I recently discovered that Cingular counts checking your voice mail against your Anytime minutes. I had suspected this for a long time but I never took the time to sit down with a calculator and add up the minutes on my bill.
Last month I was running low on minutes so I stopped answering my phone when I got down to 12 minutes. I sent everything to voice mail. Then I checked my voice mail and called the person back on another phone. I thought I was pretty smart. Turns out I used up those 12 minutes and several more just by checking voice mail.
I sent this eloquent email to Cingular:
Why am I being billed for checking my voicemail? That should not count against my Anytime minutes. That should be free. You charged me $2.35 for checking my voicemail after I ran out of Anytime minutes. I quit answering my phone when I had 12 minutes left so I could avoid charges. It makes no sense that I can call my friend on the other side of the country for free but I can’t check my own voicmail. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stup
You will notice that the last word is cut off. That’s because they only allowed 500 characters in the box. I would have continued for at least 30 more lines otherwise.
I’m waiting to hear back from them. Jerks.
4 Days Later…
Dear Mr. Sassy,
Thank you for taking the time to e-mail Cingular Wireless regarding your
the minutes you were billed for while accessing your voicemail. I am
happy to help you with your inquiry and I apologize for any
inconvenience this may have caused.
Unfortunately, at this time, calls to check your voicemail are billed as
regular airtime due to the fact that when calling your voicemail, it is
a landline based system. This system does not count as a mobile to
mobile call and will be billed based on the time the call is made. You
are able to use a landline to check your voicemail messages with no
airtime charges by dialing your own number from another phone and
pressing the * key to interrupt your greeting. Once this is done, you
will be prompted for your voicemail password. Once this is entered, your
messages will begin to play normally.
I hope that the information provided has been helpful and has resolved
all of your questions. If you need further assistance, feel free to
reply to this e-mail or contact customer service at 1-800-331-0500 or
611 from your Cingular Wireless phone.
I encourage you to visit our web site (www.cingular.com) often to view
current and previous monthly statements, make payments and to shop for
new product and service offerings. Thank you for allowing Cingular
Wireless to serve as your wireless company. We will do our best to
ensure that your wireless experience is a success.
Online Customer Care Professional