[LINK] mobile bill shock

stephen at melbpc.org.au stephen at melbpc.org.au
Wed May 12 18:28:21 AEST 2010

F.C.C. Weighs Plan to Warn of High Cellphone Bill

By EDWARD WYATT  Published: May 11, 2010  www.nytimes.com

The Federal Communications Commission said Tuesday that it was seeking 
public comment on a plan that would require wireless phone companies to 
notify customers when they are running up unusually high charges for data 
usage, roaming or other uses beyond what is covered by regular monthly 

The initiative, outlined on Tuesday by Joel Gurin, chief of the F.C.C.’s 
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, is intended to help consumers 
avoid what the commission calls “bill shock.” 


The commission has received hundreds of complaints from consumers about 
receiving bills with unexpected charges, sometimes amounting to hundreds 
of dollars, Mr. Gurin said in a statement, adding that the charges are 
often caused by misunderstandings of contract terms. 

Wireless carriers in Europe are required by law to send text messages to 
consumers when they are running up roaming charges or getting close to a 
set limit for data usage, Mr. Gurin said. 

“We’re issuing a Public Notice to see if there’s any reason that American 
carriers can’t use similar automatic alerts to inform consumers when they 
are at risk of running up a high bill,” he said. 

“This is an avoidable problem. Avoiding bill shock is good for consumers 
and ultimately good business for wireless carriers as well.” 

Details on the “Bill Shock” initiative and instructions on how to file a 
public comment can be found at www.fcc.gov. 


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