FCC to consider plan to avoid cellphone “bill shock”

05/12/2010 // West Palm Beach, Florida, USA // Nicole Howley // Nicole Howley

Washington, D.C.—A public comment is being sought by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on a initiative which would require wireless phone companies to notify their customers if they are incurring unusually high charges for data usage, roaming, or other uses that are additional charges to the regular monthly fees. The plan is aimed to help consumers avoid what the FCC has called “bill shock,” as reported by The New York Times.

After receiving hundreds of consumer complaints regarding bills with unexpected charges, which can sometimes run up to hundreds of dollars, the FCC is stepping in to help protect consumers.

FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Joel Gurin stated, “We’re issuing a Public Notice to see if there’s a reason that American carriers cant use similar automatic alerts to inform consumers when they are at risk of running up a high bill. This is an avoidable problem. Avoiding bill shock is good for consumers and ultimately good business for wireless carriers as well.”

Mr. Gurin also pointed out that wireless carriers in Europe are already required by law to send text messages to consumers when they are acquiring roaming charges or nearing their data usage limit.

For more information regard the “Bill Shock” initiative and instructions on how to file a public comment can be located at http://www.fcc.gov/.

Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for government lawyers.

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