Cingular Says You Can Link To Their Site -- But Only If You're Nice

from the legalese dept

The organizers of the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens did their part to uphold the games' fine tradition of ridiculousness by instituting one of the most moronic linking policies of all time on their official site. It said you could only link to their site if using "ATHENS 2004" as the anchor text, you couldn't link using a photo (especially the games' logo!), and in the pièce de résistance, it said people had to mail in a written request with details of the link and how it would be used. Stupid linking policies are largely a thing of the past, though some people still get upset when the likes of Google link to their sites. But the stupid link policy isn't completely dead, as mobile operator Cingular illustrates (via Broadband Reports), with its legalese saying "you are granted a limited, nonexclusive right" to link to the site's homepage (that's right, no deep linking!), which can be "revoked" at any time. It also says links can't portray Cingular in a derogatory manner, so things like Cingular sucks or Cingular's cellular coverage isn't so hot are apparently against the rules. Perhaps we'd better stop before we break any more of their rules.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    FarmBoy, May 3rd, 2007 @ 2:28pm

    Power of the Link

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    stressedpenguin, May 3rd, 2007 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Power of the Link

    It would stand up fine considering they are both true statements.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2007 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Power of the Link

    don't make me laugh, ive used sprint, verizon, alltel, and cingular, and find cingular to be most distinctive for the incredible quantity of dropped calls.

    its not that their claim is bogus, its that its so directly opposite of true that gets my goat

    YMMV

     

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  4.  
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    Greg, May 3rd, 2007 @ 3:04pm

    FarmBoy: They aren't provably false statements, they're opinions. So there's no case there.

    Anyway, what can Cingular do if you break their stupid rules? I really don't see what they can do beyond telling you to stop, and there's no way they can enforce that. Why even bother with this?

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2007 @ 3:11pm

    Re:

    Lawyers take what they can get and see what youll give them. It costs them nothing to add write that crap. You can make any unenforceable claim you want.

     

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  6.  
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    Scott, May 3rd, 2007 @ 3:17pm

    I've used alltel and sprint before, and currently have a Cingular (personal) phone and a Nextel (aka sprint - work) phone. I can say, by far, Cingular is the best I've ever used. I never get any dropped calls from them, and always have service anywhere I've gone.

    Do they still suck? Hell yes they do. Cingular's 'help' is anything but that.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Disgruntled Cingular Customer, May 3rd, 2007 @ 3:18pm

    Cingular stinks in my area. Funny thing is that it all started going downhill when they became AT&T. Call quality is terrible here. I have been with them for 9 years. It wasn't always this way. They have really lost customers in my area over the last few months.
    I have a new Verizon phone with service that puts Cingular to shame in my area..... can't wait until the Cingular contract is out in 3 more months.... Hate paying for something I can't use. Called Customer service multiple times since December 2006. I was told "if your phone rings and you answer it, you have service." Didn't matter if I could hear the caller or not... Some service!

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2007 @ 3:54pm

    Them "becoming AT&T" had nothing to do with any network changes you may have noticed. There were no actual changes in the company, as SBC (which was one of the two companies that owned Cingular) merely bought out AT&T which allowed them to use the name. AT&T really doesnt exist anymore as they were bought out by SBC who decided to use the AT&T name because they felt that it had better market appeal.

     

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  9.  
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    Matt Foxtrot, May 3rd, 2007 @ 4:10pm

    Google Bomb Time

    I would love to see someone create a website that is titled "Cingular sucks" and then google bomb it so that it's the top hit for "cingular"

    Just an amusing thought.

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    kl2real, May 3rd, 2007 @ 4:20pm

    Re: AT&T/SBC

    AT&T, formerly SBC, is a piece-of-shit telco that bought and replaced PacBell on the west coast ruining what had been a reasonable local company with a mediocre absentee and poorly-run conglomerate instantly renowned throughout California for lousy service, reliable and annoying telephone solicitations, lengthy delays for repairs, and customer service that makes even Dell seem pleasant to deal with by comparison. Their reputation sunk so low they had to purchase a brand name without the toxic association of their previous name. A wolf in sheep's clothing, though, is still a wolf. No matter what they call themselves, I'll never buy anything from them ever again.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Chuck, May 3rd, 2007 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Googlebombing.

    It shouldn't be too hard. It already has Cingular in it anyways.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    ogman, May 3rd, 2007 @ 8:01pm

    Was going to switch...

    I was going to switch to their service, but since they want to act like idiots, I'll stay with the idiots I have now.

    Actually, I'm sick of all of these arrogant do-nothing-but-collect-cash companies. I was watching Attack of the Show in Japan and it's amazing the tech they have over there while we're stuck (in the U.S.) with companies that do never do much of anything except whine about their customers.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2007 @ 9:31pm

    All they can do is write an .htaccess file to re-direct unauthorized links to competitors. My friend does this when he gets traffic from hate group forums linking to his black guy white girl dating site. The dummies on that try to click thru get bounced to the compitition. Killed two bird with one stone.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    James Stevens, May 3rd, 2007 @ 11:57pm

    Most Dropped Calls

    I'm pretty sure I read about a study lately saying Cingular was near the top in dropped calls. That's false advertising...

    Parody is legal and will always be legal. Opinions will always be legal. If you're out on the Internet, anyone can link to you on THEIR site however they want. My site is not Cingular's property, it's mine.

    What do I think about Cingular? Meh... now knowing how stupid they are and how they don't understand the Internet, Cingular blows.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anon Cow (MOOOOO!), May 4th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    Why Bother

    With respect to Greg who asked, "I really don't see what they can do beyond telling you to stop, and there's no way they can enforce that. Why even bother with this?"

    The reason to bother with this is to educate everyone out there who has the ability to create a link on a site or a blog. Everyone needs to know that they can create these links without fear from the big bad lawyers.

    Probably... In most cases... I'm actually not even sure now that I've typed all this...

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Jerk, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:10am

    Re:

    "FarmBoy: They aren't provably false statements, they're opinions. So there's no case there."
    Greg: They aren't provably true either...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    GoblinJuice, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:32am

    The Cingular site sucks. >_O

    Oh noes! Wut have I done?!?!?!

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Ricky, May 4th, 2007 @ 9:50am

    Hey, atleast I get the cool iPhone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    BenignVanilla, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:35am

    Retarded Policy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:36am

    Re: Power of the Link

    About a month ago I tried to use Cingular Website. AFter one attempt at my username and password I was blocked. Fortunately Shaninka (real name) was there to chat with me. I used the words ridiculous and damn describing my situation and only wanted to have my account unlocked. She threatened to have me banned from the site. Cingular does suck. What a waste. Throw away your cell phone. All calls are being monitored.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    SonDun2001, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:45am

    Re: Power of the Link

    Its fine because to the poster those are true statements. Now if they said "Cingular CEO uses racial slurs on minorities at conference." which is completely false and could cause damages, they would be held legally responsible.

     

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  22.  
    identicon
    Daryl Newman, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:50am

    Re: Most Dropped Calls

    The internet is a series of tubes....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Harrison Gevirtz, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:51am

    Lets Revolt

    Lets revolt and add CIngular SUCKS
    to all our sites and blogs lol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Rick Fernandez, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Power of the Link

    I guess it depends on where you live. I've been with Cingular for about 2 years now and they are without a doubt the best quality connection I've ever had. I never get dropped calls and coverage is excellent everywhere I go here in the Pacific NW.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Bubba, May 4th, 2007 @ 10:57am

    Re:

    "FarmBoy: They aren't provably false statements, they're opinions. So there's no case there."

    I would say claiming that their coverage sucks would be considered provable under the law. Someone might have trouble with that one.

    Cingular sucks - with no particular reason given - is protected as an opinion.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    afro eric, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:06am

    opinion: cingular sucks

    okay, my opinion is cingular's customer service sucks! one reason why i switched to verizon!

    i miss my phone and service offered in japan. the u.s. is missing out on the myriad of uses for the cell phone.

    can you digg it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Dilbert, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:22am

    Cingular and deep linking...

    So I shouldn't provide a deep link to any internal pages at cingular's website? Hmmm...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Charles Griswold, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:24am

    Shakespearean Insult Time!

    Cingular, your means are very slender, and your waste is great.

    (Taken from: Henry IV, part 2)

    :-P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Not a friend of Cingular but..., May 4th, 2007 @ 11:29am

    Re: Change your chip

    If you aren't running a blue chip in your Cingular phone get the chip in your phone replaced. Magically your phone will start to work better. Well it's not magic; the old chips run off different frequencies then the new ones. Most of the old frequencies where sold off to companies like T-Mobile, hence they don't work like they used to.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Cingular, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:31am

    Re: Shakespearean Insult Time!

    "Cingular, your means are very slender, and your waste is great."

    Mommy, mommy! He said mean things to me!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Khanthe, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:37am

    Re: Power of the Link

    This is also an opinion piece, and statement of an opinion. That makes a difference in defamation cases.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    epic, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:40am

    i heard cingular eats babies

    and then regurgitates them and forces its employees to join in on the baby eating goodness...if everyone else is done making retarded claims...carry on

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    midwesterner, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:50am

    Cingular

    Isn't SBC the company that tried to patent web sites and the internet back in the 90's? Apparently thier strong arm tactics have not changed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    madatcingular, May 4th, 2007 @ 11:56am

    cingular user test.

    could any cingular user do me a favor and time their phone call, then compare it to the time Cingular claims in the statement. Is it just me, or are they pulling a Superman III / Office Space scam where they eat away at people's seconds rather than fractions of pennies in the said movies.

    To my reconning, a Cingular minute lasts 47 seconds.

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    CingularBlows, May 4th, 2007 @ 12:16pm

    Ahahaha

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Eric, May 4th, 2007 @ 12:19pm

    Cingular service is all about where your live. I live in Austin and reception sucks balls. Many places have black out areas. I lived in Houston and though most of the time service was fine, It was not the best. I use to work for Cingular and they have an extremly high turn over. Based on those facts Cingular provides shit service for Austin. I wouldn't doubt it is the only city either that has poor cingular coverage, though I am sure it is better in other areas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Eric, May 4th, 2007 @ 12:20pm

    Location Determines service quality

    Cingular service is all about where your live. I live in Austin and reception sucks balls. Many places have black out areas. I lived in Houston and though most of the time service was fine, It was not the best. I use to work for Cingular and they have an extremely high turn over. Based on those facts Cingular provides shit service for Austin. I wouldn't doubt it is the only city either that has poor Cingular coverage, though I am sure it is better in other areas.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    metagirl, May 4th, 2007 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Power of the Link

    I actually looked into this and the way dropped calls are measured is based on customer service complaints. So unless your call dropped and you called customer service to complain about it, it doesn't count as a dropped call. The reasoning is that your calls can drop not only as a result of network, but also because your phone ran out of battery. There is no way to distinguish a call as dropped by the network. So all those claims by any cellular phone provider from JD Powers & Associates are based on customer complaints.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Jason, May 4th, 2007 @ 1:32pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    lumis, May 4th, 2007 @ 1:55pm

    my page = my content

    the code on my page is my content and i will put any href tags i want on it

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Andy, May 4th, 2007 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Power of the Link

    So, Google and Yahoo have to take out their indexed pages as well?? They are links too ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Free Photography Nature Wallpaper, May 4th, 2007 @ 3:49pm

    this is absurd... no way can Cingular or anyone else say what we can and cannot link to. Anyone remember when a whole lot of people decided to link to Bush's profile and linked it with profanity? Who cares, internet doesn't have rules, and Cingular cant talk talk all they way, but no way in hell are they going to stop anyone! http://www.eugenef.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Disgruntled Cingular Customer, May 5th, 2007 @ 7:58pm

    Re: It still ain't workin'

    Well, it still ain't workin' anymore, and that just happened to
    coincide with the name change. Nonetheless, my new provider makes them look like dial-up internet in comparison. They've still lost me with their crappy No Customer Service attitude.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Disgruntled Cingular Customer, May 5th, 2007 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re: Change your chip

    Yep, did that.
    Downloaded multiple updates... did that.
    Been to 3 diff Cingular techs.. nothing wrong with the phone.. did that.
    It just doesn't work!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    vic, May 8th, 2007 @ 3:00pm

    Cingular Lies

    I bought their broadband PC card over a year ago. At the time they told me that most of Minnesota would have braodband coverage by the end of 2006. I'm still waiting. Their EDGE coverage is slow. I'm thinking about tranferring all my services over to Verizon.
    Vic Rocchio
    Mpls, Mn

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Catelyn Allen, Oct 25th, 2007 @ 5:30pm

    asking a question and a comment

    I'm a very, very, happy with this service . I have a question could you make a sidekick ?
    What if somebody wanted one and went to another service if you could make a sidekick that would be great I think there a really cool phone you guys rock ! see ya

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    BidMogul.com, May 19th, 2008 @ 8:51am

    Cingular Sucks

    Cingular is a joke!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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