- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 30, 2006

This morning, while trying to avoid committing a felony in the District - i.e., holding a cell phone to the side of my head - I had yet another reminder of what is just about the only frustration of my Cingular Wireless service: their 411 operators can’t find a number to save their souls.

During the past week, I’m 0.5 for 10 tries - one listing turned up two potential numbers - but my other attempts to reach the corporate offices of, say, the Associated Press or even Cingular Wireless were fruitless. For the AP, I got a fax machine, and couldn’t get anything else from Cingular.

“Sandy,” a Cingular 411 supervisor, ventured the helpful suggestion that maybe Cingular was headquartered in San Antonio. When I assured her it was Atlanta, she could only volunteer to have someone else look it up and call me back.

As these words are written, about two hours after that last telephonic tribulation, I’m still waiting for Sandy - or anyone else there - to call.

Meanwhile, I returned to my office and found the number for Mark Siegel, Executive Director of Media Relations for Cingular, and an old friend. He said the firm’s customers just love their wireless directory assistance, and if there’s a problem “it is most certainly a very small exception, and not the rule.”

Maybe so, but I eagerly wait for the day when someone else gets the “we can’t find your number” honor.

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