Friday, June 01, 2007

AT&T Is The New Cingular (And Got Off To A Bad Start With Me)

Today I jetted out to Dallas for a couple meetings. The last time I was in Dallas for meetings I gave the worst presentation of my life- with most of the problems arising from forgetting my cell phone in my car at the airport (My Worst Presentation Ever).

On this trip I was bound and determined that everything would go smoothly. I landed in Dallas with my cell phone in hand, and proceeded to start my day. First call was to a new client staying at a hotel near DFW airport- I would be there in 15 minutes to pick him up. Second call was to Mike King letting him know we would be at his office for the meeting in 30 minutes.

All was going as planned.

At the end of the first meeting, I said my goodbyes, left the Dallas suburb of Lewisville TX and headed for downtown Dallas for my last meeting. As I got near the area I became lost. I reached for my Blackberry and loaded up Google Maps Mobile to put in the address and view a map of where I was, where I was going, and detailed directions. Right after I would call my appointment and let her know I was running 10-15 minutes late.

No Service. I tried and tried but could not get connected to the network. I had 5 full bars on the signal strength indicator but the phone kept reporting No Service. I decided to try to make the call anyway. The phone rang, but my appointment did not pick up the phone. Instead, AT&T (the new Cingular) did. I had wonderful service with Cingular- never a problem. Now that AT&T has taken over seems things went bad very quickly. A recorded voice informed me that I had not paid my bill and my service was shut off and I could make no calls. Please call customer service. Have a nice day. The message did not give me any options for calling customer service with my now useless cell phone.

I hadn't noticed recently that all the pay phones in the world had disappeared. As I cruised about looking for a payphone time was running out. I had barely enough time to get to my meeting late, have 30 minutes to chat, and then head out to catch my evening flight home. I finally stopped for directions at a gas station and learned I was still 20 minutes from the building I was headed to. Of course, that was with no traffic. As it was now 5:30PM, the nice man that was helping me said I might want to plan on 40 minutes or so for the trip. I asked if I could use his phone to call my appointment but he said no- he was trapped inside one of those safety-glass cages gas stations in bad neighborhoods have. I decided to head back to the aiport and go home. I hate Dallas.

By the way, I did pay my cell phone bill. AT&T had applied it to the wrong account.

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Anonymous said...

Boy can I relate. Cingular service was fine until AT&T took over now I don't get my bill in the mail. Get told my payment is late and they will cut off my service. Plus get all sorts of strange charges for services I didn't order. Have come to the conclusion that I must change companies. Too Bad Cingular was good service before AT&T

Anonymous said...

Bad AT&T. Bars one moment at my place of business and then the call is dropped and I've lost my customer. I want to get out of the contract because the phone service is horrible and they want to charge me to cancel! If they had the horrible experiences we are having, they sure would jump on the problem and fix it. As a senior citizen, I really need this tool.