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  1. #1
    Jonathan Kamens
    Guest
    Before Cingular merged with AT&T wireless, subscribers to the
    AT&T wireless "Free2Go" prepaid calling plan could keep a
    prepaid account active by paying only $10 every 90 days.
    This was perfect for my wife, who rarely uses her cell phone
    but occasionally finds it useful to have one.

    After the merger, I can't add $10 to the account at all, $15
    expires in 30 days rather than 90 days, and I have to add at
    least $25 to the account to keep it active for 90 days.

    In short, after the merger the prepaid account costs 150% more
    than it did before the merger.

    I see other postings about this, but I don't see anything
    which makes it perfectly clear just how badly they've screwed
    over occasional users with this change. Outrageous!

    Yes, sir, these mega-mergers sure do benefit the consumer! If
    you believe that, I've got some nice land in Florida I'd like
    to sell you.



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




  2. #2
    SteveT
    Guest

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

    I'm in the same boat (my post below "Pre-Paid Cell In So. Cal). Of
    course, Cingular isn't stupid and they know very well the impact of
    this draconian price increase. It is calculated to force as many people
    OUT of low-cost pre-paid as possible. So, if it seems like Cingular
    doesn't want your business anymore, you're right. They don't.




  3. #3
    Ryan
    Guest

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



    I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.

    This certainly is an example of what happens to consumers after a
    merger that no one seems to notice.




  4. #4
    Brian Beuchaw
    Guest

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

    In alt.cellular.cingular SteveT <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I'm in the same boat (my post below "Pre-Paid Cell In So. Cal). Of
    > course, Cingular isn't stupid and they know very well the impact of
    > this draconian price increase. It is calculated to force as many people
    > OUT of low-cost pre-paid as possible. So, if it seems like Cingular
    > doesn't want your business anymore, you're right. They don't.


    Yeah, pre-paid seems to be the service none of the vendors want to supply
    (or at least make it easy to supply), even though *lots* of people want
    it. We're ditching Free2Go on 7/15 (when our minutes expire) and going
    with Virgin Mobile (we only have a cellphone for very, very, very
    occasional use and want to pay as little as possible since we probably use
    30 minutes a year on it, if that).

    brian
    --
    If you want to reply to this message by mail, you will
    have to change the reply address to [email protected]




  5. #5
    Bob Ward
    Guest

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

    On 6 May 2005 10:47:10 -0700, "Ryan" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >
    >I would go to http://www.ftc.gov/ and file a complaint.
    >
    >This certainly is an example of what happens to consumers after a
    >merger that no one seems to notice.



    I doubt that the FTC would force the company to provide service at a
    cost that exeeds the revenues from that service.





  6. #6
    googled
    Guest

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


    "Jonathan Kamens" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Before Cingular merged with AT&T wireless, subscribers to the
    > AT&T wireless "Free2Go" prepaid calling plan could keep a
    > prepaid account active by paying only $10 every 90 days.
    > This was perfect for my wife, who rarely uses her cell phone
    > but occasionally finds it useful to have one.
    >
    > After the merger, I can't add $10 to the account at all, $15
    > expires in 30 days rather than 90 days, and I have to add at
    > least $25 to the account to keep it active for 90 days.
    >
    > In short, after the merger the prepaid account costs 150% more
    > than it did before the merger.
    >
    > I see other postings about this, but I don't see anything
    > which makes it perfectly clear just how badly they've screwed
    > over occasional users with this change. Outrageous!
    >
    > Yes, sir, these mega-mergers sure do benefit the consumer! If
    > you believe that, I've got some nice land in Florida I'd like
    > to sell you.


    Cheapest prepaid cell service for infrequent or emergency calling is Beyond
    Wireless at http://www.gobeyondwireless.com/ . All you need is a TDMA phone
    thats works on the old ATT network. Only have to use one minute every 60
    days to keep phone alive. $10.00 get 80 minutes (0.125/min).

    Downsides are local numbers in only seven states, on network coverage is
    only old ATT TDMA network and roaming costs 4 times the on network rate. I
    have had service since January, 2005 with no problems using the phone around
    the country (only used 15 minutes airtime).





  7. #7
    Richie
    Guest

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

    The reason is that no one wants to supply this service is because
    Wall-Street analysts look at average revenue per line. There is not much
    marginal cost to provide prepaid service but it pulls down that critical
    ratio.

    In other countries where people mostly use prepaid, the carriers are very
    profitable selling prepaid mobile services. But the financial parameters
    are different there.


    >
    > Yeah, pre-paid seems to be the service none of the vendors want to supply
    > (or at least make it easy to supply), even though *lots* of people want
    > it. We're ditching Free2Go on 7/15 (when our minutes expire) and going
    > with Virgin Mobile (we only have a cellphone for very, very, very
    > occasional use and want to pay as little as possible since we probably use
    > 30 minutes a year on it, if that).
    >
    > brian
    > --
    > If you want to reply to this message by mail, you will
    > have to change the reply address to [email protected]
    >






  8. #8
    Bob Ward
    Guest

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

    On Fri, 06 May 2005 17:38:53 -0500, George <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >Yes, and since the OP's service was AT&T Wireless in the
    >first place, he could even use the same phone without having
    >to get it unlocked. But he might have to get Cingular to
    >release the ESN so he could sign up with Beyond. I don't
    >quite know how that all works yet. Probably couldn't keep
    >the same number though. I don't know how that works either.


    Since such "emergency phones" are seldom turned on for incoming calls,
    I can't see that as a dealbreaker.





  9. #9
    The Real Bev
    Guest

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

    George wrote:
    >
    > I bought an AT&T-branded Nokia 6360 at a thrift store for
    > $3, and have ordered a CallPlus starter kit from Pharos for
    > $11 (includes 60 minutes/90 days). It will be interesting
    > to see if I can get the phone registered and get up and
    > running.


    That's easy. The hard part is sitting on hold while that truly ghastly music
    plays. I liked it at first, but after 20 minutes it got increasingly
    annoying. Make sure that the number they assign you is a local number (NO
    CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use to check your voicemail. They
    think that everything in one area code is a local number make sure you check
    unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long distance" charges :-(
    Yeah, I know from experience, but I would have had to throw away 100 minutes
    to change numbers and just discontinued voicemail.

    --
    Cheers, Bev
    =============================================================
    My house isn't a pigsty, it's an Immunity Enhancement Center.



  10. #10
    Steve
    Guest

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

    The Real Bev <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> I bought an AT&T-branded Nokia 6360 at a thrift store for
    >> $3, and have ordered a CallPlus starter kit from Pharos for
    >> $11 (includes 60 minutes/90 days). It will be interesting
    >> to see if I can get the phone registered and get up and
    >> running.

    >
    >That's easy. The hard part is sitting on hold while that truly ghastly music
    >plays. I liked it at first, but after 20 minutes it got increasingly
    >annoying.


    You'd think by now companies would have wised up to this, and would at
    least give you a choice of music or silence or whatever. Oh wait,
    these are large corporations. Never mind.

    >Make sure that the number they assign you is a local number (NO
    >CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use to check your voicemail. They
    >think that everything in one area code is a local number make sure you check
    >unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long distance" charges :-(
    >Yeah, I know from experience, but I would have had to throw away 100 minutes
    >to change numbers and just discontinued voicemail.


    First thing I did was cancel voicemail. I use the phone only for
    emergencies, no reason to have people leaving messages.




  11. #11
    The Real Bev
    Guest

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

    Steve wrote:
    >
    > The Real Bev <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >> I bought an AT&T-branded Nokia 6360 at a thrift store for
    > >> $3, and have ordered a CallPlus starter kit from Pharos for
    > >> $11 (includes 60 minutes/90 days). It will be interesting
    > >> to see if I can get the phone registered and get up and
    > >> running.

    > >
    > >That's easy. The hard part is sitting on hold while that truly ghastly music
    > >plays. I liked it at first, but after 20 minutes it got increasingly
    > >annoying.

    >
    > You'd think by now companies would have wised up to this, and would at
    > least give you a choice of music or silence or whatever. Oh wait,
    > these are large corporations. Never mind.


    Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
    annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
    Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
    have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
    cordless speakerphones...

    > >Make sure that the number they assign you is a local number (NO
    > >CHARGE) from whatever phone you want to use to check your voicemail. They
    > >think that everything in one area code is a local number make sure you check
    > >unless you want to spend air minutes or pay "local long distance" charges :-(
    > >Yeah, I know from experience, but I would have had to throw away 100 minutes
    > >to change numbers and just discontinued voicemail.

    >
    > First thing I did was cancel voicemail. I use the phone only for
    > emergencies, no reason to have people leaving messages.


    The first two calls I got were wrong numbers, so I figured the hell with it.
    I can see a use for voicemail, but not if I have to pay 15 cents (outrageous
    local LD charges) to hear it.

    --
    Cheers,
    Bev
    ------------------------------------------------------------------
    It doesn't matter who you vote for, the government always gets in.



  12. #12
    Bob Ward
    Guest

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

    On Fri, 06 May 2005 18:03:12 -0700, The Real Bev
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
    >annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
    >Seemed almost willfully antagonistic. I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
    >have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
    >cordless speakerphones...



    They say the memory is the first thing to go...

    http://www.buy.com/retail/product.as...=0&dcaid=17379

    or http://tinyurl.com/b5n9x



  13. #13
    Steve
    Guest

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

    The Real Bev <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> You'd think by now companies would have wised up to this, and would at
    >> least give you a choice of music or silence or whatever. Oh wait,
    >> these are large corporations. Never mind.

    >
    >Worst ever was CompUSA -- They played over and over again that already
    >annoying commercial that mocked the poor sap on hold for customer service.
    >Seemed almost willfully antagonistic.


    Hmmm, maybe it is willfully antagonistic, to stop people from calling.
    Otherwise, it's hard to figure why companies go so far outta their way
    to piss off their customers.

    > I should get a speakerphone so I didn't
    >have to sit there holding the stupid phone, but I don't remember seeing
    >cordless speakerphones...


    Plenty of those, run a search at Amazon or wherever...





  14. #14
    Tush Smells Bush Kills!!!!!!!!!!!
    Guest

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

    I am SO glad about the merger. Before Cingular, I would rarely get any
    signals near my home or any rural areas with AT&T. With the superior
    Cingular network, signals are plenty strong everywhere.

    The best pay-as-you-go service is Tracfone. You can get a free phone
    and a year's worth of service and 250 min for around $100. Switch your
    number and get additional 100 minutes free.




  15. #15
    Bill
    Guest

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



    "Tush Smells Bush Kills!!!!!!!!!!!" wrote:
    >
    > The best pay-as-you-go service is Tracfone. You can get a free phone
    > and a year's worth of service and 250 min for around $100. Switch your
    > number and get additional 100 minutes free.


    With the old Free2Go service and $10 refill cards, you could get
    a year of service and 160 minutes for $40. For many people that
    was more than enough.

    Bill



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