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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I leave for a few weeks and you guys turn the place upside down. New digs? I'm not sure I like it. I'm not sure I hate it either. But it's different, so by definition, it's a bad thing...I guess.

Anyway, I have a legal question. You wouldn't believe the drama. By the way, before I forget. DON'T TRY TO PORT A LAND LINE TO CELL. I decided to port my home phone number to a cell phone and drop my landline. Actually, I recommend not messing with your phone service at all. Its amazing how screwed up this industry is right now. As a result of all of this, I lost my home phone number that I've had for 18 months--the one that's on my resumé. But that's another story and I'll leave it for the states attorney to deal with.

Okay, my question. What happens if I refuse to pay a the activation fee for a phone service I received but was unsatisfied with and terminated? I chose Cingular as my wireless provider, since they offered FREE internet browsing. I was told this 3 times, on 3 different phone calls to 3 different customer reps. As it turns out...not so free. I was told that browsing and downloading are two different things and that browsing is free and downloading costs $.03/kb or $7.99/mo for 1MB. Browsing is effectively downloading. So now that's another $8/month. I would have gone with another provider if I'd known this in advance. I feel that I bought this phone under false pretenses. I don't suspect that they lied in order to get my business, but that they have poorly trained sales staff who gave me false information. It took me about 10 tries before I got a straight answer from the company. I've agreed to pay for usage of my actual phone time, but want them to waive all other fees. They refuse to waive the activation fee. I refuse to pay it. Bottom line, is what they did fraud?
 

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Probably not, but if you state your case to customer service correctly, you should make some headway. When they say no, just move up the line and ask to talk to a supervisor. If you can tell your story without telling them that you're going to stick a fork in their eyes, there is a very good chance it may work where they "cut a deal" with you.
If you just skip out and not pay and not talk to them, they may send over someone named Bruno with a baseball bat to talk things over with you.

Change is always good........Sometimes frightening.
 

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You say they parsed words, but ...

what is the technical difference? You claim Browsing = Downloading. I agree it was misleading advertising, but I believe they are technically correct. Browsing and downloading are different, but I am not quite clear on what is at issue. If youaccess the Net from your cell and browse, are you charged a fee? That seems to me what their offer states. What are you downloading using your cell?

I happen to agree with Mr. Grumpy for once. They have the upper hand in this instance. I would just plead your case to a higher authority and ask for consideration because you didn't understand the offer and that the sales agent may have misrepresented what they were selling. Either that or just discontinue the Net access service and save the money.
 

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what's the damage?

Free2Pedal said:
I leave for a few weeks and you guys turn the place upside down. New digs? I'm not sure I like it. I'm not sure I hate it either. But it's different, so by definition, it's a bad thing...I guess.

Anyway, I have a legal question. You wouldn't believe the drama. By the way, before I forget. DON'T TRY TO PORT A LAND LINE TO CELL. I decided to port my home phone number to a cell phone and drop my landline. Actually, I recommend not messing with your phone service at all. Its amazing how screwed up this industry is right now. As a result of all of this, I lost my home phone number that I've had for 18 months--the one that's on my resumé. But that's another story and I'll leave it for the states attorney to deal with.

Okay, my question. What happens if I refuse to pay a the activation fee for a phone service I received but was unsatisfied with and terminated? I chose Cingular as my wireless provider, since they offered FREE internet browsing. I was told this 3 times, on 3 different phone calls to 3 different customer reps. As it turns out...not so free. I was told that browsing and downloading are two different things and that browsing is free and downloading costs $.03/kb or $7.99/mo for 1MB. Browsing is effectively downloading. So now that's another $8/month. I would have gone with another provider if I'd known this in advance. I feel that I bought this phone under false pretenses. I don't suspect that they lied in order to get my business, but that they have poorly trained sales staff who gave me false information. It took me about 10 tries before I got a straight answer from the company. I've agreed to pay for usage of my actual phone time, but want them to waive all other fees. They refuse to waive the activation fee. I refuse to pay it. Bottom line, is what they did fraud?
What was the activation fee? Is this worth messing with?

My understanding, as well, is that browsing IS downloading. Browsing is looking at a web page, and you can't look at it if you don't download it to your computer. I think most people differentiate by thinking of downloading as saving a file to your computer, like an mp3, executable, video, or image file. Browsing is limited to reading html files. Isn't that right?

If they misled you, and they didn't provide anything in writing to the contrary of their verbal representations, then they should give you all your money back, less your usage, but they probably also owe you for any other damages they caused, as well, that you incurred due to or in reliance upon their misreps. Problem is, your time and a lawyer's time is worth something, probably far more than your damage here. So, unless you have time and energy to spare, or you're feeling ripe for a crusade and damn the cost, then I'd probably just write a quick letter or make another phone call and then let it go at that.
 

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DougSloan said:
What was the activation fee? Is this worth messing with?

My understanding, as well, is that browsing IS downloading. Browsing is looking at a web page, and you can't look at it if you don't download it to your computer. I think most people differentiate by thinking of downloading as saving a file to your computer, like an mp3, executable, video, or image file. Browsing is limited to reading html files. Isn't that right?

If they misled you, and they didn't provide anything in writing to the contrary of their verbal representations, then they should give you all your money back, less your usage, but they probably also owe you for any other damages they caused, as well, that you incurred due to or in reliance upon their misreps. Problem is, your time and a lawyer's time is worth something, probably far more than your damage here. So, unless you have time and energy to spare, or you're feeling ripe for a crusade and damn the cost, then I'd probably just write a quick letter or make another phone call and then let it go at that.
WHat does the fine print in your contract say? I'd like to know how they differentiate between browsing and downloading. Do they monitor everything but the usual web page files and image files? Then what are Flash files considered? Lots of questions there. I'd think they have convered themselves somehow through the legalese that nobody reads in the contract though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bocephus Jones said:
WHat does the fine print in your contract say? I'd like to know how they differentiate between browsing and downloading. Do they monitor everything but the usual web page files and image files? Then what are Flash files considered? Lots of questions there. I'd think they have convered themselves somehow through the legalese that nobody reads in the contract though.

Not sure what the fine print says. When I purchased the phone, there was one guy working--nice enough--and 4 people in line behind me. So I simply relied on what I had been told by the sales guy and by the 3 Cingular customer service reps I'd spoken to earlier. It turns out that not many people--even those working for Cingular--understand that opening a webpage from the phone IS IN FACT downloading data to the phone. I doubt the contract says anything about the browsing though. It does say that the activation fee is charged regardless of the quality of service provided. I still think I got screwed. I would have chosen Sprint if the plan had been described to me accurately. Anyway, its $36. It doesn't seem like much unless you are out of work with no prospects on the horizon. The rest is just the principle of the thing. This whole thing has been nothing but a mess. I don't feel they have earned even a dime from me.
 

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An honest question

Free2Pedal said:
Anyway, its $36. It doesn't seem like much unless you are out of work with no prospects on the horizon.
Pardon my retro-think here, but is a cell phone really necessary for someone who is out of work and has no prospects on the horizon? Should anyone who flinches from $36 charges be paying for cell phone service? Do you have cable TV as well?

I guess you were trying to rationalize it by discontinuing your land line service, and I think you are just ahead of your time, as all land lines will vanish pretty soon.

Good luck in finding work. Remeber, at least 85% of all jobs are filled through someone you know, not a newspaper add, or job fair (remember those?).
 
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