60 days (2 months/4 minutes * 35
    >> minutes). It's great for an emergency phone, but for an occasional use
    >> phone, CallPlus is a better deal.
    >>

    >
    > Not true about CallPlus being a better deal.
    >
    >> Beware that activating your own phone with Beyond Wireless isn't easy.
    >> You call and call, just to get through, then they put you on hold, and
    >> you get disconnected a few times. But I did activate, with a 352 area
    >> code, with no problem.
    >>

    >
    > I've never had a problem calling them to activate - I can only speak of my
    > experience.
    >
    >> Beyond Wireless will only activate Nokia TDMA phones. I asked about a
    >> Motorola phone, and they didn't want to do it.
    >>
    >>


    After seeing what I felt statements like the above about only activating
    Nokia phones (just doesn't make technical sense to me) I emailed Beyond
    Wireless tech support with a quote from this thread. I've always got
    excellent tech support from them - quite frankly their email tech support
    has been the most knowledgable and to the point of any company that I've
    dealt with in the past 25+ years. This is their response:

    --- start pasted response from Beyond Wireless ---
    This is completely untrue. I am disturbed to learn that one or more of our
    customer service representatives is/are representing this as factual
    information. This can be attributed to rapid growth and new customer
    service representatives still learning our ways. This will most certainly
    be addressed. We will activate ANY phone that is capable of being used on
    our service. This means ANY TDMA phone that was formerly active with AT&T
    or any TDMA phone that is not locked to another network. Therefore, even if
    the phone was used with, say, Cingular, it still may be capable of being
    activated with us, providing that it is not locked to Cingular. There are
    no plans in the works to switch to Cingular towers. That does not mean that
    we will never use Cingular towers. However, if we ever do gain the use of
    Cingular towers, we would not lose the use of AT&T towers, since Cingular
    owns them now.

    Also, in regards to our phone system: Because of rapid growth we have had to
    install a new phone system to handle the volume of calls. It has not been
    fully configured yet, and this is why customers are experiencing less than
    desired results with it. Our representatives are still learning the system;
    and in addition, the phone technician is here continuing with the
    configuration as I type. Once it is complete, I'm confident that customers
    will find it just as friendly as any other. We do apologize for this, and
    ask that customers keep this in mind when calling our support line.

    --- end pasted response from Beyond Wireless ---

    Do note I have no connection (except as a customer) with this company. I
    found out about them at http://www.cellguru.net/prepaid_compare.htm.
    However, I really appreciate their plan as it meets our needs very well and
    would like them to thrive - hence my posts.

    Russell





    See More: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger




  2. #62
    Steven M. Scharf
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]

    > Not true. I've signed up for their service (which they don't offer in my
    > area code) and I don't roam as long as I'm on the AT&T network. They use
    > the AT&T network - now Cingular blue. I've had them for some time using 4
    > phones - I've no connection with them otherwise.


    You're correct, their customer service person didn't know what she was
    talking about. The fact that my phone says "Roam" did not mean that I was
    being charged 4x the minutes; I tried some calls and I was only charged at
    the 1x rate.

    > Not true about CallPlus being a better deal.


    Correct. I based the earlier statement on the CSR's statement that if the
    phone said "Roam" I would be charged 4x. Maybe the problem is that the phone
    is a Cellular One phone (Cellular One in the SF Bay Area was taken over by
    AT&T).

    > I've never had a problem calling them to activate - I can only speak of my
    > experience.


    Something was wrong with their phone system yesterday. They'd put me on
    hold, and after about three minutes the system would disconnect.





  3. #63
    Rod
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    Hopefully they will start activating GSM before the TDMA network is turned
    off. These rates that don't expire would be a good thing with GSM.


    "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > "Russell" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > >
    > > "Steven M. Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]
    > >> Steven M. Scharf wrote:
    > >>> Russell wrote:
    > >>
    > >>> Do they let you sign up if you're not in one of the states that they
    > >>> list? If so, when you're in an area that they don't cover, are you
    > >>> roaming, or are you okay as long as you're on the AT&T/Cingular TDMA
    > >>> network?
    > >>
    > >> I'll answer my own question. The answer is that you can sign up for
    > >> Beyond Wireless, no matter where you live, using one of their area

    codes.
    > >> However you will be roaming for every call, at 4x the cost, so it will

    be
    > >> about 57 cents per minute on the cheapest card. I think that they are
    > >> using some other TDMA network other than AT&T, hence the roaming when

    you
    > >> are on AT&T.
    > >>

    > >
    > > Not true. I've signed up for their service (which they don't offer in

    my
    > > area code) and I don't roam as long as I'm on the AT&T network. They

    use
    > > the AT&T network - now Cingular blue. I've had them for some time using

    4
    > > phones - I've no connection with them otherwise.
    > >
    > >> You get 35 minutes when you sign up (no credit card needed). So you
    > >> actually can have an emergency phone for about 18 months, at no cost,

    as
    > >> long as you make one call every 60 days (2 months/4 minutes * 35
    > >> minutes). It's great for an emergency phone, but for an occasional use
    > >> phone, CallPlus is a better deal.
    > >>

    > >
    > > Not true about CallPlus being a better deal.
    > >
    > >> Beware that activating your own phone with Beyond Wireless isn't easy.
    > >> You call and call, just to get through, then they put you on hold, and
    > >> you get disconnected a few times. But I did activate, with a 352 area
    > >> code, with no problem.
    > >>

    > >
    > > I've never had a problem calling them to activate - I can only speak of

    my
    > > experience.
    > >
    > >> Beyond Wireless will only activate Nokia TDMA phones. I asked about a
    > >> Motorola phone, and they didn't want to do it.
    > >>
    > >>

    >
    > After seeing what I felt statements like the above about only activating
    > Nokia phones (just doesn't make technical sense to me) I emailed Beyond
    > Wireless tech support with a quote from this thread. I've always got
    > excellent tech support from them - quite frankly their email tech support
    > has been the most knowledgable and to the point of any company that I've
    > dealt with in the past 25+ years. This is their response:
    >
    > --- start pasted response from Beyond Wireless ---
    > This is completely untrue. I am disturbed to learn that one or more of

    our
    > customer service representatives is/are representing this as factual
    > information. This can be attributed to rapid growth and new customer
    > service representatives still learning our ways. This will most certainly
    > be addressed. We will activate ANY phone that is capable of being used on
    > our service. This means ANY TDMA phone that was formerly active with AT&T
    > or any TDMA phone that is not locked to another network. Therefore, even

    if
    > the phone was used with, say, Cingular, it still may be capable of being
    > activated with us, providing that it is not locked to Cingular. There are
    > no plans in the works to switch to Cingular towers. That does not mean

    that
    > we will never use Cingular towers. However, if we ever do gain the use of
    > Cingular towers, we would not lose the use of AT&T towers, since Cingular
    > owns them now.
    >
    > Also, in regards to our phone system: Because of rapid growth we have had

    to
    > install a new phone system to handle the volume of calls. It has not been
    > fully configured yet, and this is why customers are experiencing less than
    > desired results with it. Our representatives are still learning the

    system;
    > and in addition, the phone technician is here continuing with the
    > configuration as I type. Once it is complete, I'm confident that

    customers
    > will find it just as friendly as any other. We do apologize for this, and
    > ask that customers keep this in mind when calling our support line.
    >
    > --- end pasted response from Beyond Wireless ---
    >
    > Do note I have no connection (except as a customer) with this company. I
    > found out about them at http://www.cellguru.net/prepaid_compare.htm.
    > However, I really appreciate their plan as it meets our needs very well

    and
    > would like them to thrive - hence my posts.
    >
    > Russell
    >
    >






  4. #64
    SteveT
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    Russell:
    Thanks for posting the tech support e-mail from Beyond Wireless. I
    hoped that this would be the case. However, I just want to clariy the
    followiing. I, too, was assured by e-mail tech support at BW that it
    would be possible to activate my TDMA tri-mode AT&T-branded Ericsson
    700 which I have used on AT&T for three years. However, when I called
    the 800 number to try and activate, the woman on the phone steadfastly
    maintained that "no Ericsson phones can be activated." I explained to
    her all the details of this phone, the obvious (to you and me)
    technical facts of the matter, AND the fact that I had an e-mail from a
    tech support person, whose name I mentioned, assuring me that this
    phone could be activated. I asked her if she could at least *try* to
    activate this phone but she was adamant that they had been instructed
    not to accept any phones except Nokia. On Monday I called back and
    asked to speak to someone in charge. A woman who identified herself as
    "experienced in the subject" listened to my story. As soon as I
    uttered the word "Ericsson" she began repeating "NOPE ... Not any
    more...Not any more." The impression I got was that this represented
    some recent change in policy and that apparently the tech support
    person who e-mailed me wasn't up to speed. This woman also very flatly
    refused to even try to activate it ("There's no point" she said). She
    was very friendly and polite about it all but she was also very firm in
    asserting that Beyond Wireless would not activate any Ericsson phone.
    Since you can only activate via the 800 number, if the 800 number
    operators are firmly united in this opinion, then you are out of luck
    at BW w/any phone except Nokia... no matter what e-mail tech support
    may tell you. Since I had found some more of those $10 free2go cards
    w/90 day exp., I decided to just stay with Cingular until the dust
    settles on this and then re-visit the issue in 9 months.




  5. #65
    Steven M. Scharf
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    "Rod" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hopefully they will start activating GSM before the TDMA network is turned
    > off. These rates that don't expire would be a good thing with GSM.


    7-11 Speak-Out has a 1 year expiration, with a $25 air-time card, on
    Speak-Out. But you must buy a phone from them, they won't sell just a SIM
    card. It is 20 cents per minute.

    The problem is that in many areas the GSM coverage is pretty bad, i.e. the
    SF Bay Area, or non-existent. You also don't get AMPS back-up on GSM, which
    you get with TDMA. For a phone that you want to be able to use only for
    urgent matters, you want it to work in as wide an area as possible, which
    means having AMPS coverage.





  6. #66
    Steven M. Scharf
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    "SteveT" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Russell:
    > Thanks for posting the tech support e-mail from Beyond Wireless. I
    > hoped that this would be the case. However, I just want to clariy the
    > followiing. I, too, was assured by e-mail tech support at BW


    While their rates are good, their operators are clueless, and their
    activation procedure leaves something to be desired.

    I'm not sure how a TDMA phone "knows" if it is "Home" or "Roaming," but it
    appears to be related to the IRDB (intercarrier roaming database) programmed
    into the phone at the time of purchase. I don't know if it's like CDMA,
    where you periodically are supposed to download new PRLs (preferred roaming
    lists), but I've never seen an option for such a download on a TDMA phone.

    What is the reason that they only sell into certain markets? Do they have an
    agreement with AT&T that they are only allowed to sell into these markets?
    It isn't a roaming issue apparently.

    In terms of phones, I know that on some international prepaid GSM networks,
    only a few specific models of phones actually work. This is because when you
    place a call, it is diverted to the carrier's switch, the phone number
    you're calling is called by the switch, and you are called back. This is
    because in most countries, you don't pay for incoming calls, so they are in
    essence placing two free calls, one back to you, one to whomever you are
    calling, and then connecting you together. So the GSM phone needs to be
    capable of being programmed to call one number, no matter which number you
    enter, and then transmit the number you want to call as data.





  7. #67
    Stanley Reynolds
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    > I'm not sure how a TDMA phone "knows" if it is "Home" or "Roaming," but it
    > appears to be related to the IRDB (intercarrier roaming database)

    programmed
    > into the phone at the time of purchase. I don't know if it's like CDMA,
    > where you periodically are supposed to download new PRLs (preferred

    roaming
    > lists), but I've never seen an option for such a download on a TDMA phone.


    "What is a SID?

    A system identification, or SID, is a unique identification code transmitted
    by the carrier in its overhead signal. This SID number is also programmed
    into the wireless phone to designate your home market. The phone compares
    the numbers to determine if you are roaming or not. In 800 MHz cellular, an
    even-numbered SID indicates a B system while an odd-numbered SID indicates
    an A system." (quote from random web site)

    IRDB is downloaded when CS / Carrier pushes a update OTA it can also be
    uploaded via a cable with software and a PC.

    This happens if you request an update for CS or then the Carrier want's to,
    unlike CDMA where the user has some control over the update.

    The phone number, sid, and soc are part of the NAM programming seperate from
    the IRDB.

    The SOC (system operator code) is what is often locked on a TDMA phone.





  8. #68
    Steven M. Scharf
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger


    "Stanley Reynolds" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > > I'm not sure how a TDMA phone "knows" if it is "Home" or "Roaming," but

    it
    > > appears to be related to the IRDB (intercarrier roaming database)

    > programmed
    > > into the phone at the time of purchase. I don't know if it's like CDMA,
    > > where you periodically are supposed to download new PRLs (preferred

    > roaming
    > > lists), but I've never seen an option for such a download on a TDMA

    phone.
    >
    > "What is a SID?
    >
    > A system identification, or SID, is a unique identification code

    transmitted
    > by the carrier in its overhead signal. This SID number is also programmed
    > into the wireless phone to designate your home market.


    So the phone I have must have an old SID programmed into it, which doesn't
    match the AT&T SID, since the AT&T TDMA network is used by Beyond Wireless.
    This is possible, I guess, since it was once a Cellular One phone, but it
    operated properly on the AT&T network when AT&T bought Cellular One in may
    area.





  9. #69
    Steven M. Scharf
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    "Steven M. Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:FtNge.1600

    > So the phone I have must have an old SID programmed into it, which doesn't
    > match the AT&T SID, since the AT&T TDMA network is used by Beyond

    Wireless.
    > This is possible, I guess, since it was once a Cellular One phone, but it
    > operated properly on the AT&T network when AT&T bought Cellular One in may
    > area.


    Wow, the e-mail support at beyond wireless is awesome. They e-mailed me
    instructions on how to fix the "Roam" problem and it worked fine, and reads
    "Home."





  10. #70
    Russell
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger


    "Steven M. Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Steven M. Scharf" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:FtNge.1600
    >
    >> So the phone I have must have an old SID programmed into it, which
    >> doesn't
    >> match the AT&T SID, since the AT&T TDMA network is used by Beyond

    > Wireless.
    >> This is possible, I guess, since it was once a Cellular One phone, but it
    >> operated properly on the AT&T network when AT&T bought Cellular One in
    >> may
    >> area.

    >
    > Wow, the e-mail support at beyond wireless is awesome. They e-mailed me
    > instructions on how to fix the "Roam" problem and it worked fine, and
    > reads
    > "Home."
    >
    >


    That is my impression too. I've dealt a lot with e-mail support and it's
    second to none.

    Russell





  11. #71
    leegrimsley
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    Any call to Cingular falls on dumb ears -- not deaf.

    I have changed the signon message of my phone (formerly AT&T) to read

    CINGULAR SUCKS

    For five years I have had two phone family plan with AT&T with
    absolutely zero problems in service of signal strength. Each month I
    would log onto the AT&T Wireless website and pay my bill
    electronically.

    Then comes the buyout by Cingular and I cannot even get onto the
    website

    My latest try I talked with a CSR for 45 minutes trying to get me
    logged on and he finally admitted ...I don't know what is wrong

    With Cingular (and Ma Bell) taking over AT&T Wireless we truly have a
    case of the inmates running the asylum
    Bill wrote:
    > "Tush Smells Bush Kills!!!!!!!!!!!" wrote:
    > >
    > > Well, before the merger, I got *0* bars in my neighborhood.

    Couldn't
    > > make a single call for a whole year. After the merger, I can even

    make
    > > a call inside a freezer in a S&F.
    > >
    > > You get 100 free minutes when you switch numbers from another

    carrier.
    >
    > Seems strange that the merger would help TDMA signals, since
    > Cingular was all GSM, which is what AT&T was switching to. Now,
    > if you were an AT&T GSM customer, I could see how the addition
    > of Cingular's towers would help.
    >
    > BTW the problem with continuing with Free2Go or one of the
    > resellers is that Cingular obviously has little interest in
    > maintaining the TDMA network, and complaints about poor service
    > will fall on deaf ears.
    >
    > Bill





  12. #72
    Steven M. Scharf
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger


    "leegrimsley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Any call to Cingular falls on dumb ears -- not deaf.
    >
    > I have changed the signon message of my phone (formerly AT&T) to read
    >
    > CINGULAR SUCKS
    >
    > For five years I have had two phone family plan with AT&T with
    > absolutely zero problems in service of signal strength.


    The only places I know of where TDMA signal strengths have decreased is in
    cities where they have migrated some overlapping TDMA cells over to GSM.
    This leaves theoretically complete geographic coverage of TDMA, but with
    many more dead spots than before.





  13. #73
    Steven M. Scharf
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger


    "SteveT" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Russell:
    > Thanks for posting the tech support e-mail from Beyond Wireless. I
    > hoped that this would be the case. However, I just want to clariy the
    > followiing. I, too, was assured by e-mail tech support at BW that it


    <snip>

    I got a similar e-mail regarding a Motorola phone. One thing that may be an
    issue is that some people were trying to activate TDMA phones that were
    previously on the Cingular network (or other TDMA network), not the AT&T
    TDMA network, and some of these phones are not re-programmable except by
    being physically hooked up to a computer. However in my area, Cingular never
    had a TDMA network, all the TDMA phones were on AT&T, so this should not be
    an issue.

    Maybe they just find it easier to refuse everything but Nokia.





  14. #74
    Bill
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger



    "Steven M. Scharf" wrote:
    >
    > "SteveT" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]
    > > Russell:
    > > Thanks for posting the tech support e-mail from Beyond Wireless. I
    > > hoped that this would be the case. However, I just want to clariy the
    > > followiing. I, too, was assured by e-mail tech support at BW that it

    >
    > <snip>
    >
    > I got a similar e-mail regarding a Motorola phone. One thing that may be an
    > issue is that some people were trying to activate TDMA phones that were
    > previously on the Cingular network (or other TDMA network), not the AT&T
    > TDMA network, and some of these phones are not re-programmable except by
    > being physically hooked up to a computer. However in my area, Cingular never
    > had a TDMA network, all the TDMA phones were on AT&T, so this should not be
    > an issue.
    >
    > Maybe they just find it easier to refuse everything but Nokia.


    Perhaps, but I have a Motorola v60i that I had moved over to
    Free2Go when I moved the monthly service I was using it for to
    Verizon. I could go back to using the Nokia 3600 that I got FAR
    at 7-11, but the v60 is a much nicer phone. It just seems stupid
    not to be able to use it given that it's already on the Free2Go
    network.

    Bill



  15. #75
    Don Udel \(ETC\)
    Guest

    Re: Cingular screws over AT&T Free2Go customers after merger

    Lee,

    Sounds like it's time to vote with your feet. Cingular has decided that the
    market you represent is not a market they wish to serve. Your moaning is
    not going to change that. Find a carrier that provides what you need and
    move on. Every one will be happier in the long run.

    Don
    "leegrimsley" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Any call to Cingular falls on dumb ears -- not deaf.
    >
    > I have changed the signon message of my phone (formerly AT&T) to read
    >
    > CINGULAR SUCKS
    >
    > For five years I have had two phone family plan with AT&T with
    > absolutely zero problems in service of signal strength. Each month I
    > would log onto the AT&T Wireless website and pay my bill
    > electronically.
    >
    > Then comes the buyout by Cingular and I cannot even get onto the
    > website
    >
    > My latest try I talked with a CSR for 45 minutes trying to get me
    > logged on and he finally admitted ...I don't know what is wrong
    >
    > With Cingular (and Ma Bell) taking over AT&T Wireless we truly have a
    > case of the inmates running the asylum
    > Bill wrote:
    >> "Tush Smells Bush Kills!!!!!!!!!!!" wrote:
    >> >
    >> > Well, before the merger, I got *0* bars in my neighborhood.

    > Couldn't
    >> > make a single call for a whole year. After the merger, I can even

    > make
    >> > a call inside a freezer in a S&F.
    >> >
    >> > You get 100 free minutes when you switch numbers from another

    > carrier.
    >>
    >> Seems strange that the merger would help TDMA signals, since
    >> Cingular was all GSM, which is what AT&T was switching to. Now,
    >> if you were an AT&T GSM customer, I could see how the addition
    >> of Cingular's towers would help.
    >>
    >> BTW the problem with continuing with Free2Go or one of the
    >> resellers is that Cingular obviously has little interest in
    >> maintaining the TDMA network, and complaints about poor service
    >> will fall on deaf ears.
    >>
    >> Bill

    >






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