How not to go over your minutes and how to know the balance you owe
There may finally be a way around those nasty early termination fees levied by the major cell phone providers. Cellswapper.com gives users the ability to literaly swap cell phone contracts with other users. Think of it as the cellular contract equivalent to Ebay. Users can "sell" their phone contract without incurring a cancellation fee and "buy" contracts from others without paying an activation fee. This is a great solution if you are looking for a short term cell phone plan (contracts are availbe for as short as one month) or if you're stuck in a plan that isn't meeting your needs. Two other similar sites include: CellTradeUSA and Resellular.com.
A new federal lawsuit1 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California details how Cingular's advertising claims of being the carrier with the "fewest dropped calls" lured consumers to Cingular's service. The complaint explains how these advertising claims were made while Cingular was in fact one of the worst wireless providers in many major markets. At UCAN, Cingular(now AT&T) is one of the companies consumers complain of most. You can see UCAN's various actions against Cingular here and here. If you have a complaint about Cingular, let our fraud squad help you out by clicking here!
"According to Kaltwasser's complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Cingular misrepresented the findings made by Telephia, a data provider for the telecommunications industry.
Cingular conducted a widespread ad campaign based on what it claimed was a study by Telephia that rated Cingular as having the fewest dropped calls of any wireless carrier in the country.
In fact, Kaltwasser alleges, Telephia actually concluded that Cingular did not have the fewest dropped calls in several major markets, including New York, Chicago, Houston and Los Angeles.
Moreover, independent studies by two other companies, J.D. Powers & Associates and Consumer Reports, found Cingular to be the worst or one of the worst carriers in dropped-call performance, Kaltwasser says."
Why pay $600-$840 per year for unlimited local and long distance service from Verizon when you can get the same from Skype for only $29.95 per year? Skype enables consumers with a broadband Internet connection to make phone calls through their computers using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. If you'd like to try it, you can download Skype and call other Skype users anywhere in the world for free.
Calling cards are a great alternative to the over-priced long distance plans being offered by the major carriers, and 99 Cents Only just might be the best. For 99 cents, you receive 99 minutes of long distance air-time. Unlike traditional long distance providers, no long-term commitment is required, and there are no set-up or cancellation fees. Find a store that sells 99 Cents Only phone cards near you.
There are approximately 3.5 million customers enrolled California LifeLine, which provides discounted telephone service to qualifying low-income consumers. This program was formerly known as Universal Lifeline Telephone Service or ULTS.
The Fraud Squad Network helps a victim of Gargantuan Phone Co.
UCAN has represented the interests of San Diego County utility customers since 1983. UCAN focuses its efforts on the rates and services of San Diego Gas and Electric Company, telecommunications utilities and the City of San Diego Water Department. We do this by intervening in legal proceedings before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), by supporting litigation in court cases, and by helping individual utility customers with problems they are having with their utility bills and services.
Need help resolving a dispute with a utility doing business in San Diego County?
Fill out one of our online complaint forms:
How to Buy A Cell Phone
The FCC recently sought comment concerning what actions need to be taken to ensure consumers of wireless, broadband, and video services are well informed about: the costs associated with the services; the contracts consumers must enter into; the charges for which consumers are billed; and the methods for resolving billing issues.
Imagine you are small business and you get a bill from your local phone company for $1000. You are shocked because your monthly bill is usually closer to $100 per month. The company claims that your higher bill is for the international calls that you made from your fax machine. "Hold on", you think. "I didn't make any international calls from my fax machine or from ANY phone. I didn't make any international calls at all!"
You protest but the phone company says that even though you didn't make the calls, someone was able to hack into your phone system and make the calls. "But wait", you exclaim, "I don't have a phone system. I don't have a PBX. I just have two phone lines provided by you".
"Ah, but you didn't take precautions to protect your phones from being hacked," responds the phone company.
"What precautions!", you reply. "I put international call blocking on my phone service".
An impossible scenario? Apparently not accordingly to Telepacific/MPower. It did almost exactly this to a San Diego-based flower shop. Read our complaint about this shocking practice.
The CPUC is considering revising the rules regarding reporting of unauthorized charges for telecommunications services. Learn about the proposed changes as well as UCAN's position and legal filings on the issue.
Of all the new features and capabilities of today's cell phones, UCAN receives the most complaints about ringtones and text messages. Our issue center contains all sorts of valuable information from consumer guides and updates to lawsuits and settlements against major cell phone providers. Come inside and see for yourself!
UCAN established that Cingular Wireless engaged in illegal marketing and customer service practices from 2000-2002 and filed a suit in July 2002. The case dragged on for years, but in was worth the wait. In 2006, a CA Court of Appeals judge ruled against Cingular and upheld a CPUC decision to hit Cingular with a large fine for its unconscionable actions. Get all the details inside our issue center.
With the average family paying upwards of $70 per month for cable alone and when you throw on another $40-50 per month for broadband Internet, the bucks are really adding up. In many cases, families pay more for cable/Internet than they do for electricity or water each month. Fortunately, cable customers are not powerless to fight back. Here are some proven and probably surprising tips about how to get your monthly cable bill lower.
UCAN has compiled a list of VoIP providers and their current costs and features for comparison purposes. Let us know if we missed any providers. UCAN does not endorse or recommend any of these services. This list is just for comparison purposes and to let you the consumer know what's available.
Despite continuous improvements to the technology, wireless companies have not found a way to stop unsolicited or SPAM Text Messages. There are a few solutions out there that each of the companies allow. Here are the steps you can take with the 4 largest wireless companies to help stop unsolicited text messages.
Want to bring the hammer down on annoying telemarketers? The following guide will give you all the resources you need to get your number off telemarketing lists. But some telemarketers just won't take no NO for an answer. That's when you take them to court and hurt 'em where it counts...in the pocketbook.
Each carrier takes a different stance on what is materially adverse, who can get out (Cingular for instance has eliminated language in some contracts that claims that text messages are an "optional service"). You usually (except for Verizon which does offer 60 day period to call and claim materially adverse) only have a short time to claim a change as materially adverse, sometimes less than 14 days.