Cingular Reduced Rate Suspend

Since I am leaving the country for an extended assignment, I wanted to see what I could do reduce my US cell phone expenses. My top priority is to keep my phone number, but I have little use for a US cell phone since I will be spending most of my time overseas for the next 7-12 months. I was thinking I would transfer my number to a prepaid plan like Virgin Mobile or Tracphone that should cost me ~$10/mo.

However, I called Cingular to see what they could do. It turns out they offer a reduced rate suspend service. It cost $9/month and suspends your service. It keeps your number
with no voicemail and last for up to 6 months. Once you make a call on your phone the suspend service is lifted and your phone plan resumes. Apparently you are only allowed to use this service once in a 12 month period.

This options sounds ideal for me except for 1 issue -- I will be back in the US a couple times during my assignment so I can't use the phone and keep it in suspend. Since according to the customer service representative you can only use the voluntary suspend service once, I would be better off waiting till after our wedding and using the suspend for the remainder of my assignment.

Guess I will eat my unused cell phone bills for the next 4 months till we get through the wedding.

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Comments (4)


I was able to put my service "on hold" for 3 months once when I left the country. I was not charged for those 3 months, but they did extend my contract for tht amount of time.
I'm pretty sure it was with Cingular. Or was it AT&T before it became Cingular only to become AT&T again? ;)

How about get vonage, transfer your cell phone number to that service, then sign up for the pre-paid cell phone plan.

Or.... you could go back to plan A and dump these bastards for a company that will not charge you for not providing a service.

I switched from Cingular to pre-paid Virgin and love it. It's only $15 every 3 months (.17/min) If you don't use any minutes in those 3 months you would have to "top up" with another $15, BUT your balance would be $30 as it accumulates, AND you'd have your phone to use as you'd need it when back in the US.

If you like it, let me refer you for a credit! :-)

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