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Violation Tracker Individual Record

Company: Cingular Wireless
Current Parent CompanyAT&T
Parent at the Time of the Penalty Announcement subscribe to see this data field
Recap of Ownership Changes subscribe to see this data field
Penalty: $12,140,000
Year: 2004
Date: September 23, 2004
Offense Group: consumer-protection-related offenses
Primary Offense: consumer protection violation
Violation Description: Cingular's corporate policy and practice in California did not allow any grace period or trial of its wireless service and prohibited early termination of wireless service unless the customer paid an early termination fee (ETF) of $150. Given Cingular's own testimony that testing wireless service by using the phone is the best way for a customer to ascertain whether the service meets his or her needs, binding that customer in advance to a one or two-year contract constituted an unjust and unreasonable rule and resulted in inadequate, unjust, and unreasonable service in violation of PU Code Section 451 and Commission Decision (D.) 95-04-028. The Commission imposed a penalty of $12,140,000 and ordered Cingular to reimburse customers who paid part or all of the ETF.
Level of Government: state
Action Type: agency action
Agency: California Public Utilities Commission
Civil or Criminal Case: civil
Case ID: 04-09-062 and 07-03-048
Facility State: California
HQ Country of Current Parent: USA
HQ State of Current Parent: Texas
Ownership Structure of Current Parent: publicly traded
Major Industry of Current Parent: telecommunications
Specific Industry of Current Parent: telecommunications
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Current parent company note: Parent-subsidiary relationship is current as of the most recent revision listed in the Update Log.