FCC Mulling 'Bill Shock' Warning System
May 11, 2010, 9:48 AM by Eric M. Zeman
A new initiative submitted by Joel Gurin, chief of the Federal Communication Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, would help create a warning system for consumers when their cell phone bills surpass a certain amount. The "Bill Shock" initiative would force wireless network carriers to send a warning of some sort (probably via SMS) to subscribers whose bills are running unusually high due to data or other charges so the consumers can curtail use to avoid a large monthly bill. The initiative comes after hundreds of consumers have complained about receiving surprise large bills that are hundreds of dollars more than their normal bill. "We're issuing a Public Notice to see if there's any reason that American carriers can’t use similar automatic alerts [as carriers in Europe are required to do] 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," said Gurin.
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