"No cool phone > crappy service / network."1.0 starson by w4rr10r
Pros: Newer phones, few locked out features compared to competition.
Cons: Worst customer service and carrier for BlackBerry I've dealt with.
Summary: I rearly post but I had to weigh in on this. I’ve used Cingular for both personal use and through my company’s Blackberry/cell phone for the past 5 years. My personal experience started to sour when my signal and call quality started to decline after 2 years for no apparent reason. I had trouble with connecting calls, dropped calls, sound quality, the whole lot. I did not change the area of use (Southern NJ area). Any friends with Cingular also told me of similar issues, but I could not switch like them since I was in a new contract and did not want to pay the cancellation fee (250). Why should I if it was working fine until now right?
Customer service suggested I try a new phone. I upgraded to a better phone three times with very little change (always paid full price for the phone since I was still in a current contract). During these “upgrades” the store reps or CS would try to switch me to a different plan or sneak in a new 2-year contract without my consent. This was because I wisely did not change my original plan, which was before their price hikes. The best was when they switched me to a plan with no included text messaging, when my history showed I used the feature all the time. I had to fight with CS three months in a row because they were trying to jack me for $100+ worth of texting when my normal bill was never above 50! Each month they ‘didn’t see’ that I was supposed to be put back on my previous plan. My only advice is to not pay until they fix their mistakes, or you will have a hard time getting any money back. It took hours with CS, but I was able to drop them without paying any cancellation fees due to their incompetence.
Later I started work as an IT technician for a major bank on the east coast. My assigned area is about 1500 square miles from Philadelphia, West to Valley Forge, and North to Lehigh counties. It includes over 60 locations with a few hundred employees that use Blackberries. As soon as I started working in the area I noticed the signal varied greatly on my 6280, when my work cell phone was fine (oddly enough, the cheapest Cingular model they could give me). I was even upgraded to a Cingular 7290 with no change. The issue got so bad that I would not have service at all in areas where the phone had full reception (this was not just GPRS but GSM as well). I finally was able to convince our mobile department to switch me to another carrier. The company as a whole has contracts with Cingular, Verizon, and T-mobile. I was hoping for Verizon but instead got a 7290 T-mobile unit (was told Verizon was too expensive). I’ve had it for over a year now with no problems. I even had them transfer my work cell # over to the Blackberry and it works great! Every time I get a service call relating to an employee’s Cingular BB they complain about the network. I even get offers to trade my 7290 for their 8700 or pearl! I’m hearing more and more from our mobile department that they are sick of their slow customer service and are switching more people over to other networks. I personally don’t blame them.