30 million Americans have experienced bill shock

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30 million Americans have experienced bill shock
A government survey says that 30 million Americans, or one out of every 6 wireless users, have experienced "bill shock", the unpleasant feeling of opening up the monthly invoice from your carrier and seeing a very high figure. These surprises can be due to exceeding the monthly minutes allotted to you on your calling plan, excessive roaming, or exceeding data limits. More than a third of those who had "bill shock" had a $50 increase in their invoice while 23% said that the jump was $100. As we reported, the FCC is considering a plan that would require carriers to notify customers if they were approaching caps on roaming or data use for the month. In the EU, operators are required to alert customers running up against plan limits via a text message. In a business with only four major players (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile, in order of the number of customers), the government might feel that there needs to be some oversight on billing matters. Last week we told you the story of an $18,000 bill that Verizon has written off. The young man, who ran up the bill by tethering his phone to his laptop, did not know that the promotional period that gave his family free web access had expired when his dad renewed the contract. Ouch. Have you ever experienced "bill shock"?

source: CBS



1. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

I just wish people would take responsibility for there service. Most wireless cariers today big and small provide more then one way to check your usage and such. Tons of leaps and bounds have been made in the area of customer service and being able to provide information throgh out the current bill cycle. People just are lazy and expect a damn hand out ever month cause they don't feel like paying.

2. paps511

Posts: 33; Member since: Mar 01, 2009

big companies also make it incredibly easy to incur charges that should not be there, or done by accident. i have had problems with phones where in my pocket the will be on the mobile web which is very expensive without a plan.

3. xtroid2k

Posts: 601; Member since: Jan 11, 2010

O C'mon the pocket dialing S#$t again. You must have a better argument then that. I will agree from occasion to ocassion you might see a miss print or a few extra bucks which if tracked can be caught early and resolved. I'm talking about the cheap bastereds who buy a 450 minute plan for 39.99 and then use 1000 minutes but don't want to pay. They then claim they didin't know and that the company stiffed them and all that crap. Plus why don't you have a smartphone?

7. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

... Block that crap... Anyone can put a block on their account.

9. JeffdaBeat unregistered

Yeah, I've got to agree with xtroid2k. Most phones that you would be able to dial in your pocket have an auto lock on them and if you aren't responsible enough to use it then you deserve the overage...not to mention, you picked the phone which is more of a beef with the manufacturer and not the provider. What kills me is if you put these situations with any other kind of utility, you'd get laughed at. For example, how dumb would I look if I called into AEP (Electric company) and said I made a mistake and left my AC on 65 degrees when I went on vacation for a week. They would tell me to pay up or my service would be disconnected. Should be the same will cell companies. Why do we treat cell phones different than utilities?

4. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

The big reason this occurs is people do not realize or forget or never read the fine print - customers are handed some paperwork that explain all terms and conditions, including what to expect on a first bill - prorated charges, act fees, etc. The best way to avoid the unexpected bill is to get an unlimited everything plan with your carrier...

5. VZWtrainer

Posts: 50; Member since: Jul 24, 2008

I'm not sure what other Wireless Carriers offer, but I can attest that Verizon Wireless does all that they can to help customers prevent overage. #1: A myriad of self-serve options to monitor your account - #data, #min, #bal, #pmt, myverizon at home and on the phone, *611 IVR - all of these options allow the customer to check on their account and changes can be made online (including backdating) which brings me to #2: VZW Worry Free Guarantee allows any customer at any time to change their account. In the case of going over, a customer can simply go online or call in before their cycle has ended and increase their minute plan, messaging plan or data plan to prevent overage #3: If you are enrolled in My Verizon Online, there is a feature called Minute Check that will alert customers if they have gone over on a previous bill. In the case the overage has been charged, but their are countless situations where customers pay a bill without looking at it so this proactive communication can help some people out. #4: Typically, the type of charge that can lead to the most overage is on Mobile Broadband. All current carriers have a 5GB cap on their plans to maintain network reliability so Johnny-downloads-20-movies-a-day-while-torrenting-and-networking-8-PC's-together doesn't slow down the data for everyone pulling from the same cell tower. The VZW Mobile Broadband service has an included Wi-Fi connection feature that will always default to connecting to Wi-Fi first, if availble. This allows the user to have internet on their computer without having to use out of their 5GB. Also, when you log into VZAccess Manager, which is the application that comes with the device, it pops up and tells you where you are with your usage. In addition to that, Verizon Wireless will proactively notify customers when they are trending to go over. Once again, I cannot speak for other carriers, but I feel as if the government has no jurisdiction or right to step into this matter. In VZW's case, what more could they do?

6. jedi2000

Posts: 31; Member since: Feb 12, 2010

The number one cause of overage and bill shock is DATA usage weather it be msging or browsing time, it is and has always been DATA. The FCC needs to crack down on DATA both mandatory charges to extra overage charges none of them should ever be allowed to cap more than $20/month if under an amount and then $40 for anything else. Then the max anyone would ever be charged would be $40. Does any one know how much DATA costs the carriers?????? Well I'll tell you that is may cost them only pinnies a month per line that's it not even a dollar maybe $0.25/line/month. So why are carriers charging so very much for any data? $18,000 dollars is a reality i personally years ago had seen several bills that were that high. I also saw some bills as much as 50-60 k in just data charges, now if that isn't just stupid then I don't know what is. Who is with me when i say reduce DATA plan costs and charge no more ever!!??!!

8. Fanboys Suck

Posts: 609; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Or Minutes????

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