I’m on the verge of switching my cell phone service over to T-Mobile because Cingular pisses me off. Truth be told, they’ve all pissed me off at one time or another. The offense this time centers around my contract renewal. Amazon.com is running a deal for new or renewing Cingular customers where you can get a free BlackBerry Pearl after a small rebate and sign-up for 2 years of service. This is pretty standard operating practice through phone companies and retailers alike, though Amazon.com is able to sweeten the deal with a free Pearl. My contract was up back in November, though I didn’t really notice it until this year. I have attempted multiple times to make my purchase through Amazon.com to no avail. I have also spoken with both ends of customer service – Cingular’s was, by far, more frustrating. Neither were willing to pony up fault for my not being able to make the order, but Amazon’s message seemed the clearest – “it says Cingular has rejected your order.” I finally got in touch with a gentleman at Amazon that was able to confirm for me that Cingular will not allow its own customers to go through the site unless they have 60-days inactivity from Cingular service. That is, out of your contract, out of month-to-month…out of service. Only then can you buy service through Amazon. Which means, really, that Cingular doesn’t allow Amazon to upgrade customers. This is clearly an antitrust issue – one that Amazon.com should have fought for, but didn’t. And since they didn’t, they should also be the ones to disable the “renew” option for Cingular customers. It’s this latest offense that gives me the notion that I should switch providers. Not because I *have* to have a Pearl phone and I’m not willing to pay for it…well maybe that’s the reason, but moreso simply because Cingular pissed me off and I don’t feel I should show them loyalty when they essentially take advantage of their customers and have the audacity to think that their service is so good customers won’t switch. So I’m going to work with the T-Mobile reps to see what kind of deal I can arrange to use their service. I hate service contracts. I don’t think I’ve mentioned that yet this year.