They say it's going to cost me 159.99 to replace the twenty dollar phone I lost, since I'm "out of my service area" and "no longer a new customer."
What that means in plain-old-English is: We don't give a crap that you're a volunteer, and you spend all of your conscious existence rebuilding this crap city. We've got you trapped in our bogus contract for another 12 months, so customer service doesn't mean crap to us. That phone costs us like 10 cents to make in a 3rd world country, but paragraph 3b of your contract says "we reserve the right to charge you outrageous fees whenever possible, and then be completely unapologetic about it when you come to our store. And don't even try and call us, because you'll spend an hour talking to an automated service, and when you finally do get to talk to a person, they'll be a total jerkface too, because here at Cingular, we pride ourselves in our ability to turn new customers into an angry mob, within the span of one 2-year contract."
My only consolation is that the Cingular rep had to watch me tear up in the store, and was obviously at least momentarily uncomfortable with his company's own ridiculousness.
**Having said that, I'll be out of touch for awhile until I figure out if my need of a phone outweighs my hate for Cingular. You can always catch me on e-mail. I check it at least once a day.