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FCC with a plan to help you avoid bill shocks

Posted: , by Ray S.

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FCC with a plan to help you avoid bill shocks
You've probably had at least one time when you've been unpleasantly surprised by an unexpectedly high cell phone bill. Well, it might have been your last, as the FCC has come up with a plan, which will eventually require carriers to send automatic text notifications to their customers, should they start generating a bill that is significantly higher than their regular monthly fee. This will, of course, include data, roaming and other charges, and not just talk.

According to Joel Gurin, who is leading the initiative, this plan aims to help users avoid the so called "bill shocks", similarly to how it's done overseas by European carriers, which are  required to send such notifications by law.

What do you think about that - are such actions needed? Have you ever experienced a bill shock? Sound off in the comments below!

via: NYTimes

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:46

1. CHEFJEFF (Posts: 147; Member since: 22 Sep 2009)

This is a great idea. Mainly for parents who get cell phones for their kids. Even myself, a responsible adult, there was a time period in my life were I went over my monthly allowance and had a whopping $400 bill. Yikes!! The phone companies don't care if you go over because it generates more money for them, this change, if implemented would help the consumer.

posted on 12 May 2010, 11:58

4. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Well, if you call into AT&T, a rep will easily adjust all charges for an increase in your plan or features. No big deal.

posted on 12 May 2010, 09:49

2. ostranderterry (Posts: 61; Member since: 14 Apr 2010)

ATT already does this for any overage that gets close to 200 dollars, I don't konw if the fcc is going to make it a lower amount or what, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

posted on 12 May 2010, 11:39

3. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

This is a joke and waste of time - The FCC needs to concentrate on ensuring we have plenty of spectrum for years to come - there is so much antiquated(old) telecom legislation out there that needs to be repealed so that companies can move forward and expand on broadband. Helping stupid ignorant customer who complain about their bills , when they are given all of the tools - they can do this by dialing a * feature from their phone or going online to manage their account - is ludricous. Americans need to step up to the plate and hold themselves accountable. Stop asking for a handout and start electing officials who will encourage laws and regulations that spur job growth while penalizing companies for moving jobs to india. (Ok, I am going to step down on my soap box....)

posted on 13 May 2010, 13:15

10. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)

+1 for you sir...agreed

posted on 12 May 2010, 12:50

5. Striker13084 (Posts: 128; Member since: 30 Mar 2009)

Verizon already does this! It is just all the other carriers that are going to be forced to catch up.

posted on 12 May 2010, 13:03

6. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

lol, AT&T has done this for a while now, too - I bet you the FCC wants a carrier to notify its customer if that person is one msg or one minute over their plan or feature. Too much regulation, but the AMERICAN sheep love it - like they love their I'don't know'phone

posted on 12 May 2010, 13:36

7. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

FCC, instead of worrying about something that the carriers have already taken care of, worry about this: A Republican lawmaker introduced a bill that requires the FCC to submit a detailed market analysis to prove the need for the agency to reclassify broadband and move ahead with its proposed net neutrality rules. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) introduced the Internet Protection, Investment and Innovation Act that would require the FCC to prove, through a rigorous cost-benefit analysis, that new rules are warranted. The FCC would then have to submit the report to Congress. The bill comes on the heels of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski's plan to reclassify broadband as a Title II common-carrier service as a way to firm up the commission's authority to implement net neutrality, among other goals. The approach outlined by Genachowski calls for the transmission component of broadband, and only that component, to be recognized as a telecommunications service. The commission will then look to apply only a handful of Title II provisions while ignoring parts that are not applicable to broadband. Critics have charged that the plan leaves the door open for regulatory overreach. "I think this is a partisan move by him [Genachowski] to regulate the Internet," said Stearns, who is the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on communications. "This curious step by Chairman Genachowski would reverse course and ... do an end run around Congress, where this issue should and must be debated first." Internet service providers and the CTIA have strongly disagreed with Genachowski's approach.

posted on 12 May 2010, 16:36

8. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

I love it when the sensible posters who say it like it is get a '-1' on their post and then the 'rah-rah, we love iphone', or 'Droid does' posters get +1 for not saying much at all.

posted on 13 May 2010, 13:11

9. CRICKETownz (Posts: 980; Member since: 24 Oct 2009)

I guess this is a good idea...but ppl should just keep track of their own bills...what happened to that? If I've ever gotten a high bill...i look it over and find either I went over my mins, did too many downloads, or went over my text allowance (when I had limited textin). Ppl are full of sh*t...when they receive a high bill they call/go into their carrier's store claimin that the billing is inaccurate. I'm not sayin that a company can't make a mistake, but damn...have some accountability for your own mistakes. Every time a customer says their bill shouldn't be that high and there's no way they could have went over their mins. I've went thru a bill with a customer and counted each min. line by line it shows that yes...you went over whether it was mins. or data and 3/4 of the way thru the process you see this stupid look come over their face like "I actually did use it all". It shouldn't be a carrier's responsibility to keep track of what you should be keepin track of every month. Most carriers have some way to track your usage. Learn how to read your bill that you've been gettin for last 2 yrs.+. I keep track of my own stuff effortlessly...car note, rent...it comes every month...I mean what the hell? Aren't we adults? Ppl can be so lazy...

posted on 13 May 2010, 15:56

11. networkdood (Posts: 6330; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)

Cricket, I had to +1 you....carriers make mistakes, but people love to skip paying bills and then whine to their carrier about a high bill, when the past due is tacked on there.

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