Better Business Bureau Works Through Childish Cingular/Sprint Spat

from the ok,-move-on dept

Last month, we noted that after the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau had privately ruled on a silly dispute between mobile operators over what meaningless definition of “best” each operator could use, Cingular decided to file a lawsuit to get it on the public record that their “fewest dropped calls” wasn’t misleading. Well, now it appears the Better Business Bureau has gotten sick of the lawsuits and decided to reveal some of the points it made in its decision, showing that they actually had to waste their time telling Cingular which pointless advertising claims it could and couldn’t use. So, the BBB has decided that Cingular does have the “fastest national wireless data network” and “the largest push-to-talk network in America.” Even more importantly, Cingular can claim “more bars in more places.” I know you’re all excited. However, at the same time, it turns out that Cingular cannot reasonably claim that it: “offers the broadest and deepest portfolio of wireless business solutions” or that “our people and partners make wireless work for more businesses than any other wireless carrier.” Hope that’s all clear now.

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Comments on “Better Business Bureau Works Through Childish Cingular/Sprint Spat”

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Tyshaun says:

Why is this so silly?

I think it’s great that someone finally is enforcing a bit of “truth-in-advertising” albeit because the parties involved brought on the scrutiny themselves. Hey, if more truth-in-ad laws were enforced it would give incredible teeth to government officials to pursue spammers (“This one pill can cause you to loose 100 pounds in 10 seconds”…), late night informercials (“Buy my pyramid scheme and make millions”…), and the ubiquitous misleading internet ad (“free *** just for trying our crappy service, *** for *** time period”…).

How I wish and hope that the BBB gets even more pissed off!

Tyshaun says:

Re: Re: Why is this so silly?

I can think of about 150 more important issues our courts could be dealing with besides this

Of course, so could I, but that’s why we have more than one “court”. Fortunately we don’t prioritize issues and deal with them in a serial fashion, the court allows for dealing with things in parallel, often times with varying degrees of importance, and that’s a good thing for overall quality of life (No, it isn’t a major thing the neighbors kid broke your windows, but you at least have the option of small claims court to get your money, and don’t have to be filed behind every single murder trial!)

I guess I think this would be a great thing to pursue because I often link misleading avertisers to fraud, identity theft, and things like that. I would also like to think that someone is out there checking the validity of product claims so that people who may not have the resources or ability to thoroughly research it themselves have some degree of confidence in their purchases. I always think of some grandma out there trying to buy a car or something. Perhaps they aren’t savvy enough to do a good web research job. I would hope that organizations like BBB would be around to offer unbiased recommendations based on their research efforts. Isn’t that what BBB was created for, partly?

Mikhail says:

Re: Cingular has

I am definitely not supporting any carrier, but did you know that if you are actually dropped from a call, you can simply call your provider and you should not be charged for that call at all? While most people don’t bother with this, if it’s a serious enough issue to complain about, perhaps you should bother to call; or perhaps you should bother to look into other service.

Andrew Strasser says:

Only a hundred and fifty things rank higher on our nations monetary scale than this. People really are narrow sighted. I can think of thousands of things to do with the money wasted on this. I also think Cingular should have to pick up the tab for the market research the BBB had to do for them. Seeing as not all of the advertisements were valid it’s their baby to pay for.

Ridiculous as we think of paying people to starve the world everyday as well through tenure.

Anonymous Coward says:

Trees will be our downfall...

Here in Indiana, Indianapolis has the best signal strength. Unfortunately for the other 85% of the population, it’s a crap shoot.

I was having signal problems and dropped call problems so I went into ask the knowledgeable Cingular staff at our local store.

Their question, “Do you have any trees in your yard?”

Response, “A couple.”

Their response, “Well we have see some phones have trouble around trees. If you can find a place in your house that doesn’t have a tree near by.”

My response, “OK… Bye bye, Cingular. Can you hear me now?”

kevin says:

BBB for business only

To bad the BBB only works for business. I needed their help, but they really only support the telcos, treated me like a crook refused to look at facts and only sided with the business. After being shown the facts, refused to respond, lackeys for the business community. Worthless for the comsumer, don’t bother.

JerseyRich says:


..with the BBB helping to decide what claims the carriers can make.

But advertising is advertising.

Aren’t we used to the trumped-up claims of advertisers? Do we really believe anyone when they say they have the BEST service, the BEST price, the BEST quality?

I take all claims with a grain of salt, and I decide for myself.

Anyway, each carrier will work “BEST” for different people.

willy nilly says:

all cel companies and banks are guilty of finding the thing they do the worst …or that their customer base hates the most…then exploiting that against the “other guys” in their commercials. think of every bank commercial or cel commercial you see (can you hear me now?) cel companies are responding with marketing when they should be fixing the problem. fsck.

Mikhail says:

most dropped calls...

and yes, cingular does suck. I have to say that I had cingular several years ago and was pleased, then we switched to Verizon and I definitely didn’t notice any dramatic change to better or worse service. However, when I recently got a company cell phone, back with Cingular, I have come to the conclusion that Cingular now sucks.

GEORGE says:

circuit city scam

I applied for a job at circuit thru and now i receive circuitcity email advertisements at least twice a day. But if i block their address, what happens if they send me an email with a job offer? and how come they don’t have an “unsubscribe” option like everyone else is required to??? huh? huh?

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