Thursday, July 27, 2006

the System


I'm quite angry with Cingular Wireless right now. Forgive me for going on a diatribe against them but I cannot help it, and I think you should be aware of their policy change that was implemented quietly and unannounced. I was trying to upgrade my phone online and their website, so I thought, wasn't working, it wouldn't let me. After about two weeks of thinking I was having technical difficulties with my computer or the internet, I called customer service. I was told something about we were using too many minutes from other providers' towers or something.

Now first of all, it would seem that roaming has returned, however they still advertise no roaming. Now if one is going to be held responsible for roaming, one ought to know when one is roaming and so they should put roaming back on phones. I know they can do that since phones used to tell you when you were roaming. They need to let their customers know that roaming too much can hurt you by introducing that you get so many anywhere minutes. Of course they would never do that since that would be bad for business.So be warned, roaming is back at Cingular.

So, wanting to correct this problem of costing Cingular precious money for out of network talking, I went to the store to see about getting a breakdown of calls made and whether they were in or out of network. Since my phone doesn't tell me I'm roaming, the only way to get this would be to figure out where I was making these out of network calls. The person at the store said customer service could get me that information, so I went and called Cingular again.
So I asked for the details about this new policy. What percentage or number of minutes out of network determines if I can upgrade or not? Seems like a reasonable enough question.

However, they couldn't tell me that. The person kept saying it was complicated and based on many factors, of which they couldn't give me the details. Indeed, I've got different answers from different Cingular reps since some said it was the towers used while others said that it was more likely the rate plan. They couldn't tell me for sure why I can't upgrade, much less how to fix the problem. They kept talking about "the system." "The system tells us if you can upgrade or not." "The system cannot be anticipated." They said maybe if we went to a hire rate plan that would change things, but that there was no way of knowing for sure, only the system could say in three months. If only there was a phone number for the system, since apparently that's the only thing that knows anything at Cingular. I should have asked if the system was listening to my call. It sounds like Cingular has become Hegelian with the 'system.' Maybe the system could get back to me next Sunday.

How long before our whole world is replaced by "the system?" Some computer that makes all decisions, that determines everything. The system says you can go to this college but not that. The system says you don't get the job. The system approves you for a loan. All your school work is put in the system, and then the system tells you your grade, no questions asked, for the system cannot be deciphered. Rest assured, in the future, we won't have to worry about everything, for only the system will know anything.

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