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Looking A Gift Horse In The Ass Again


News on Cingular's illegally expiring gift cards soon.

What does it take to make Cingular respond? Not a call to customer service. (They said a customer service supervisor would get back to me in 24 hours. Over a month later, I'm still waiting for that person to call.)

Even after three calls and at least as many e-mails to Glenn Blumstein in their legal department, I heard nothing. Even after Mr. Blumstein told me he was in intellectual property, but he'd get my complaint to the proper person in their legal department. Zeeeero!

Nope, I had to make a complaint with the California Attorney General to get anybody at Cingular to care. Hmmm, if Cingular hired people like Melissa Weikel, of the Attorney General's Public Inquiry Unit, who hopped right on my complaint, maybe they'd have happier customers.

Well, to all the unhappy Cingular customers holding expired gift cards, dig 'em out, because I'll have news for you later in the week.

P.S. They're crediting the $50 to my Cingular bill, but say that's a courtesy being extended only to me. Yeah? I don't think so. Because I believe it's California law that applies here, not Cingular's (cough!) "generosity." Relevant passages to be posted after my deadline. Unfortunately for them, you can pay me off, but it still won't shut me up.

UPDATE: Monday, August 28, 2:53 pm, PST, Angela Craft from Cingular just called me and said I'm right and they read the (California) law wrong. "We could've had a lawsuit on our hands," she said she told one of the higher-ups. I told her they need to make good not just for me, but for all customers who have these cards. I'm on deadline now, but I'll blog about this when I'm done with this week's column.

Note: This may only apply to California Cingular customers holding expired Cingular gift cards. Residents of other states holding expired Cingular gift cards may simply be screwed.

Posted by aalkon at August 28, 2006 9:46 AM

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Washington state has a similar 'no-expiration' law wrt gift cards.

Posted by: moe99 at August 29, 2006 4:42 PM

Bravo, Amy!

I'll make reference to your victory against the Death Star in my next technology column. The prospect of hundreds, if not thousands of Californians digging out those "expired" Cingular cards is most enjoyable.

Posted by: Bradley J. Fikes at August 29, 2006 4:46 PM

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