Local News

Woman Dials Up 5 On Your Side With Cell Phone Problems

Posted August 13, 2002

— When a Raleigh woman had problems with her cell phone company, she called Five On Your Side for help.

Dawn Ohlsson and her husband make lots of cellular phone calls.

"Cell phones are critical for us to be able to keep up with our jobs and our families," Ohlsson said.

They decided to have a plan with plenty of minutes and no roaming charges, so they were shocked when when they opened their July bill and found out they had gone over their allotment by more than 1,000 minutes. Ohlsson called Cingular.

"I figured it was just some sort of miscalculation on their part and we would get it resolved quickly," she said.

However, that did not happen. Once Cingular sent her a detailed bill, she figured it out -- roaming minutes for calls that she actually made over several months were all billed in one month. It put her way over her limit and added $100 to her bill. Ohlsson wanted Cingular to fix it.

"Cingular said there's nothing they could do about it. They've had these problems. It's been brought up in all these meetings, but there's nothing they're planning on doing about it," Ohlsson said.

Ohlsson called Five On Your Side. Cingular spokeswoman Ashley Mowrey told WRAL that Ohllson is "not the first" to complain about this problem with their bill. Cingular cannot bill roaming minutes until they get them from the roaming company, but then Cingular does not then bill them retroactively.

Mowrey gave Ohlsson a $77 credit, and Ohlsson is fine with that, but she said she is still concerned about the policy.

"If you have nationwide service, you expect to be able to use your certain amount of minutes nationwide and have it be billed during that month and if it's not going to be billed during that month, then at least go back and credit you for those minutes," Ohlsson said.

Mowrey went on to say the company has been "researching possibilities" to keep this sort of thing from happening in the future She says they are very close to a solution.


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