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Cingular Has to Pay Customers Back

While this only affects Cingular customers in California, Cingular has agreed to no longer fight the ruling that they have to refund termination fees that were charged to customers who terminated their contract because they could not make or recieve calls. I am glad to see at least one Public Utilities Commission is not beholden to the corporations it regulates.

The total that Cingular has to pay back is about $18 million, or about $160 per customer. Cingular has been ordered to do this because some customers who signed contracts in the rapidly expanding market there were unable to make calls and calls were often dropped. When those customers cancelled their service, they were charged the typically outrageous termination fees. It seems unfair to make someone sign a contract and then charge them a termination fee when they cancel for lack of service. The one thing I will grant Cingular is that they now offer a 30 day window in which to cancel their service with no termination fee.

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