Bill Shock? FCC Is Looking Into Cell Phone Overages
The FCC has conducted a study of 30 million Americans and found that 1 in 6 experience surprise or shock at their cell phone bills with unexpected charges that are beyond their normal bill. 84% of those surveyed said that carriers did not notify them when they were reaching their monthly limit on voice, text, or data.
Additionally, early termination fees also caused some confusion. More than half of those surveyed did not know what it would cost them to get out of their contracts, and with changes to Verizon Wireless’ and AT&T’s ETF policies, that won’t get any simpler; Verizon is now charging $350 ETF for advanced devices while AT&T has increased it’s termination charge to $325 for smartphones and reduced its ETF for non-smartphone devices.
One proposal to help reduce confusion would be for US mobile carriers to follow their counterparts in the European Union and send a warning or reminder text message, gratis of course, to users just before they reach their quota for the month. This will help to avoid un-necessary panic at the end of the month when user’s receive their bills with unexpected overages.
So, dear readers, would you want your carrier to send a text message to your phone just before you reach your monthly quota for voice and data?