Cingular to charge customers using TDMA phones

By Justin Mann on
What does a cell company do when their customers stick with old phones? Charge them, apparently. Cingular, one of the largest cellular companies in the world, is planning to begin charging customers to the tune of $5 per month if they use older phones that don't support the newer technologies. While it seems very bad for business and just plain bad, the fee is supposedly all for the better:

The $5 mandatory fee will generate approximately $23.5 million every month for Cingular. The company claims that the majority of its customers (92 percent) use phones based on Global System for Mobile (GSM) technology, while the rest use TDMA phones or even older analog phones. Despite the small minority of older phone users, Cingular is required by the FCC to support analog users until early 2008.
Cingular has already taken a lot of heat due to charging customers for what many see as their own oversights. Regardless, a push to new technology is a good thing. However, it seems they'd be much better received if they offered incentives to switch, rather than punishing those who don't feel a need to upgrade.

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