Cingular Wireless – Strings Attached

I’m sitting on the phone with my wireless provider Cingular, and I am unhappy.

It seems that my pre-paid wireless account has an expiration date. A WHAT? I thought the whole idea of a “Pay As You Go” plan was that you could “pay as you go”.  Evidently, I was wrong.  It appears from my 30 minute (so far) conversation with Customer Service, that this plan (as with all “Pay As You Go” plans) has a expiration date where the “credit” is no longer valid.  Meaning at some point in time, if you do not add MORE money, you lose what ever credit you have on the phone.

Tell me, does this make sense?

Pay. As. You. Go.

What part of this is unclear? It’s not “Pay As You Go Unless 30 days Have Gone By Since You Last Added Money”. Also, isn’t Cingular the company that is constantly advertising “Rollover”? Isn’t that their big differentiator from other wireless providers? In fact, Cingular has actually trademarked the phrase “Rollover”.  They are supposedly the company to go to if you want to keep your money and not constantly lose minutes like you do with other providers.


This is a scam.  I think I might have something here.  Yes.  This is a big corporate scam.  I’m sure Cingular is not alone in this money (or as they like to call it “Airtime Credit”) stealing plan.  I’m sure other wireless “Pay As You Go” plans have similar ways to steal money from their customers.

After a hour on the phone with 4 different people, I have my $110.00 “Airtime Credit” and a new expiration date.  Cingular did the right thing, this time.  I know others are getting screwed with this little feature. If it’s you, let me know, leave a comment.   I’ll see if I can find other pay as you go plans with other providers and document the pitfalls and feature here.



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