Consumer Corner
CUB rescues soldier's mom from cell hell
With her son stationed in Iraq, the last thing Maria Gonzalez needed was a collection agency hounding her about a $1,027 cell phone bill she didn’t deserve.

“They were warning that they would mess up my credit,” said the Midlothian mother of four.

Last June, Maria had signed up for a Cingular family calling plan. When she got home that day, she realized it wasn’t the deal she thought it was. Instead, she wanted to stay on the Cingular plan she currently paid for.

She went back to the Cingular dealer, and unsuccessfully tried to resolve the problem over the next days, weeks, and months—but got no results.

Then she got a $1,027 bill, including $600 in cancellation fees ($150 for each of the four phones in the family plan). In desperation, she called CUB. Consumer Counselor Bryan McDaniel was a welcome change from Cingular. “He treated me like a person, like a human, like a consumer,” Maria said.

About a month later—and almost five months after the mess had begun—Maria got a letter from Cingular saying that nearly all of the $1,027 debt had been wiped out. That was one less worry for a soldier’s mother.

“When there is no hope, there is a light after the tunnel, and there is CUB,” Maria said.

If you have a question or complaint about your utility service, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, at 1-800-669-5556, for free guidance.