Cingular TXT Message Cancellation Update: Not So Good

This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.
This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.

Remember when we told you that you can get out of a Cingular contract thanks to their text message rate hike? Turns out Cingular doesn't quite want you to do that. The Consumerist has been documenting how much trouble Cingular's been giving callers who call in to cancel, saying that text messages are a subscribed service and not a part of the contract.

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Reader Alfonso has his own experience.

I've called cingular and questioned them about the matter and they said that no, that one cannot cancel and escape the early termination fee. They said that the only way one can is if you are within the first 30 days of service with them... other than that you must pay the fee. Also that they said that they are notifying customers on there december bill hence following what the customer code states :

Carriers will not modify the material terms of their subscribers' contracts in a manner that is materially adverse to subscribers WITHOUT PROVIDING A REASONABLE ADVANCE NOTICE OF A PROPOSED MODIFICATION allowing subscribers a time period of not less than 14 days to cancel their contracts with no early termination fee (ETF)

So they are escaping this by letting us know Well ahead of time. I've called 4 different times.. spoken to 4 different associates and I keep getting the same answer. I've also gone in person to 2 cingular stores and same deal.

Also one thing that was misread in Cingular's terms is:

"IF WE INCREASE THE PRICE OF ANY OF THE SERVICES TO WHICH YOU SUBSCRIBE... YOU MAY TERMINATE THIS AGREEMENT WITHOUT PAYING AN EARLY TERMINATION FEE... PROVIDED YOUR NOTICE OF TERMINATION IS DELIVERED TO US WITHIN THIRTY (30) DAYS AFTER THE FIRST BILL REFLECTING THE CHANGE."

Meaning that if you have a text plan and they change the price of it, you can cancel that text plan without paying a fee... Also they told me that the reason as to why one cannot escape the termination fee is because with cingular texting is not part of the contract... you can have it completely removed from your account meaning no sending and no receiving text.

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Looks like this isn't going to work out. Sorry for getting everyone's hopes up. Make sure to check out Consumerist's Cingular coverage as well.

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DISCUSSION

spacemanspiff-old
spacemanspiff

Ok, this all started off because of 15 cent text messages. This is about a trillion percent markup over cost, and is completely insane. There is NO justifying it, and the fact that competition hasn't whittled that down, and is in fact INCREASING the price is de facto evidence to me that collusion is occuring here.

So yeah, I think getting out of the contract is fine. Also, the site I posted suggests that with mergers and things like that, the scanned copies get lost. The fact that they go to the trouble of scanning copies tells me that without it, they CAN'T enforce the contract.

Screw these wireless companies that think they can charge 15 cents for an INCOMING TEXT MESSAGE.